Page 1


January 2012


New Year!


winter soups to try

8 new businesses

share optimism for 2012 Meet the new


Vows 40-page

wedding guide

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2 0 1 2



3615 Mount Vernon Ave.

(661) 871-3556 CENTRAL

4130 California Avenue NORTHWEST

4750 Coffee Road

(661) 588-4700 SHAFTER

139 N. Central Valley Hwy.

(661) 746-9244


New Food Dudes


Businesses give 2012 outlook

We welcome a new group of Food Dudes to the table. Their first stop was Tony’s Pizza on Coffee Road, and boy, did they enjoy it!

Over the past year, new businesses have popped up all over town. We interviewed eight local business owners who have created opportunities for not only themselves, but for the community.

Named Bakersfield’s Favorite Pizza in The Californian’s 2011 Readers Survey 6




Winter grillers

Nothing stops these three guys from grilling, not even the winter weather. Find out tips and tricks for the perfect tri-tip and the grilling guru they admire.


For you lovebirds about to say “I do,” this section is filled with helpful tips to get you looking and feeling your best for your special day as well as stories on wedding trends that you may want to use. Look inside to read about these special days.

Photo by Mark Nessia

(661) 325-4717




2 0 1 2

Photo by Crystal Alvarez


Page 32

10:30am - 2:15pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 323-2500


9160 Rosedale Highway (Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm Daily

Phone: (661) 587-1600


9500 Ming Avenue (Just West of The Marketplace) 7:00am - 3:00pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 665-9990



Up Front Happenings It Manners A Lot Kelly Damian Real People Food & Wine Entertainment Sports Legend Why I Serve Community Ladies Who‌ Why I Live Here

765 West Herndon Avenue

(Corner of Herndon and Willow - Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm

Thank you, Kern County for your continued support! 8



Photo by Casey Christie

Phone: (559) 323-0330 See our full menu and order online at

Big Picture

Photo by Mark Nessia


1231 18th Street (18th and L Streets)

12 20 22 24 26 32 36 42 48 50 62 67

70 74 76 78 82 86 88 90 92 102 110

Foodie Home & Garden Going Green History Pastimes Personality Health and Wellness Talk of the Town Trip Planner Snap! Inside Story

For the record: In the Sports Legend feature on Jerry Quarry that ran in the December 2011 issue, the book that chronicles Quarry's life story: "Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of 'Irish' Jerry Quarry" was also written by local author Blake Chavez with the forward written by George Foreman.

Photo by Alex Horvath

Favorite Deli!

The office of Dr. Gordon Mitts would like to introduce a newly approved FDA product for the use of Breast Reconstruction. If you would like to discuss your reconstructive options please call to schedule your consultation today. Dr. Mitts accepts most PPO and HMO insurances. If you are thinking of having surgery or would like to know what your reconstructive possibilities are, please call 324-7208.





Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine January 2012 / Vol. 6 / Issue 4

Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil Crystal Alvarez Henry A. Barrios Casey Christie Jessica Frey Jeremy Gonzalez Alex Horvath Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Michael Lopez Cheryl Mestmaker Mark Nessia Jan St. Pierre Ashley Reyes Rodney Thornburg Jesse Vasquez Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Vicki Adame Kelly Damian Gene Garaygordobil Lois Henry Lisa Kimble David Luter Stephen Lynch Kevin McCloskey Mark Nessia Jeff Nickell Gabriel Ramirez Annie Stephens Michael Wafford Brian N. Willhite Advertising Lupe Carabajal, 395-7563 On the cover Couple Mike and Bobbi Grigg ring in 2012 with daughter Peyton. Photo by Mark Nessia On Vows special section cover Blossoming almond orchards of Kern County provide a stunning backdrop for a bride-to-be. Photo by Jessica Frey




Happy New Year!


New year. New beginnings. New opportunities. 2012 promises to be a year of many goals for several of us, whether it’s eating right, working out, drinking less or spending more time on things that we love. New Businesses In this issue, we asked a few new businesses to share their hopes for 2012. The list includes My Errand Girl, Jules, Full Bloom and Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar. My Errand Girl is a business where the owner Kim Stanley will personally take care of things on your to-do list, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. Jules is a jewelry store in The Gourmet Shoppe next to Cafe Med, owned by Julia Ball. Full Bloom sells artificial floral arrangements and home decor. And many seem to know Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar, the great new restaurant in downtown Bakersfield. Learn more about what they had to say inside this edition. The economy is still in recovery, but much praise goes to these new businesses that are creating new opportunities for themselves and our community. New Food Dudes Speaking about new things, I’m excited to let you know that we have a new group of Food Dudes. They are Matt Munoz, entertainment writer for The Bakersfield Californian and editor of; Don Martin, owner of Metro Galleries; Gary Frazier, a Southern California transplant and vice president of strategy and business development at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital; and Ray Pruitt, public information officer for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. They are a great group and I’m excited to read about their reviews. Their inaugural food visit took place at Tony’s Pizza in northwest Bakersfield. And if you are wondering about our original Food Dudes — David Luter, Kevin McCloskey, Bill Trivitt and Kevin Hanson — you will be happy to know that some of

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

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.

them are still writing for us. In this issue, they tackle grilling and winter soups, and there’s more to come in future issues. (We will also introduce new Dining Divas in our February issue. More to come on these gals soon.) The perfect wedding I am excited about Vows, our special section about weddings. A wedding is such an important event in our lives. Thank you to all the wonderful readers who responded to my call and shared their own wedding proposal stories. Read their heartwarming and often humorous tales. Follow us! Last, for our social media readers, stay updated and become a fan of Bakersfield Life on Facebook: BakersfieldLifeMagazine Follow us on Twitter: @bakersfieldlife Our goal will be to begin publishing comments from Facebook and Twitter in our monthly issues. This is another way for you to reach us and share your feedback.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487

UP FRONT Letters to the Editor

The Kelly Damian debate continues Dear Editor, I will keep reading today’s magazine, but, I agree with Cherie Payne! I hope I do not see anything from Kelly Damian published today, or ever. Too bad, you hit a nerve. — Marcelle Tillett Dear Editor, I find Kelly Damian refreshing and humorous. I can see how someone who “doesn’t get her” would take offense, but really! Do we need to be so defensive of our town? Can we not love this place and recognize its flaws? Long ago I was a “newcomer” with little children. She has a point. Please have the courage to keep the Kelly column. I also love the history you include. Keep up the terrific work. — Virginia Dallas-Dull Dear Editor, How funny is it that while cleaning up my magazine rack, I happened to find an article I had saved, written by Kelly Damian, the very writer who was so harshly criticized by Cherie Payne in ‘Not a fan of Kelly Damian’ in December 2011 letters to the editor. In “The Sidewalks of Bakersfield,” I had finally found a locally written article that I could personally relate to. Contrary to what Ms. Payne thinks, not all people that have grievances with Bakersfield are from out of town. I’m a born and raised citizen of this town, and it takes living here to know what needs improvement here. Both my fiancé and I happened to have had horribly offensive experiences while attempting to take walks through the streets of Bakersfield. It’s attitudes like Ms. Payne’s that make people like me feel like outsiders. When local residents like her refuse to listen to the grievances any time they are brought up, the problems can never be solved. Therein lies the greater problem of Bakersfield. When our fellow local residents blindly pretend our town is truly “life as it should be,” it’s like a disrespectful laugh in the face to those of us who have not had such a great time living here. Her ignorance to listen to the social issues that Ms. Damian is trying to make us aware of is the very point of the problem. Without being willing to point out our flaws, our town can never really improve. Maybe people like Ms. Damian and myself feel like the potential of the town is not being met by the status quo. My hometown could be so much better if only our fellow citizens were just willing to listen to each other rather than run people out of a job and out of town. And can you please give the self-important Ms. Payne a call back about my response, and, hopefully, the fact that you have come to your senses down at Bakersfield Life headquarters and continue to work with Ms. Damian. Her point of view is refreshing and much needed! — Dalilah Lewis 12



Dear Editor, I just got a copy of Bakersfield Life in my newspaper and was disappointed to see the letter written by Cherie Payne lambasting Kelly Damian. I have worked with Kelly for years and have loved her wry sense of humor. I was thrilled to see that she was writing for your magazine, and was actually looking forward to reading her article knowing that I would get more than a chuckle or two out of it. Instead, the first article I saw was the one written by Cherie Payne. As a non-native Bakersfieldian myself, who has lived here for over 28 years, I too, sometimes find Bakersfield to be lacking in the social graces. And let’s not forget, it’s not the most beautiful town, especially in the summer. But Bakersfield makes up for it in many other ways. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have stayed here as long. Anyone who hasn’t lived anywhere else doesn’t understand. I just want to say to Ms. Payne: you need to develop a thicker skin. Many people ask me why I live here, too. I know they will never understand, but I just laugh it off because I know why they think that. I thought the same thing when my husband and I were about to be transferred here 29 years ago. What a surprise Bakersfield was to me! But, over the years I’ve had to develop a thick skin about Bakersfield comments. I think Ms. Payne needs to as well. She needs to find the humor in what Kelly is writing about. I find Kelly’s outlook on things insightful, hilarious and yet, with a positive ending. Please continue to print her articles! I like them and look forward to them. Just because Ms. Payne doesn’t like them, doesn’t mean that she is the voice of all. Sincerely, — Marie Woodard

The Bakersfield Californian publishes Bakersfield Life magazine monthly. If you have any questions or comments regarding our magazine, write to us at Bakersfield Life magazine, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302, or email us at We’d love to hear from you.

To submit material

Letters to the Editor: We publish all letters that are signed and deemed appropriate for our readership. Letters must be signed to be considered for a publication. Please type or print your name, as well as an address and a daytime phone number. Email should include the writer’s full name and city. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space. Please submit letters to Olivia Garcia, Editor, Bakersfield Life magazine, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302. For email, send letters to the editor to Calendar events: Please submit information in writing to Marisol Sorto, no later than the first of the month, two months prior to the month in which the event will take place. Contact her at

To advertise

Please call Lupe Carabajal, retail advertising sales manager, at 395-7563 or or

Word on the Street Compiled by Ashley

What is your idea of the perfect wedding? Barefoot on the beach, walking on a path of purple Iris petals, with the love of my life.

Inexpensive and fun because the real money needs to be spent on the honeymoon and life after.

Audie Velasquez

Kasel Martin

For my 94-year-old father to walk me down the aisle and for my mom and sister, who recently passed, to be there.

A fairytale Catholic wedding in a white sweetheart style dress, accented with diamonds and surrounded by all my friends and family.

A memorable wedding, like my own, where people talk about it after 20 years.

Aleshiea Kindred

Stevie Stier

Pam Townsend

Something small and intimate with no more than one Bridezilla moment.

A small, old-fashioned wedding in the mountains with a ride in a horse-drawn carriage over a cobblestone bridge.

A quickie in Laughlin, Nev., that involves being married by Elvis and then having a celebration back home with friends and family.

Gracie Vasquez

Natalie Cruz

Konnie Caceres

To go to Vegas and get married with all the pretty lights around me. Erica Zamora

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UP FRONT It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Hard to imagine, but Ming Avenue, one of Bakersfield’s major thoroughfares, was once a potato farm established by the street’s namesake and one of the city’s earliest Chinese settlers, Leong Yen Ming. In the mid-to late-1800s, Cantonese immigrants came to Kern County to work in the mines and on the railroads. There were two groups from two distinct areas of Canton province speaking different dialects. Ming spoke Sam Yup and was part of Old Chinatown, which was the area around 20th to 22nd streets between L and K Streets downtown. Ming came to Bakersfield as a young man in 1874, to work with the Central Pacific Railroad. Back then many early immigrants shortened their name. Yen and Leong Gee Ping saved their earnings and bought a small potato farm on acreage where Valley Plaza sits today. Kern’s first potato crop was planted in Bakersfield sometime around 1860. The farm, with a Chinese camp and a Mexican camp, covered several hundred acres of land extending from where present-day Ming Avenue is, south to Panama Lane and was considered at the time to be “out in the sticks.” Ping, who wished to live in town, later sold his share of the farm. Yen Ming was 36 years old before he married. It was still customary to have a gobetween and a marriage was arranged with a young girl from San Francisco. Ying Law was dainty and just 18 years old, but she stole Yen’s heart and the couple’s love story is one for the ages. They fell in love and they had

Photo courtesy of Kern County Musuem

Ming Avenue

Ming family, 1910. nine children — six boys and three girls. He adored her, and over the years, Yen lavished his wife with a chauffeur and household staff. At one time, Yen was the only Chinese man in town who could afford a two-horse buggy (with a fringe on top). In 1915, Yen Ming sold his potato crop for $10,000 through brokers Keesler & Smith, receiving about $1.57 per 100 pounds. He retired in 1937. Four years later, and just three days before Christmas, Ying suf-

fered a stroke. Yen refused to leave her side. She died on Christmas Day. Several hours later, when attempts to wake Yen from his nap were unsuccessful, it was discovered he had also died. A double funeral was held for the beloved couple. Within the Chinese community, their deaths were considered a wonderful thing as they had lived what their culture considered a “butterfly” life: butterflies mate for life, and when one dies, the other also dies.

Short Take

Learn It gives students an edge in school Parents looking for extra help with their child’s reading and math skills can take advantage of federally funded programs designed to provide additional academic instruction for K-12 students. Learn It Systems has provided these services in Bakersfield schools since 2008. Program manager Tami Warren said supplemental tutoring often gives students an advantage in areas where they may be struggling. “As part of Learn It Systems, we work with kindergarten through eighth grade using different types of educational programs,” Warren said. “We’re working through Supplemental Educational Services, a federally funded program.” Currently, Learn It Systems is offering a reading and math pro14



gram where students work in groups. Tutors are credentialed teachers who are trained for these types of educational sessions. “Students prefer groups because we teach the kids that it’s OK to ask questions. We encourage communication,” Warren said. To gauge progress, students are given pre-assessment prior to and after completion of the services, as well as benchmark testing through the course of the sessions. Parents also review test scores and meet with trainers. For more information, please call Warren at 661-487-3205. — Brian N. Willhite


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UP FRONT Short Take

The 19th annual Bakersfield Pageant was held Nov. 18 at the Bridge Bible Church. A sold-out crowd of more than 650 people cheered on the 40 contestants, who were vying for the three city titles. The contestant crowned Miss Teen Bakersfield 2012 is Madison Swaim, first runner-up was Julie McKindley and the second runner-up is Natalie Ramos. Nashay Matthews is crowned Miss Bakersfield 2012, Taylor Haggerty was first runner-up and Jillian Wellwood, second runner-up. Joslynn Jarrett-Skelton was crowned Mrs. Bakersfield 2012. The California International Pageant is coming to Bakersfield in September 2012. To request the pageant winners’ attendance at an event or fundraiser, please go to the pageant Web site at: — Gayle Tape, state pageant director

Courtesy of Gayle Tape

2012 Bakersfield pageant winners

2012 Bakersfield Pagent winners, from left: Miss Teen Bakersfield Madison Swaim; Mrs. Bakersfield Joslynn Jarrett-Skelton; Miss Bakersfield Nashay Matthews.

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Short Take

KCHCC prepares to install new officers The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrates 27 years in this month. As part of the recognition, the KCHCC will hold an installation banquet and business awards. The event, scheduled for 6 p.m., Feb. 4 at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, will include the installation of the new board members and a presentation of the business awards to recipients who contribute to the success of the chamber and make a difference in the community. More than 500 guests attended last year’s event. This year, Superior Court Judge Robert Tafoya is scheduled to conduct the installation of the new board members, and local attorney David A. Torres will serve as master of ceremonies. The new executive officers include Olivia Garcia, chairperson; Denise Ornelas, chair-elect; Blodgie Rodriguez, vice-chair; David Alanis, secretary; Carlos Navarro, treasurer; and Risto Rubio, past chair. In addition, the following awards will be given out to local businesses or professionals: Business Man of the Year; Business Woman of the Year; Large Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Corporation of the Year; Nonprofit of the Year; Community Service

Award; and Chairperson’s Recognition Award. With approximately When: Feb. 4, no-host cocktail hour 500 members, the 6 p.m., dinner and program at 7 p.m. follwoed by live music and dancing. KCHCC is considered one of the largest in the Where: Bakersfield Marriott at the state and has benefited Convention Center, 801 Truxtun Ave. from Latino businesses’ Cost: $65; $500 for a table of 8. growth and non-Latino businesses that cater to Tickets/Information: 661-633-5495 or Hispanics, said Jay Tamsi, CEO and president of KCHCC. “I am extremely excited about this year’s board,” said Tamsi. “This past year presented unique economic challenges to businesses. However, I believe 2012 offers unique opportunities for many local businesses to recover and prosper. The goals of our board of directors are to assist chamber members to take advantage of those opportunities.” — Denise Ornelas KCHCC Installation banquet



Peking Palace

Chinese Restaurant

5600 Auburn Street, #K Bakersfield, CA

(661) 872-9686 Background art provided by

Teresa Tan


Vietnamese Restaurant

333 Union Ave., #201 Bakersfield, CA

(661) 631-2538


Peking Palace




* Ask your server for details. Offer good January 18 through 31, 2012


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

Ricky Berger Music has been in Ricky Berger’s life since she was 4-years-old, when she started playing the piano and studying ballet. Growing up, music became a safe haven where Berger felt free to express her feelings without shame, and it has continued to be an outlet. Her velvety, smooth vocals sing melodies of love and romance while harmonizing with the many instruments she uses to perform onstage. At 17, she dropped out of Centennial High School (she eventually received her GED) and moved to Sacramento to fulfill a dream of becoming a songwriter for other artists. After moving north, she booked her first show, which happened to be at Bakersfield’s The Empty Space. From that moment on, she was hooked and decided to also pursue performing. She has done extensive touring across the country for her first album titled “Ricky Berger’s First Album.” When the 23-year-old comes to town about once a month to visit her family and friends, she always takes a drive to Endeavour Elementary and Centennial, and sits in the parking lots to reminisce. Berger is currently working on her second album and plans to visit India in January. She also has her sights set on learning the harp, adding it to the 17 instruments she can already play. Find her on Facebook at RickyBergerMusic.

1. I love “Your Mom” and “That’s what she said” jokes. 2. I only eat organically, locally raised food. 3. If I weren’t a musician, I’d like to be a

chef or fashion designer.

4. I have a chicken-shaped purse named Henrietta that goes everywhere with me. 5. “Fantasia” and “Mary Poppins” are tied

for my all-time favorite movies.

6. I built my own rainbow-painted theremin and am working on a harpsichord. 7. I wrote my first song at age 5. 8. I love roller skating. Unfortunately, most

of the people at skating rinks are either 10 years younger or 50 years older than me.

10. Nearly every single pair of shoes I own is covered in glitter, sequins, rhinestones, velvet or feathers.

11. I’ve toured across the USA in my big, white van (named Vanna White) several times. 12. My three favorite visual artists are Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell and Mary Blair.

13. I have type 2 diabetes. 14. My favorite book is “The Alchemist”

by Paulo Coelho.

15. Three of my favorite musical memories have been opening up for Richard Thompson, Todd Rundgren and Gavin DeGraw. 16. I keep my therapist, Mary, extremely busy and well-paid. 17. I have a lisp. I’ll let you decide whether it’s charming or just plain dorky.

18. My relationship with God started at age 6 while sitting atop the swing set in my backyard, watching the sunset and singing “Part Of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid.” 19. Red is my natural lip color. 20. I lie about my natural lip color. 21. My favorite rapper is Ol’ Dirty Bastard. 22. My dad introduced me at a young age

to an enormous amount of music that I’m still obsessed with including Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Leo Kottke, ABBA, Dolly Parton and Enya.

23. Some of my favorite presents from my incredibly generous fans have been a 1940s autoharp, a 1930s baritone Martin ukulele and two violins.

24. I still sleep with my baby blanket. 25. My grandmother, Irene, profoundly

influenced me. She also introduced me to some of my favorite songwriters including the incomparable lyricist, Johnny Mercer.

Photo by Jesse Vasquez

9. My parents are my best friends.




Signature Properties, Signature Service By the Numbers

Fox Theater

Mary Christenson S pecializing

in Luxury Homes, Estate Properties and Golf Course Communities

Direct Cell


DRE License #00818891


Golf Course & Lake Views! 2205 Norwich Way


in the theater

Number of seats


Hours spent setting up for an event


Hours spent cleaning up after an event


Minimum amount of money to purchase a star on the theater’s Walk of Stars


Percentage of concerts booked at the Fox


Percentage of comedy shows and movies booked at the Fox


Square foot-


age of the theater


Admission price in 1930 for a seat in the orchestra section

Average number of concerts/shows held each year Pounds of popcorn sold per year


FLICS movies shown per year


Amount of money to become a member of the Fox Theater

Seven Oaks on golf course with full lake views! Over 5800 s.f. of pure luxury living! Grand marble entry, sweeping staircase, dramatic Great Room, white gourmet double island kitchen. 4+ bdrms, 4.5 bths, den/ofc, game room. Exquisite cabinetry! Huge Master Suite, elegant marble bath. Pool, spa, bbq, big 4+ car garage w/air cond. Appt. only.


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



Admission price in 1930 for a seat in the balcony

Source: The Fox Theater

Photo by Casey Christie


Year the theater opened on Christmas Day




Find more community events at or submit yours via email:





Can’t-miss events in January Thur. 5

Thur. 5-7 Fri. 6

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias, 8 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $50.80. or 800-745-3000.

Fifth annual “The Great 48-Hour Jam,” featuring four of California’s top bluegrass bands, Doubletree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. $20. 589-8249.

Fri. 13

Sat. 14

Disney’s Phineas & Ferb: The Best Live Tour Ever!, 4 and 7 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $18 to $50 plus fee. or 800-745-3000.

Glinn & Giordano Rio Bravo Rumble, biathlon, run/mountain bike; registration 8 a.m.; main race 9 a.m.; kids’ race approximately noon, Rio Bravo Ranch, 15701 Hwy. 178. $35 to $70. ggphysicaltherapy. com or 589-9066.

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

Sat. 7

Sat. 7

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

Victim Witness Auxiliary’s 23rd annual Fog Run, 5K and 10K, 9 to 10:30 a.m., Ming Lake Road. $22 preregistration before Dec. 30; $30 after. 868-4507.

Fri. 20

Fri. 20-21 Sat. 21

FLICS International Cinema Society, presents “Bride Flight,” 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $5. or call 428-0354.

Monster X Tour, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $17.65 to $28.90. or 800-745-3000.

Mon. 23 Tue. 24 Bakersfield Community Concert Association, presents Highland Way, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $60; includes five concerts for 20112012 season. 2058522 or 589-2478.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $30 to $60 plus fee. or call 800-745-3000.


Sun. 29 Weddings 2012 Bridal Show, 11:30 a.m. for VIP; noon to 3 p.m. for general public, Kern County Fairgrounds, $10 general admission; $15 VIP; $3 parking. or 633-9200.




10-Year Anniversary Gala, with the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, 6 to 11 p.m., Marriott Hotel, 801 Truxtun Ave. $75 per person, $140 for couples or $700 per table. 3261529.

Sat. 28-29 Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County 2012 Quilt, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, $5 daily; free for husbands and children under 12; $3 parking. or 319-8286.


A walk down the aisle

T By Lisa Kimble

This year, hundreds of brides and grooms will walk down the aisle after many months of expense and exhaustive planning. If you are invited to witness their union, consider it an honor and a privilege. And also consider that the wedding of two people is one of life’s most momentous occasions, and as such, calls for civility and decorum. This month, as Bakersfield Life helps brides-to-be plan for their big day, It Manners A Lot unveils some important reminders to ensure it is a memorable event for everyone. Once you’ve said “I will,” make sure you do ink a date and venue for the ceremony and reception as soon as it is humanly possible. Everything else will revolve around that date. No bride wars! Bridezillas may make for entertaining reality television, but avoid at all cost the temptation to turn your planning process into a protracted temper tantrum. It is definitely an honor to be asked to serve as a bridesmaid or groomsman, but if for some financial or logistical reason, a friend is unable to commit, accept it and move on. Keep in mind that the wedding attire will be dictated by the formality of the ceremony, and not every attendant may have the same budget. It is your special day, but fiscal sensitivity will be greatly appreciated by those whom you’ve invited to participate. Choose your registries — yes, more than one — carefully The variety of bridal registries is endless these days. Take your fiancé with you and involve him as much as possible in the process, making sure to select items across a broad price range. We’re still in a rough-and-tumble economy, and not every guest will be able to purchase your $500 place setting. When we say RSVP, we mean it. Really. Whether the wedding is big or small, lavish or scrimpy, there are four little initials on every invitation that are as

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integral to the event as the music and decorations. RSVP, short for “Repondez s’il vous plaiat,” or “please respond” in French, are oft-overlooked letters these days. Don’t. There was a time when responding to an invitation was the rule, and to be done so right away, and not the exception it seems to have become today. When the invitation arrives, calendar the date of the event, and return the response card promptly. If you don’t know right away whether you will attend, note the deadline to RSVP as well. Those response cards may just be little pieces of paper to you, but they mean the world to the bride, her parents who are footing the bill, and the caterers. Days before the wedding, the bride won’t want to be doing anything but making finishing touches on her well-made plans, not placing phone calls to guests who were too thoughtless or clueless to respond. Timing and appearance is everything If you plan to attend, dress appropriately. All eyes will and should be on the bride and groom, not the guests wearing jeans or next to nothing. Arrive at least 20 minutes before the ceremony begins, not 20 seconds before the flower girl heads down the aisle, and remember the gift. Ideally, a wedding present is purchased and delivered ahead of time, but if that isn’t possible, bring it with you to the reception. Once in a lifetime Above all else, remember to enjoy every bejeweled, sequined and blooming moment of the planning and preparation as you and your fiancé put your unique imprint on the pending nuptials. Unless your last name is Kardashian, this walk down the aisle will be but once in a lifetime, never to be repeated. Soak in the experience like a spa sponge with a heart brimming with gratitude for the love you share and plan to celebrate with family and friends. Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to or visit

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That Friday night tradition


I find myself in the curious position of having married into a Tehachapi football family. My husband, his father and his grandfather were all Warriors. Aunt Cindy was the high school mascot, Cousin Monica, a cheerleader, and in 1957, Aunt Carol sat on the sidelines taking stats. At the Tehachapi-Garces game a few weeks ago, a dozen Damians spanning four generations were in the stands. There were zero Damians on the field. I say this is curious because if there were a yearbook category labeled “Least Likely to Marry the Captain of the Football Team,” you would see my face scowling back at you. To me, high school was something to be endured until moving on to “real” life. I was quick with a snarky comment about dumb jocks and exasperated by the hero worship surrounding the football players. So it is a new experience for me to see high school football freed from the lens of adolescent obnoxiousness. As an adult with children of my own, I can appreciate the challenge that faces those boys on the field. To know that you will feel pain, that you will fail in front of others, that you will push the limits of what your body is supposed to do and to go forward and do it anyway; that is admirable. And to understand that the team is more impor-

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tant than its individual parts, to work in coordination for the success of others, to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself; that is important. To listen to the roar of success but remain humble, and take in the silence of defeat but keep going, that is an experience that will do anyone well in life. Our world sometimes feels like it is splintering. There is so much that calls our attention: video games that drop the player into realistic battles, TV shows that let us follow around the rich and amoral, streaming video of panda bears, Twitter feeds from protestors. Our exponentially connected, audio-visual life can be satisfying mentally, but being social animals, sometimes we need to join the pack. Sitting out in the cold, between one guy in camouflage and another in a balloon hat, being blasted by air horns, feeling your buns freeze to the bleachers; this is a social network we will always need no matter how many 4-D effects are squeezed into the latest movie. In the stands, virtual reality means cringing when you see a player get hurt. My husband’s grandpa, Alfred, was an avid high school football fan. Even when he retired and moved to Arroyo Grande, he would drive his little red pick-up to the high school down the street to cheer for kids to whom he had no relation. Alfred is gone now, but my husband and his dad manage to get to a few football games every season. They sit under the lights installed by their family a generation ago, and watch the current generation knock helmets on the field, while the next rough houses behind the end zone. It is a reminder that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Something that will continue when they, too, are gone.

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Happy 2012

Bakersfield!! We are invested in our community! Memberships include: • Bakersfield Association of Realtors: Equal Opportunity/Fair Housing, Pro Standards ,Education Committee and Membership Development. • Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary • Bakersfield Downtown Rotary • Rosedale Kiwanis • Right To Life • Mendiburu Magic Foundation • Bakersfield Masterworks Chorale • Active 20/30 Club Women • Past President 20/30 Club • Bakersfield Homeless Shelter • Bakersfield Rescue Mission • Boys & Girls Club • MARE • Police Activities League • Junior Chamber International • Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce • Wounded Heroes

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It’s all about the hair Bakersfield hairstylist shares her experiences about styling celebrities and returning home By Gabriel Ramirez


Zondra Renae Gentry grew up in Bakersfield, graduated from West High School and later from Federico’s Beauty College in 1987. The 42-year-old image maker/hairdresser went on to travel to different locations, do the hair of many celebrities and even have her work on hair published in hair books and magazines. With more than 20 years of experience, Gentry has returned to Bakersfield to work on local hair. Gentry talked to us a little about her career, how she couldn’t resist the pull of her hometown and the tugging on her heart from her high school sweetheart and gave us some hair advice as well. She is currently working at The Hair Jungle in Rosedale.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience at Disney World I have experienced many wonderful events. Going to Walt Disney World to teach their stylists how to make flowers out of hair for the Annual Festival of Flowers. Doing fundraising for St. Jude. Having my work published nationally in Inspire and Couiffure Q hair books as well as the cover of Brides Of Memphis Magazine. Traveling and doing hair in over nine cities for nine years for Barbizon Model Agency for the IMTA conventions in Los Angeles and New York. What I love most about my job As a stylist, you literally change people, their appearance, confidence and sometimes 26



Zondra Renae Gentry is back in Bakersfield styling hair.

Photo by Felix Adamo

My heart belongs in Bakersfield I moved back to Bakersfield to marry my high school sweetheart, Steve Gentry. We have known each other since junior high and dated for five years. It was simply a matter of the heart.

it touches them to the soul. I would have to say the human connection. My dreams I hope to accomplish many endeavors. I want to continue to travel and educate as well as own a salon.


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She had style ever since she was a little girl I remember doing hair as young as 5 years old. Working on doll heads and of course, Barbie. My first style to maintain was the Dorothy Hamill in the third grade. My kind of show I love doing fashion shows, weddings and proms. I also enjoy educational events and giving back to my industry. It’s all about the hugs The best hair I have done so far is color correction. A client wants to save money, she goes and gets a box color. For some reason most people read how long the product stays on the hair and thinks it will look better if they leave it on longer. I helped her by removing the color from her hair and balancing the tone, while keeping the integrity of her hair. I saved her hair and her image as well. Nothing feels better than having clients happy and hugging you for the service. Get to know me To schedule an image consultation you may call The Hair Jungle at 661-587-5320 or my cell 661-699-0994. I work Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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Hair tips, celebrities and more! You got the look! Women want to be feminine with long hair in soft curls, waves and very romantic. Hair extensions are big for adding length, fullness and texture. Hair color of warm browns, deep reds and honey blondes. Short styles are popular as well with lots of layers and very touchable hair. Never forget the many renditions of the classic bob. It’s cool to be metrosexual Men are back to a very groomed look. The term metrosexual — clean shaved face, haircuts are tight on the side accented with sideburns and a little longer on the top styled with hair creams, pomades, or very light gel. They are even interested in manicures and skin care to look their best. Glamorous life and the general’s wife I have worked with a few famous people. Vanity (Prince’s girlfriend in the ’80s), Playboy Playmate 1986 Jen Wagel, and Miss America 1989 Nicole Johnson. I also had Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s wife as a client for over 15 years when I lived in Tampa. I did hair for some of the local newscasters and HSN show host. Never try this at home The worst thing that happened to my hair when I was growing up: I had a home perm in the seventh grade that made me look like a poodle! Best advice for women I want to encourage women to use sulfate-free products. Sulfate is an ingredient that is cancer causing. Also, if you color your hair, sulfate-free products will maintain and sustain your hair color. Stay away from the gel, men! Try using light hair creams, pomades and styling wax instead of stiff, hard hair gel.

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Hello, new Food Dudes Tony Martinez, center, owner of Tony’s Pizza, with the new Food Dudes, from left: Matt Munoz, Don Martin, Gary Frazier and Ray Pruitt. Photos by Greg Nichols

The Details: Tony’s Pizza Locations: 4750 Coffee Road, Suite 101; 3515 Mt. Vernon Ave..; 4130 California Ave. Phone: Coffee Road, 661-588-4700; Mt. Vernon, 661-871-3556; California Ave., 661-325-4717 Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Tony’s Pizza brings nostalgia, scrumptious pizza under one roof


Tony’s Pizza has a long history in Kern County, so it made sense to start off 2012 by having the new Food Dudes visit the locally owned restaurant. We uncovered not only local history, but a couple of great secrets and a family tradition that make Tony’s Pizza stand above the other pizzerias. Read on for more details about the Coffee Road location.

Boot ratings (out of five)

Atmosphere brings back memories

Atmosphere Food







Ray: When I heard we would be visiting Tony’s Pizza for our first Food Dudes’ assignment, I was jazzed. I grew up in Delano and lived about a block away from the original Tony’s Pizza, which opened in

1979, and is still operated by Tony Martinez Jr.’s father. The original Tony’s Pizza was the place to hang out when I was growing up. I spent countless weekends at Tony’s with friends playing video games and eating pizza. Good times. Truly a family affair, the original Tony’s Pizza was opened by Tony Jr.’s parents, who had no previous experience operating a pizza restaurant. As Tony Jr. described it, the learning process was trial by fire. Eventually, they developed their own recipes for crust and sauce that are still used today in all of the restaurants. Tony Jr., who has worked for the Kern County Fire Department for 26 years, opened his first Tony’s Pizza in Shafter in 1992. He decided to expand to Bakers-

field in 2005, opening a Tony’s Pizza on California Avenue. He has since expanded and opened two additional pizza parlors. His wife and children all help manage and run the four pizza parlors. Tony Jr. said they have focused on creating a family atmosphere in each pizza parlor, and they have done a very good job. Matt: When I found out our first stop would be the newest Tony’s location on Coffee Road, it brought back a lot of great memories. Like my fellow Food Dude Ray, Tony’s Pizza has been in my life ever since I was a kid growing up in McFarland. Every Friday, my family would pack into the car and head to the original Delano location for our weekly feast. I knew we’d be looking at a real spread. Don and I had actually sent each other the same text earlier, “Don’t eat lunch,” and with good reason. Upon entering, my senses were hit by that unmistakable whiff of Italian goodness in the air — garlic, tomatoes and onions emanating from the ovens. Over to my right, classic video games lined up for the kids, plus strategically placed large TV screens to watch the big games. It was a Monday and things were beginning to jump. This is my kind of place. Don: Tony’s is more than the typical pizza place decor. The place is adorned with firefighter/firehouse collectibles and memorabilia. It’s fitting since the owner is a full-time fireman for the county. The blueand-white color scheme is a tip of the hat to

Interior decor pays tribute to the Kern County Fire Department. the Kern County Fire Department colors. Several booths and tables with comfortable chairs fill the space rather than typical pizza parlor bench-style seating. Another plus at Tony’s are the party rooms, these rooms make celebrations much more private for groups and less intrusive for regular guests.

to save room for the main course.

Appetizers — bring it on

Ray: The pizza sticks were soft, doughy and covered in cheese. The twisted bread sticks were cooked in a butter and garlic sauce, and melted in my mouth. The biggest surprise was the rib tips, not your average pizza parlor fare. Tony Jr. said a customer suggested they start serving them and they decided to give it a try. A nice

Gary: For starters, Tony brought us a sampling of side orders that included his awesome pizza sticks, hot wings, potato wedges, and, would you believe rib tips? There was lots of finger lickin’ going on and we hadn’t even ordered pizza yet. It was very difficult to stop eating the side orders, but I summoned enough will power

Matt: I dove right into the hot wings. Judging from the steam, you could tell they were right from the kitchen and meaty with just enough buffalo sauce to hit four in a row before you start feeling the heat.

Continued on page 30

Tony’s combination pizzax


Who are our Food Dudes of 2012? Matt Munoz is the entertainment writer for The Bakersfield Californian and editor for social networking site Bakotopia. com. When he’s not reporting on the local arts and music scene, he can also be found onstage as the lead singer for Bakersfield Latin ska band Mento Buru. A self-described foodie, Matt enjoys searching for the latest in fusion cuisine, along with a good microbrew pairing and soundtrack to complement the experience. Gary Frazier is the vice president of strategy and business development at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. He came to Bakersfield from Long Beach just over two and a half years ago and enjoys golf, spending time with his family and is a wine enthusiast. Gary’s food tastes can be described as eclectic with a heavy bias toward anything that includes meat. Interesting fact: He is a Certified Barbeque Judge for the Kansas City Barbeque Society, and was recently a judge at Bakersfield’s Biggest Baddest BBQ Championship that took place this summer. Don Martin grew up locally, graduated from Arvin High School and CSUB. He left a career in television news in 2005 to open Metro Galleries. Martin represents 30 emerging to midcareer artists. He is very involved in the local arts community and is affectionately known as the Mayor of Downtown due to his revitalizations efforts. He is an avid runner, voracious reader and a foodie who does not cook! Ray Pruitt grew up in Delano but has lived in Bakersfield for 25 years. Ray has worked in law enforcement in Kern County for 21 years, 10 years with the Bakersfield Police Department and 11 years with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. Ray has two children, a 17-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son. Between work and family, he has very little downtime, but in his spare time, Ray likes to golf, ride his Harley, spend time with friends and work out. He is a foodie and excited to be part of the Food Dudes crew.




Food Dudes Gary Frazier and Matt Munoz leave Tony’s Pizza with full stomachs and smiling faces.

Continued from page 29

compliment to a good appetizer menu. Don: The rib tips were a hit for me. I’m usually not a fan of ribs … They can be sticky and messy, but these rib tips were the perfect appetizer. Meaty and easy to eat. The sauce was a perfect blend of smoky and tangy. The potato wedges also were a particular favorite of mine … Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I enjoyed trying them with the different dipping sauces.

Chile verde pizza, chorizo pizza,

oh my! Ray: We decided on four pizza selections: Tony’s combo, the Mexicana, the chile verde pizza, and the pepperoni. The first thought that comes to mind is quality. The quality and freshness of the ingredients is what sets Tony’s Pizza apart. The crust is medium, not too thin and not too thick, and is made fresh daily. The crust doesn’t overwhelm the pizza; it complements it. Tony’s does not skimp on toppings, and each pizza was covered with cheese and toppings. An interesting fact about the Mexicana: Tony Jr. said they still buy the chorizo from the same market in Delano that has been making it for them since they opened in 1979. Chile verde pizzax

The original Food Dudes

Hot wings

Potato wedges

Gary: Now say this with me: chile verde pizza. This delicious mix of Mexican food and an Italian favorite is what puts Tony’s Pizza in a class of its own. Having only had chile verde on burritos or nachos, I was skeptical. What a pleasant surprise this tasty fusion of textures and flavors turned out to be! Matt: After being greeted by restaurant owner Tony, who shared some of their businesss’ history in the Central Valley, he also pointed out the dough is made fresh daily with the same family recipe they’ve used since 1979. Though the starters were out of this world, there was no turning down the four pizzas heading our way. Did I have room for a few slices? Of course! Among the list was Tony’s combo. This is Chicago style with a California twist. Piled


Pizza sticks high with veggies, various meats atop plenty of sauce, it’s another winner. Enjoy with a fork, or use two hands. Just make sure you’re stationed over your plate — it’s a biggie. The Mexicana’s chorizo, jalapeno, onion and tomato medley went down great with my frosty Newcastle ale. If you like spicy, this pie has everything so well balanced it would have pleased Montezuma and Pavarotti. Don: Wow! I can’t say enough about the chile verde pizza! I never knew such a delectable thing existed! I wished I had a tortilla to wrap up the leftovers. Another favorite of mine was the Mexicana pizza. I love chorizo and taking a bite out of this pizza brought back wonder-

A hearty thanks to original Food Dudes David, Kevin, Bill and Chris for the juicy reviews. ful memories of my grandmother making chorizo and eggs every Saturday morning. This one is for the spicy and Mexican food lovers! I noticed that all the pizzas we tried were absolutely loaded with toppings. Tony’s does not skimp. All the ingredients and toppings were extra fresh.

Good selection on tap Ray: It should be a mortal sin to eat pizza without drinking beer. Tony’s has several popular beers on tap, as well as several bottled beers, and red and white wine selections. I chose a Firestone Ale, which was a perfect choice to wash down the appetizers and pizza. Other beers on tap include Bud Light, Budweiser, Widmer, Michelob Ultra, Newcastle, Coors Light, and Blue Moon.

Mexicana pizzax



Ahh, winter soups

Warm your soul, please your palate with dishes at local restaurants

O By David Luter

Photos by Crystal Alvarez

One of the things I like about Bakersfield is the diversity of food and culture it has to offer. Soups, like cultures, vary from region to region and when the seasons change, the soul craves the internal warmth, which can only be satisfied by a nice, warm bowl of soup. If you find yourself in this situation, there are many eateries that represent most ethnicities in the world, and all are equally good. So, fight that dreary, fog-laden day with a cup or a bowl of mouth-watering soup.

Hot and sour soup from the Thai House




Miyoshi’s miso soup

The Far East Miso soup Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant, 8200 Stockdale Highway, 661-398-3397

A staple of the Japanese diet since the 10th century, miso soup, is so simple and yet so filling, it can almost be described as Japan’s soul food. An old Japanese proverb says, “For your health, you should take miso soup, at least!” Because of this philosophy, most Asian restaurants serve this soup, and have their own style; Miyoshi is no exception. A simple dashi broth, the light miso paste, some tofu and other items all come together to make this a little bit of heaven in a bowl. Whenever my family and I plan an evening at Miyoshi for a nice sushi dinner, we always look forward to this gem. I just wish the bowls were bigger. Hot and sour soup Thai House, 5143 Ming Ave., 661-397-9667

Hot and sour soup known as Tom Yum Goong, will definitely warm you on these cold winter days. The ingredients include a delicious broth, mushrooms, green onions, cilantro and shrimp. The result is a pleasant balance between “hot” and “sour” that magically warms your body. Best of all, customers receive a good-sized portion, which satisfies the soul. I enjoy big bowls of soup, and the Thai House certainly fills that order.

South of the border, my friend Meatball soup Sequoia Sandwich Company, 9500 Ming Ave., 661-665-9990 (other locations 1231 18th St. and 9160 Rosedale Highway) Continued on page 34

Meatball soup at Sequoia Sandwich Company


Loma Linda’s menudo

This consommé mixture of potatoes, carrots, celery, rice and most importantly, meatballs, is closer to albondigas style soup than other meatball soups. This soup has a rich, strong flavor. The broth itself is very light, not watery and the meatballs are mixed with rice, which keeps them from falling apart. Each serving has the perfect ratio of meatballs, vegetables and broth, which makes it a delight to eat. This soup is well-suited when you desire a light lunch. Valerie, the manager at the Ming Avenue. Sequoia, said on foggy days, demand for all of the soups (always made fresh) doubles. Other soups on Sequoia’s menu include country potato, broccoli and cheese, corn chowder and the hearty chicken noodle, just to name a few. Check 34



Sequoia’s website to review the daily soup schedule. Menudo Loma Linda restaurant, 701 Mt. Vernon Ave., 661-873-8095

Loma Linda’s menudo is not just a soup; it is a form of art for the senses to devour and the process cannot be rushed. On Fridays, the cooks begin prepping the tripe, vegetables and seasoning the stock, and finally letting the familial style soup stew over night. By the time this process is completed, the menudo has been on the stove for at least 12 hours. With flavors so intense, it truly displays the care given to this dish. The broth is full and complex, dancing on your

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taste buds. The tripe, I have never tasted anything better. All of this work benefits the weekend customers, and it is so popular that sometimes it does not last past Sunday. Some other outstanding soups featured on the menu include albondigas and caldo de res.

Italy Minestrone Sorella Italian Restaurant, 7800 McNair Lane, 661-396-8603

History informs us that minestrone is a soup that has been in Italy in various shapes and forms, since the time of the Roman Empire. Sorella’s recipe is an ideal representation of the many different styles and types of minestrone soups that exists in the Bakersfield community. This wonderful minestra hits the mark every time with its mixtures of deep flavorful broth, vegetables, beans, pasta and fresh herbs. Paired with fresh bread, this masterpiece can stand-alone. Sorella’s Restaurant has become a dinner favorite for my family and I always look forward to the next cup of soup. With winter upon us, I hope you will take up the fight against the dreariness and visit some of these mentioned spots. You will not regret it!



Bakersfield Museum of Art A year of new art and innovation for BMoA


Story and photos by Brian N. Willhite The Bakersfield Museum of Art is looking forward to a productive and exciting year with many events planned to engage the community’s interests and encourage involvement with the arts and arts education. “It’s exciting right now. I think 2012 is going to be a good year to watch the museum grow and offer new things. We’ve heard a lot of wants from the community and we’re trying to meet those wants and give them something that they’ve not seen before,” said Jason Gutierrez, director of marketing for the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The winter exhibit To kick off the 2012 season, the museum will open with a trio of exhibits including “Estampas De La Revolucion Mexicana.” This collection features an 85-piece exhibit by 16 different artists, which forms an artistic documentary through linoleum block prints that reveal the life and times during the Mexican Revolution, according to museum coordinator Vikki Cruz. The museum will feature another print-based exhibit titled “De La Mano,” which highlights various artistic works done through La Mano Press and La Mano Grafica. The cultural exhibit looks at works that address issues such as identity, gender and language. Shifting from print-based art to handpainted pieces, the museum will also be hosting the “Shifting Landscapes” exhibit, which features paintings by Chelsea James and Ryan Reynolds. The two contrasting visions examine landscapes from two perspectives. 36



Jason Gutierrez and Vikki Cruz at the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

“Overpass” by Ryan Reynolds

“Chelsea paints these vast open countrysides and they’re complimented by Ryan’s more urban environments and congested freeways or cityscapes,” said Cruz of the exhibit’s appeal. The winter exhibit opened Dec. 8 and continues through March. 4. Themed mixers and fundraisers The spring, summer and fall quarters will feature a blend of themed mixers and fundraisers including the “Art-A-Go-Go” fundraiser that will take place March 8 to 10. The “art swap” event, according to Gutierrez, pulls donated artwork from various supporters that will be put up for auction to benefit the museum. “You get a very wide range of work. You get paintings; you get prints and limited edition posters. There is a wide range here, some people even donate frames,” Gutierrez said. The spring exhibit opens March 22. “Arte Del Vino” will be this year’s winethemed event and will take place May 10. The community-wide project invites various artists to put their artistic touches to a themed vision. “Once again, we reached out to the local art community and we’re giving them free rein,” Gutierrez said. “The intent is to create something that inspires them as well as something inspired by wine or the culture of Italy

and what it means to them.” The museum will also be planning a new series of mixers to reach out to the community and make contact with people who don’t normally come to the museum, Gutierrez said. “It’s a way for them to come and see the exhibits in a new perspective and new environment,” he said. The next mixer will take place in February and will have a Mexican-inspired theme to coincide with the “Estampas” and “De La Mano” exhibits. “The idea is with all the print-based works in the galleries — new and old — we want to show that excitement. And what better way than to create your own prints, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Gutierrez said, adding that Mexican-inspired hors d’oeuvres and Mexican beer will be served. Continuing traditions The museum will continue to participate in the Downtown Business Association’s Third Thursday festivities as well as continue with the fall favorite Via Arte, Italian street painting festival. “It’s a great community, family-wide event and all the money we’re raising for these events go toward arts education and it goes to have after school workshops,” Gutierrez said.

“Super Muerto” by Artemis Rodriguez Late fall also brings the “Dia De Los Muertos” celebration, which is now referred to as “Altares De Familia” and will take place Nov. 1 to 2.

Continued on page 38


Continued from page 37

Breaking new ground This year will see some technological changes to the museum as it begins to incorporate an online component to complement the exhibits on display. “For the first time ever, the museum is now Wi-Fi capable, which gives smartphone users access to QR codes to access our YouTube, our Facebook or our new website, which we are creating right now,” Gutierrez said. “It’s going to help not only promote the museum, but give a little more that you may not see here and give it to you online.” Another addition is Artie’s Corner, designed to engage younger patrons visiting the museum by providing a hands-on experience that will coincide with current exhibits to offer kids more depth and understanding of the artwork on display. “It’s more hands-on instead of just looking at paintings on the wall. We want to really engage all levels and make it a really unique experience where you can come into a space like this and be able to interact and read and touch and create,” Cruz said. Gutierrez added, “We’re trying to put that special touch, that special spin that makes people want to come and learn, and that’s what we’re all about. We want to educate and increase arts education in the community.” A summer exhibit is scheduled to open June 14, with the fall exhibit following Sept. 13. To stay updated with what’s taking place at the museum, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @bmoa or watch videos at

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Bakersfield Life

January 2012

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New CD release

B By Annie Stephens

Bakersfield native and Latin jazz musician Louie Cruz Beltran who is very active in the Los Angeles music scene has recently released a new album, “Paint the Rhythm.” Beltran, who commutes between Bakersfield, Los Angeles and Pasadena for his musical work, recently made time to give Bakersfield Life readers an update on his latest CD and performances.

100 percent Kern County: I come from a big family — eight brothers and two sisters. I’m a native of Bakersfield; I grew up here. Although, I also spent some time growing up in Fresno. You could say I’m 100 percent Kern County guy. I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles also. Bakersfield is my hometown, and I stay in Los Angeles, but I also have a home here so I commute quite a bit. That’s the price of being in this crazy business called music.

of various colors in music, and that’s why I named it “Paint the Rhythm.” The music that’s within this CD is a mixture of original songs that I’ve written and songs that I’ve taken from other artists that have made well for themselves in the industry. Going back to the industry, sometimes they want you to be original, but they also want you to share what they feel comfortable selling. I compromised to a certain degree to have six original songs and also six cover songs.

toward smooth jazz and the Latin side. “Paint the Rhythm” has a little bit more spice to it and a little bit more chile caliente. It’s hot!

On my latest album, “Paint the Rhythm”: The last CD I did, 99.9 percent

Major influence comes from my parents: My inspiration comes from my

of the songs were mine. I wrote all of them, sang in every one of them, and did backup vocals and I worked with some great artists. I think the last one I did was a little bit directed

mother and my father. She was very openminded about music. There was no limitation with her and I think that’s what inspired me to love music even more than just being




Louie Cruz Beltran

Photo by Michael Lopez

My music is like a colorful piece of art: (My current CD) is really a canvas

subject to one type of music. So my inspiration came from mom as the initiator of my musical background, and the growing into it became more of the percussive Mexican tropical music. Traveling man: I have performed all over the world. I’ve been in Spain, literally probably every major city in Europe. I was in Africa, and I played in Morocco for several

months. I’ve also been to Sweden. I’ve been everywhere. The Earth has been my venue and the United States has also been a great venue for me from New York to Atlanta, to Florida and Texas. You name it I’ve played there. One of my favorite moments in the music industry: It has to be my recent guest appearance on the Tavis Smiley show. He is my favorite host. We had an extensive interview discussing my musical career and I also performed Afro-Cuban rhythms for him on my congas. Also I have been asked to perform at the ELLA Awards Show by the Society of Singers twice now. The most recent event was honoring Smokey Robinson. I was invited to perform onstage with Smokey, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and Carrie Underwood. The most humbling and gratifying experience for me was singing the National Anthem for the L.A. Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Louie Cruz Beltran, “Paint the in front of a sold-out Rhythm” crowd of 55,000 people.

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Jeff Siemon BHS alum was a four-time All-Pro, playing in three Super Bowls for the Vikings

Jeff Siemon facts Born June 2, 1950 in Rochester, Minnesota Family moved to Bakersfield when he was two years old. Football, basketball, and baseball star at Bakersfield High, where he earned a total of eight varsity letters.




Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune


By Stephen Lynch Starting at Bakersfield High in the late 1960s and all through his college and the NFL playing days, Jeff Siemon was seemingly always in the right place at the right time to make a big play from his linebacker position. It wasn’t just coincidence though. Possessing what Hall of Fame college coach John Ralston once called a “unique sixth sense,” Siemon had the uncanny ability to know exactly where opposing ball carriers were headed. And most of the time, he would get there and tackle them before they could gain much yardage. That skill earned Siemon a slew of accolades during and after his playing career. An intelligent and tenacious force on the gridiron, Siemon helped his high school, college, and pro teams all achieve immense success. During the seven-year span between 1971 and 1977, Siemon started in two Rose Bowls and three Super Bowls. By the time he retired from the NFL in 1982, he had put together a career worthy of Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration. And while that honor will likely never be bestowed upon him, he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest football players ever to hail from Bakersfield. A devoutly religious man, Siemon remains active in several Christian organizations. Passionate and articulate, he frequently travels from his current home in Edina, Minnesota to make speeches on their behalf.

Jeff Siemon tackles Los Angeles Ram running back Cullen Bryant during the 1974-75 NFC Championship game at Metropolitan Stadium, Dec. 29, 1974. Three-year starter (1965-1967) for the BHS football team. Played linebacker, quarterback, tight end, and center for legendary Drillers' coach Paul Briggs.

Never missed a game during 11-year NFL career.

Named First Team All-Pac-8 following junior and senior seasons at Stanford University.

Holds the Vikings record for solo combined tackles in a season with 170 in 1978.

Posted 112 tackles and two interceptions en route to winning the Silver Anniversary Dick Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and Pop Warner Award given to the top senior on the west coast in 1971.

Ranks third in Vikings history in total tackles with 1,382.

Led Stanford to back to back Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972 . Graduated in 1972 from Stanford with a B.A. in history. Was selected in the first round (10th overall) NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Played in three Super Bowls (VIII, IX, XI) and

four Pro Bowls (1973, 1975-77).

Awarded Vineland Trophy as Kern County’s outstanding sports personality in 1973. Completed a Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf School of Law in 1984. Inducted into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame (1976), College Football Hall of Fame (2007), and Driller Football Hall of Fame (2007). Was a passenger in a plane crash near Crystal, Minnesota in 1981 that killed the pilot and left the co-pilot in critical condition.

A Rich H

Home to 150 national titles


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istory "QMBDFGPSGBNJMZ GSJFOET BOEZPVUIEFWFMPQNFOUBUJUTCFTU 5IF#BLFSTGJFME3BDRVFU$MVCXBTGPVOEFEJO by the late Lake Lovelace, an avid tennis player who moved to Bakersfield in 1922. At that time there were no private or commercial tennis clubs in the area, so Lake organized the local players at nearby Jastro Park into a public parks club named Bakersfield Tennis Club. From 1939 to 1948 Lake operated a small tennis shop at Jastro Park and along with a few local businessmen tennis players came up with the idea of building a member-owned and operated private tennis club. A Tennis Development Corporation was created to sell stock and the tennis facility was built in 1948. A membership club was then created, which was named the Bakersfield Racquet Club. Many years later, before he died, Lake Lovelace wrote a book about the club which he titled: A Home for Tennis. From the beginning the club was centered around family, welcoming children of all ages. That tradition continues to this day with a vigorous youth program and official Nike tennis camps, plus High School, College, Central Cal & Maze Cup Tournaments. *UTBMTPUIFIPNFPGDIBNQJPOT as many nationally ranked tennis players grew up on the BRC courts: Jack Lynch, Louise Snow, Sally Moore Huss, Dennis Ralston, Marianne Werdel Witmeyer, Camille Benjamin, Hank Pfister, and numerous talented junior players, like our own U.S. Girls’ Super National 16s Champion Danon Beatty. Dennis Ralston was ranked #1 by the US Lawn Tennis Association for 1964, ‘65, ‘66. He played on the Davis Cup team in the middle 60’s and later became Captain of the US Davis Cup team for a number of years. Dennis was instrumental in bringing to the Bakersfield Racquet Club the Davis Cup tie between the U.S. and Canada in 1965, making Bakersfield one of the few cities in California ever to host a Davis Cup event.

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Seth Thompson U.S. Navy Age: Age: 27 Assignment: Logs and records supervisor for FRCSW (Fleet

Readiness Center Southwest) Det. Point Mugu Stationed: Point Mugu, Calif. I have been in the military for: five and a half years.

sible as a teenager and I knew the structure that the military offers would be good for me. At the time, my girlfriend was very supportive and I wanted to be able to provide for her and start a family. We have now been married for almost five years and we are expecting our second child on Christmas Day. The Navy has been a blessing. Why I continue to serve: I continue to serve because I am good at

what I do. I enjoy serving my country and supporting my family.

Seth Thompson is congratulated by Lt. Mark Demaree upon Thompson’s re-enlistment.

Photo courtesy of Seth Thompson

Why I joined: I joined because I needed to grow up. I was irrespon-

I have been deployed to: Bahrain. Something new I learned while being deployed: I learned about Ramadan while

in Bahrain as well as other Muslim customs. My favorite activity to do in Bakersfield is: getting to

spend time with family and relaxing. What I miss most about Bakersfield:

Sequoia Sandwich Company. How I stay connected to family and friends back home: lots of phone calls. 48



My best military accomplishment or memory so far is: being

recognized by CNAF (Command Naval Air Forces) for outstanding work during an aviation maintenance inspection. Something I’d like to accomplish this year is: advance to Petty

Officer 1st Class (E-6). If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: a firefighter. After my time in the Navy, I would like to: coach high school

basketball and spend as much time as I can with my family. — Know a Kern County native who is proudly serving in the military? E-mail us at with the message subject line: Why I Serve. Please include an e-mail, phone number and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.




Photo by Felix Adamo

Julia Ball, owner of Jules.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Owner Laurence Gutierrez in the newly opened Blacktop Cyclery.

Creating opportunities By Hillary Haenes

During the past year, many new businesses have popped up around town, while other longtime shops decided to expand. Even in a recovering economy, these owners felt it was the right time to build and grow. So here’s to these businesses that are creating opportunities for not only themselves but the community, which knows the importance of supporting locally owned stores and restaurants. Jules After wanting a creative outlet for her passion — accessorizing and making jewelry — Julia Ball launched her business in 2008. At the time, Jules was only being sold within Bella At The Marketplace. “One of my dearest friends (Heidi

Nicoll) owns Bella, and together we created a space for me in the store where we continue to have a great following, then I expanded into shows,” Ball, 46, said. She started out with the intention of making jewelry, and even though she still does that, she found a bigger

market for more reasonably priced jewelry, so her business morphed. Ball began doing trunk shows at her home, attending and selling her products at conferences, charity events and up to 10 shows a month. Earlier this year, Ball expanded from selling jewelry into different kinds of women’s accessories including handbags, hats and belts. She found that women would call her and want to shop at her home studio four to five days a week. With all of the traveling and long hours, Ball needed another location where women could go shop and feel good about themselves. She happens to be friends with Meir and Kathy Brown, who own Cafe Med and The Gourmet Shoppe, and she often wondered what was happening to the space next to them. A conversation later, and Ball’s “store full of fun” was open within a month. “I am that girl who believes things will happen and makes it happen,” Ball said about staying positive when people got nervous for her opening up during a tough economy. “I just knew I wanted to do what I loved.” Ball said if she could make it in this market that she could make it in the future. Knowing women love choices, she likes to offer as many options as possible, which is part of the reason she has such a wide customer base. The other reason being her price range that she likes to keep between $20 to $60. From classic to bohemian to the showstopper blingy pieces, Jules follows the latest fashions to offer current, trendy treasures. “My goal is to continue to make women feel special and improve their self-confidence through my business, my being and my store,” Ball said.

Blacktop Cyclery It’s that feeling of freedom you get when you hop on a bike that makes you feel like a kid again, described Laurence Gutierrez, owner of Blacktop Cyclery, who wants to bring that

Continued on page 52


My Errand Girl A few months ago, Kim Stanley found out her position as territory manager for L’Oreal cosmetics was being outsourced in a 360-person layoff, parting ways with the company she had been faithful to for 13 years. Instead of waiting for something to come her way, Stanley, 42, brainstormed with her husband until she came up with what she wanted to do. “I wanted something that I enjoyed doing. I like being out and about and that ev52



Kim Stanley, owner of My Errand Girl has found new happiness with her young but exciting business venture.. erything is different each day,” said Stanley about creating My Errand Girl. After having a job where she was driving from one place to the next, Stanley said she could not imagine being in an office all day. She also didn’t want a stressful career because she has two elementary school kids, so setting her hours is helpful. She likes staying busy and helping people. “There’s not as much personalized customer service now as there was in the past,” she said, referring to the direction she’s moving her business toward in the coming year. Staying super-organized (Stanley makes a daily to-do list, which drives her) is what she does best. My Errand Girl services include: business and personal errand running (post office/Fed Ex/UPS, banking or waiting for deliveries); shopping services (holiday shopping, gift buying/wrapping, groceries); pickups/deliveries (dry cleaning, prescriptions, meals); concierge services (travel arrangements, copying/faxing, airport drops off and pickups); and senior services (companion visits, transportation to and from appointments). And if you cannot find what you’re looking for on her list, she encourages you to ask.

Bonnie’s Best Cafe The quaint corner cafe that sits on 21st and F streets has been a downtown staple since it opened in 1997. Serving cups of coffee paired with scones for breakfast; making handcrafted sandwiches, soups or salads for lunch; and homemade casseroles to heat and

Mother and daughter Laurie, left, and Katie Watson in front of the new Bonnie’s Best Cafe.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

nostalgic experience to his customers. This bike shop celebrated its grand opening in early December. However, Gutierrez has been operating his website business since 2009. He started out repairing bikes and buying parts to do custom builds, until volume picked up and Gutierrez, 34, felt he was able to better serve his customers with a physical location. “I am glad I opened my shop when I did. Personally, I don’t see the economy or job situation getting any better anytime soon,” Gutierrez said. He picked a prime location, too, across the street from the downtown Mexicali and around the corner from Mill Creek. “I wanted to do something a little bit different. A bicycle is something someone can use, not just for competitive riding or racing, but families can hop on a bike and enjoy time together,” he said. In his shop, Gutierrez offers Sun Cruisers and Linus bikes that are ready to go. For those wanting custom bikes, this guy loves anything mechanical and enjoys helping his clients build their dream bikes. Gutierrez not only assembles the bike but suggests the type of bike that’s right for his customers. He can order from the entire Soma line, and pieces from the 2012 Argon 18 line for customers who race. For BMX riders, Blacktop Cyclery just became an authorized dealer for Verde and Cult. There’s also a full-service repair area and he sells parts and accessories. He knows Bakersfield has high standards, so for 2012, Gutierrez is hopeful more people in the community will find out who he is, where his shop is located and get more people out there on bikes.

Photo by Felix Adamo

Continued from page 51

serve for dinner — this diner has something for even the pickiest eaters. Another location at 19th and O streets opened in July and sells most of the same delicious eats. It may seem foolhardy to have opened a second cafe in a bad economy and only a few blocks away, but co-owners Laurie Watson, and her daughter, Katie,

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Full Bloom partners Becky Janssen and Todd Allen.

matter the timing.” The revival of downtown with the redevelopment of the Park at Mill Creek and a new federal courthouse expected to bring traffic to the 19th Street location, which Katie, 32, manages. Its upbeat and modern, yet comfortable atmosphere makes for an inviting new location that has indoor and outdoor patio seating. Funny sandwich names, like the Tanya Harding (a club sandwich) makes their customers laugh.

Nick Hansa and his wife, Pum, in their restaurant, Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Full Bloom

decided it was a smart move. “We were not actively looking to open a second location, but the building’s owners approached us with the idea and the location was too good to pass up,” Laurie, 62, said. “Once we saw the location and how much work was being done in the area, we felt it would be a mistake not to open there, no

They have fooled many customers into leaning their heads into the beautiful blooms and taking a whiff of what are all artificial flowers. Co-owners Becky Janssen and Todd Allen hold back a laugh each time their permanent botanical arrangements are mistaken for real flowers. This unique-to-Bakersfield shop blossomed in April and initially only sold were pre-assembled arrangements until clients began asking for custom creations. Customized orders are now 90 percent of the business. The co-owners have been busy going to clients’ homes and giving them proposals, then arranging elegant bouquets in grand pots and vases. The two are opposites as far as creating arrangements, but they balance each other: Janssen likes to be over the top, while Allen goes for a very clean and modern look. “I get a lot of input from her,” said Allen,

42, who not only assembles a lot of the arrangements but crafts all of the furniture and artwork in the store. From rustic wooden tables with copper tops to unique aged mirrors, Allen has quite an artistic skill. Walking into this type of store, some may feel intimidated, but after talking to Janssen, 38, who greets everyone with a smile and engages people in conversation, you will find the creative duo are anything but snooty. They’re casual and cool. For the upcoming year, Janssen and Allen want to build their clientele, making more donations and auction items for fundraisers and getting into wedding arrangements.

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar The downtown arts district welcomed a new restaurant in April that’s been serving authentic and unique Thai flavors to a hungry lunch and dinner crowd. Nick Hansa, and his wife, Pum, opened Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar to offer fresh and high quality ingredients, along with a cozy and comfortable ambiance at affordable prices. Owning a restaurant has been a dream of Nick’s for a long time, which formed while he worked in the restaurant business during his college years. As if running a business doesn’t keep them busy enough, this couple also has their own careers: Nick, 46, is a pulmonary and critical care physician who practices full time and Pum, 42, is a parttime realtor working at Coldwell Banker with the Blanton Group. The couple selected the downtown area because they love the rejuvenated scene and have been welcomed by all of the neighboring businesses. They were confident that Bakersfield would support their restaurant even during a down economic cycle. The Noodle Bar is already known for its quick service “Thai street fare” lunch with popular dishes like pad Thai and drunken noodles. Many recipes, like Nick’s favorite, steak with a tamarind spicy sauce, are original. Pum enjoys the Thai barbecue chicken because she loves the flavor of the green papaya salad matched with the well-seasoned chicken and coconut rice. The Hansas have also developed additional dinner items to broaden their customers’ choices. In 2012, the Hansas hope to expand Continued on page 54


Photo by Felix Adamo

Crystal Aronson, left, and Linda Cozart of Baby Me & Simply Me Boutique.

Continued from page 53

their customer base and catering business (they already do catering trays to go) and they look forward to catering more charity events. Mom and daughter team, Linda Cozart, 56, and Crystal Aronson, 31, opened Baby Me, a trendy children’s clothing boutique, five years ago. With it doing well, they thought it would be a great idea to add a section that caters to moms. “After being fortunate enough to see so many moms, grandmas, aunts and friends come through our doors to spoil their children, we thought it would be a great idea to give them an opportunity to do some welldeserved spoiling for themselves,” Aronson said. Their addition of Simply Me was incorporated into the baby store in October and has been a huge hit. Customers enjoy the fact that they can come in for cute clothes or accessories for their children from lines like Haute Baby and Petunia Pickle Bottom, and can pick up a little something for themselves, whether that’s a new shirt or home decor. Even though the economy isn’t doing well and one of Bakersfield’s longtime baby stores JM’s announced it is closing its doors after more than 30 years, Aronson said people still have a need to look their best. “Recession or not, there are still pictures 54



Brothers and coowners of The Salt Room David, left, and Bob Brown. that need to be taken, events that need to be attended and hearts that need to be melted,” Aronson said. Baby Me & Simply Me hopes to become one of the fastest growing and most trusted boutiques in Bakersfield, offering a large girls selection as well as a full line of boys’ clothing and accessories, which means this is a one-stop shop for girls, boys, Mom and the home.

The Salt Room After losing his wife to asthma complications on New Year’s Eve 2006, and watching his two sons continue to fight their awful asthma symptoms, Bob Brown, 75, decided

Photo by Casey Christie

Baby Me & Simply Me Boutique

it was time to help others with respiratory problems. He called his brother, David Brown, and pitched the idea of opening a halotherapy center, a place where people who struggle with asthma, allergies and sinus infections can be treated. Together, the Brown brothers opened The Salt Room in early November. Despite being in a recession, the Brown brothers saw no risk as health problems exist even in hard economic times. According to co-owner David, 78, their halotherapy spa is “only the second in the state of California.” Since opening almost two months ago, they have already received great feedback from clients who have agreed

Businesses Blacktop Cyclery

Address: 612 18th St. Phone: 661-869-1140 Website: Facebook: BlacktopCyclery

My Errand Girl

Phone: Kim Stanley, 661-809-9001 Email: Website: Facebook: MyErrandGirl

Bonnie’s Best Cafe

Full Bloom

Address: 4909 Stockdale Highway Phone: 831-1751 Website: Facebook: fullbloombakersfield

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar

Address: 1534 19th St. Phone: 325-1234 Website: chefschoicenoodlebar Facebook: CCNoodleBar

Address: 1002 19th St. and 1900 21st St. Phone: 637-1002 and 323-7224 Website: Facebook: Bonnies-Best-on-19th and BonniesBest

Baby Me & Simply Me Boutique


The Salt Room

Address: 4801 Stockdale Highway Phone: 661-477-4000 Website:

that sitting and relaxing in a room full of salt for 45 minutes, opened up their sinuses and made them feel better. This all-natural, non-invasive therapy helps treat almost all respiratory troubles

Address: 4021 Calloway Drive Phone: 661-588-2775 Website: Facebook: Baby-Me-Beautiful-Boutique Address: 7800 Meany Ave. Phone: 661-587-7258 Website:

like chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, wheezing, smoker’s cough, chronic stress and fatigue. While appointments (scheduled for the top of the hour) must be made in advance

because there’s only one room available, David said if someone calls and wants to bring a child, friend or other family member, the room comfortably sits four. The halotherapy treatment is based on inhaling microscopic salt particles deep into the lungs, so it dries up and disinfects mucous membranes in the sinuses and lungs, which results in patients breathing easier by providing long-term relief. The salt particles helps rid the body of toxins and are vital in strengthening the body’s immune system. It can be used as a sole treatment or as a complementary cure to prescribed medications. Patients sit in a room with salt covering the walls and floor while ultraviolet lights provide a source that helps eliminate viruses as an anti-purifier cleans the air. David suggests wearing something comfortable because the atmosphere inside The Salt Room is quiet, making it an ideal location to meditate or listen to music. In 2012, the brothers hope to grow and promote other areas of salt treatment for their clients.

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Dale Ridenour enjoys grilling outside when there is a chill in the air.


Bakersfield Life

January 2012

Photo by Henry A. Barrios


Photo by Alex Horvath

Lupe Carabajal works on tri-tip and chicken at a recent company gathering.

Cold weather won’t stop these guys from barbecuing


By Kevin McCloskey

As the temperature drops and clouds replace summer skies, spending more time indoors is a given. Roaring fireplaces and hot chocolate may be more common in the winter months, but an early sunset and a drop in the mercury won’t stop three Bakersfield grillers from their favorite style of cooking. Continued on page 58


Our grillers Lupe Carabajal, advertising sales manager for The Californian and native son of Bakersfield, is a self-described shade tree griller with a passion for Santa Maria style, or open pit, wood fire barbecuing.

David Luter, IT consultant for Quantum Data Systems and former Food Dude for Bakersfield Life magazine is also a Bakersfield native. He comes from a long line of outdoor cooks, and after a thoughtful gift (with a very questionable motive) from his wife and kids, he has become an avid proponent of the Japanese-style, Kamado ceramic grill.

David Luter pulls pork ribs off of his Kamado ceramic grill.

Continued from page 57

What is your preferred winter grilling method? Carabajal: The Central Coast or Santa Maria-style barbecue offers a challenging element to grilling. The amount of heat is a variable that largely depends on the type and age of the wood used. The art of this style of cooking comes from finding the right depth of the pit and being able to read the fire in order to find the hot and cold spots. Red oak is my favorite fuel for its smoke flavor, but I’ll switch to almond wood if I’m looking for something milder. Ridenour: Grilling on natural gas is a clean and efficient alternative to propane, and does not add any unwanted flavors. Plus you never know when you might run out of fuel in the middle of cooking dinner. I add the use of a smoke box in order to add the flavor lost from not cooking over charcoal or mesquite. Luter: The Kamado grill offers a unique combination of temperature control and heat retention, and in that way it seems like the complete opposite of the Santa Maria pit. Once you get the Kamado heated up, it’s good for 15 hours with a load of charcoal. You can hold it at the temperature you want from 190 to 700 degrees for pizza.

What do you enjoy about grilling in the winter versus the other seasons? Carabajal: What I love about cooking in the winter is that it’s the only time of the year that you can comfortably cook near a true fire pit. With some hard woods, temperatures range from 1,500 to 1,900 degrees, which can easily burn your stomach and arms. During the winter, you have a greater comfort level and there’s just something about being over that grill in the nice cool weather with 58



Photo by Greg Nichols

Dale Ridenour, electrician at Braaten Electric and is a 20-year Bakersfield resident. This former roadie and unofficial grill master for Mento Buru prefers a natural gas grill with a smoke box for his outdoor creations.

the fire to warm you while preparing your meal at the same time. It’s barbecue zen. Ridenour: It is great to be outside with a hot grill and a chill in the air, and still be able to enjoy the same kind of meal you would in the summer time. With the temperate climate in Bakersfield, it’s easy to grill year round.

Do you have a grilling guru or mentor? Luter: I learned many of my barbecue skills from my grandfather, including his attitude that almost anything can be cooked over an open flame and often be improved by it. From vegetables to fruit and even desserts, the list of foods that can be enhanced with a little smoke and char is practically endless. Carabajal: Bobby Flay from the Food Network, for his experimental style and unorthodox attitude toward cooking, and grilling in particular. If it can be eaten, it can be grilled.

What are your winter barbecue specialties? Carabajal: Mahi mahi steaks are one of my favorites because of the way they take the flavor of the smoke, and they can be ready for fish tacos in about six minutes. On rib-eye steaks and prime cuts of beef, I use a dry rub so as not to step on the true flavor of the meat. For tri-tips and tougher cuts, I like to experiment with red wine or beer-based marinades. Ridenour: I start my barbecued ribs in a foil pouch with some water to create a good amount of steam to loosen them from the bone. Then they go straight on the grill with a healthy dose of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. Luter: In addition to my competition-style ribs, this time of year

I will be grilling up pumpkin slices for homemade pies. Other grilled family favorites include banana slices with chocolate and cored apples stuffed with brown sugar and marshmallows. These desserts require cedar planks to keep them off the grill itself, but still benefit from the smoke flavor.

Do you have any tips, tricks or advice for winter grillers? Carabajal: Plastic fast food-style restaurant trays make excellent cutting boards for tri-tips or any cut of meat that will bleed a lot of the juice. The tray catches all the juice for use in gravy, au jus or to flavor your grilled vegetables. Ridenour: Get a good grill with high BTUs, keep your lid on to retain the heat, and try to keep out of the wind. A cold draft can significantly increase cooking time. Luter: Plan ahead with your charcoal as it can be difficult to add more while you are in the middle of cooking your meal. Add some red delicious apple chunks when you are basket-grilling vegetables, for flavor, but remove them before serving.

David Luter’s pork ribs

Your hearing is

Photo by Greg Nichols

Any final thoughts? Carabajal: People think I’m out there struggling with the grill while they are in the warmth of the house, but while they’re inside watching the tube, I get to be outside watching the fire dance. It’s similar to the pleasure of a campfire, but in your own backyard while you are cooking a great meal.

Happy grilling!


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The Guild House Raising money for the community for more than half a century


By Michael Wafford

Photos by Felix Adamo

For the past 53, years the Guild House has had one goal: raise money for the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic. This dedicated group of women and men has raised more than $1.8 million according to Guild House president Jeanne Cathaway. And they have no plans to stop. “It’s very fulfilling to know that what we're doing, as our hobby, is helping the community,” Jeanne said. “I can’t imagine any other group that I've been so happy about.” And they have a lot to be happy about, with only a crew of volunteers the nonprofit sets out to raise $40,000 a year, said Robin Star, a volunteer in charge of publicity. All this money is raised by selling food. Star said 60



the charity will usually raise an extra $5,000 to $10,000 throughout the year. All profits earned by the Guild House are given to their charity of choice. The volunteers, more than 140 who regularly show up and many others who pay dues, work simply to help people in need. Everything from book keeping and maintenance, to menu creation, food preparation and dish washing is done by volunteers. The Guild House employees two paid workers — a gardener and a night janitor. Monday through Friday the Guild House serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The plates are always $14.95. The meal includes an entree, soup and roll. Volunteers also use the sky blue twostory house set on red brick to sell hors d'oeuvres and wine during First Fridays.

Volunteer Ruth Goertz makes sure everything is ready for the lunch crowd who will soon be arriving at the Guild House.

They also cater weddings, baby showers and other events. Weddings start at $800 and other events start at $25 per plate. The winter months tend to be the busiest. In December, it is not uncommon for the staff, comprised of mostly retirees, to serve more than 100 customers. The biggest fundraisers however are three “fancy dinners.” The Guild House's Affair Extraordinaire happens three times a year. Each is a $100 per plate dinner, taking place in January, March and October. While they are preparing for their next Affair Extraordinaire the Guild House is also getting ready for another change. For the first time in its history, starting in its next fiscal year, the Guild House will have a male president — Jeanne's husband — Robert Cathaway. Robert became involved by helping

Left: The Guild House operates out of the historic Barlow House, which was built in 1909 and sits on the corner of 18th and H streets. Below: The kitchen is a busy place with Skip Bork preparing whipped potatoes along with Barbara Lucas, center, and Mary Fahsbender slicing apples for a salad.

out the Guild House by filling in for a dish washer. Robert said he's seen a lot of men get involved because of their spouses. The House is happy to see more men begin to volunteer and hope more men will look into the Guild House. “Hopefully with a male president more men will realize we're not just for women,� Jeanne said. The group currently has 12 regular male volunteers with more who volunteer to help during bigger events. Organizations wishing to hold and event at the Guild House are welcome. In the past the Guild House has hosted murder mysteries, dinner theater productions and fashion shows among other events. The food for these events is provided by the Guild House.



Are Wedding Professionals

Laura Wageman

47, owner of Ladies and Gents Bridal retail salon

Photos by Jessica Frey


What’s your favorite wedding memory?

Frey: I’ve had many fun memories this past year! One of my favorites was watching my bride’s new husband changing her rhinestone stilettos into comfortable, blingy Converse sneakers. Another was when one bride taught me how to “Dougie” at the reception. Also, this past year I enjoyed photographing a bride getting out of Cinderella’s carriage at Disneyland, photographing 62



Pam Milton

49, owner and operator of The Lady DJ

Jessica Frey

29, owner of Jessica Frey Photography

my brother’s wedding in Texas, taking a beautiful yellow couch to a wedding in Carmel and enjoying a post-wedding s’more by the fire with one of my couples. I even had the opportunity to drive a yellow hot rod go-cart to get around at a wedding!

Bauer: There are many, but our favorite would have to go to the beautiful outdoor wedding we held in May out at the Kern County Museum. We had the outdoor reception set up for 275 people with white calla lilies and beautiful linens. The day started with blue skies and only a 7 percent chance of rain. The ceremony was heartfelt and picture perfect, but then it started to rain. We’re not talking light, graceful sprinkles, but angry thunderclouds of pouring water

let him do it at least three times a week.” A guest shouts out, “Do what” And the man’s reply, “Play golf.”

Wageman: I have been to many weddings of both friends and family. But of course, I would have to say seeing my oldest son get married, and how proud I was of him and his new wife, and what a good looking couple they made.


In a few short sentences, share a funny wedding blooper:

Frey: I had a sweet bride whose cake topper was made of two cute chocolate doves, and when it came time to cut the cake, only one dove was still on top of the cake. We learned that grandma was hungry and wanted that chocolate dove! We all laughed about it, and I assured her we had a photo of the cake previously with two doves on it! Bauer: Oh, we have so many! What’s so great is that we know they are bloopers, but it was our job to make sure others didn’t. Like the time our bride sat down for the garter toss, the music played and then she turned to me with a panicked look on her face, turns out she forgot to put the garter on. She quickly told us where the garter was and within seconds we slipped it on her leg without anyone knowing otherwise! We have had a cake almost topple to the floor, a few bridal parties that had a bit too much to drink, and then there’s the time the electricity went out once during the reception — all in a day’s work! Milton: I did a wedding and reception many, many years ago and I was calling all the single men to come up to the dance floor for the garter toss. The groom and several guests were very adamant that this one man join in. (He clearly did not want to come to the dance floor to participate at all.) This man was so clearly annoyed, he didn’t want to do it at all, but because of the other guests demanding he join in, he finally came to the dance floor (beer bottle in hand). He did not want to catch a garter at all. Well, when the groom tossed the garter over his shoulder, it went flying through the air and landed right on the neck of the beer bottle this guy was holding. Just like a ring toss at the fair!

Colleen Bauer

owner of Fairy Godmother/“Day-of” Coordinating and Event Planning

dumping on every surface. It only lasted for about 15 minutes, but the reception site was in ruins. It took some quick thinking on our part and a whole lot of hustle, but within a very short time, we moved the reception indoors, recovered the flowers and favors, and became heroines evermore for this couple and their family!

Milton: Wow, tough one — I have so many! A wedding I did for a member of a fire department where the best man and maid of honor were Dalmatians. Also, I had an elderly couple win the “married the longest” dance. This is a little contest I do at some receptions. I almost always ask the winning couple, “What advice can you give to the bride and groom?” This elderly man said into my microphone (in front of more than 150 people), “You have to

Wageman: I have attended a client’s wedding after I told her several times to hem her gown because it was too long! She insisted she didn’t want to see her toes! Sure enough, she tripped down the aisle, her father caught her and she gracefully looked at me and winked!


Name a “favorite” that pertains to your wedding field:

Frey: My favorites are the quiet moments at weddings: the moment a bride hugs her mom once she’s dressed; the moment I see a groom writing a pre-wedding note to his bride; the moment of anticipation, nerves and excitement as I set up my bride and groom separately for their first look photos. I love being a part of that timeframe in the wedding day when it’s just the three of us, and they see each other all dressed up for the first time. Priceless. Bauer: I have so many favorite moments that it is difficult to Continued on page 64


Pam Milton

Laura \Wageman

Continued from page 63

pick my favorite. I love all of the meetings with the brides before the wedding and sharing ideas, helping them pick their vendors, working with the brides on their colors, theme and overall feeling of their wedding. I love seeing it all come together perfectly. I love being there on their day with them closely making sure their every need is met. I love seeing them go down the aisle, their first dance with their father and their new husband. I love after the wedding when we meet to go over things. I love that the brides we work with are our forever friends. I guess you could say I am in love with love.

Milton: I have had many brides tell me how important music is to them, but that their family doesn’t dance. Many have said to, “not worry because my family just doesn’t dance.” And then at the reception seeing their grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles all dancing is priceless! My philosophy is people will dance if you play their music. Wageman: My favorite moment in a wedding is when the groom sees the bride for the first time walking down the aisle. That first glimpse that only comes if you don’t do pictures first!


What celebrity couple would be your dream clients?

Jessica Frey

Wageman: I would have to say Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton because they seem so down to earth and easy to work with and enjoyable!


What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in handling weddings?

Frey: Having a team of amazing vendors who work well together and who strive to make the process fun and enjoyable is worth its weight in gold. Being surrounded by other wedding professionals whose main goal is to help make that couple’s day perfect makes for a wonderful, stress-free environment on the wedding day. And having a happy, stress-free couple full of joy and excitement helps me get those wonderful candid moments I love! Bauer: As a coordinator or planner, we have to realize that we’re playing a critical role in one of the biggest days of someone’s life. We have to take on each event as if it is the most important. Our goal is to bring that “fairy tale feeling” to everyone we come in contact with, and we have to have the stamina and experience to make that happen for every one of our clients as well as vendors and extended family. We have learned as coordinators and event planners to ask the correct questions in order for things to go smoothly. We have also learned that you have to be quick on our feet and decisive while still being compassionate and patient to create a truly magical event.

Frey: Whoever marries these handsome men: Ryan Reynolds, Justin Timberlake or Ryan Gosling … or if Mickey and Minnie ever decide to have a wedding! I’m sure it would be magical.

Milton: To always create an itinerary prior to any wedding/reception. The itinerary I create gives my brides peace of mind, so they can relax and just enjoy the moment.

Bauer: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Can you just imagine? I can see it, very old Hollywood.

Wageman: I have learned through the years, that brides and wedding styles change and we have to adapt and change with them, whether it be the style of dress or the shopping experience.

Milton: Oprah and Stedman for sure! 64



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Bakersfield Life

January 2012

Victoria Champion

Victoria Champion on the Panorama bluffs at sunset, one of her choices for Bakersfield’s best spot for wedding photos.

32, director of McNair Outreach, California State University, Bakersfield

Staying for good: I have lived in Bakersfield my entire life. After high school, I chose to remain in Bakersfield to pursue my bachelor’s degree. At the age of 19, I secured a full-time, benefited job at CSUB. After earning my bachelor’s, I continued my studies and completed my master’s degree in education counseling. I’ve been employed at CSUB for 13 years, and I have many wonderful memories and friends as a result. I have lived in: I was raised in East Bakersfield (near Jefferson Park). As an adult, I moved west of the 99 in order to be closer to CSUB. Three words that describe my neighborhood: Quiet, quaint and friendly. On the day I received the keys to my house, my neighbor welcomed me with a gift ... squash from her garden. My personal causes: I enjoy spending time doing community service activities and socializing with the Young Adults Group, Love Revolution at St. Francis Catholic Church. Also, I absolutely look forward to the CSUB fall and spring athletic barbecues. I love dancing to the sound of

Thee Majestics, enjoying a delicious steak dinner and mingling with the numerous community members who continue to support our university. Favorite local restaurant: Camino Real has become my local favorite restaurant. The food is amazing, (especially anything served with pepper jack sauce), the service is impeccable and the owner, Alejandro Ocampo, creates a delightful dining experience. Plus, the Monday night karaoke and football is something you don’t want to miss! Long walks and good conversation: I relax in Bakersfield by taking walks with my fiancé along the Riverwalk. I love having good conversation and engaging in exercise, while rejoicing in nature’s beauty. It’s a perfect combo! Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: Free Beachbody workouts on Tuesday nights at the Bakersfield Marriott at 6 p.m. These workouts (P90X, Brazil Butt Lift, Insanity) are free therapy sessions for my body! Since I typically workout at home, this serves as my “accountability group” for staying fit and healthy. Everybody can’t afford a gym mem-

Photo by Casey Christie


bership, but we can all afford free workouts! Bakersfield often gets negatively ranked on lists, the positive list I think we should rank near the top on is: Close-knit community with affordable housing. Bakersfield is the place where the American dream can come true. You can own a home with a white picket fence, raise your children with good morals and values and enjoy safe neighborhoods. Best spots for a wedding shoot for the bride to be: I think it would be downtown or the Bluffs. There is so much history in downtown Bakersfield with our Fox Theater and the Padre. I love seeing the flashing lights of the Fox announcing its upcoming performances. As for the Padre, my mother used to work at the adjacent post office, so it was a special treat when she would bring home clam chowder from their cafe. I sometimes faked being sick just to warrant a bowl of soup. Raised on the east side of town, the bluffs always represented hope and nature’s splendid perfection. I love seeing the sunset and the stars appearing as I think, “Wow! This is beautiful Bakersfield!”



Bakersfield Condors More than just a bunch of hockey players, team is actively involved with community


Story and photo by Mark Nessia For the past 14 years, the Bakersfield Condors have been entertaining locals with fast-paced hockey action in a family-friendly atmosphere. Fans are treated to board-rattling hits, electrifying goals, and fights that get everyone out of their seats. But beyond the ice the Condors play an active role in the community, helping out local charities and making appearances throughout Bakersfield. “We try to be involved in everything we’re asked to be involved in and then some,” Team President Matthew Riley said. “We’re here for kids.” Riley said they try to get their players and mascots to as many schools as possible and use game tickets as incentives. Nearly 4,500 students attended the annual Field Trip Day on Nov. 15. Each child in attendance received a booklet tying different school subjects with sports. “We want to help teachers make learning fun,” Riley said. The annual Teddy Bear Toss is another event that has been a hit with the community. Every year fans are encouraged to bring stuffed toys to the game, and, following the Condors’ first goal, throw them onto the ice. This year, 8,776 fans threw 6,271 stuffed animals onto the ice. The toys go to the United Way of Kern County and are distributed throughout the community. “The Teddy Bear Toss has kind of become our signature event,” Riley said. “We didn’t know what to expect 13 year ago, but 70,000-plus bears later, it’s comforted more than 70,000 kids. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.” The Condors also auction off specialty jerseys that benefit numerous charities and organizations. Most recently, the Condors wore special 9/11-SEAL Team 6 tribute jerseys honoring the men and women of the military. The jerseys raised $15,675 for the Wounded Heroes Fund. January has plenty in store for Condors fans. Spider-Man and the ZOOperstars will be making special appearances, and giveaways will feature items like video recorders, caps, and jersey coolers. 68





Fanatic foodies Father/daughter duo travels for new, creative ideas for restaurant

Jake’s Tex-Mex owners Skip Slayton and Sarah Slayton-Price test one of the 12 to 16 sheet cakes the restaurant bakes each day. Skip enjoys his role in quality control.


By Hillary Haenes

Raise a glass, or better yet, celebrate with a slice of their famous chocolate cake, to honor Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe’s 25th anniversary. It’s no wonder the local eatery on Oak Street, which attracts a large lunch crowd, has been in business for so long. The unique concept of its casual buffet-style restaurant that serves “cowboy grub” (pit beef, mesquite tri-tip, garlic chicken, beans, salads and bread), has kept customers coming back for more. Jake’s creator and owner, Skip Slayton, 58, first started in the restaurant business with his brother, Rick, in 1978 with his brother, Rick. Before branching out on their own, they ran Slayton and Sons Meat Co., together which eventually became The Beef and Beanery on Roberts Lane. After the business morphed, Skip shaped it into Jake’s (named after one Skip’s sons who lives in Bakersfield and currently works at Mission Bank) with a core menu




of foods inspired from Texas cuisine. While the cafe’s menu has evolved in many stages throughout the years, Southwest flavors still dominate. Skip, who runs the restaurant with the help of his daughter and CEO, Sarah SlaytonPrice, 33, gains inspiration from their annual trips to San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Austin. Their travels will often times spark the thought “We can do this!” when trying new dishes in different cities such as New York, Chicago, Napa Valley, Vegas, Finland, Italy… you get the idea. Other items are added as a response to trends, but the biggest factor is customer suggestions. “Our customers are so creative! We listen to them, take what we can and new items are created because of them all the time,” Skip said.

Photo by Alex Horvath

Photo courtesy of Sarah Slayton-Price

Di Palo’s Fine Foods was one of Skip and Sarah Slayton’s stops in New York City.

Traveling When did your travels begin? Skip: Our travels began in 1986, with a restaurant class I took at UCLA with Ralph Fruguglietti (owner of Frugatti’s). The class would always end in a round table discussion with the owner of a successful restaurant. Ralph and I would go to the restaurants before class. Basically, that started it off. It allowed us to see the difference in serving styles, decor, menu development, etc. From there, we found a love for seeing as much as we could and collecting as much inspiration as possible. Every city we visit has a food

itinerary and we do our best to stick to it. Sarah: Dad has always taught us kids to educate ourselves, never stop paying attention and never stop learning. Traveling is the best way to do that. Between trips mom and dad have taken, my husband and I, my brothers with my dad, my mom and dad; it’s a neverending, collecting expedition for restaurant and food information. I’m a huge foodie. We have no preconceived ideas. We will try a fivestar restaurant and then head directly to a taco truck. We are game for anything. Tell us about your father/daughter traveling adventures to different restaurants around the country: Skip: The best way to answer this question is just to give you an idea of our last trip to Austin. We had 36 restaurants on our itinerary to see in three days. Each one of the 36 has a specific reason why we are going. Austin, with its demographic and its entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that the city basically bans chain restaurants, allows for a really unique environment that encourages young up-and-comers to be as creative as possible. Because of it, the city flourishes with an amazing food and nightlife scene. Sarah: We choose our spots because of customer referral. We saw them in the news, we saw them on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” we read about them in Texas Monthly or Food and Wine Magazine. And we don’t go to each of them for the food. We visit each place on our list and sometimes go in, look around and walk out. Sometimes

we sit, order five or six items, take a bite or two of each, ask for the check and head to the next destination. I know some wait staff must look at us like we are crazy!

Cooking at Jake’s How did you develop an interest in food and cooking? Skip: My wife and I both come from families where the kitchen is the center of the house and cooking was always a positive experience. Sarah: Right now, we are standing in the kitchen answering these questions. It’s all about entertaining, and cooking is the best reason to get together and have some fun. What’s your favorite item on the menu? Skip: After 30 years, our tried and true item that is my favorite is our original pit beef sandwich. Sarah: I eat Jake’s every day, so my favorite item changes all the time. Right now, it’s our tri-tip chili over a jalapeno cornbread with cheese and pico de gallo. What is one ingredient you love to use in your recipes at Jake’s TexMex? Skip: Garlic, onions and chiles. Is there anything else? Sarah: I’d tell ya, but I’d have to kill ya … it’s in the cake. Continued on page 72


Who created the recipe for your chocolate cake and how many times did it take to make it just right? Skip: We started making cake in 1980. Lynda Otten was the genius. I thank her every day. Lynda was the originator of the recipe and it was a constant tweaking process until we got it just right after that. Lynda made a lot of things and every one of them was good and continues to be to this day. But the chocolate cake is what stuck. Chocolate goes well with chiles. Sarah: It’s only been in the last 15 years that our cake has gone off the charts. Bakersfield has embraced that cake and made it a staple, and that’s so very cool. Why do you think your restaurant has been so successful? Skip: No one has our menu or the service style we have. We are constantly changing the smallest things. Details are huge! We work really hard at working with the staff. We have leadership and staff meetings once a week. We have been in business for 25 years and because of it, we are working on our third generation of customers. Our customers are loyal! We are very lucky in that regard, and we do what we can to keep them happy and coming back. Growth from our traveling customers has also been an amazing thing to see. Since being featured in Fodor’s Travel Guide and our close proximity to the freeway, our out-of-town group grows each year, and we look forward to seeing those familiar faces. Sarah: I think it’s all about being active and part of the community we are in. We don’t do much advertising. Instead, we give. We are partnering with charities on almost a daily basis and donating what we can, when we can, to help them succeed. And the thing I’m most proud of is how well we manage our restaurant and keep it fresh! Everything is made daily and nothing is pre-packaged or pre-cooked. Fresh food tastes best and I have am so proud of the quality of product that Shawn Herring, 22-year kitchen manager; Lindsay Gordon, manager who’s been here for 10 years; and the whole crew put out on a daily basis. 72



Photo courtesy of Sarah Slayton-Price

Continued from page 71

Pit beef sandwich and macaroni salad at Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe.

Cooking at home What is your favorite piece of cooking equipment in your own home? Skip: That’s easy. The Green Egg. Sarah: I never make a meal without my cast iron skillet. How often do you cook at home? Skip: As often as time allows. Sarah: Three- to-four nights a week. What is your favorite meal to cook at home? Skip: Too many to list. Sarah: My husband teases me because I don’t really follow recipes. I take a flavor profile and go with what I’ve got in the fridge and pantry. I hardly ever make the same thing twice, even if I wanted to. If you could spend a day with a famous chef or fellow foodie, who would it be? What advice would you ask them? Skip: Rich Melman, Danny Meyer or Bobby Flay. I’d ask them what their individual processes are for creating each of their restaurants. Sarah: Rick Bayless. The guy knows his stuff, his food history. Share a disaster story that has happened in your kitchen: Skip: The biggest disaster is that our kitchen is so small. We are on top of each other in there. That’s our biggest disaster. Sarah: As a daughter of a restaurant

owner, my biggest disaster was when I was 11 years old, I was helping out in the kitchen, cutting a cake for the store. I took a stack too big for my size and slipped, almost broke my elbow. Cake was everywhere — on the ceiling, the floor, the walls. As the CEO of our company, there are no disasters and we run a very safe kitchen. As my brother, Josh (a project manager at Wallace and Smith) said, “Safety doesn’t happen by accident.” Ha!

Eating Where has been your favorite place to eat while on your many travels? Skip: No brainer — Martini House in St. Helena, Calif. The food is seasonal and different each time with a food and wine pairing. Excellent chefs, warm atmosphere and excellent service. It’s an experience. Sarah: This is impossible to answer. So, I’ll go with last weekend at Sierra Bonita in Phoenix, Ariz. It’s in an alley. I had Southwest eggs benedict with a panko-crusted poached egg on an aged cheddar and green chile biscuit with a poblano cream sauce and roasted root vegetables. And, the best spicy Bloody Mary. What’s your favorite local restaurant and what do you order? Skip: My wife volunteers at the Guild House: the yeast rolls; Frugatti’s: Nonni’s pizza; Luigi’s: steak sandwich; Woolgrower’s: set-up; Sinaloa’s: No. 2; Coconut Joe’s: tri-tip sandwich; Westchester Bowl: fish and

Phoenix itinerary Here’s the actual itinerary from Skip and Sarah’s last twoday adventure in Phoenix. The father-daughter duo doesn’t plan their travels around eating at one spot for each meal. Instead, they select various restaurants to visit per day. Sometimes they sit and order several items to taste, while other times it’s not about the food at all, but they go to observe the service style, décor or for the history.

Things can get crowded in the Slayton kitchen.

chips; Sequoia Sandwich Shop: Italian stallion sandwich; Crystal Palace Steakhouse: the New York steak; Milt’s: chicken fried steak. Sarah: Caesar’s Deli: Caesar’s special; 24th Street Cafe: sourdough breakfast sandwich and I add avocado. What is your most memorable meal? Skip: The last one I cooked. It was yummy. What is your favorite dessert and where’s it from? Sarah: It’s this really amazing chocolate cake with a really amazing frosting from this place called Jake’s Tex-Mex. Have you heard of it? How many cookbooks do you own? Skip: I literally have an entire library of

Photo courtesy of Sarah Slayton-Price

Friday 5:30 p.m. — Liberty Market 6:30 p.m. — Blanco’s Tacos 8:30 p.m. — Don and Charlie’s 9:30 p.m. — Rusty Spur 10:30 p.m. — Roaring Fork

them, at least 600 plus. Sarah: I’m working on my collection, but all of the books out on the coffee table, in my hutch and in my kitchen are all cookbooks. Probably 200 plus. What are your favorite cooking shows? Skip: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and “Unique Eats.” Sarah: I TiVo “Triple D,” “Iron Chef America,” “The Next Iron Chef ” (I am secretly in love with Chef Zakarian). What has been your most expensive meal? Skip: Martini House. I really don’t really remember, but it was worth it. We order so much that price really isn’t indicative of a single meal.

Saturday 8:30 a.m. — Bread Basket Bakery 9:00 a.m. — La Grande Orange 9:45 a.m. — The Grind 10 a.m. — Cibo 11 a.m. — Sierra Bonita Grill 1 p.m. — House of Tricks 3:30 p.m. — St. Francis 4:30 p.m. — Fajitas 7:30 p.m. — Back to Sierra Bonita to see if dinner was as good as brunch Sierra Bonita the gem of this particular trip Address: 6933 North 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 What you ordered: Southwestern eggs benedict, breakfast enchiladas, verde vaqueros, carne asada tacos, green corn tamale and Bloody Mary’s Why you enjoyed it: Everything was fresh, flavorful and presented well Price: $10 to $14 per entree for brunch Atmosphere: Cozy; fireplace; every detail taken care of; wood, metal and leather



Beating the chill Stay warm this winter without increasing your energy bill


With freezing temperatures becoming more of the norm in Kern County for the next couple of months, energy officials say you should take some steps to keep your heating bills low, while making sure you are comfortable battling the night chill. Greg Flanagan, general manager for Econo Air in Bakersfield, said the easiest way to keep your energy bill low and your house warm is to “zone heat” the room your family spends most of their time in – which is generally the family or living rooms. For those with a fireplace, Flanagan suggests replacing it with a gas insert heater. “With all the no-burn days out there, and the fact that a wood fire is only about 7 percent efficient in warming your room, when a gas insert is 70 to 80 percent efficient, there is no comparison,” he said. “Plus gas inserts can be used anytime.” San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District is also offering to pay anyone $500 toward changing out their fireplaces with a gas insert. And if you have certain disabilities or are low-income, you can qualify for up to $1,500 toward the purchase, Flanagan said. Those with fireplaces that use gas logs or just use a gas flame, still burn more gas than the home’s furnace. Flanagan also said that space heaters put out very little heat, comparable to a hair dryer, and are actually expensive to operate. For those in the mountain areas of Kern County, Flanagan suggests wood stoves or pellet stoves as a more economical alternative to propane. Econo Air has been serving Kern County since 1977 and provides service for furnaces and heaters. Homeowners should clean and maintain them so they run more efficient. 74



By Gene Garaygordobil

Gas inserts have many advantages over traditional wood-burning fireplaces.

“We do a lot of servicing this time of year,” Flanagan said. “It is most important to inspect your furnace’s heat exchanger, because it can get cracks, and that leads to the possibility of carbon monoxide leaking into your home.” Flanagan said for that reason it is a good idea to get a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and make sure your furnace is clean. He said they sell many gas inserts this time of year, starting at about $3,000, because many folks have told him that they don’t want heat in their bedrooms. With the insert, you can heat the part of

the home where everyone spends most of their waking hours. People generally get cold during the winter when they are not moving around, and that’s when it is best to cover up with a blanket, rather than turn on the home heater. Flanagan also said that running the heater too much dries out the air inside your home, leading to dry skin and worse, drying out the nasal passages, which lead to more sickness. And Flanagan speaks from experience as he has a gas insert in his home, which is 2,500 square feet, and he uses it constantly during the winter.

Tips to keep your house warm/energy bills low

Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating).

clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs. Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the "normal" setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner's manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7 to 11 percent of water heating costs. Insulate the first 5 feet of pipe coming out of the top of your water heater or the whole length until the pipe goes into the wall if that is less than five feet.

Replace or clean furnace filters once a month. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Now is also the time for a furnace "tuneup." Keeping your furnace

Serving Kern County For Over 50 Years

Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace. If your gas water heater is more than 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. The best indicator of a water heater's efficiency is the Energy Factor (EF). The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater. The minimum EF required for

gas utility rebates in California is 0.62. If your furnace is over 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer ENERGY STAR rated model that is about 15 percent more efficient than standard models. For more information: Contact Econo Air at (661) 832-1700 or online at www.

For All Your Home Comfort Needs


Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting.


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Energy Upgrade California PG&E’s program helps family lower energy bills and provides training for contractors

M By Michael Wafford

Photos courtesy of Alpine Green

Mark and Shirley Brewer’s home was never at a happy medium. It was often either too hot or too cool. The result was energy bills averaging $200 per month. But a call to Pacific Gas and Electric’s Energy Upgrade California not only cut those energy bills in half but has also made the home much more comfortable. The Brewer couple showcased their newly renovated home to the public on Nov. 11 and shared their experience with Energy Upgrade California. The program aims to increase the energy efficiency of homes by providing rebates to home owners who choose to invest in energy efficient upgrades. The renovations in the Brewer's home reduced their energy bill by 47 percent. The upgrades to their 2,200-square-foot home cost $11,000 but the Brewers qualified for a rebate of $4000, the highest rebate amount a family can receive, according to Colin Clark of Ecology Action a participant in the program. While the Brewers were able to lower their energy consump-




In the kitchen, four-foot long fluorescent tube fixtures were replaced with high efficiency LED and four-pin CFL lighting.

tion by 47 percent, this is not the norm. “The goal is to get folks to 40 percent,” Clark said. “The rebates are based on how much (energy is saved), so if you save 40 percent you get a $4,000 rebate, if you save 30 percent you get a $3,000 rebate. So the goal, really, is that 40 percent.” Out of 2,000 homes, which have participated in the program, the average is 25 to 30 percent less power consumption, Clark said. Kathryn Orfino, president of Alpine Green the company, which provided the renovations, said a job for a house the size of the Brewer's usually takes two weeks. The upgrades involved replacing the insulation and recessed lighting and all of which were done using green materials. Alpine Green has also benefited from the program. “Our number of owner-occupied property were increased 10-fold,” Orfino said. “We've had to hire five people since Energy Upgrade California has started and we think we're going to have some more by the end of the year.” The program also aims to provide training for contractors. “The energy commission has a subsidized contractor training

Existing ducts were sealed and insulated.

Roof vents were added to allow sufficient air circulation and reduce moisture in the attic.

program,” Clark said. “The goal of that is to train 1,250 contractors between now and next March, and that program is nearly fully subscribed.” One such contractor is Oasis Air Conditioning. Saint Dominguez, vice president of Oasis, said his company has recently received training through the program and he's more than satisfied with the quality of the training provide. “They're very intense,” Dominguez said. “It's not something that just anybody can go out and pass, there's a lot of knowledge involved in doing it and doing it right. The testing procedure is difficult but the reward after you get out of there is tremendous.” It's all about saving power, it's all about getting California out of [its] energy crisis” Dominguez said. “It's just a matter of time before this is a process that everyone is going to want to do. It's the future of California

The attic was sealed and filled with loose-fill cellulose insulation.

Soffit vents were enlarged to further enhance air flow in the attic.

energy consumption. Dominguez is quick to add that the benefits are more than just saving money. “I've had home owners with severe allergy problems that have actually cut down on their medication through processes like this,” Dominguez said. As for the Brewers, they are breathing easier. “The ducts were leaking so when the air was going through the ducts is was drawing the air from the attic so we were breathing all that dust,” said Mark Brewer. “Once everything got sealed up it made a tremendous difference because we're breathing easier, the house isn't as dusty, and it's a lot cooler and more comfortable to live. And, that right there is worth the price of admission.” The program continues through December 2012. Home owners and contractors interested in the program can go to for information about the program.

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Photos of the past A picture is worth a thousand words

The Lakeview Gusher blew out about 10 million barrels of oil.

By Jeff Nickell Photos courtesy of Kern County Museum


As I was thinking about a topic for this month, I began to think about something I have known since I started writing this article years ago. Writers can tell a story, but it’s the photos that make the story a lot more interesting. So, this month I am going to do a role reversal and utilize photos to tell of some of our county’s wonderful history. The first two photos that come to mind (and I have seen thousands upon thousands) are a photo of the Lakeview Gusher and an image entitled Derrick Avenue. Let me start with the Lakeview Gusher, or should I say Lakeview Gusher No.1? This gusher, which author Richard Bailey described as, “…a gusher reflected in a pool of oil was a most spectacular site. People came by excursion train from all parts of the state to




Derrick Avenue in the Sunset Field in 1915.

The second Kern County courthouse was built in 1912, shown here in 1935.

view it. Much oil was lost but about five million barrels were saved by earthen dams created to form large reservoirs.” In all, the gusher blew out about 10 million barrels. Derrick Avenue was just that — an avenue of derricks lined up just as if a boulevard were to be built right between them. The interesting thing about this and all photos is to look at what is not being written about them. For instance, the out buildings, wheels, car, jack plants, houses, tanks, and so on. Next, I turn to another significant part of local history. A catastrophe in the form of the 1952 earthquake combined with the associated tremors took historic buildings away from us forever. I am speaking of the two beautiful courthouses that graced Chester Avenue with Truxtun Avenue being their northern barriers. The first Kern County Courthouse built in Bakersfield was constructed in 1876 and annexed (or enlarged) in 1896. It was a marvel for those who were able to see it and photos of it can only capture a fraction of what a piece of art it was. The County outgrew the building and a new Kern Courthouse was built and occupied in 1912. The 1896 annex building became City Hall. The 1912 Courthouse had a more federal style with large columns at the entrance and on each corner. The removal of the two courthouses changed both the architectural and physical landscape of the entire area when they were replaced by more modern buildings. Another image I think of is the Beale Memorial Clocktower built in honor of May Edwards Beale and paid for by her son, Truxtun. I know that most of you have seen the Clocktower standing proudly

A 1900 photo of Kern County’s first courthouse, built in 1876. in front of the Kern County Museum. But, of course, this is a rebuilt version of the one that was originally constructed in the middle of Chester Avenue and 17th Street in the early 1900s. I have heard stories of people taking breaks on the benches, courting a date under its mass, and have seen images of ivy growing up it and being decoContinued on page 80 79

Fishing on the Kern River, 1890.

Continued from page 79

rated as a chimney one Christmas. And, you cannot write about images of Kern County without including the mighty Kern River. Yes, you are correct that through Bakersfield we do not often get to see the river, but instead a river bed. But, early photos of the river at the mouth of the canyon point to a different description of the water that now provides life for much of our farmland and water districts. It was raging and was a destination for folks to picnic, fish, etc. The river’s ferocity changed due to the construction of the Isabella Dam, as well as points of measurement put in place to end the “Water War” between Haggin, et al. against Miller & Lux. One of those points of measurement can be found as you enter Hart Park coming down the bluffs and the other is near Enos Lane. Lastly, I think of all the photos including aerial maps that have shown the progression of Bakersfield from a small town in a metropolitan city that spans miles in any direction you choose to travel. I like to look at the differences especially between the 1930s and 1940s compared to the 1960s through the 1980s. Bakersfield has grown into one of the largest cities in California and being a native son, it intrigues me to see the growth from the air. I even compare those images to the views I see on flight out of our City. I could write about more images, but I really want the images to speak for themselves. Study them closely and take from them your own bit of history.

Right: The Beale Memorial Clock Tower and Haberfelde Building in 1935. Below: Aerial view of Highway 99 and Ming Avenue at the future site of Valley Plaza, 1968.




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Fellow principals and avid cooks, from left, Valerie Park, Dena Kiouses and Gretchen Skrotzki.

Food for thought Educators share their recipes for success both in the class and kitchen

W By Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Tanya X. Leonzo

With the first part of the school year complete, principals are looking forward to the next half of the year. However, three local principals — Gretchen Skrotzki, Dena Kiouses, and Valerie Park — are not only helping their students become successful, they are also taking the arduous plunge into a three-year program to obtain their doctorate in education. Despite their busy schedules, they still find the time to meet with colleagues over some home-cooked meals. These principals have opened up to Bakersfield Life about their goals, work and a favorite specialty recipe.

Gretchen Skrotzki, 28

Principal, Frazier Park Elementary School and El Tejon Middle School

Education became my calling because: I want to ensure students learn to their full potential so that they are successes in life!




Looking into the crystal ball, I see myself: Being the best principal I can be, finishing my doctorate degree through Fresno State, and eventually becoming a full time college professor or possibly move through the ranks of the district office. And finally marrying my fiancé, Robert Martin. Improving the education system means: Administrators, teachers, stakeholders, etc., working together as a team in order to ensure students learn rather than working against each other. To get as doctorate or not: I've always loved to learn new things plus it's always been a goal of mine. If I were a master chef my specialty would be: Chicken piccata and chicken cordon bleu! This dish reminds me of my childhood because: My mom made it once a week while growing up and I can absolutely eat the entire dish without feeling guilty. When I cook it, it doesn't even compare to how good her dish is. This dish is: Cheesy, yummy goodness Broccoli casserole

4 cups of cheddar cheese 2 cans cream of broccoli soup 2 tsp butter 2 cups of white rice Parmesan cheese Cut pieces of ham 2 eggs

Salsa Fritatta

Broccoli casserole

Steam broccoli for 25 minutes and precook white rice. Spread butter over casserole dish. Mix rice, cooked broccoli, soup, ham, eggs and cheese in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan cheese. Place foil on top and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Take foil off and cook for an additional 10.

DENA KIOUSES, 46 Principal, Vineland Elementary

The best and worst of being a principal can overlap: The best and the worst are closely related. As principal, you have an impact on students of the entire school. The worst part is the lost close day-to-day relationships that teaching provides. I love my job, but there are days I really miss teaching. Improving the education system means: Investment in education funding. Districts need funding necessary to fund mandates, while preventing encroachment to the general fund, to pay teachers a salary equal to their education level, helping to recruit and maintain the best in the field. To get a doctorate or not: I really like being in classes; even walking onto a campus has a great feel. Besides potential opportunities a doctorate may provide, the preparation and coursework will make me better at my job. I had been exploring a few different programs. When I found out about the program though CSU Fresno and that the classes were on Saturdays and in Bakersfield, I thought it was a good fit.

Not such an easy decision to make: I wanted to apply, but was also nervous to take on a three-year commitment. I talked to my family. All of our children are grown; so that made the decision a little easier. My parents live out-of-state, as do two daughters. I had to make sure everyone was on board with having potentially fewer family vacations, visits, etc. Everyone was really supportive, because they all knew I had wanted to start a doctoral program for a few years. In the end, they all really helped me make the decision to apply. It’s not the cooking, it’s the preparation: I can make a few dishes. I can make enchiladas, chili, and…well, I think that is it! The biggest problem with my cooking, besides the big mess it causes, I cannot ever seem to get the whole meal together at once. I can bake and really enjoy baking. My husband does 99.9% of the cooking. I do pack the lunches each night though! My favorite dish to share with others: I like this dish for many reasons. I like spicy foods and this dish can be as spicy (or not), depending on the peppers used. My husband and I have chickens and a garden and this dish incorporates our own grown food (I say our, but really, it is all my husband). I recently found out that I had gluten allergies and I am learning how to substitute dishes for previous favorites, that is why I used potato flour in this dish. Salsa Frittata

10 eggs, beaten ½ cup potato flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 3 large roasted banana peppers 1 large roasted bell pepper 1 roasted jalapeno 2 large tomatoes, diced 3 medium-sized red potatoes, shredded

Continued on page 84


Continued from page 83 1 (16 ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese ¼ cup melted butter Roasted peppers: grill for approximately 5 minutes on each side, do not peel. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, potato flour, baking powder and salt. Stir cooled chopped peppers, tomatoes, shredded potatoes, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese and melted butter. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 325 degrees, and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into small squares.

VALERIE PARK, 40 Principal, Planz Elementary

A desire to educate from early on: This was something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. The good and not so good of being a principal: Best – the students and the wonderful people I work with everyday. My students are such hard workers. And my teachers and staff are awesome! They are such a great group of dedicated professionals. Worst—only being recognized for not making AYP even though our growth over the past three years has been phenomenal. A fortune teller glanced at my palm and told me I would:

Get my doctorate. Continue in education and continue to make a difference. Improving the education system means: Making it priority No. 1 in our nation. To get a doctorate or not: It's always been a goal of mine. I'd

like to teach in a college setting one day or move up into the district office. The great thing about the education field is the endless career opportunities. A doctorate will open doors for my career. Some decisions require family commitment: Although this was a personal goal, I had to be sure my family was willing to support me. This is a three-year commitment! My husband and daughter are 100% behind me! I'm lucky to have such a supportive family. You are granted one wish to be able to make one dish you would: Wish I could make chocolate soufflé. I've never attempted it,

but it's something I'd like to try. Last year, I made a prime rib roast for the first time for our New Year's Eve dinner. It was delicious! Describe your dish: This is my family’s favorite summer appetizer. These delectable morsels have just enough heat to them. If you like a lot of garlic, like we do, increase the amount you mix with the cream cheese. We usually add two more cloves. These are great with an ice cold beer or a strawberry lime margarita! Grilled bacon wrapped jalapeños

10 whole Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 inches in size, sliced in half lengthwise 1 container of soft cream cheese 1 clove of garlic, chopped (can add more if you like garlic) 1 package of pre-cooked bacon If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep. Cut jalapenos in half, lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT). Mix cream cheese with garlic. Smear softened cream cheese and garlic mixture into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with one slice of bacon. Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle. Place on the grill that is on low heat for about 20-25 minutes. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it. Serve immediately, or they’re also great at room temperature.

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Dynamic Duo Drs. Rebecca Rivera, Elva Lopez share big plans for new venture, Glow Laser & Aesthetic Center


By Lisa Kimble If anyone believes that beauty is more than just skin deep, it is Bakersfield physicians Elva Lopez and Rebecca Rivera, who have been practicing obstetrics and gynecology for more than two decades. Ten years ago they established Bakersfield Center for Women’s Health and have been helping beautify their patients internally ever since. So with the explosive trend in age defying and age control auxiliary serves, it was a natural evolution for their practice to begin offering beauty and wellness within their practice as well. “Look at our society, baby boomers are turning 50; fifty is the new 30. People want to look as young as they feel,” Dr. Lopez said. “We feel like we are in our prime and we want to look like we are in our prime.” And people want less down time. Doctors Lopez and Rivera recognized the growing need for women to have access to specialized medical skin care and established Glow Laser & Aesthetic Center in 2007, their practice’s sister venture, by creating a medi-spa within the atmosphere of a day spa, wrapped in the warmth of a comfortable and soothing environment. “Doctor Rivera and I had many patients who had been asking for services, telling us what they liked and the kind of atmosphere they enjoyed,” said Dr. Lopez. “We’re




Drs. Rebecca Rivera, left, and Elva Lopez of Glow Laser & Aesthetic Center.

Photo by Mark Nessia


women, we treat women, and we had also gone to day spas so it was familiar to us.” Because the bond of trust between the physicians and their patients was already in place, the expansion made sense. “A lot of our patients kept asking us why we didn’t incorporate these services into our practice,” Dr. Rivera said of what they describe as the ‘fun’ side of the center and the flip side of the more serious practice of delivering babies and treating women’s health issues. Many of the center’s patients cross over, and men are now among its clients. “The difference between us and others is that we emphasize health and healthy skin. We don’t want people to feel uncomfortable in DR. ELVA LOPEZ their own skin,” Dr. Lopez said. “We aren’t putting people into a plastic mold. This is all about having a healthy, natural glow and that natural can be beautiful.” The least invasive procedures are used in prevention, rejuvenation and anti-aging skin care. Fillers such as Botox and Rejuvederm are offered, as well as chemical peels. The center also has a brow

“This is all about having a healthy, natural glow and that natural can be beautiful.”

Wedding day tips • Drink plenty of water • Healthy eating • Get acne under control • Use sunscreen daily • Several months before, begin or improve on a good skin regimen • Six weeks before, schedule a microdermabrasion • If receiving Botox, schedule two weeks before so that effects set in. • Shape your eyebrows • Have teeth whitened

waxing and eyelash bar, spray tans, a weight-loss program, a mineral-based cosmetics line and state-of-the-art products and machines like Visia – a skin complexion analysis of UV spots, skin damage, wrinkles, pore size and can even simulate aging. “As we age, our skin doesn’t exfoliate like when we were younger,” Dr. Lopez said. “A dullness builds up. The dermasweep and chemical peels minimize fine lines and pores, and subtle difference is noticeable.” This unique and comprehensive health and skin care program is all centered on the concept of treating the whole person. “Healthy skin starts from within,” Dr. Lopez said. “You are what you eat. We are getting to healthy skin first. We want people to feel good in their own skin.”

• Homemaker Services • Personal Care • Employees Screened Bonded and Insured • Dementia Care

• End of Life Care • Hospital Personal Care Attendant Serving The Community Since 1990

“Recently our mother needed to be hospitalized on several occasions. We were able to call Alternative Care and arrange to have trusted staff stay through the night with her during her hospital stays. We can’t even betgin to share the tremendous source of comfort that was to us.” – Joy R.

(661) 631-2036

2029 21st Street • Bakersfield, CA 93301



Crossfit More than just a workout

Stephanie Salyers lifts in unison with Becca Ferguson during their workout session.


Story and photos by Brian N. Willhite

The new year is here and for many of us that means time to hit the gym and burn off some of those extra calories accumulated over the holidays. But designing a workout plan and picking the right gym isn’t always the easiest task, especially for those lacking in fitness fundamentals. Over the past few years there has been a growing trend in home-style training gyms, known as a box, favoring instructor-based workouts with small exercise groups working their way through fast-paced, high intensity strength training regimens known as Crossfit. Blending together multiple forms of training and conditioning, Crossfit has been adopted by many professional organizations including law enforcement




agencies elite athletes all seeking more efficient conditioning methods in their strength training programs, said Steve Esqueda, owner and operator of Crossfit Bako in Bakersfield. Esqueda feels the real appeal of Crossfit is that it can be adapted for anyone at any fitness level because of its scalability: the option to scale the intensity based on the individual’s needs, making it ideal for individualized, simultaneous group activity. “The thing I liked about Crossfit when I found it was that it was different than anything else I’d seen in that we say that we train for life and not for looks," Esqueda said. Crossfit is about competing against yourself and challenging yourself to achieve goals, he said. Also championing the Crossfit lifestyle are trainers

than her own parents are able to do with her. Jason Gutierrez: It completely changes your life. Not in an infomercial kind of way but it gives you a new perspective on working out and fitness. You really are your own competition and I think that’s a really good message to get across that even though you’re working out with all these people, it’s not a race, it’s not a competition; it’s proving to yourself that you can do it and that you can get to the next level. How does Crossfit training compare to working out in traditional gyms? Stephanie Salyers: In other gyms you kind of just walk around most of the time because you don’t know what you’re doing and here you got personal training and you got people that care about you. Cliff Johansen: Well one thing that’s different is that I don’t have to think. I can just come here and just let Rago think for me. He’s a much better trainer and knows way more about fitness than I do.

Kim Aviles-Hernandez completes a pull-up during her workout.

Rafael (Rago) Guijarro and his wife Angie Guijarro, who own and operate Crossfit Frenzy in Bakersfield. The Guijarros also feel the Crossfit philosophy is about getting a handle on life and becoming a stronger, fitter, healthier you. “The functionality of the movements that we do can be related to life. So when you do Crossfit for two weeks, you start feeling like you’re moving better; you feel like you have that sense of confidence. That, to me, is what Crossfit is all about: the feeling of being in control of yourself, in control of your fitness and in control of your heart," Rafael Guijarro, said. Both “boxes” run scheduled workout hours with certified trainers leading classes, each encompassing a supportive atmosphere where athletes cheer one another on, congratulating each other when sessions are completed. Anyone can find a place in Crossfit and benefit from the training regardless of age or physical condition, said Angie Guijarro. “It can look intimidating for people that come in because some of the workouts are at a high level, but everything can be scaled or modified to whatever the individual can do and that’s how you reach your goals,” she said. Bakersfield Life wanted to know how some of the participants felt about Crossfit and how it has had an impact on their lives. How has Crossfit changed your life? Kim Aviles-Hernandez: I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been in my life, and at my age it’s a big improvement. I have a grandchild that will be 3 next month and we run around together more

What rewards do you feel you’ve got out of Crossfit training? Derek Guffey: It’s really good for family life. I can get in, get my work done, stay healthy and get home. The second thing is weight loss. I started in April and I weighed about 265 pounds and I’m at 225 now so I lost about 40 pounds in eight months. Becca Ferguson: Two weeks ago I just got to doing pull-ups for the first time in my life. I’ve been doing this a year and I am finally able to do pull-ups — I was almost crying that day. What is it that kept you coming back to Crossfit? Hernandez: It’s the short, intense effective workout. I’ve been going to the gym for years and doing the same things over and over and not really get the results that I’ve got from Crossfit. Salyers: I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for five years now and I think that Crossfit just gives me something that I have that is mine. I can get out of my house for an hour and get in shape and feel good and be with encouraging people. What do you feel is the best part of your workouts? Salyers: Everyone I workout with, they’re encouraging and a good group of people. Hernandez: The results you get from it. It’s very effective. If you were to recommend Crossfit to someone in one sentence, what would you say? Ferguson:You’ll have the time of your life getting in shape. Johansen: You have to try it and you have to get through the first few workouts and after that you’ll be hooked. Guffey: You’ll want to quit your first day but if you stick it out for a month I guarantee you’ll never leave. — To learn more about Crossfit or how to join your local box, visit or



Emily Wortiska, RD Getting your nutrition back on track after the holidays


Compiled by Kevin McCloskey

Born and raised in Bakersfield, Emily Wortiska graduated from Garces Memorial High School and attended Cal Poly SLO where she earned a bachelor’s degree in clinical nutrition. She recently moved back to Kern County and joined Terrio Physical Therapy and Fitness as a registered dietician.

Can diets work? After helping clients with eating disorders for more than five years, Emily does not endorse or encourage diets because research has shown that more than 95 percent of them fail. It is important to realize that one or two holiday meals will not upset a solid nutritional plan. She encourages her clients to stick to their plan, enjoy their holiday meals, and once the holiday season is over to get back to their original program and be consistent with their nutrition and exercise. The weight will trend down naturally, without having to do anything extreme.

For most of us that obstacle is time, but once you’ve made the decision that good health and nutrition are important, meal planning and shopping for nutritious food becomes an integral part of reaching those goals. Without that planning and preparation, you are more likely to opt for a quick meal or fast food. These types of meals tend to be higher in sodium and fat and usually contain minimal fruits and vegetables, which can contribute to weight gain if an individual is doing this regularly. Crock pots can really help with time-management challenges. Five minutes of preparation in the morning can produce a healthy, one-pot family meal. Also, making your lunch the night before can help ensure a healthy well-balanced option, and you are more apt to do it than during the morning rush while trying to get yourself to work and the kids to school. 90



According to registered dietician Emily Wortiska, one healthy benefit to living in Kern County is access to lots of fresh local produce, like that found in Green Frog Market.

Photo by Felix Adamo

What is the biggest obstacle to good health?

What are your thoughts on sacrificing sleep for exercise?









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— Check out Emily’s blog on health and nutrition at



Make time to eat with those you love: In addition to meal planning in general, family meals are very important. Food should be an enjoyable experience, and when you are eating with friends or family, the focus will be on the conversation, the experience and the food, rather than just filling your stomach and moving on with your day. Sitting down at the table and having a family meal is very important to creating and sustaining healthy eating habits. And eat breakfast every day. Even if you are not hungry, eating breakfast on a regular basis will cause your body to adapt and begin to be hungry for it. Try to eat within 30 to 60 minutes of waking up to jumpstart your metabolism. Also, try to eat something every three to four hours, and never go more than six waking hours without eating. Doing so can cause your body to switch into survival mode where you can end up storing much more than necessary. And finally, eat a large variety of foods and make sure to include some fun foods from time to time. Tips for people in their 30s, 40s and 50s: This is often a period where people are focused on their careers and raising a family, and exercise often falls off the radar. Making a sincere effort to get your 30 minutes of activity; five times a week should be your goal. It is also an important time to be seeing your doctor on an annual basis and getting a good medical workup, including regular testing and keeping a record of your cholesterol, insulin, fasting blood sugar, vitamin D and thyroid levels. Kern County and fast food: Of all the large cities in California, Bakersfield has one of the highest concentrations of fast food restaurants. This proliferation adds to the challenge of sticking to a solid food strategy, especially if you haven’t planned well for dinner. After a long day of work and picking up the kids from school or daycare, fast food can be a very convenient and tempting option. Also the heat during our typical summer can easily drive people indoors, often at the expense of their exercise plans and goals. Any advantages? With our two large farmer's markets and abundant farmland, we have plenty of access to fresh produce and healthy food choices. Also our extensive bike path is a great community resource for exercise and activity.



More thoughts from Emily:



Two simple things. First of all, get moving. Research has shown that even 15 minutes of walking per day can improve energy levels, blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. The second thing is changing our attitudes toward health. Eating healthier should be about feeling better, improving our community, being a better role model for our children, instead of focusing on weight loss. Looking at the bigger picture will help people stick to their plan and reach their goals and an overall healthier lifestyle.


What can we do to be healthier in 2012?


Your body needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and dropping below seven hours in order to get more exercise is not worth it. Not getting enough sleep can cause hormonal deficiencies, as well as affecting your appetite, stress levels, and insulin resistance. Getting at least seven hours of sleep per night and trying to get some exercise is a much better option.

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Go Bear Big Bear brings plenty of snow, with or without Mother Nature’s help


By Lois Henry If you’re looking for a quick ski fix – or, better yet, have time for a nice long stay - I advise you to “go bear.” As in Big Bear. (Please don’t confuse that with “go bare,” as in naked. No, no, not that!) I can’t believe this is the first season I’ve sampled the slopes southeast of Bakersfield. Maybe it’s just because I couldn’t believe good skiing existed south of the Southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. I’m glad to report how wrong I was! First of all, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, the twin resorts that make up the Big Bear “complex” are only a three-and-a-half hour drive away, and they ALWAYS have snow. If Mother Nature doesn’t provide




enough, they make it. And they’re not fooling around. They had snow-making machines everywhere. They’re also blessed with very cold, dry air, which aids in the snow making. But word to the wise, ladies, bring extra moisturizer and use liberally! I went mid-December after weeks of no natural snowfall. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at the solid coverage and how many runs were open, nearly all of both mountains. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, $56 per person all day. And that gets you into both mountains! A free shuttle runs skiers/boarders from resort to resort every half hour so it couldn’t be more convenient. Speaking of which, let me pause right here to commend the staff of both resorts. I have never, ever, been treated so nicely by so many friendly employees.

With an entire “street scene” park, Bear Mountain is heavily geared toward snowboarders.

More info Snow Summit

Bear Mountain

Cold, dry air makes for ideal snow-making conditions at Snow Summit. Seriously, if I looked slightly perplexed for a few minutes, someone with a nametag was right there to help out. If you’re renting equipment, the resort rentals aren’t too expensive, around $30 to $40 all day depending on whether you get regular rentals or go for the “high performance” stuff. If you’re renting for a family, though, you can really save a lot of money by researching ahead of time and getting

equipment from venders outside the resorts. I saw one advertising a full equipment package for $17.50! I enjoyed skiing both mountains, but I have to warn you skiers: Bear Mountain is heavily geared toward snowboarders. Jumps, jibs, a half pipe and an entire “street scene” park, which you have to see to know what I’m talking about, are all over. But skiers shouldn’t be frightened away.

CALL US TODAY! 661-327-5531 Visit us at

The boarders are fairly accepting of us oldsters moseying around on our two sticks. Well, with the exception of one guy who told me, “Way to stand right in the way, lady,” as I tried to get a shot of a boarder going over a jump. Hmph! Back over at Snow Summit, you can’t miss out on a trip to the View Haus at the top of the mountain. Even if you just order a water, the view off the back deck is worth a break in the action. After a full day of skiing Big Bear Lake is waiting with a host of entertainment options. I stayed downtown, very quaint and everything in walking distance. Lots of bars have live music and there are a range of restaurants from upscale to cheap and easy. Oh, and super fun shops, yes, including yummy candy shops! So, go Bear this season! You won’t regret it!

5301 WHITE LN. 832-9000



Home Instead Senior Care

Photo by Casey Christie

Debora Savoy, SPHR, president

Address: 1601 New Stine Road, Suite 190 Phone number: 321-3235 Email: Newsletter: Website: Facebook: Home Instead Senior Care, Bakersfield How did you get into this field? I watched my mother struggle with maintaining our home, holding down a demanding career and taking care of my grandfather. I quickly realized that a caregiver would allow my mother to gain peace of mind regarding my grandfather’s care and allow her to be a daughter again. We were so worried that my mom would end up ill with the additional stress, work and lack of sleep. My brother and I could not help since we were raising young families and working. As we were searching for solutions, we came upon Home Instead Senior Care. I was impressed with the quality of the training, care and devotion they place in choosing caregivers. The first franchise that I co-owned was in Torrance. In 2004, my business partner and I acquired the Bakersfield office. I moved to this wonderful community then and have been here ever since. I became sole owner in January 2011. We are really excited about the new year and are pleased to announce that we have moved to a new location. We are also opening a resource area with instructional materials and resources for family caregivers. As a service to our community, we will be providing our first of many family caregiver classes in February. 94



What do you enjoy most about your job? I love working with seniors and our caregivers. There are very few careers where you can make a difference in the daily lives of our seniors and our community. I am filled with pride at the quality of care and the extraordinary relationships that we are able to provide our clients. What services does Home Instead Senior Care provide? Home Instead Senior Care provides non-medical care for adults and seniors in their homes, wherever home may be, such as traditional housing, assisted living facilities or skilled rehabilitation units. Our services include: trips to the doctor, reminders to take the right medication at the right time, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, personal care, bathing assitance and even Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We can also provide respite care, hospice support or hospital to home services. Our caregivers are carefully chosen, bonded, drug screened and trained. Our services can be provided from a couple of hours a day to 24-hour care. The result is companionship allowing seniors to remain independent and feel safe while they age in their family homes. How do you stay active in the Bakersfield community? I was a member of the board of directors for the Kern Senior Network for four years. We sponsor the annual Be a Santa to a Senior program. This program has assisted hundreds of financially challenged seniors with gifts for Christmas. In 2010, we were recognized for our community efforts with the Beautiful Bakersfield Award. We are also a proud sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Association Walk. Our first walk several months ago brought in more than $30,000 in resources for our community.

Glow Laser & Aesthetic Center

Glow’s new location is warm and inviting.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios


What do you specialize in? Wellness and beauty; specifically age control treatments. We specialize in the placement of Botox, fillers and the HCG diet. What is the HCG diet? It is the best diet. It releases stored fat and resets our set point, which makes it is very difficult for the weight to come back. Our star client lost 34 pounds in six weeks. Typical weight loss has been an average of 22 pounds in six weeks. Now that males have become new clients, what sorts of treatments do men request? Most of the men who come here, come in for weight loss and Botox. Our first HCG male client came in because he was going to be in a wedding and ordered a suit online that didn’t fit. He lost 11 pounds in one week. He said his suit ended up fitting a little big. How do you differ from other medical spas? Our goal is to educate clients on healthy skin and on age control products and services to maintain a youthful glow. Our staff is experienced and conservative with the injectables. We lean to the side of natural and youthful results. We know that there is strength in medical grade products, and we also recognize that there are benefits 96



Glow customizes each treatment to meet their client’s needs.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Address: 2525 Eye St., Suite 110 Phone: 323-GLOW (4569) Website: Facebook: Glow Laser & Aesthetic Center

to vitamins and natural products, so we customize each treatment to our client’s needs. How do you like your new location? We love our new building. It’s warm and inviting. Our new office is central and conveniently located. What made you decide to add cosmetic procedures to your practice? The idea came from our patients who were requesting aesthetic services because we had already built a relationship and they trust us. When we started (on Empire Drive) we dedicated one room to aesthetics, and now that we are in our new location, we designed a wing of our office with the intention to expand our aesthetic and weight loss business.

S K I N C A R E • M A K E U P • BROW & L A S H B A R TA N N I N G • B OTOX • W E I G H T L O S S Glow Laser and Aesthetics Center | 2525 Eye Street, Suite 110 | 661.323.4569


Synergy Lifestyle Center Jan Trobisch, M.D., president

Synergy Lifestyle Center now offers i-Lipo, an exclusive laser weight loss proceedure without pain, needles or downtime. What is the i-Lipo? i-Lipo is a new revolutionary system that uses low level lasers for smoothing cellulite, fat reduction, and body shaping treatments. The i-lipo uses photobiomodulation to stimulate the body’s natural process for releasing stored fat cell content. How does i-Lipo work? i-Lipo emits low levels of laser energy through 36 laser diodes in four treatment pads. This laser energy penetrates the skin and creates a chemical signal in the fat cells, breaking down the stored triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol, which are released through the cell membranes. Fat content is then transported around the body to tissues where it will be “burned off ” during a period of post-treatment exercise. What are the advantages of the i-Lipo over traditional diet and exercise? Diet and exercise are great tools to lower your overall body fat content and lose weight. However, with diet and exercise alone it is impossible to determine where the weight will come off. Most people want to lose weight at their problem areas (e.g. “love handles” or hips) but want to keep some body fat in other areas (e.g. breasts). With the i-Lipo we are able to determine exactly where to lose body fat. Why i-Lipo over traditional liposuction? The i-Lipo enhances the release of fat cell contents rather than destroying or removing the fat cells as in liposuction. With the i-Lipo there is no damage to the fat tissue or surrounding structures such as blood vessels or nerves. Liposuction is invasive which often results in scarring, pain and bruising. There is no pain, down time or scarring associated with the i-Lipo with results similar to liposuction. In addition i-lipo is much more affordable then surgical liposuction or other laser treatments. How fast will I see results? Results can be seen immediately following treatment. Typical results are a 1-2 inch loss in abdominal circumference after every 98



Synergy medical assistant Liz Sauceda witht the i-Lipo.

Photo courtesy of Synergy Lifestyle Center

Address: 4100 Empire Drive, Suite 120 Phone number: 878-9100 Website: E-mail:

treatment. Eight treatments are recommended, two per week for four weeks. Patients can expect results of losing one to two dress sizes during their course of treatments. How long will the results last? Results are long-term, provided a patient's calorie intake and eating plan is stable, and he / she engages in regular exercise. Further treatments can be performed to correct diet indulgence or target another area of the body. Does it really work? Yes. i-Lipo is the European leader for laser body contouring and target weight reduction in problem areas and winner of the prestigious ‘Victoire de la Beaute Award, Slimming Treatment of the Year, Paris’. It is FDA-approved here in the U.S. for laser lipolysis. The effectiveness has been proven by several clinical studies. I recommend to find out for yourself. For a limited time we have a low introductory rate. Do you offer other programs for weight loss? Yes. In addition to the i-Lipo, Synergy Lifestyle Center also offers a variety of programs including appetite suppressants, the low calorie diet and various other diet plans with or without food as well as nutritional supplements. The cost for a regular weight loss consultation is just $19 and there is no obligation to sign up for any of our programs. How can I find out more about the i-Lipo or your other weight loss programs? Visit our Web site at or visit www. or call the office at 878-9100.


Say it with ceramics!

Are you looking for a way to make a special surprise even more unique? Pop the question by painting it on a beautiful heart-shaped box. Just $30 including studio fee and firing. Color Me Mine at The Marketplace, 664-7366.

Color Me Mine

Mouth-watering toffee

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

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth


The drug free solution for your dog's anxiety. One hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. Come visit us at Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa for all your dog's needs at 1617 19th St. For more information, call 321-9602.

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa

Update your kitchen or bathroom

It is amazing what new knobs or handles will do to make your cabinets look brand-new. We have an amazing assortment of beautiful handles to give you a whole new look. Call Munoz Cabinetry at 836-8747 or visit

Munoz Cabinets


Bakersfield Life

January 2012

A Heart for art!

Beautiful handcrafted wood heart by artist Teresa del Rito. Made completely from recycled materials. Only at Kuka’s! 1609 19th Street, 325-0000.


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Drift off to candyland with a candy pillow from Lil B’s Sweet Tooth priced at $21.99 at The Marketplace. Mention this advertisement and receive 10 percent off your pillow purchase. At The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Suite H4, 665-8500.

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The SAS X-tra Grip

SAS has designed a new slip-resistant shoe that has outperformed industry standards using the Mark II testing methods for wet and greasy floors. Perfect for food service, or anywhere SR shoes are needed. Available at Guarantee Shoe Center, 2101 Chester Ave. 325-8751.

Guarantee Shoes

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Adventures of Rodeo and Juliet concert Dec. 17 Held at Metro Galleries Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at

Diana and John Caldwell

Pam and Rod Vieira

Craig and Carole Holland

Valerie and Crosby Damron

Rudy and Jan Agabashian

Chris Harris, Rose Sarad, Jan Harris and Katy and John Glentzer

Herb Benham, Harry Starkey and Hank Pfister

(855) 393-2840

Junior League of Bakersfield Wine Fest 2011

Katie Kirschenmann and Kelli Gruszka

Tony and Lois Ernst

Dec. 19 Held at Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at

David and Tamera Dobbs, Michelle and Jaime De Los Santos

Sandy Jones, Kaylyn Regier, RoseMary Wahl and Kendra Graham

Cheryl Rubiaco, Lalaine Garin and Gary Rubiaco

Emily Marsh, Jackson Newberry, Callie Spitzer and Sean Rundle

Pie Run Nov. 24 Held at Hart Park Photos by Rodney Thornburg View these photos and more online at

Tim Johnson, Sharie Baker and Dominic Marmolejo

Midge, Patricia Marquez and Trish Reed

David Gago, Gary Smith and Henry Wise

Sarah Smith, Shelley Johnson and Tommy Fairley

Colby Churchman and Ray Maranda

Dave Cohn, Lauren Brock, Debby Cohn and Dan Mark

Jacque Servadio, Jeannie Jorgensen, Norma Diaz and Janet Andrea

Denni Jorgnsen, Leigh Pozas and Lyndi Wilson 104

Bakersfield Life

January 2012

(855) 393-2840

Nancy Ann Mendiburu Compassion Awards Dec. 1 Held at Wool Growers Restaurant Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at Janelle and Pete Capra

Lisa and Julian Aguinaga

Bill and Whitney Rector

Brenda Lewis and Brian Mendiburu

Juanito Mendiburu, Brian Mendiburu, Emily Poole, Yvonne Lopez, David Lopez, Valerie Mendiburu, Robert Lopez and Marina Arias.

Joel and Pamela Bock and Zane Smith

Beauty and Joe Roberson, Dave and Kym Plivelich, Kenn Shanley and Adoree Roberson

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Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Annual Meeting Nov. 29 Held at Luigi’s Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at Jan and Garry Nelson

Jenny Waguespack and Patti Houchin

John and Lourdes Nilon

Brenda Brown, Jan Glinn and Al Brown

Jannelle Capra and Caryl Schweitzer

Brad and Brooke Antonioni

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Joellyn and Ernie Schroeder and Jan Nelson

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Bakersfield Life

January 2012

Daniel and Jennifer Clifford, Pat Osborn and Melissa Smith

(855) 393-2840

CASA Kick-Off Nov. 29 Held at Motor City Lexus Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at Stacy and Rick Valdez

Teri and Ken Jones

Angie Paquette and Vicki Burger

Chris and Mike Olague

Ed Hopple, Merry and Steve McCalley and Kae Babcock

Randi Cook and Sean Frank

Jeanne and Warren Peterson and George and Cindy Meek

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Toys for Tots Christmas party Dec. 3 Held at the home of Brian and Katherine Parnell Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at

Bill Peloquin and Cynthia Randell

Mary Jo and Robert Sawyer

Cpl. Everard Salazar and CPL Nicolas Gonzales

Katherine and Brian Parnell

Susan Price, Renee Wylie and Kris Grasty

Katie and Mark Turner

Kathy and Carl Guilford and Susan Price

Toni and Jeff Dougherty


910 20th St. Downtown

327-5231 Open Tues. - Sun. at 11:15 am

Painting by Charlotte White


Bakersfield Life

January 2012


(855) 393-2840

CBVI Annual Pancake Breakfast

Marjorie Durham and Jennie Sink

Misa Ober and Jennifer Jenkins

Dec. 3 Held at Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired Photos by Felix Adamo View these photos and more online at

PeeWee Nunez, Loretta La Medica, David Luera, Robert Barcenas and Chris La Medica

Brittnay Gibson, Alicia Gibson, Dinotrea Bailey, Nicole Pennington and Tomeka Alexander

John Ross, Fred Hufnagel, Don Cornett, and Bob Kapler

Chasidy Sotello, Hal Eggleston and Chris Higgins

Music School

Bakersfield’s Largest Selection Of Fine Pianos Grands • Baby-Grands • Uprights • Digitals

Voted Best Music Lessons by 97.7 The Breeze Radio Station In The Mom’s Choice Awards!

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5381 Truxtun Ave. (1 block East of Mohawk St.)



Uniquely Chic Florist & Boutique


Lacey Carter has been operating Uniquely Chic for almost five years. Inspired by the work her grandmother and aunt did as florists, Carter incorporates hundreds of flower varieties to fill orders and make arrangements for about 125 weddings, corporate events and parties per year. Here’s what Lacey had to say: All-time favorite flower: Phalenopsis orchid Best flowers for weddings: Hydrangeas, orchids, peonies and roses. Flowers to avoid in the winter? None really. These days you can order almost anything, anytime of year. Popular spring flowers: Lilies, Gerber daisies, tulips and sweet peas. Best-kept secret flower that would work best for Valentine’s Day Gerber daisies. People love these. Any good flowers for a divorce? I am not sure. I don’t think we have ever really sent flowers for a divorce. You could say maybe black roses or dead flowers.

The meaning behind a particular flower: We all know red roses are for love, but a lot of the time people use white lilies for sympathy.

— Gabriel Ramirez Lacey Carter, owner of Uniquely Chic.




Photo by Casey Christie

Long-lasting petals that look awesome in an office? I would say tropicals, gladiolas, lilies and mums. They are low maintenance and long lasting.

Thank you Cornforth Family for your generous donation to The Cancer Center at SJCH.


CANCER CARE IS CLOSE TO HOME. YES! I want to be a part of the “When You Give” Campaign! Please accept my gift of: $ _________________ I am interested in giving by credit card – please contact me. I am interested in receiving more information about the “When You Give” Capital Campaign for The Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital.

Please circle one: Mr. | Mrs. | Ms.

Name: ___________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________ City: ________________________________ State: _________ Zip: _________ Phone: _____________________________________________________ Email: ___________________________________________________________________________________ I wish to remain anonymous and I do not give permission to be listed by name as a donor.

Please make your check payable to SJCH Foundation and mail to: SJCH Foundation, P.O. Box 2615, Bakersfield, CA


Thank you for your generous support of the San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization. If you have any questions, please contact the SJCH Foundation at 661-869-6570, email: or visit us at Tax ID#: 95-2294234 All donations are tax-deductible.





















     4500 Wible Road



834-6632 Se Habla Español


Years of Serving Kern County


Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2012  

Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2012

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