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January 2013

bakersfieldlife.com

Meet the new Food Dudes First stop: Singha Thai

Epic trek Local cyclist trains for race of a lifetime

Celebrations issue • Photographers choose their favorite wedding photos • 10 places to celebrate New Year’s Eve • Local party venues • Latest prom/formal fashions


Celebrate a New You with Beautologie!


Like us on Facebook Dr. K Plastic Surgery

Find us on Yelp Ryan Khosravi, MD


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Check out several feature stories, photos and plenty of tips related to weddings, and other celebrations throughout the year. Also, get some ideas from our list of 10 things you can do in Bakersfield to ring in the New Year.

90 Race of a lifetime The first in a four-part series, a local women begins her journey to complete the Race Across America.

96 Home and Garden We highlight a local home and its interior design in an occasional feature by Metro Galleries’ Don Martin.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013


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

62 We’ve made an exciting new addition to our service offerings: Introducing CoolSculpting®

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

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Talk of the Town For a Cause Personality Pastimes Why I Live Here History Our Town Community Neighborhood Spotlight It’s a Guy Thing Real People Fit and Fresh Trip Planner Business Profiles SNAP! Inside Story

Dr. Gregory Klis, M.D. Beckie Duke, R.N. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and CareCredit!

www.skinsationmedispa.com 8

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

For the record: The Holiday Poinsettia Campaign kickoff was held at the Kern Schools Federal Credit Union administration building. The venue on Page 152 of the SNAP! section in the December 2012 issue was incorrect.


Feedback STAFF SHARES

What’s your favorite celebration during the year? “That would be the anniversary of the first date between my wife and me. Not only does it remind me of one of the best things to happen in my life, we spent it at Disneyland.” — Gregory D. Cook, contributing photographer and writer “Graduations! This year we will have two graduates in the house — double the fun and double the celebrations of accomplishments. Even the years when we aren’t personally invested, there is something extra special about one of life’s biggest milestones and rites of passage.” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer

“Last year I celebrated Hogmanay, the New Year’s celebration in Scotland. There was a street party packed with people, music and dancing. I went alone but made a lot of new friends.” — Katie Avery, contributing writer

“I enjoy Super Bowl Sunday because it combines two of my favorite things: football and food.” — Stephen Lynch, contributing writer “Because most people say Christmas, I’m going to go with my second favorite — Halloween. Halloween is the only time of year when it becomes socially acceptable to cover your car with stage blood, then have a BPD officer come to your door asking for an explanation. Priceless.” — Dana Martin, contributing writer “I would have to say my favorite celebration is News Year’s Day because not only is it the beginning of a fresh new year, but it is also my birthday! So I get to celebrate two things in one day.” — Matilde Ruiz, intern “Weddings. It’s always great to be a part of such a happy and fun celebration, where two people come together out of love.” — Jorge Barrientos, assistant managing editor Bakersfield Life Magazine

“I enjoy Christmas. I love the idea of giving.” — Michael Lopez, contributing photographer “Veterans Day! Not only is it a day to honor those who have served our country (my husband included), it’s also the day of my wedding anniversary, and we traditionally start out the day by attending the Veteran’s parade.” — Olivia Garcia, editor

“My favorite yearly celebration is my wedding anniversary — getting to re-live the best day of our lives, looking at photos and reminiscing what an adventure it is to be married!” — Jessica Frey, contributing photographer

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“I still love the freedom, exhilaration and sense of possibility of the first day of summer vacation (even if it is just for my kids and not for me.)” — Kelly Damian, contributing writer

“I start off every New Year’s celebrating our first date anniversary with my beautiful wife, Tamara. I’m pretty sure she engineered it to be on New Year’s Eve, so I’d have a hard time forgetting the date.” — Kevin McCloskey, contributing writer “I’m really low-key, so my favorite celebration is a simple birthday dinner with close friends — can’t beat good food and even better friends!” — Mark Nessia, contributing photographer “Christmas! I love how my mom gets the family into the holiday spirit. It is definitely a magical time of year: listening to Christmas carols, baking homemade sweets, watching “Elf,” and being surrounded by an abundance of shiny and sparkly decorations. It doesn’t get any better.” — Hilllary Haenes, specialty publications coordinator

January 2013

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine January 2013 / Vol. 7 / Issue 4 Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. To advertise, contact Lisa Whitten at lwhitten@bakersfield.com or 395-7238. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Director of Display Advertising Roger Fessler Interactive Advertising Director Sally Ellis Advertising Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Marketing Manager Mira Patel Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Managing Editor Jorge Barrientos Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Sally Baker, Henry A. Barrios, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Michael Fagans, Juli Feller, Jessica Frey, Mariel Hannah, Casey Hardy, John Harte, Lois Henry, Alex Horvath, Jenn Ireland, Michael Lopez, April Massirio, Greg Nichols, Mark Nessia, Carla Rivas, Amy Rymer, Stephanie Saul, Crystal Scott, Jan St Pierre, Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Katie Avery, Sally Baker, Colleen Bauer, Allie Castro, Gregory D. Cook, Kelly Damian, Lois Henry, Ken Hooper, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, Stephen Lynch, Don Martin, Kevin McCloskey, Gabriel Ramirez, Michael Russo, Chris Thornburgh, Brian N. Willhite Interns Matilde Ruiz, Tyler Stevens, Jeneal Wood


Bakersfield’s Only Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center and Nationally Certified Stroke Center Under One Roof.

Chest Pain Center The Accredited Chest Pain Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a national team of the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care’s accreditation review specialists. Stroke Center As a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The GuidelinesÂŽ-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, SJCH’s commitment and success is nationally recognized for implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidencebased guidelines. The goal of participating in Get With The Guidelines is to save lives. Now the choice is clear. If you or a family member is suering from a heart attack or stroke, call 911. And remember, there’s only one hospital in BakersďŹ eld with a Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center and Nationally CertiďŹ ed Stroke Center under one roof.

tXXXTKDIVT


Editor’s Note

Olivia’s Picks

New year, new beginnings

LeapFrog For the preschool parents and grandparents out there, I recommend you take a look at some of the preschool educational toys offered through LeapFrog. I have a purchaed a few items for my preschooler, and it’s pretty neat to see him engaged and entertained in an educational way. Might make a nice birthday gift, too.

‘The Fiery Trial’ The critically-praised Abraham Lincoln film has definitely generated interest into the life of the former president, and it’s a perfect opportunity to revisit his past through some great reading. On my list is “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery,” written by the muchrespected historian Eric Foner. Available in print or digital format.

Genius Scan For the business professionals or working students who need to scan information on the go, Genius Scan is a neat app that allows you to do just that with the use of your smartphone. This app works much like a pocket scanner, and you can scan files as PDF or JPEG forms. And the quality is amazing — only 99 cents.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

J

anuary brings plenty of excitement for our readers. It marks the start of the New Year with big plans and goals in place. In addition, it brings much excitement for students who are halfway through their academic year, or preparing for the next athletic season. That’s why we felt it was only fitting to dedicate this issue as our “Celebrations” edition. Inside, we celebrate many special moments in our lives including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, proms, quinceaneras and sweet 16s. We hope to provide you with a wealth of information to properly plan and celebrate these special occasions. Let us know what you think. I’d also like to introduce our new set of Food Dudes for 2013. They are Rick Kreiser, Derek Abbott, Rick Hudgens, David Leon and Vin Dang. Many may know Rick Kreiser, the local product who is part of the longtime familyowned Carney’s Business Technology. Derek Abbott is the director of Land & Resource Planning at Tejon Ranch Co. Rick Hudgens is a high school English teacher, as well as an announcer for the Bakersfield Jam, and a musician. David Leon is also another familiar face in the community. He opened his family law practice in 2000. Vin Dang is a local optometrist and has a rather interesting story that involves growing up in Paris. Be sure to read more about Vin and the rest of our new Food Dudes in their inaugural food review, and watch a video of their visit to Singha Thai at bakersfieldlife.com Last, but certainly not least, I want to ask all of our readers to get ready to cast their votes for the 2013 Best of Kern County Readers’ Choice Poll, presented by Bakersfield Life Magazine. The voting kicks off Jan. 7, and you can cast your votes by visiting bestofkern.com, or click on the button while you’re browsing Bakersfield Life’s website. Since we have more than 100 cateJanuary 2013

gories, we decided to break the list into voting groups of four. Among the categories are best local celebrity, best teacher, best restaurant, best place to worship, best plastic surgeon, best doctor, best sporting goods store, best local band, best private school and best law firm, among others. Our first week of voting for the initial batch will be Jan. 7 to 13. The second round will take place Jan. 14 to 20, followed by Jan. 21 to 27. And the last selection of voting will be held Jan. 28 to Feb. 5. I encourage all of you to participate in the voting throughout January. Be sure to check in each week. The voting for each category is one week, so it’s important to keep checking in.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487 • ogarcia@bakersfield.com


Up Front

WORD ON THE STREET Compiled by Brian N. Willhite

What is your New Year’s resolution? Marcus Hudgins

Natalie Sanchez

Crystal Lei

“To work out more because I’d like to better my health.”

“To have fun all the time.”

“To be more consistent with my workouts.”

Steven Happel

Sterling Miller

Sasha Lei

“To spend more time with friends and family.”

“To change the world for the better.”

“To be a better dancer.”

Loren Barton

Jaquelyn Coyle

Tina Van Horn

“Take better care of my health and spend more time with my granny.”

“Spend more time with my family.”

“To take some more time for myself and have more fun.”

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Up Front

SHORT TAKE

SHORT TAKE

Local student selected as Rhodes Scholar

Bakersfield woman crowned Miss Rodeo California

Bakersfield has been home to professional football players, music icons and even a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Now, we can add a Rhodes Scholar to the list. Evan R. Szablowski, a graduate of Stockdale High School and senior at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), will study at Oxford University starting in October after being one of just 32 Americans — and the only Californian — chosen as a Rhodes Scholar this year. The prestigious scholarship from the Rhodes Trust Szablowski — said to be worth about $50,000 per year — is one of the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards. Students are chosen “for their outstanding scholarly achievements ... their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead,” according to The Rhodes Trust. Though the award is something Szablowski has thought about since high school, he was in disbelief when he was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, joining the likes of former President Bill Clinton and other students in his Rhodes class already accomplishing great things in life, he said. “It’s a dream come true,” Szablowski told Bakersfield Life. “I’m just tremendously excited about this opportunity.” The Rhodes candidates must first be endorsed by their college or university, and selection committees in 16 U.S. districts invite the strongest applicants to an interview. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who nominated Szablowski for admission to West Point, said there was no doubt that Evan always had the drive and commitment to achieve such amazing accomplishments. “It’s a great source of pride for our community to see one of our own chosen for this prestigious scholarship,” McCarthy told Bakersfield Life in a statement. Szablowski, 21, studies mathematics at West Point. He has also studied in Morocco, worked on projects encouraging entrepreneurship in Ethiopia, and on emerging markets in the Czech Republic. At Oxford, Szablowski plans to study data analytics and machine learning in computer science. In the future, he said, he’d like to work in military intelligence with the U.S. Army. — Bakersfield Life 14

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

Dakota Skellenger has been competing in pageants for the past five years. Now, at age 20, all of her hard work — and knowledge for rodeo — has paid off. Skellenger has been crowned 2013 Miss Rodeo California. But she isn’t stopping there. In December 2013, she will compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America. For Miss Rodeo California, she competed against rodeo queens across the state in horsemanship, speech, modeling, interviewing, horse and rodeo knowledge, personality and appearance. She won in every category. Donna Riva, president of Miss Rodeo California, said Dakota is the third woman from Bakersfield to be crowned. The previous Miss Rodeo California from Bakersfield was crowned in 2006. “Almost every year there is a Miss Rodeo Bakersfield contestant, and the representative always finishes in a strong position,” Riva said. Dakota was born and raised in Bakersfield and took care of her first horse at the age of 5. From then on, she has been in love with horses, she said. She became an active member in 4-H Club and also participated in showing dogs at dog shows. Because Dakota participated in so many activities while growing up, she was homeschooled. She said this allowed her to not only keep up with schoolwork but also work ahead. In 2011, Dakota won Miss Rodeo Bakersfield. And the 2012 winner was her twin sister, Rori Skellenger. A twin crowning her twin is a first for the competition, said Georgina Puentes, Miss Rodeo Bakersfield chairperson. As Miss Rodeo California queen, Dakota Skellenger will travel the United States promoting the Western way of life and the sport of rodeo. To do this, she will have to take a year off of school, but she isn’t worried about

Skellenger

that. “Traveling this year will give me an education that I cannot get in a classroom,” Dakota said. Still, she enjoys going to school and said it is a high priority to get good grades. Dakota is studying agriculture business at Bakersfield College. She plans to transfer to Fresno State for a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. — Jeneal Wood


SHORT TAKE

2013 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards accepting nominations The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce is now seeking nominations for the 2013 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards. These awards will be given to chosen nominees who have successfully helped improve or promote the quality of life in Bakersfield. Self-nominations are allowed, and there are awards for groups and businesses, as well as individuals. Categories include: active adults, all-american city tradition, architecture, arts, commercial remodel, education, environmental, health, humanitarian, public/private partnership and youth. Last year’s award recipient in the youth category was Ravi Kumar Gupta, a senior at Stockdale High School who trained several thousand students in CPR and necessary life skills. This youth award is given to an individ-

ual under age 21, or a group, that through personal involvement and endeavors, has answered the challenge of good citizenship. For the arts category, Empty Space Theatre was awarded for providing 12 productions, among other events and shows, that were all free to the public. The Beautiful Bakersfield Awards banquet is scheduled for June 1, when the names of the award recipients will be made public. The night will be one of celebration for local businesses, nonprofits and individuals who will be publicly applauded for their work. Nominations must be submitted by Jan. 18, and nomination forms can be found on bakersfieldchamber.org. Submit it to the chamber, or email it to Jean Scheiber at jscheiber@bakersfieldchamber.org. — Jeneal Wood

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Up Front

SHORT TAKE

New local nonprofit wants women dressed for success Dress for Success, a worldwide nonprofit organization that provides professional attire and support for disadvantaged women seeking jobs, operates in 120 cities — now including Bakersfield. The organization, which received its nonprofit status locally in September, works with referral agency partners who have trained and prepared women to obtain jobs. Once these women have completed a job-training program, they are referred to Dress for Success and provided with a full professional outfit to wear on job interviews. Mentors also work with these women to help prepare them for the interview. “Our mentors make sure to have a pep talk with our clients about the interviews and remind them about tips, like making sure to use handshakes and have eye contact,” said Elaine McNearney, founder of Bakersfield’s Dress for Success. Once the women have secured a job, they can receive one week’s worth of outfits for their new career. On top of that, Dress

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

for Success also sells more clothing to the women at an affordable price. The ultimate goal for the program is to help these women retain a job. “We have a group of about 15 women as our startup committee, and they are working hard to make sure we succeed,” McNearney said. “With unemployment in Kern County hovering around 13 percent, there are a lot of women who need our services.” To help, Dress for Success offers the “professional women’s group program,” which helps women, who have received employment, develop workplace skills and advance in their careers. The women become lifetime members of the program, and are given the chance to attend meetings around the world. Like many nonprofits, Dress for Success is always seeking volunteers and donations, which they rely on. Professional clothing and shoe donations from the community are always accepted. “We are currently in desperate need for volunteers who can volunteer their time during the day to be mentors and work handson with these women,” McNearney said. For more information, and to find out more about volunteering opportunities and donations, go to Dress for Success’ Facebook (search Dress For Success Bakersfield), or visit dressforsuccess.org. Want to donate? Email bakersfield@dressforsuccess.org or call 393-0983. Or donate through the Kern Community Foundation, as Dress for Success is an approved charity. — Matilde Ruiz


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Up Front

NAMED AFTER HOT AND NOT

HOT New dorms California State University Board of Trustees have approved plans for a new $41.3 million student housing complex at Cal State Bakersfield.

Medical news PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH

• Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center and Bakersfield Mercy and Memorial hospitals announced a plan to enter a partnership for cancer care. • The Munger farming family announced it was providing a $2 million gift to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, which is expected to greatly enhance the care Memorial provides to heal stroke patients.

BC Renegades Congratulations to the Bakersfield College Renegades for winning BC’s first state football championship in program history.

Suburu Elementary School

Californian award Bakersfield Life’s parent company, The Bakersfield Californian, won first place in the business/professional organization category in Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards for its participation in the “Litter: It’s Beneath Us” campaign to clean up the city.

NOT Crime and tragedy Petty theft crime this holiday season was too common, and residents in various neighborhoods experienced frustration over stolen property.  Crime rates continue to creep up in the wake of prison realignment, however, law enforcement officials have no hard evidence and are still hesitant to definitively say it is the cause of the increase.  

Unsafe driving A new study found that unsafe behavior including drunken driving and texting while driving was overwhelmingly the cause of some of Kern County’s most serious traffic fatalities over the last three years.

Empty buildings Those vacant business buildings throughout Bakersfield are eyesores and a reminder that our economy is not quite up to speed.

Arts leadership Two local art organizations are in the search for new leadership. Bernie Herman announced his retirement as executive director of Bakersfield Museum of Art. The search for a replacement is underway. Meanwhile, the director of the Arts Council of Kern, Michael Millar, is on leave for an unspecified illness.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

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Suburu Elementary School in the Lakeside Union School District is named after one of its staunchest advocates, 83-year-old Donald Edgar Suburu, longtime district board member and farmer, who still resides in Bakersfield. He is one of two sons born to Baptiste Suburu, a founding member of the first Lakeside board of trustees. The Suburu family came to Kern County in the 1880s, from the Pyrenees Mountain region of France. Baptiste Suburu farmed 80 acres near Gosford Road and Taft Highway, where the family homesteads remain. Baptiste brought together the school districts of Old River, Ordena and Paloma to form the Lakeside District. He served on its board for 22 years, from Lakeside’s inception until 1963. When he retired, son Donald took his place, continuing the family’s commitment to education. Their combined service: 58 years. The younger Suburu was born Oct. 19, 1929, in Bakersfield and attended Kern Union High School. After high school, he worked odd

jobs, began baling hay, and was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. By then he was married. Donald and Elsie had four children, and nearly every family has attended the Lakeside school. Don had a custom hay-baling and cotton-picking business. He began farming his own land — mainly cotton, alfalfa and grain — after Baptiste’s retirement. His son Ron now handles day-to-day operations of the company. Modest, dedicated and hardworking, Donald Suburu was a child of the Great Depression and maintained a fiscally conservative stance while advocating for the Lakeside School District. Well respected, he served many years on the board, including as president. He resisted pressure to build the new school, preferring that the campus remain at Lakeside as long as possible until all of the funding was in place. The new school bearing his name opened in the Silver Creek neighborhood in the spring of 1998. — Lisa Kimble


SHORT TAKE

Hispanic chamber to host annual awards banquet The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will recognize its new executive board during its annual installation banquet at 6 p.m. Feb. 2, at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, 801 Truxtun Ave. In addition, the chamber will install its board of directors and salute recipients of its annual business awards. The awards will be given to those who contribute to the success of the chamber and make a difference in the community. Awards include: businessman and businesswoman 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. More than 500 guests attended last year, and more are expected this year. At the banquet, titled “Celebrating 28 Years of Success,” six

new executive officers will also be introduced. They are: chairwoman Denise Castaneda-Ornelas of La Bonita, Inc.; chairwoman elect Blodgie Rodriguez, Realtor; vice chair Adam Alvidrez of Chevron; secretary Olivia Garcia of The Bakersfield California and Bakersfield Life Magazine; treasurer Carlos Navarro of Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center; and past chairman David Alanis of Career Services Center and Employment Development Department. Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is considered one of the largest in the state and currently hosts more than 600 members. The chamber features business workshops in English and Spanish, networking opportunities and annual events for the community. Reservations for the banquet will be accepted until Jan. 28. Cost is $75 per person, $550 for a table of eight. A no-host cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner and a program at 7 p.m. Live music by the Hind-Site Band, and dancing, will follow. For tickets or more information, call 633-5495. — Bakersfield Life Magazine

MONEY MATTERS

10 New Year resolutions to prosperity Every January, we plan to make changes with the best intentions. Here are some financial New Year resolutions that are a lot easier to keep than the redundant gym resolutions made every year. Follow just a few of these, and you’ll have bragging rights for your financial well-being. While these resolutions are geared toward small businesses, many apply to your personal life as well. • Attack your budget. It’s so important! Track last year’s expenses and compare actual amounts with budgeted amounts. Can you trim the fat on expenses? Can you use less expensive supplies? Are you paying for things you no longer need? • Set realistic goals. Goal-setting leads to success, but goals must be achievable. Just like a diet, be realistic or you’ll starve yourself financially and give up. • Delegate. Your time is best spent growing your business. If you are drowning in tedious everyday tasks, identify those you can delegate to your employees or outside sources. • Prioritize debt. Not all debt is created equal. Make a list of your liabilities and organize them by the annual interest rate. Debt with the highest rates should be paid off first. • Capitalize on low interest rates. Interest rates remain at their historical low, so do not miss this opportunity to refinance high-interest debt. • Tackle collections. Deal with “problem payers” and bill more frequently to improve cash flow. It’s easy to let this go but critical to your business’ financial health. • Drop what’s not working and move on. If a product, a marketing method or a business relationship isn’t working for you,

move on. Don’t invest a lot of energy trying to make the unworkable, workable. • Watch your competition. It’s easy to focus on what you’re doing and forget about others in your industry. Pay attention to your competition. If they’re doing better, learn why and apply it to your business. If others are failing, learn from their mistakes. • Get organized. This includes your tax and financial records. Begin the year with new files, mileage logs and a place to keep warranty and insurance information. Dispose of obsolete inventory. Abandon inefficient equipment in favor of more productive equipment — there are still tax benefits for doing so. • Make time for yourself and family. A healthy work and personal life balance is key to your success. Recharge and refresh, not only physically, but mentally, too.

— Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@ bacpas.com or 324-4971. bakersfieldlife.com

19


Up Front

BAKERSFIELD LIFE ONLINE

2013 “Best of” Bakersfield You thought the election ended in November. Not so fast. Throughout January and the first week of February, readers of this magazine and The Bakersfield Californian (publisher of Bakersfield Life) will once again get the chance to select their favorite local people, places and business in town. And this year is a special one — 2013 marks the 20-year anniversary of “Best of.” This year we are also introducing some new categories to go along with the classics — 16 new categories in fact. A few of them include “best local celebrity,” “best local teacher,” and “best place for singles to meet,” among others. The winners of “Best of” aren’t alerted until Bakersfield Life’s May issue is delivered to homes, businesses and news racks on April 27 throughout Bakersfield.

Nominations took place in December, and voting will take place in phases in the coming weeks. To vote, go to BakersfieldLife.com or Bakersfield.com and click on the “Best of” buttons.

BakersfieldLife.com See more SNAP! photos, enter contests and giveaways, see exclusive videos, and read the entire Bakersfield Life Magazine issue (and past issues) on our website — BakersfieldLife.com. This month, watch the video of the new Food Dudes at Singha Thai, and another video for our new feature on home design . And if you missed it, watch great videos from the December issue on CALM HolidayLights and the Dining Divas’ visit to the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

Contests Want $100 to Eagle Mountain Casino’s restaurants? Email us your favorite New Year’s Eve photo to BakersfieldLife@bakersfield.com. Winner will be chosen randomly. We’ll be doing many more giveaways and contests through January, and throughout 2013, so stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages, and our website for more contests. Just in December we’ve given tickets to CALM HolidayLights, gift certificates to Hooters, tickets to various shows at Rabobank Arena and Convention Center, and much more.

Bakersfield Life on Facebook Congratulations to the several winners who commented on Facebook and took home copies of the First Friday poster signed by artist Christina Sweet, whose piece was featured on the cover of December holiday issue. Facebook page friends also took home gift certificates to Hooters and Eagle Mountain Casino restaurants just for commenting.


Up Front

25 RANDOM THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT…

Jessica Frey Jessica Frey is a full-time professional wedding photographer who specializes in filming couples who love timeless romance. She started her own business nearly five years ago, when she decided to combine her passion of photography, love stories and blinged-out shoes. And many of her photos have graced Bakersfield Life Magazine’s covers. Jessica, 30, has been married to her husband, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Eric Frey, for 8 1/2 years now, and they have an 8year-old fur-baby named, Kayla.

1 My favorite color is glitter. 3 My dream wedding to photo2 I met my amazing husband at the graph would be in a castle in Ireland. U.S. Naval Academy ball while wearing 4 I will travel anywhere to photoa glittery gown and a tiara. It was love at first sight, and he proposed a year later in front of Cinderella’s castle in Florida. He’s truly my prince charming!

graph a love story — my passport is ready!

5 In 10 years, I’ve lived in nine different cities with Bakersfield being the longest at 4 1/2 years.

6

I’m a native Texan from Austin, have a business degree from Texas A&M University and miss Blue Bell Ice Cream and real Tex-Mex.

7

I am a proud Marine Corps wife. The past nine years have been an adventure — I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

8

I’m in love with fairy tales, but I am also a huge tomboy. I’ve played sports my entire life, mostly basketball and track.

9

I’m a blogger! I blog every Monday, Wednesday and Freyday! (My last name is pronounced Fry, not Fray.)

10 When I don’t have a wedding to shoot on a Saturday in the fall, I’m glued to my TV to watch my beloved Texas Aggies football team or the U.S. Navy football team since my husband played for them.

PHOTO BY STEPHANIE SAUL

11 I love to travel! I’ve been to the

Jessica and her Westie, Kayla. 22

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

pyramids of Egypt, floated in the Dead Sea, walked Jerusalem, stood on the Acropolis in Athens and stood in Red Square in Moscow, but have never been to Oregon. Go figure.

12

I studied Russian for eight years and was an exchange student for a month in Russia when I was 14.

Jessica with her amazing husband, Eric Frey.

PHOTO BY CASEY HARDY

Compiled by Hillary Haenes

dings and have been a maid of honor three times and a bridesmaid five times.

15

I’m always dancing if I hear music. I love to country two-step, jitterbug and waltz, but my favorite is Irish step dancing.

16

My fur-baby is Kayla, a West Highland Terrier. There are four Westies in my family, and all have names starting with a K.

17 I did my college internship at Walt Disney World working in Toon Town while earning my “Ducktorate” at Disney University. True story.

18

Two of my favorite non-wedding related photos are one of a lightning bolt strike at Mount Rushmore and one of a humpback whale breaching near our boat in Alaska.

19

My greatest sports moment was standing between David Robinson and Tim Duncan on the basketball court for the national anthem. Go Spurs!

20

I’ve styled and hosted two wedding workshops this year for photographers and will host another one this spring.

21

When I was 10 years old, I broke my arm in a pillow fight, and a week later, I broke my thumb when a basketball rebounded into my hand.

22

It’s not in my contract for brides to wear sparkly shoes at their wedding, but 99 percent of mine do!

23 I’m so proud of my 17 Bakersfield Life covers and being interviewed in Professional Photographer Magazine.

24 My mom is my hero and has set 13 I love skiing and have been skiing an amazing example for me of what an

for 25 years.

14 I’m pretty much a wedding expert. I’ve photographed 60 wed-

intelligent, athletic woman looks like.

25 My relationship with God, family and friends is most important to me.


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Up Front

MY MOBILE LIFE

Therese Dozier Compiled by Hillary Haenes

Photos by Alex Horvath

F

or event and party planning, having a reliable cellphone is crucial, especially when operating your own business. Therese Dozier, 35, owner of My Sorted Affair Floral and Event Design, uses her iPhone to communicate with brides and keep up with the latest trends in her industry. Social media is a way to stay connected to clients and family, she said. “I use My Sorted Affair’s Facebook page to keep fans updated on our events and give them ideas when planning special life events like weddings, anniversaries and other important social events,” Dozier said. She also uses Twitter to chat with her industry friends as well as to learn important information she can use to help her brides have the day of their dreams.

Twitter

Great Clips

Twitter helps me to stay abreast of the latest blog posts from some of my favorite bloggers. I also use Twitter to answer questions from clients, or prospective clients, about our services. It’s quick and a great way to stay connected in a fun way.

Dropbox

Instagram I use this for both my personal and business life to take pictures of my family (my little ones in particular), and anything else I find beautiful. I love capturing that moment that no one else sees at an event with my phone — that stolen kiss or that quiet happy tear! I love those moments.

Etsy This is also one of my faves. I use it for inspiration for my design as well as for some wedding supplies and that impromptu shopping excursion.

School of Fish and Tetris These games are for the kiddies. It keeps them busy when we have to be somewhere that’s past their expiration date.

MenuPages

Bakersfield Life Magazine

It’s an awesome filesharing cloud that allows me to send large files. My clients appreciate it, as do other professionals who I work with, because we can send documents and pictures and share folders. It’s a must for wedding planning.

Lose It This is a great app for journaling your weight-loss journey, keeping track of your weight and entering your daily food log.

Pinterest

I use this app mostly when working and playing in Los Angeles or New York City. I can put in any food, and it will show me at least 15 restaurants close to my current location, complete with pricing, rating and phone number, should I need to make a reservation.

24

This app is what I use to check-in online so I don’t have to wait long to get a haircut. It’s hard to squeeze that in sometimes, so this helps a lot.

January 2013

I use it to get my creative juices flowing. When I am looking to get inspired by a particular outfit or journalistic photograph, I flip through Pinterest for a mini vacation and to find my muse.


Favorite Deli! BAKERSFIELD’S

BY THE NUMBERS

Bakersfield health-exercise clubs Compiled by Tyler Stevens

January always bring flocks of people to local health clubs hoping to start the new year in shape. Here are some numbers to consider as you hit the gym.

150 fitness classes per week, and many other fitness programs that are specific to individual needs.

Local health-exercise clubs

recent three-month weight loss competition.

109,938 Kern residents belong to a health-

Source: John Ovanessian, Body Xchange

exercise club (18 percent of all residents)

Total Woman Fitness Centers, Bakersfield

64,983 of them are men, or about 59 percent

46,804 are ages 18 to 34, or about 43 percent 44,371 are ages 35 to 54, or about 40 percent

18,763 are ages 55 and older, or about 17 percent 93307 zip code has the most residents who belong to health clubs (13,535) Source: The Bakersfield Californian, Market Research Department, 2012

200 current employees 7,000 pounds lost from 200 people in a

2 locations in Bakersfield

2,000 members (roughly) 126 varieties of gym equipment available 7 personal trainers available 110 classes and programs available per week, including spin, Gravity, running, combat and others 1231 18th Street (18th and L Streets)

Downtown

10:30am - 2:15pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 323-2500

America’s healthexercise clubs 16 percent of the American population currently belongs to a health club

10 percent increase in membership in the past three years

Rosedale

45 gym employees on hand

20 treadmills

50.2 million Americans are members 3 out of 10 Americans plan to increase

available

spending in joining or re-joining a health club, according to results from the Physical Activity Council’s annual participation study

available

Source: International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, 2012

Body Xchange, Bakersfield 8 locations in Bakersfield 9 years in business 500,000 pounds of free weights available at the locations

2,000 total pieces of gym equipment 200 treadmills available 60 personal trainers available

9160 Rosedale Highway (Target Shopping Ctr.)

165 weights 26 years of operation at Truxtun Avenue 6 years at Hageman Road, Calloway Drive Source: Leigh Pozas, Total Woman Fitness Centers for Women

11:00am - 8:00pm Daily

Phone: (661) 587-1600

9500 Ming Avenue (Just West of The Marketplace)

Southwest

7:00am - 3:00pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 665-9990

765 West Herndon Avenue

Fresno/Clovis

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

Phone: (559) 323-0330

See our full menu and order online at

sequoiasandwich.com

Thank you, Kern County for your continued support!


Up Front

FINDING FAME

Ric Drasin By Tyler Stevens

Photos courtesy of Ric Drasin

A

native of Bakersfield, Ric Drasin has been rising to fame through his acting credits, wrestling appearances and his passion for fitness and bodybuilding. A graduate from Bakersfield High School, Drasin has made a name for himself through his determination to succeed and his drive to be the best at whatever he does. Ric Drasin has had one thing on his mind — success. “You don’t know where your life’s gonna lead,” Drasin, 68, told Bakersfield Life in a phone interview. “Success

Ric Drasin enjoys a fun moment with model, actress and host Brenda Epperson. comes in ‘cans,’ negativity comes in ‘can’ts.’” Drasin always had a dream of being somebody and leaving a legacy in the world, and ever since he was a young child, he has been determined to find his place. Drasin started by working out at the YMCA locally, teaching an instructional class once a week, helping people with nutrition and personal fitness. He also worked at Kellogg’s Cereal as a salesman for a year to be able to move to Los Angeles. Drasin worked hard and eventually made enough money to move to Venice Beach in 1970, where he met his friend and training partner, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Training at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach was an everyday event for Drasin and Ric Drasin, right, Schwarzenegger. readies for his You might have seen the famous Gold’s Gym T-shirt pro wrestling logo of a chiseled bodybuilder figure holding the bending aftershow with weights. Drasin was the guy who originally designed that son Shane, who logo on a napkin in Venice Beach, and owns the rights to it. composes and produces music. Drasin also got the opportunity to design the famous weight-lifting gorilla on the World Gym logo.

At this point, Drasin’s career was rising fast. He became a professional wrestler in 1965 as Ric Drasin, but changed it in 1983, going by the name of “The Equalizer.” He gained recognition through Muscle and other fitness magazines as a model and writing articles on training and nutrition for magazine publisher Joe Weider. He eventually drew the attention of Lou Ferrigno, best known as The Incredible Hulk actor. Ferrigno saw potential in Drasin and introduced him to the producer, which is how he landed a role as “Demi Hulk” in the Ferrigno’s television series. Drasin’s other acting credits include a spot on the television series “Charlie’s Angels,” on more than 65 national television commercials and print ads, as well as films and a reoccurring role on “The Shield” television series, in the role of “Pipe.” Today Ric is busier than ever. He makes the best of his time by hosting a weekly “aftershow” for fans of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.’s SmackDown on AfterBuzz TV, which was created by television host Maria Menounos. Drasin also shoots videos for his video blog, “Ric’s Corner,” which gives information on wrestling, old school bodybuilding techniques, diet and nutrition. Ric’s Corner — which he shoots and edits himself — has 4.6 million views and is growing. He’s hosted the show Actor’s Entertainment and is scheduled to host six more episodes in the coming months. Among Drasin’s most recent accomplishment was receiving the first ever Joe Gold Lifetime Achievement Award — for his years of contributions to fitness and bodybuilding — at the World Gym Convention in September in Las Vegas. “I didn’t do any of this for money or fame,” Drasin said. “I did it for the passion and personal satisfaction.” Form ore inform ation on Ric,go to ricscorner.com or ricdrasin.com , oryou can em ailhim at ric@ ricdrasin.com .

Do you know someone from Bakersfield who is finding fame, has earned 15 minutes of fame, or is representing Bakersfield while in the spotlight? Please let us know. Email us at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the subject line: Finding Fame. Please include contact information if available. 26

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013


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Bob Levesque

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Up Front

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

Happenings: Can’t-miss events in January Tue. 1 New Year’s Day

Fri. 4 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 don@themetrogalleries.com.

Rhonda Vincent Rhonda Vincent, doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., DoubleTree Hotel Ballroom. $20. Tickets can be ordered for will-call or picked up at Goin’ Postal, 11000 Brimhall Road. 587-5222.

Sat. 5 to Sun. 6 Patrick Ball, performing “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music,” 7 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday, Beekay Theatre, 110 S. Green St., Tehachapi. $25, may be purchased at Mountain Music, The Apple Shed or call Fiddlers Crossing at 823-9994.

Fri. 11 FLICS International Cinema

Sat. 19 “Hell and Mr. Fudge” film, 7

Fri. 25 The Warriors Cage, 8 p.m., Eagle

Society presents “Le Havre,” 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater. $5. flics.org or 428-0354.

p.m., Fox Theater. $3 plus fee. vallitix.com or 322-5200. CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 7 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center. $5 to $20. gorunners.com or 654-BLUE. Glinn & Giordano Rio Bravo Rumble, 5K/10K trail run, mountain bike duathlon, registration 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., starts at 9 a.m., Rio Bravo Ranch, 15701 Highway 178. $35 to $70 by Jan. 14, $10 late fee added after that date; free kids race. ggphysicaltherapy.com or 327-4357.

Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tule Reservation Road, Porterville. $25 general; $35 reserved. Visit eaglemtncasino.com or 559-7886220.

Sat. 12 Crystal Verde Bully Dog Show, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kern County Fairgrounds. $10; $3 parking. 3194277. No Limit Hold ’Em Tournament, 6 p.m., The Aviator Casino, 1225 Airport Drive, Delano. $75 includes dinner buffet; $20 re-buys and add-on. Proceeds benefit Brain Injury Association of California. 201-9782 or 872-4903. 24th annual Victim/Witness Auxiliary 5K/10K, 9 a.m., Lake Ming. $25. Proceeds to benefit crime victims of Kern County. Email fogrun@yahoo.com.

the Purple Sage, presented by Bakersfield Community Concert Association, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater. $80 for five remaining concerts. bakersfieldcca.org or 205-8522 or 589-2478.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

$25. shopworldrecords.com. Randy Rogers Band, 7:30 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. $15.50 to $23.50 plus fee. vallitix.com or 3225200.

to 3 p.m., Kern County Fairgrounds. Admission is free and open to the public. 345-3995.

Sun. 27 Christopher Titus, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater. $25 plus fee. vallitix.com or 322-5200.

Thur. 31 Jackson Browne, with opening act Sara Watkins, 8 p.m., Fox Theater. $41 to $162.50 plus fee. vallitix.com or 322-5200. Thomas Rhett, 7 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. $14 to $20 plus fee. vallitix.com or 3225200.

Fri. 18 No Stinkin’ Service Charge Blues Series, featuring Ray Manzarek, Roy Rogers, with opening act, Suzanne Thomas and the Blues Church, show at 7 p.m., DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey. $30 to $35. 831-3100.

CSUB Men’s Basketball

Monster X Tour

Fri. 18 to Sat. 19 Wed. 9 Monster X Tour, 7:30 p.m., CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center. $5 to $20. gorunners.com or 654-BLUE.

Owens’ Crystal Palace. $10. vallitix.com or call 322-5200.

Thur. 24 Mon. 14 John McCutcheon Concert, 7 p.m., DoubleTree Hotel. $20 to Cody Bryant with the Riders of

Sun. 6 10th annual Empty Space Awards & Dinner, 6 p.m., Stockdale Country Club,. $40 per person; $70 per couple. 327-PLAY. The Ultimate Bridal Event, with more than 100 vendors, premiere wedding professionals will be on hand to assist you in planning your dream wedding, noon to 4 p.m., Bakersfield Marriott Hotel. $8 to $15. ultimatebridalevent.com or 835-1305.

Wed. 23 Josh Abbott Band, 7 p.m., Buck

Sat. 26 Annual Rabbit Show, 8:30 a.m.

Rabobank Arena. $10 to $40 plus fee. ticketmaster.com or 800745-3000.

January 2013


RUSSO’S READ

‘Murrieta Gold’ One of the joys of reading novels from local authors is finding unexpected talent in your own backyard. Case in point: retired Kern County Sheriff Det. William Nikkel. Now with four “Jack Ferrell adventures” under his belt, Nikkel is an accomplished storyteller and a capable writer. In “Murrieta Gold,” Nikkel’s most recent novel, protagonist Jack Ferrell finds himself not only up against a worthy foe, but also history. His adversary is growing marijuana in California Gold Country, but 150 years earlier, the land was the stomping grounds for famed bandit, Joaquin Murrieta. Legend has it that Murrieta buried stolen gold in the area, but died prior to retrieving it. For Jack, the issue is neither the drugs nor the treasure — it is his missing brother who was last seen 11 days earlier. In a race against time, foe and nature, Jack forges forward. Nikkel’s solid character development and strong storyline keep the book moving at a fast clip. His law enforcement background in patrol, SWAT and homicide add grit to his tales. Throw in some local history, a love interest and lots of action, and you have a winner in “Murrieta Gold.” By Michael Russo, co-owner of

Russo’s Books at The Marketplace “Murrieta Gold” by William Nikkel is available for $15.50 at Russo’s Books at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.

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29


It Manners a Lot By Lisa Kimble

Don’t crash a party with bad manners I like the way Ole Miss fans think. Among the many beliefs the University of Mississippi’s rabid football fans subscribe to is: “We may not win every game, but we’ve never lost a party.” Like the “grovers” in Oxford, Miss., on game day, my husband and I love to entertain. Every occasion, significant or trivial, is considered special, and an opportunity to celebrate another of life’s milestones with loved ones — and with plenty of food and spirits, too. Some parties are more intricately planned than others. But regardless of their scope, our expectations for basic courtesies in return, rooted in our own polite upbringings, never change. Social graces are about much more than knowing the difference between the butter knife and the pickle fork. No piece of silverware alone, sterling or silver-plated, can communicate that. Those tines are essential tools at most special occasions, but it is the acts, or omissions before, during and after the big event that really do “manner a lot.” Invitations: Receiving an invitation is a big deal, no matter if it’s engraved, studded in hot glue-gunned rhinestones, or on Xerox paper. Don’t set it aside and forget about it. Tell me you’re coming. Hundreds of dollars in beverages, food and party rentals might be on the line, not to mention the host’s sanity. Unless you are Michelle Obama or the Duchess of Cambridge, you don’t need a social secretary to do this for you. It really is as easy as one-two-three: receive, note it, respond. I wasn’t at the Kennedy-Kerr nuptials last summer (I didn’t receive an invite) where Taylor Swift unknowingly crashed the affair with her then-boyfriend, a Kennedy cousin. But unexpected guests are as welcome as ants and food poisoning. Special occasions, like wedding receptions and Bar Mitzvahs, aren’t come one, come all parties. Just because you are in between relationships

ear’s New Y ns tio Resolu

RIDE YOUR

BIKE

eight e Lose W ime Outsid T d n FULLFILL ALL YOUR Spe Less RESOLUTIONS Drive oney THIS YEAR! Save M ut O ent Work e Environm h Save t my Friends s s Impre

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

doesn’t mean you should bring your office mate because you don’t want to attend by yourself. Don’t ask if you can invite other people either. Invites that say “and guest” mean a boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or spouse, or “significant” other — not a warm body to fill an empty chair. If you are sending invitations, give guests plenty of notice. Social calendars, in high season (yes, even in Bakersfield) fill up quickly. Putting yours in the mail the week before is a waste of postage. “That” guest: Jim Beam, Jose Cuervo and Johnny Walker are popular guests at many events. They aren’t high-maintenance and don’t take up much room. But they can turn celebrations into nightmares. Remember the movie “The Wedding Singer?” Don’t give a speech of any kind if you’ve consumed the entire contents of your hotel room mini bar. It isn’t likely to be wellreceived, or worse yet, can cause irreparable damage. If you’re having any second thoughts about an action’s propriety, don’t do it! Party favors: A lot of planning and expense goes into special celebrations. Just because you’re included doesn’t give you entitlement to centerpieces, or the extra party favors lying around. Leave them. And always reciprocate. What goes around should come around. If you are always a taker and never a giver, your party days will end soon. Gift giving: The absolute best gift you can give a host or hostess is your punctuality. Seriously, be on time. As for giving something you can wrap — if you go, you give, period. Don’t show up empty-handed. These days, registries aren’t just for brides and grooms. Many stores offer “wish lists” for customers. Save yourself the hassle and buy from the registry, unless you are gifting a family heirloom. “Thank you” notes: When the festivities are over, don’t neglect a “thank you” note. Not a text. Not an email. A good, oldfashioned handwritten note with a few sentences acknowledging the gesture and the gift. It takes less time to write and address the note, add a stamp and mail it than it does to download songs onto your iPod. Sure, a lot of people don’t do this time-honored tradition. Be the exception, especially if you are raising children. They won’t grow into gracious adults if you don’t bother to teach them by example. — Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to me at itmannersalot@bakersfield.com or visit itmannersalot.blogspot.com

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Kelly Damian

Bat mitzvah a reminder to appreciate teenage years It would be nice if children emerged from the woolly nest of childhood and leaped gracefully into the adult world, but such is not the nature of life. During several years of teaching junior high, I spent hundreds of hours with hundreds of teenagers. If you didn't know it already, I can assure you that adolescence is messy and aggravating. One day a teenager can floor you with her compassion and insight, the next she can astound you with a total lack of common sense. My own girls are still young, but our good friend’s daughter, Mabel, recently became a teen. My husband and I have known Mabel since she was a toddler. She used to sit on my lap and we would sing songs about frogs. My husband, ever the instigator, would pay her a dollar every time she said something funny at her father’s expense. Now, at 13, she has a quick wit and is a sharp observer of the world. We were delighted to receive an invitation to her bat mitzvah celebration earlier this year. When she was in kindergarten, Mabel started Hebrew school. For those first few years, the classes focused mostly on Jewish culture and history. In the third grade she started learning Hebrew, which she found to be incredibly difficult, but she kept at it. After years of classes, she met with her tutor and received a binder full of work to prepare for the bat mitzvah ceremony. She was surprised by the workload, and there were some days she didn’t want to do extra studying on top of her regular schoolwork. But whether she was ready or not, the day was com-

ing when family and friends would fly into town, and she would stand in front of a synagogue full of people to read and sing in Hebrew, lead the prayers and give a speech on the meaning of the selection from the Haftorah. The day of the ceremony, Mabel woke up at 5 a.m., and rattled with nerves, kept re-reading and reviewing material she had mastered weeks earlier. The ceremony, of course, went off without a hitch. Her favorite part was when her parents came to the front of the synagogue to give her a blessing. They each gave a short speech about what made Mabel special, and why they loved her so much. In the throes of adolescence, when so much of family life can become about struggle, conflict and rebellion, it is unique to have a moment where parents stand up and publicly proclaim, “You are my child, you are precious to me, and I love you.” When we talked about it later, Mabel described the day as “the best day ever.” “Getting up there, I was so nervous, but it showed me that if you work really hard, the pay-off will be good,” she said. “I think it’s given me more initiative to work really hard.” I am not Jewish, so my girls will not celebrate a bat mitzvah. But I think there are lessons in this ceremony for all of us, no matter our faith. The teen years have the potential to be more than a messy metamorphosis accentuated by incomprehensible fashion choices. It is a time in life when young people can benefit from difficult challenges. They can benefit, too, from a reminder that they are a stitch in the fabric of a community. It is a time when they need to be listened to. And, probably most importantly, it is a good time for us adults to announce to the world that we love them in all their imperfect, partially formed glory. — To read more, visit kellydamian.com or follow Kelly on Twitter @kellydamian2.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

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Food Dudes

Singha Thai New group of Food Dudes start the year with Asian cuisine Photos by Greg Nichols

F

or our first night out as the 2013 Bakersfield Life Food Dudes, we took a trip around the world. Alright, so it was more like right around the block, but it was to taste the Asian offerings at Singha Thai. On the particular evening we visited Singha Thai, it celebrated its ninth anniversary, which made our visit special. This restaurant takes its namesake from the Thai word for “lion,” a symbol of majesty and power in Asian culture. The restaurant was founded by Saifon and Komol Piyapattarakul in 2003, when Komol decided to share his love of Thai food with Bakersfield after emigrating to the United States. All of us Dudes knew just enough about Thai food, but we were not quite sure what to expect. However, after the time we shared, the Food Dudes encourage everyone to think outside the burger, or bento box, and give Thai a try.

Appetizers Vin: When we arrived, our waitress recommended that we start by trying the Thai tea with boba, so we ordered a round of these surprising selections. For those unfamiliar with this drink, it is a specialty drink made of black tea sweetened with condensed milk and coconut milk. Do not let the milky orange color turn you off; the drink itself is refreshing and creamy, and the tapioca pearls (or boba) provide the right amount of chewy texture. I was pleasantly surprised to find the tapioca pearls to be slightly sweet, which added to the sweetness of the drink. I’m not a proponent of orange-flavored drinks, and was a bit concerned, but the taste grew on me with every sip. Derek: Like many Asian cuisines, Thai food may be ordered family-style, so the five of us perused the menu and discussed the dishes we wanted to share. Some of these selections were

34

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

Sweet and sour seafood soup


Ms. Ngamnij Sirinantanakul, manager, far left, and the new Food Dudes at Singha Thai, from left, David Leon, Derek Abbott, Rick Hudgens, Vin Dang and Rick Kreiser.

accommodations of the owners (their choices); others were our personal ones. Rick H.: Next, the Dudes and I were presented with a beautiful, pristine pot of sweet and sour seafood soup over scorching flames. I’m typically not an avid fan of sweet and sour soup, but this concoction was quite pleasing. The broth, a semi-rich, semi-spicy coconut-flavored blend of bay leaves, basil, green and red peppers, ginger and bamboo, went down easily and was perfectly accented with the Location: variety of seafood to pre5432 California Ave. vent the sour from being Phone: 631-2631 too sour. The shrimp, Hours: Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 squid, crab claws and scalp.m. Monday through Saturday; Dinner from 5 to 9 lops were boiled at a temp.m. Monday through Satperature that made them urday; closed Sundays. tender, yet a bit chewy, and succulent. The total mixture of the seafood, herbs Video and spices, and vegetables Hungry for more, or want to know a little more about proved to be quite comthese Food Dudes? Check forting and left me yearnout the video of the Food ing for more. And, yes, Dude’s visit to Singha Thai there was plenty more to on bakersfieldlife.com. come. The appetizer combo — a mouth-watering platter of vegetable egg rolls, fried won tons with cream cheese, tempura shrimp and vegetables (broccoli and carrots), and chicken satay was next to sample. I will admit, I am a finicky egg roll consumer, yet these rolls had the ideal blend of cabbage and carrots and were lightly fried, which is always a plus. Dipping the egg rolls into the sweet peanut sauce created the ideal mix of sweet and salty.

Singha Thai

The tempura shrimp and vegetables, lightly breaded, were nicely prepared. The shrimp was sweet and juicy, and the vegetables had just enough crunch. Vin sampled the satay chicken skewers, two pieces of tender white meat strips grilled on skewers, paired with sweet peanut sauce. The chicken was moist and flavorful. Always a good choice to start the meal with a little protein in preparation for carbloaded noodles and rice dishes typically found in Thai cuisine. Finally, several of the Dudes indulged in the deep fried, crispy wonton skins filled with just enough cream cheese to make it the perfect combination of crunchy and soft. After stuffing ourselves with the tea, soup and appetizers, it was time to dive into the entrees.

Entrees Derek: When we ordered the pineapple cashew fried rice, the waitress said it was one of their most popular dishes, and it all makes sense now. Singha does fried rice right and, in this case, they mixed in sautéed cashews (nuts are a common ingredient in Thai), carmelized onions, succulent grilled pineapple chunks and chopped fried egg. When the chefs

Continued on page 36

Spicy noodles with tofu bakersfieldlife.com

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the language barrier was more pronounced. I could always remember one dish: pad thai, Thailand’s national dish. The pad thai served at Singha Thai matched up with the best I have tasted — the noodles were fresh and the chicken was perfectly cooked.

Assorted appetizers

Continued from page 35 mix all of this with a base of fried rice, it comes together in a dish that can only be described as comforting. Feeling just right on the palate, and delectable as it makes its way home to your stomach. David: I spent the summer after my bar exam backpacking throughout Thailand. When I was in a restaurant,

Vin: Spicy drunken noodle. No one knows why it is called drunken noodle, since there isn’t a drop of alcohol in this dish, so please feel free to share with your underage dining companions. However, it is a versatile stir-fry noodle dish of which you can choose your own combination of ingredients — chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu. In this case, the owner surprised us with bean curd (vegetarian). The dish is full of broad noodles in a spicy sauce treatment, tons of veggies, and all in all tremendously delicious. The noodles were soft but did not stick together. The bean curds had a nice bite to them, paired nicely with the softness of the noodles. The dish was just spicy enough to give it good flavor, yet not too spicy that you could not feel your taste buds. For real spicy-lovers, ask for Sriracha hot sauce and add it to your dish to kick it up a notch.

Meet the 2013 Food Dudes Derek Abbott is originally from Salinas. He followed his wife, Heather, back to Bakersfield after they met at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where they graduated in 2004. Derek worked on several community planning and conservation efforts for Tejon Ranch Co. before serving as director of Land & Resource Planning. In 2010, he completed his master’s degree in business administration at Cal State Bakersfield. Derek has always enjoyed the outdoors, and recently, he has been working on his golf game. In November 2012, Derek and Heather welcomed their first child, Nolan, and he’s been keeping them busy since. Rick Hudgens is a high school English teacher, as well as a Bakersfield Jam play-byplay broadcaster, and a musician. This food lover was born in Orange County but was raised in Kern County by a Japanese mother from Okinawa, and a Caucasian father from Missouri. At an early age, he was filled with sticky steamed rice, a variety of delicious vegetables, a bevy of seafoods and an overwhelming amount of steak. One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating. In the past few years, he and his wife, Karla, have discovered that Kern County has a plethora of unique tastes to offer. Without question, his favorite delicacies include seafood, Japanese, Chinese and Italian cuisine. He’s happily married, and together

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

Rick and Karla have one beautiful daughter, Kendell, who’s in seventh grade. Rick Kreiser was born and raised in Bakersfield. He’s been involved in the family business — Carney’s Business Technology — for the past 35 years. Rick and his late father-in-law, Bob Carney, started it in a spare bedroom in his home on the east side, and now Rick is honored to have both of his sons, Chris and Jeff, as partners in the business. His daughter, Katie, is an architect with Milazzo and Associates. Bakersfield is a great place to raise a family and forge deep friendships, and Rick said he’s been fortunate enough to do both. David Leon came to Bakersfield after graduating from UCLA Law School in 1994, and opened his family law practice in 2000. David has been married to his best friend and partner in life, Suzanne, for seven years. They love to travel and have enjoyed eating their way through Mexico, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Cambodia and Spain. They recently embarked on their best adventure — parenthood! David and Suzanne has an 8-month-old son, David Miles, who has filled their lives with joy. Vin Dang is an optometrist by trade, and a not-so-secret foodie at heart. Born to Chinese parents living in Paris, France, Vin grew up appreciating the refined tastes of classic

January 2013

French cuisine and savoring the comfort flavors of homemade Chinese meals. Since moving to the United States at age 16, he spent years studying to become an optometrist and eating his way through Southern California as a result. He settled in Bakersfield five years ago, Vin and his wife spend their free time traveling to new cities (and new countries) and are always on the lookout for good local spots to eat.

The original Food Dudes

2012 Food Dudes


Desserts Rick K.: For the record, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a 60-year old Thai virgin. OK, not that kind, but to the best of my knowledge, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never eaten Thai food. So, I was looking forward to a new experience â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sort of. I figured that it was more than just an urban legend that Thai could bring a new definition to â&#x20AC;&#x153;spicy.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not exactly my cup of tea. I was pleasantly surprised that Nit (the ownersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mother) steered me to their milder offerings. The family-style presentation of our entrees certainly left us satisfied, but, really, how could we leave without sampling the dessert offerings? Answer: We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t! My fellow Dudes and I made short work of the refreshing (and rich) homemade coconut ice-cream served with freshly sliced papaya. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not a big banana fan, but when those puppies are served deep-fried, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll certainly make an exception. And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad I did! David: After the cameras were gone, I stuffed my face with the sticky rice and mango. I enjoyed the fried banana and homemade coconut ice cream, too, but I could not get enough of the sticky rice.

Conclusion Nit explained that Singha Thai does not do much advertising, but instead relies on â&#x20AC;&#x153;word of mouthâ&#x20AC;? for its success. For what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth, this is hands down the best Thai restaurant that I have enjoyed in Bakersfield, and well worth the visit.

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A sampling of desserts at Singha Thai including sliced papaya, sticky rice, fried banana and homemade coconut ice cream.

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Food & Wine

Chef Javier Jimenez

Pastry chef Heather Jimenez

Mountainside dining at

Compiled by Kevin McCloskey Photos courtesy of Eagle Mountain Casino

The River Steakhouse

n your next visit to Eagle Mountain Casino, which is just outside of Porterville, be sure to take a break from the blackjack tables and slot machines to unwind and feast at The River Steakhouse. Chef Javier Jimenez and pastry chef Heather Jimenez, who happen to be high school sweethearts, attended ITT Technical Instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Culinary Arts to pursue their mutual passion for food. Together, they joined the Eagle Mountain team in April 2010. This talented married couple took some time to share a couple of their

Eagle Mountain Casinoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chefs keep patrons coming back for more

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

O

favorite recipes with Bakersfield Life Magazine, and a little about themselves and their work. What first got you interested in the culinary arts? Javier Jimenez: Although I have a formal education in the culinary arts, it was my mother and father, both of whom were excellent chefs, who embedded my first interest in the culinary world. I grew up with both parents being professional chefs in many local restaurant kitchens. It was always a favorite pastime to help in the kitchen, and has now transpired into a career that I love, which gives me the ability to share many family recipes passed from generation to generation.


Heather Jimenez: Since I was about 10, I have always been in the kitchen. I loved helping my mother and grandmother bake, especially during the holidays. They taught me age-old recipes that are still some of my favorites to this day. Coming from a family of bakers, it was no real surprise that this is where I found my passion. How is cooking for a casino restaurant different than cooking in a restaurant? JJ: The pace is very different. At a normal restaurant, it’s about getting things done. Here, at The River Steakhouse, it’s about perfection, persistence and offering that succulent meal that provides more value than you can find anywhere else. HJ: For the buffet, we make delicious desserts en masse. We make home-style goodies that you would normally see out of your grandma’s kitchen. For the steakhouse, we serve more decadent desserts that guests savor. Everything is homemade, from the piecrusts, fruit filling, vanilla flavoring, to the whipped cream. We have definitely become known for having some of the best desserts. What is your favorite dish to prepare? JJ: I would have to say that the homemade marinara sauce with spaghetti squash would be my favorite dish to make. It is an old family favorite that has quickly become a favorite for many vegetarians here at The River Steakhouse. What are the restaurant’s most frequently ordered dishes? JJ: The stuffed mushrooms are an all-time favorite, likely from their consistent taste and good reputation. We hear all the time, “We were told we have to try your famous stuffed mushrooms.” The same goes for the steak-wrapped asparagus. For entrees, that would have to be our rib-eye. Again, the value for what you are getting is just incomparaThe River ble. A steak that size (18 Steakhouse at ounces), with that flavor, is Eagle Mountain very hard to find for the Casino price. Location: 681 S. Tule Road in Porterville Phone: 800-903-3353, ext. 1816 Website: eaglemtncasino.com Reservations recommended

HJ: Our most popular dessert in The River Steakhouse is our crème brulée. It is special due to the time we take to prepare it and, more importantly, for the fresh ingredients. As for the Forest Buffet, our cheesecake is an all-time favorite. We put a lot of time into making our cheesecakes, so they will be just right. Desserts are prepared for both restaurants fresh daily. What are the challenges in cooking for patrons of a casino, and what are the payoffs? JJ: Once they try the steakhouse, our guests often find their favorites on the menu, and come back for the same dish. Adding new items to the menu can be difficult. The payoff is that we get to see people more than once and get feedback on what they like or what they would like to see on the menu again. We really listen to our guests to ensure their experience is as positive and personal as possible.

Venison Medallions “A lot of our guests are outdoors people, meaning they like to hunt, fish and camp. Venison is a game meat without the “gamey taste.” It also became almost an introductory meat for those who have never tried game meat ... The meat is lean, tender and not a shock to the palate.” — Javier Jimenez Ingredients 1 whole venison leg filet, sliced into half-inch pieces Salt and pepper to taste 4 sticks of soft butter 3 shallots, chopped 3 green onions, chopped 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons white wine 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions In large bowl mix butter, shallots, onions, lemon juice, wine and Worcestershire sauce and blend until smooth. Season and grill medallions until desired temperature, and top with one teaspoon of butter mixture. For rare, grill two minutes on each side; for medium-rare, grill three minutes on each side; and for well-done, grill four to five minutes on each side.

Continued on page 40 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 39

Makes two cheesecakes

Crust 3 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup melted butter Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix everything together. Press the crumbs tightly into two 10-inch cheesecake pans. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cool.

Filling 48 ounces cream cheese (use at room temperature) 1-1/2 cups sugar 5 large eggs and 2 egg yolks (use at room temperature) 1 tablespoon vanilla 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions

Cheesecake “This cheesecake recipe is my favorite for a lot of reasons. It’s really a base recipe, consider it a blank canvas. What I mean by that is you can change the flavors to fit your guests’ tastes or seasons, or to whatever you have on hand. For example, if your guests are chocolate lovers, then add some chocolate and voilá — chocolate cheesecake. If you have fresh berries, add those in and, you guessed it — berry cheesecake. You are limited to only your imagination.” — Heather Jimenez

Mix all ingredients together with the whisk attachment of the mixer until the batter is smooth and creamy. Pour the batter in the cheesecake pans, which will have the graham cracker crust lined on the bottom. Cover bottom of cheesecake pan with large piece of foil, fold foil around edges of pan. Place cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan to create water bath. Pour boiling water into roasting pan and fill up pan until water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes to let top set. Drop oven temperature to 150 degrees and then cook for 60 minutes. Take them out and let them cool for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for four hours.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013


Entertainment

Start the countdown 10 places in Bakersfield to bring in the New Year

Safe Rides PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO

The Padre Hotel is offering four options for celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Ensure that you get home safely by choosing one of these options, or other cab companies, in Bakersfield: Yellow Cab Company: 325-5041 Electric Cab Company: 1-855-41E-TAXI (413-8294) Designated Driver, Inc.: 431-3854, Info@DDIofBako.com

By Allie Castro

The Padre Hotel All four venues within The Padre will be going all out for the night. The Belvedere will host a reservations-only fourcourse dinner for $100 per person or $125 with wine. For $50 presale or $80 at the door, the ground floor party allows guests to go from dancing to DJ Chuck One in Brimstone or dancing to DJ Mike in Prospect Lounge. For $125 presale or $175 at the door, the second floor VIP party will feature a jazz quartet at Prairie Fire, a DJ for the later hours, hors d’oeuvres, an elegant dessert bar and champagne. Both floors open at 8 p.m. — 1702 18th St., 427-4900, thepadrehotel.com; Reservations for The Belvedere can be made online or at the hostess stand.

Cafe Med Restaurant This Bakersfield restaurant staple will serve dishes, such 42

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

Gourmet food, live music and a dessert bar will be offered to party-goers at Cafe Med.

PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

T

hink your only options for celebrating New Year’s Eve in Bakersfield include a party at a friend’s house or staying at home to watch the ball drop? Think again. With so many options in the greater Bakersfield area to bring in the New Year, we’ve compiled a list of events, dinners and family-friendly options to help find you the night on the town that’s perfect for you. Just remember to buy tickets ahead of time or make reservations.

as tuna tartare, gourmet cheese trays, lobster alfredo and prime rib, and feature a dessert bar during two seating — from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The restaurant will also host dancing and live music provided by Jon Ranger and the Lonely Avenue Band, as well as Bunky Spurling. The first seating is open to all ages for $49.95 per person ($17.95 for kids 12 and under), and the second is a 12 and older event for $59.95 per person. Champagne and party favors will be provided during the second seating. — 4809 Stockdale Highway, 834-4433, cafemedrestaurant.com


Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace The Palace is known for hosting great parties and concerts, so for New Year’s Eve, it will go big with both. The evening will start with a plated dinner starting at 6 p.m. that will feature your choice of steak, stuffed chicken breast, prime rib or salmon. Mento Buru and the Crystal Palace house band Stampede will take turns on stage throughout the night, ensuring that as far as the music goes, there will be a little something for everyone. Tickets with dinner are $80 per person or $44 without dinner. The Palace will turn into a nightclub at 10 p.m., so guests under 21 must be accompanied by an adult. — 2800 Buck Owens Boulevard, 328-7560, buckowens.com

The Nile Nightclub One of the largest parties of the night kicks off at 8 p.m. with an intimate sit-down dinner for 200 people. For $25, guests are provided with dinner, champagne for the toast and a countdown topped off by a midnight balloon drop. And of course, after dinner, the nightclub will kick into full swing with lights, DJ Andy One and plenty of dancing. For those who already have dinner plans, the club will open its doors again at midnight at a reduced entry fee of $10. Presale tickets are available now. Make sure you dress to impress and leave the kids at home as this is a 21 and older event. — 1721 19th St., 323-8575, nilebarandnightclub.com

Rollerama For those who want to make the night a family affair, both Rollerama skate locations will be opening their doors to families looking to stay active. Fifteen dollars (plus a $3 skate rental fee) gets you in the door at 7:30 p.m. to skate and play games until the ball drops. The snack bar will be stocked, and plenty of prizes will be awarded during the games and races. The venues will also be handing out noise

Active families can ring in the New year at Rollerama.

PHOTO BY JENN IRELAND

PHOTO BY GREG NICHOLS

Celebrate at the Crystal Palace, with or without dinner.

makers to help ring in the New Year. For those whose nights are already booked, both locations will also be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a reduced fee of $6, which includes rental skates. — 1004 34th St., 327-7589; 7850 Brimhall Rd, 589-7555; rollerama.com

DoubleTree Hotel For those who want a more relaxed New Year’s Eve experience, check out DoubleTree’s blues concert featuring saxophonist Darren Goldestein. Goldstein will alternate with a deejay from Buckley Radio to keep the music going all night. For those looking for a party, Club Odyssey bar and nightclub will open its doors at 9 p.m. For a $15 cover fee, guests can dance the night away with DJ-spun tunes and will receive a goodie bag full of New Year’s Eve staples, like hats and noisemakers. For both events, come dressed to impress. — 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, 323-7111

SkyBar Lounge For $20, guests will be treated to a catered dinner while enjoying the musical stylings of the ultimate party band Jukebox at one of Bakersfield’s newest hotspots. Video DJs Mickey Rock and Quiz will take over after the band, matching the music to video feeds on the various televisions and projector screens in the club until the ball drops. The club will also be hosting drink specials throughout the night, or guest can call the club to reserve VIP bottle service throughout the evening. This is a 21-and-over event. — 4208 Rosedale Highway, 633-1116; For VIP service, call Marty at 496-5028

Eagle Mountain Casino If 2012 has brought you good fortune, head to Eagle Mountain to milk that lucky streak for all its worth. The casino will be doing hourly giveaways for Summit Club members (it’s free to join), with five people set to win $1,000 each hour from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. The casino will also

Continued on page 44 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 43

The Mark Restaurant The Mark’s chef has prepared a special five-course dinner (along with regular dinner menu options), and guests can choose from one of The Mark’s 120 wines or its champagne special for the perfect pairing. Funk and jazz band Frank Tremble will be on hand to keep the party going. Because of first-year liquor licensing terms, last call will be at 11:30 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to take a cab to your next destination to see the ball drop after a great meal. — 1623 19th St., 322-7665

Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar For this themed-dinner, the chefs will pick out their favorite dishes from the year’s menu and the perfect wine pairings to go with

Valentien co-owner Jennifer Sanderson has an all-star menu planned for New Year’s Eve.

them. This year’s highlights will include cinnamon beignets with gingerbread ice cream and fresh sturgeon with green apple guacamole. For those with dietary restrictions, a vegetarian menu will also be on hand, as well as a non-alcoholic beverage tasting with each course. The first seating will include four courses for $55 beginning at 6 p.m. The second seating will include six courses for $70 and will stay open until the New Year has begun. This event is open to all ages. — 3310 Truxtun Avenue, #160, 864-0397, valentienrestaurant.com

Woman’s Club of Bakersfield

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661-325-7889 Call for an appointment Hours: Mon- Fri 9am-2pm

www.bakersfieldwomansclub.com

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PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

feature a $15 prime buffet from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., which will feature prime rib and specialty side dishes and desserts. Summit Club members will also receive $15 credit on their club card to use on the slot machines. Eagle Mountain Casino is an 18-and-older venue. — 681 South Tule Reservation Road in Porterville, 559-788-6220, eaglemtncasino.com


Foodie

Brenda Wright Catering your needs for any affair

Brenda Wright is the president of Catering Affairs.

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Catering Affairs chef Jarrod Wright teaches Julie Cofield the finer points of cutting chicken.

By Hillary Haenes

Photos by Henry A. Barrios

B

renda Wright is always on the go. The president of Catering Affairs Inc., is busy running her business, which serves about 600 to 700 people per day Monday through Friday, and more than 2,000 people for weekend barbecues. While Wright, 57, turned the kitchen and staff over to her son Jarrod, she continues to handle the business end of things for the 35-year-old Catering Affairs Inc. Wright, who has owned the company since 1999, continues to help clients plan events. Catering Affairs Inc. will cater any special occasion from intimate dinner parties, to breakfast and lunch deliveries for office meetings, weddings, company picnics, rehearsal dinners, open houses and holiday parties. For your next event, call Catering Affairs Inc. at 326-4800 or go to cateringaffairsinc.com.

got set up, the rain stopped. We served dinner, and the rest of the reception was finished outdoors. Everything goes better with: Family. I always mess up: I always burn the garlic bread. I rock at making: Anything on the grill. One of my cooking secrets: Don’t be afraid. Cooking is such fun. Add seasoning little by little and taste frequently. How I find inspiration to create a new dish: Every year I attend a catering conference. There are approximately 5,000 caterers who attend from all over the world. I take classes and attend seminars. I always come home with new ideas. If I could spend a day with a famous chef or fellow foodie, it would be: Paula Deen because I can relate to her story. She worked hard to raise her kids while starting

Continued on page 48

Cooking advice When I developed an interest in cooking: I was 9 years old when my dad opened his restaurant. I’ve always been interested in food. My first catering gig was: A 300-guest wedding at a home along the Kern River. It went very well ... I knew you were wondering. My disastrous catering story: We had an outdoor wedding reception for more than 400 guests in October. It rained! Not just rain, it poured! The rentals were delivered the previous day and it rained on the tables all night. We couldn’t dry them, they were soaked through. The rental company had to pick up the tables and bring out dry ones. The chairs were also soaked. At the last minute, the father of the bride decided to move the furniture out of the house and move the dinner inside, but for 400 people? I sent two employees out to buy every E-Z Up they could find. We had tables on the front porch, under the gazebo, anywhere we could find a dry spot. The servers were walking through mud puddles trying to get moved and set up. As soon as we

At Catering Affairs, Miguel Serrano cuts grilled vegetables. bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 47 her business and now her boys work with her. And, she loves to laugh. Advice I would ask her: I’d like to know how she gets it all done. My business has grown and there are days when I struggle to get everything done.

Tools of the trade My favorite piece of cooking equipment: We use our Robot Coupe a lot. Must-have kitchen tools: My Santoku knife. You can cut, chop and peel anything. Go-to cookbooks: I have hundreds of cookbooks. “Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvres Handbook” is wellworn. Ingredients that I avoid: Dried herbs. We try to use fresh herbs when possible. I buy this in bulk: Everything! Dream kitchen appliance: A Fast Eddy’s Cookshack smoker.

A few of my favorite things

Freshly prepared ingredients are critical to Catering Affairs’ success.

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Favorite cuisine: Authentic Mexican food. Best food memory: Baking cookies with my kids when they were young. Best culinary destination: Las Vegas. Always in the fridge: Butter and an onion. Weirdest food I like: Pickled tongue (I don’t think it’s weird). I’m addicted to: Frank’s RedHot sauce. Comfort food: Soup of any kind. Dessert: Chocolate. Family recipe: My mom’s potato salad (with bacon). My splurge at the grocery store: Good cheese.


“Bakersfield gas prices highest in state” As reported in the December 10, 2012 edition of the Bakersfield Californian.

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On the Road

The right combination Ford C-Max Hybrid reduces carbon footprint while offering other cool features

From left to right: Natalie Page Horvat, Olivia Garcia and Evie Elizalde take a jog past the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid.

By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Mark Nessia

I

f there was one car that would please a number of my running friends, it would be the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. It’s smart, compact, economical and environmentally friendly. It’s similar to the sport of running. Running fairly economical, and doesn’t cost much — you just need a good pair of shoes. No high-end equipment needed (unless you’re a gadget nerd like me). Local runners care about the environment, and have rescued a stray cat or two along the way (that’s another story about one of my runner friends for another day). Plus, I’d like to think that all my runner friends are efficient and smart. I test-drove the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid recently and sported it at the annual Mr. Toad’s Wild Run at Hart Park in early December. I enlisted a few of my runners, Evie Elizalde and Natalie Page Horvat, to get in some shots with me during a warm-up of the 20K trail run. Yes, runners run or jog to warm up for a race. Go figure. I really enjoyed test-driving the Ford C-Max Hybrid. And for the record, the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is not just for runners. If you are interested in being on the progressive cutting edge, saving gas, and discovering new auto technology, then 50

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this car is worth checking out. The C-Max Hybrid is small enough to fit anywhere, and it’s great on gas. You get a combined 47 mpg for city and highway. Raul Medina of the Jim Burke Ford explained to me that the C-Max Hybrid comes with an EcoBoost System that allows up to 20 percent fuel economy improvement and engine performance. Now I should add that the hybrid is probably the perfect pick for many drivers who are not totally into going 100 percent electric, but are also tired of gas-only cars. This hybrid comes with a rechargeable battery. Every time you brake, it regenerates the battery — just don’t go brake happy as I sometimes do. But keep in mind that you can drive up to 62 miles per hour using the electric power alone before it dips into the gas. That’s a lot of ground to cover without needing gas to haul you through. My husband was impressed to learn about that, because with our kids’ schedules, we are always on the go. And while the car is small in size, it does not neglect safety. The C-Max Hybrid is equipped with the Ford SYNC system that offers 911 Assist. This allows motorists to place an emergency call by using a synced phone.


It’s all in the details

SmartGauge with EcoGuide LCD Instrument Cluster lets you tailor information to your needs.

Five best features about the Ford C-Max Hybrid

The SYNC system also monitors the operating condition of your car, reads text messages out loud, and has other voice-activated bells and whistles. This car also comes with an electronic stability control system that is vital in adverse driving situations, or during evasive maneuvers on slippery pavement, said Augie Reyes of Jim Burke Ford. And you also get curve control at its best. There are also a few fun features, Medina and Reyes explained. The parallel parking will parallel park for you. And MyKey for families is a program that allows owners to program a “key limit” for certain car functions to promote safe driving habits. However, Medina also pointed out to the MyFord Touch technology system, which can control the entertainment, climate and other car controls making it much easier on the driver. In fact, you can use the voice-activated SYNC program to adjust your temperature, change your station, and answer that important call so that you can focus on your driving. Now that’s smart.

• Hands-free power liftgate: Open or close the power liftgate with only a kick of a foot within the range of the rear bumper’s sensors, and the verification of the vehicle key fob. • Engine start-up: Engine starts automatically as you accelerate, sometimes immediately, and at other times the engine will delay starting up until reaching 62 mph. • SmartGauge with EcoGuide LCD Instrument Cluster: Feature a dual-screen LCD design that allows customers to tailor C-Max Hybrid information to their needs. • Panoramic fixed glass roof: Brightens the interior and gives front and rear-seat passengers their own personal skylight. • Safety: Seven standard airbags include two dual-stage front airbags, two front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag, and two side-curtain airbags.

Mileage — Price Tag 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway. The Ford C-Max Hybrid SE starts at $25,995.

What makes the Ford C-Max Hybrid stand out from others? It’s the one size really fits all. The long flowing headlights establish an athletic look, and the sculpted power dome hood kicks up at the rear edges, adding a touch of sportiness.

Target customer Designed for customers who want hybrid efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint, C-Max is a testament to the new Ford vehicle stan-

MyFord Touch technology makes controlling certain functions very easy. dard — styling, craftsmanship, fuel efficiency and smart technology.

Three words that define the Ford C-Max Hybrid Quality, green and smart.

What do you like the most about the Ford C-Max Hybrid? 12.5 gallon fuel tank at 47 mpg. Lithium-ion battery — lighter and smaller, while more efficient than nickel-cobalt aluminum. Split folddown rear seats — we all like more room! Available park assist — for those tough parallel parking spots, it does it for you. Efficiency leaves. SYNC with My Ford touch navigation and simple voice-commands. Source: Augie Reyes, new vehicle sales and leasing, Jim Burke Ford downtown Bakersfield, areyes@burkeauto.com or 328-3600.

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On the Road

Classy crossover 2013 Buick Enclave offers luxurious, roomy ride for families, friends

By Jorge Barrientos

Photos by Michael Lopez

I

f I had a large family or went snowboarding or camping every weekend and still wanted to roll in style while I cruised around, the 2013 Buick Enclave would likely be the perfect car. The luxurious Enclave can seat up to eight people comfortably using a third row, has more than enough cargo space, a classy looking interior, and rides smooth as silk. I didn’t know midsize crossover SUVs could be this upscale. I guess it’s no wonder U.S. News Rankings & Reviews ranked this particular vehicle No. 1 out of 23 “affordable midsize SUVs” based on analysis of 66 published reviews, reliability and safety data, and test drives. This year, the 2013 Enclave is showcasing its new body style, along with loads of other new features, while still keeping true to what has made Buick a trustworthy brand for decades. The trademark grill and portholes on the hood are sure to bring some nostalgia. When it comes down to it, the Enclave is a familyfocused vehicle. Motor City Buick-GMC product specialist Ralph Rubio stressed the safety features to keep families 52

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safe. But what’s also worth noting is the technology it comes packed with that makes it suitable for other target audiences. “It’s sporty,” Rubio said. “It’s more aggressive and can be a great car for the younger person, too.” In fact, my buddy Alex Balfour commented on just that. “I always thought Buick was for grandma and grandpa,” Balfour said. “But this is a really cool and modern car.” Some of those features include: • Buick IntelliLink touchscreen system that syncs to your phone via Bluetooth or USB, gives you directions and traffic alerts, offers SiriusXM satellite radio (free for three months), is OnStar ready (free for six months), helps you reverse with a rearview camera, and hears your voice commands. • LED headlights that move with your every turn, UV tinted windows, and sensors along the exterior of the car that warn you of blind-spot traffic. • Bose stereo system, heated and cooling seats, and a power tailgate for easy loading and unloading. Probably the coolest feature is the engine start button on the keychain to start the Enclave while you’re outside of it.


All of the back seats fold down to create a flat, roomy space.

It’s all in the details

Bakersfield Life's Assistant Managing Editor chats on the phone next to the 2013 Buick Enclave in front of Uricchios while friends Alex Balfour, far right, and Jeff Heimberger rush him.

Think a thief can just hop in your car and ride away? Think again — you still need to unlock the vehicle and put the key in the ignition to drive away. It’s equipped with a 288 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a refined six-speed automatic transmission. That means it’s easy on the gas but still provides plenty of power. “It’s a good-sized SUV, but they want you to save gas,” Rubio said. And good-sized is perhaps an understatement. My outdoorsy buddy Jeff Heimberger wondered aloud how many mountain bikes he could fit inside the Enclave — all the back seats fold down to create a flat, roomy surface (115.2 cubic feet, in fact). “Crossover really defines this vehicle,” he said. “You can go from city life to the mountains.” Inside, the Enclave flaunts wood trimming, wonderful interior stiching, and an well-insulated cabin, which shields passengers from road and engine noises. Fully loaded, the Enclave runs about $48,000. Kelley Blue Book called the 2013 Buick Enclave “clean and graceful.” I can’t argue with that.

The Enclave’s interior is luxurious and packed with technology.

Mileage — Price Tag 19 fuel economy (17 city, 24 highway), $39,270 starting price.

What makes the 2013 Buick Enclave stand out from others? It is equipped with the industryfirst front center air bag.

Target customer Families who are looking to take up to eight of their family and friends to their destination surrounded in safety, technology and luxury.

Three words that define the Buick Enclave Luxurious, quiet, elegant.

What do you like the most about the Buick Enclave? I love the fact that the 2013 Buick Enclave has been further refined compared to the 2012 model that it replaces. With the 2013 Enclave, you get a luxurious, quiet and technologically-advanced crossover utility vehicle for thousands less than comparable vehicles in its class, or even beyond its competitive set. It is unpretentious luxury that puts luxury on our customer’s terms. Source: Richard del Rosario, sales manager-Internet sales director, Motor City Auto Center

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Hometown Hero

Jose Ramirez U.S. Air Force Compiled by Jeneal Wood Age: 31 Former assignment: 452nd Civil Engineering Unit, March Air Reserve Base California (as a technician). I have been in the Air Force for: From 2004 to 2007, I was active duty at Dover Air Force Base Delaware Air Mobility Command, 436th Civil Engineering Unit. Why I joined: For the opportunity to give back to my country and serve in the armed forces. Why I continue to serve: I love to represent something that is more important then myself. It is my obligation as an American to serve and protect my country and the constitution of the United States. Valuable advice I learned from being in the Air Force: I learned the importance of teamwork and service before self. I have been deployed to: Conduct several training exercises in remote locations away from friends and family to resume my mission of service to my county. What I miss most about Bakersfield when I am deployed: I miss my friends and family. My best military accomplishment is: I worked at the Dover Port Mortuary as a maintenance technician, where fallen heroes gave the ultimate sacrifice serving their country were brought home with honor dignity and respect. Something I would like to accomplish this year is: I wish to accomplish the rank of staff sergeant. If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: Air Force military police or a schoolteacher. I love kids. My favorite memory of the Air Force so far is: Working side-by-side with “Team Dover” and accomplishing the missions to defend our country.

PHOTO BY BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

My favorite thing to do while I am home is: Spend time with my wife Diana and son Isaiah. And snowboard with friends during the winter seasons. After my time in the Air Force, I would like to: Retire a full 20 years of service in the Air Force.

— Know a Kern County resident who has served, or is currently serving honorably in the military? Email us at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the message subject line: Hometown Hero. Please include an email, phone number and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.

bakersfieldlife.com

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All-Star Athlete

Britton Williams By Stephen Lynch

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Liberty High graduate Britton Williams is a freshmen guard this year for CSUB.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

W

hen Britton Williams decided earlier this year to stay home and play basketball at Cal State Bakersfield as a walk-on, all he wanted was an opportunity to play and prove himself at the NCAA Division I level. Already, the former Liberty High School standout point guard has done both. Thrust into the limelight at a quickened pace due to a season-ending knee injury to starting point Zach Lamb, Williams — a true freshman — has shown to be more than a capable replacement. Through the first seven games of the season, Williams was leading CSUB in assists per game (3.8) while playing the sixth most minutes per game (18.5) on the team. The 5-foot-10 lightning-fast Williams has had little trouble adjusting to playing big-time college basketball. “It’s actually not as difficult as I thought it would be,” Williams said. “There are some taller guys, definitely, but I have the advantage of using my speed and quickness against them... The pace of the game is a lot faster. But I can handle it. I don’t know if I was expecting to get this role so fast. But I just got to make the most of it.” Williams, after a stellar four-year varsity prep career, had his choice of several colleges but chose CSUB because he thought it was the best fit for him. Considering his walk-on status and lack of college playing experience, Williams was hoping, but not Britton Williams necessarily expecting, to play so Born Aug. 17, 1994 in Bakersfield. much, so soon. Parents are Heyward and Leslie Not that Williams hasn’t been Williams, and older brother is Bryson preparing for his big chance most of Williams. his life. Wanting to emulate his big Graduated from Liberty High School brother Bryson Williams, who is six Played varsity basketball all four years his senior, Britton began playyears of high school. ing basketball as a four year old. Honor roll student throughout his Eventually, Williams began playentire time in high school. ing YMCA and club basketball. All of Selected All-League, All-Area, and the time he spent on the court playteam MVP following his junior and ing club basketball and against his senior seasons. brother — who eventually went on Led the entire Central Section in to play at Stockdale High School and assists per game (7.6) and steals per game (6) as a junior. then College of the Canyons in Business major, and he hopes to Valencia — paid dividends when become a sports agent. Britton reached high school. After making the varsity team at Stockdale as a freshman, Britton transferred to Liberty High School where he made an immediate impact, leading the Patriots to a Central Section championship.

Following his junior and senior seasons, he was a Bakersfield Californian First Team All-Area selection. Williams’ tremendous driving and passing skills aren’t his only positive basketball attributes. He’s a solid threepoint shooter. He plays tough, hard-nosed, in-your-face defense. And perhaps most importantly, for his job as a point guard, he’s also a strong leader. “I try to connect with each player differently, like how they are as a person,” Williams said. “And that helps you communicate when you’re out on the court. You can’t approach everyone in the same way... I get how people work, and I’m able to really get through to them and figure out how to get them to play harder.” Now that he’s getting a chance to play a substantial number of minutes each game, Williams hopes he can make an impact on the rest of the Runners’ season. His goals include finishing the year with a 5-1 assist-toturnover ratio, and helping the Runners be successful as a team. “We have a lot of talented players, so I just really want to set them up and get them going,” Williams said. “Hopefully we can get on a win streak and get back to the post season.”


Talk of the Town

Kern County’s new Animal Control Director Jen Woodard is focused on saving, rescuing animals while attacking pet population problems

By Brian N. Willhite

N

ew Kern County Animal Control Director Jen Woodard has some big plans for the challenged county shelter, which she hopes will become a more animal-friendly environment for the county and the community. The lifelong animal advocate is hoping to save and rescue more animals while transforming the current pet population problem. She hopes to do this, she said, by modernizing current facilities and instilling new programs with a no-kill emphasis, as well as encouraging the community to support their local shelter. Woodard comes to Bakersfield from the Los Angeles area where she played an intricate role in instituting programming that saved the lives of hundreds of animals throughout the many shelters in the metro system. Recently she helped open the Best Friends Animal Society Pet Adoption Center, where she held a senior management position and oversaw the shelter and clinic operations before accepting the director position in Bakersfield. She spoke with Bakersfield Life about her new job.

PHOTO BY BRIAN N. WILLHITE

How has the transition been for you with the new staff members and county personnel? It’s been great to have the support [from the county] so I can focus on what the problems are with the shelter from an outsider’s perspective. I’m also big into data and trends so I felt like this couldn’t get any worse here, and that we’re only going to be winning from here. So, by adding staff and programming and excitement over the city-county collaboration, it’s created this perfect storm of greatness for the animals. I thought, ‘I want to be part of that,’ and I came into a staff that wanted so much to change and wanted to save lives. The first thing they said to me was, ‘We want to adopt out healthy animals.’ I knew the passion was there for the staff.

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How can communities support their local animal shelters and encourage more pet adoptions? The No. 1 thing people can do is spay and neuter their animals. Vaccinating is also important, not just for rabies and licensing, but for DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus). What we see is hundreds of puppies coming in per year bringing in the Parvo virus, which is fatal for puppies. We also need volunteers, we need fosters, and we need people to spread the word and share our information. We’re also going to be rebranding ourselves as an adoption center, too. Right now the adoption center is around the corner in the back. We’re going to move it to the front so that the first thing people come into is a place of life and a place where you can adopt. In this county, only about 20 percent of animals that are owned are adopted or rescued. So we want to get the word out that adopting is good for many reasons: you’re saving a life, getting an animal that is already vetted and taken


care of, and you’re contributing back to your community.

What’s the best thing about seeing an animal get adopted? It’s still amazing to me. I’ve probably seen thousands of animals go to new homes, and I still get a kick out of it. And even though we might have seen hundreds adopted in the last month, for that person it’s something special. Once the adoption does happen, it’s a happy moment and a little tense because you worry if they’re going to bring it back. But then you see the happy-tail pictures afterward, or they call

PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

How can Bakersfield incorporate the “no kill” philosophy into its programming and achieve those goals? We are going to be picking from many programs like the TNR (trap neuter and release) program, where feral cats are typically euthanized but now will be given the opportunity to be trapped, neutered and released back into the community because there’s nothing to do with them. They’re wild, and killing them isn’t solving a problem. There are also a number of other types of programs featuring pit bulls and chihuahuas, which in Southern and Central California are a huge issue. So we’re looking into some way where we can offer some services to pit bull and chihuahua owners regardless of income. As long as people want the services, it’s our job to figure out how we can get their animals spayed, neutered and vaccinated.

Jen Woodard walks through the shelter during a recent tour of the facility.

you up ... I think all of us take it personally. You feel good because you know you were part of that animal being at that agency and getting out alive. It’s an amazing experience.

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For a Cause

Davie-Anna Carmona shows Catherine Anspach with Make-A-Wish Foundation a picture as Davie-Anna prepares for a trip to Disneyland. Make-A-Wish Foundation has sponsored the trip for Davie-Anna, who has finished treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central California By Jeneal Wood

T

Henry A. Barrios

hree-year-old Davie-Anna Carmona wished to go to Disneyland. So when Make-A-Wish Foundation came to take her in early December, she was “terribly excited to go,” grandmother Maria Carmona said. “They had an entire agenda set up for us and even had given options of princesses to dress up as,” she said. Davie-Anna’s wish was one of more than 1,400 wishes granted by Make-A-Wish of Central California, serv-

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ing Kern County, among other counties, since 1986. The foundation took Carmona and her grandparents, Maria and Martin, to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, where they spent four nights at Disneyland Resort. For Davie-Anna, who is recovering from leukemia, the wish meant a lot. Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening diseases. It was founded in 1980 when the first wish was granted to a boy who wished to be a police officer. Since then, the foundation has granted more than 198,012 wishes. For a child to be eligible to make a wish, he or she must be older than two-and-a-half years old and under 18. A physician, parent or guardian, or the child may send in a referral. A doctor on the board of the foundation confirms that the illness is life threatening, and once that is determined, it moves to the next process, said Catherine Anspach, Kern County community director for Make-A-Wish of Central California. Four different types of wishes can be granted: a wish to go somewhere; a wish to be someone or something, such as a police officer; a wish to meet someone, typically a celebrity; and a wish to have something, like a shopping spree. The average wish costs is about $6,000. “When you raise the money here, you can see where


this money is going,” Anspach said. “A wish gives so much more than money can buy.” The foundation will accommodate every need to make each wish come true. If a family needs luggage to pack for their trip, Make-A-Wish will help and even drive a family to get passports if that is what they need. Anspach said they are always looking for ways to enhance the wish. One child wanted to ride in a Ferrari, but what he got instead was an entire car show just for him. It featured a Ferrari and 19 other sports cars. To raise money in the community, the foundation hosts local fundraisers throughout the year. Some are big; some are small. Every year, a local Moose Lodge puts on a car show that benefits the Central California chapter. Macy’s department store hosts a “letter to Santa” campaign every year, and every letter written means a dollar donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Another local fundraiser, “Helmet of Hope,” was started by Ken Wiggens, whose grandson suffered from leukemia. Some families stay involved even after their child has received a wish, such as the Wiggens family. “It’s great when their families become a part of our family,” said Anspach. “They’re what makes this happen.” Getting to know the kids is Anspach’s favorite part of her job, she said. And people can volunteer to get to know the

Davie-Anna gives her grandfather Martin Carmona a big hug as they leave for a fiveday trip to Disneyland.

kids, too. The Central California chapter is always in need of volunteers to either help grant wishes or help with administration work as well. For more information on how to volunteer, call 559-2219474, or visit centralca.wish.org.

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Personality

Mary Rita Nommensen in her Riverlakes area home.

Sew amazing Seamstress Mary Rita Nommensen stitching brides’ fantasies into reality By Lisa Kimble

Photos by Jessica Frey

T

he only thing missing from Mary Rita Nommensen’s house is some pixie dust. Inside of her Riverlakes Ranch area home is a veritable bridal candy store. Willie Wonka meets Cinderella. This enchanted forest of Tulle, lace and baubles, is where, she says, the magic begins — as if wav62

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ing an imaginary wand over her dining room. A bride-to-be’s first visit leaves her and her entourage feeling like little girls again playing dress up, she said. “People come here and they don’t want to leave,” Nommensen said. “I like when girls come in, they have a vision and say they don’t know if it can be done. I say 90 percent of what they envision can be done. There pretty much isn’t anything I can’t do.”

‘Surgery without blood’ That kind of vow explains why her time and talent are in such demand. This past year, she worked with 60 brides, and has stitched probably hundreds of gowns and veils over the years. Some brides-to-be have driven in from as far away as San Diego and Arizona for the material girl’s magic


Spools of embroidery thread hang on the wall in Nommensen’s work shop.

touch. “I’m not the typical person who does alterations,” she said. “For bustles, I never use crocheted loops.” Instead, she opts for rhinestones and rattails. She color-codes the bustles on the gown or can make sections of the dress detachable, creating two looks for the price of one. “I tell them it is surgery without blood. I need to be able to take it apart,” Nommensen said. After deconstructing the garment, she redesigns it, and puts it back together with gussets, beading and rhinestones for a finished product. The garments insides and seams are flawless. “If it is not the perfect dress, I will make it for you,” Nommensen said. “By the time the dress leaves here, it is a totally different dress and doesn’t look anything like it did when it came in here.”

Learning to sew

Nommensen’s home is a veritable bridal candy store.

At 55, Nommensen considers herself a late bloomer. A native of Long Island, the petite spark plug brought her New York accent with her when she and her family moved to Bakersfield in 2001. One of five children, Nommensen grew up with a father who worked for the U.S. Postal Service and a mother who was a home-

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Veils monogrammed by Nommensen.

Continued from page 63 maker. She learned to sew in the fourth grade at her parochial school. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and later worked for big fashion labels like Elie Tahari and Maggy London. A self-described eclectic overachiever, she recalls trying to make her father a seersucker suit when she was young. It proved to be too ambitious a task at first. “But my dad told me to be patient, so I finished the suit; he wore it to church where he was an usher, even though one sleeve was longer than the other,” she said laughing. Her father learned to sew in the military and her mother made and sold rag dolls.

Tools of the trade Her dining room no longer includes a table and chairs. A China cabinet showcases bridal accessories like crowns and gloves. It is here, amid mannequins wearing sample gowns, that bridal gown fantasies become reality. Atop an antique credenza sits a spice rack with shakers filled with pearls, sequins and every adornment imaginable, and glass ice cream sundae dishes brim with bling. Monogrammed veils hang from a nearby rack. In an adjacent room, her workshop — the inner sanctum of the refinement process — are the tools of this fairy 64

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godmother’s trade: six sewing machines, a kaleidoscope of spools of embroidery threads hanging from the wall, and shelving stacked with drawers, meticulously organized, that encase buttons, trim and other enhancements. And this guardian angel of fabric is also cost-conscious. Mary Rita encourages brides on a budget to find a gown at a bridal discount store or on Craigslist. The cost for her ingenuity ranges from $250 to $600. Labor intensive, Nommensen knows it probably isn’t cost-effective, but said it truly is a labor of love for her. “It is a dying art; people don’t know how to sew,” she said. Her clients value their investment as a work of art. “She was such a pleasure to work with and so helpful,” said Karen Martinez, whose daughter wed in August. “Both Roxanne’s [her daughter] dress and mine needed to be taken down many sizes and they came out wonderful. She also added the pearl buttons down the back of [the gown] and added the bustles for the reception.” Nommensen also works her magic for rodeo princesses and church banners. But she reserves most of her time, and advice, for her brides-to-be, all of whom receive a sixpence for their shoe for their wedding day, along with a copy of the history of the time-honored bridal tradition. To learn more about Mary Rita Nommensen’s “Sew Elegant Bridal Veils & Alterations,” go to bakersfieldalterations.com.


Though she sews dresses for other occasions, most of Nommensenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work is for future brides.

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Celebrations

The big day Local photographers share their favorite wedding day photos

I

t’s a big day, when two people become one. And it’s the photographer’s job to capture each and every special moment from that day. For the “Celebrations” issue, five local photographers shared their best wedding day photos — when they caught that special moment.

Juli Feller, Juli Feller Photography Brandy and Bob were married at the Four Points Sheraton on Sept. 29, but this photo was taken at Cal State Bakersfield before the ceremony. This shot shows Brandy and Bob’s authentic connection with each other, the beautiful lighting and gorgeous surroundings. — julifellerphoto.com, juli@julifellerphoto.com, 703-7636

By Jessica Frey, Jessica Frey Photography These two Bakersfield natives got married in between military locations last February, and I simply adore them. I related to Mallory since I also married a U.S. Service Academy graduate right after graduation, so we were able to bond as I was able to give her some “military wife” advice. Their saber arch, a beautiful military tradition, was so fun to photograph, and I simply adore the joy that radiated as Mallory was welcomed into the Army via a swipe on the butt with a sword! — jessicafreyphotography.com, jessica@jessicafreyphotography.com, 679-7355 66

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Felix Adamo In true journalism style, the photographer never “sets up” a shot (other than portraits) and prefers to document the moments as they happen, such as bride Eliza Pearsey getting all the help she needs as she prepares for her trip down the aisle. — adamopictures.com

By Mark Nessia, Mark Nessia Photography This photo is my favorite because it perfectly captures the love these two have for one another. Justine and Brandon Coleman endured a lot of obstacles to get to this point of their big day — the bouquets were not right, the party busses that were supposed to take everyone to the ceremony location never showed up, and the ceremony was severely delayed because of it. Heck, it even rained during their engagement shoot earlier in the year! But none of that mattered once they were pronounced husband and wife. This shot, taken after the ceremony, was the first opportunity the newlyweds had to themselves. At this point, nothing else mattered. This was the beginning of a new life together, and nothing could take that away from them. — marknessia.com, marknessia@gmail.com, 331-2835

Continued on page 68

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Celebrations Continued from page 6 John Harte Ashely Eidmann and John David’s wedding day began at 7 a.m. At the end of their reception at Seven Oaks Country Club, Ashley and John found themselves with a few minutes alone for the first time in their whirlwind day that began 15 hours earlier. I watched as the wedding guests filed out onto the Seven Oaks exterior grounds to form a sparkler line to see them off. But I didn’t exit with the guests. I hung back and was able to capture the intimate moment of a groom and his bride alone at last, if for just a few minutes. I spent my career and was trained as a photojournalist. That’s my shooting style. I don’t set things up, I don’t take control of any aspect of the wedding. I simply observe and record in true documentary style. Nothing makes me happier than hearing a couple say, “How did you get those photos? We didn’t even know you were there!” I never take my eye or camera off my subject. — johnharte.com

Juli Feller, Juli Feller Photography Bill and Sharon were married Nov. 17, at the Bell Tower Club. This was my best wedding day shot because of the precious moment they are sharing — this was before the ceremony, after the “first look.” In addition, I love the beautiful back lighting.

This photo of Laura and Adam was taken on their wedding day March 10, in Shafter almond orchards near their wedding site. This shot reflects Laura and Adam’s relationship, which is free flowing, organic, joyful, playful. In addition, I love the lighting. — julifellerphoto.com, juli@julifellerphoto.com, 703-7636 68

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Felix Adamo Melissa Steinbeck and her bridesmaids pose for an informal portrait at her wedding at the Kern County Museum. It’s always good to shoot something in addition to the more traditional group portrait. — adamopictures.com

Continued on page 70

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Celebrations Continued from page 69 By Jessica Frey, Jessica Frey Photography This wedding on a farm in Carmel was one of my favorites because of the couple’s style, and details for their yellow and red wedding were so refreshing. The bride is a window display creator for Anthropologie, so I knew the cool yellow couch would be a great hit for her decor. This photo is a favorite because it captures the essence of a wedding, and how I capture it as a wedding photographer — natural and full of love! — jessicafreyphotography.com, jessica@jessicafreyphotography.com, 679-7355

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Celebrations

Something blue Ideas to help follow the tradition “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” So goes the traditional phrase for what a bride should carry or wear on her wedding day for good luck. But what should you choose for something blue? For inspiration, take a look at some of these “blue” items captured by local wedding photographers.

• Jessica Frey: jessicafreyphotography.com, Jessica@JessicaFreyPhotography.com, 661-679-7355 • Juli Feller: julifellerphoto.com, juli@julifellerphoto.com, 661-703-7636 • Crystal Scott Photography: blog.crystalscottphoto.com, 661-301-5779

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PHOTO BY CRYSTAL SCOTT

Photos provided by


Continued on page 74

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PHOTO BY JULI FELLER

PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY

PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY


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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY

PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY

PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY

Continued from page 173


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Celebrations

Dear Fairy Godmother Making your event day wishes come true Compiled by Colleen Bauer Dear Fairy Godmother: What is the difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator? — Angie Dear Angie: Just think if you were remodeling a house: The difference between hiring an electrician and a contractor is that an electrician is trained to do a very specific part of the job, while the contractor is there to oversee everything and make sure all of the pieces work together. When you book your ceremony/reception venue, the site may include what’s known as a venue coordinator. The venue coordinator’s primary function is to make sure everything goes smoothly there on site: with the room, staff, food, tables, etc. They are not there to take care of your needs or those of your wedding party. We often hear, “Oh, the venue coordinator will take care of everything.” Remember, they will not be there during the planning process of your wedding to orchestrate an off-site ceremony, to deal with a bridesmaid who feels faint, or to help with your train, shoes or veil. Venue coordinators are a great help at the venue, but they normally do not get involved in all of the pre-planning and the details of your wedding day. A wedding coordinator or day-of coordinator is a mediator, an orchestrator, a consultant, a sounding board, a friend and an organizer all rolled into one. Wedding coordinators plan and work out every aspect of your wedding. They create a detailed timeline for your wedding day, and manage and work with your vendors. They take care of everything you need to ensure your day will be perfect! Dear Fairy Godmother: Would you be able to offer any tips and ideas on how to stay within your budget while planning a wedding? — Michelle Dear Michelle: First, make sure your budget is detailed and realistic. Your wedding planner will have a budget outline that lists every expense item imaginable, or you can find one online. As you set the budget, my best advice is to prioritize things. “A” is for the items you can’t live without, “B” is for those that are important, “C” is for the items that can be negotiated. It will save you time and money if you are up front with your vendors about your budget for their particular service. Remember that this is your day, and be willing to let go of some of the traditions and expectations. For example, instead of champagne, invite your guests to toast with the drink they have in hand. If you really want to invest in the best videographer, skip the party favors. Sticking with what’s important to you will leave you forever say76

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January 2013

ing, “That was money well spent!” Dear Fairy Godmother: Is there any advice you can give to future brides that can help relieve some stress on their wedding day? — Josephine Dear Josephine: A wedding is likely the largest event you will plan in your entire life and the stress behind it can be unbearable. What should be a happy and exciting process, can turn into a nightmare. There are three key things to keep in mind: plan, pick and push. Start by purchasing a wedding organizer (found at any book store). This simple tool will help you develop a plan and stick to it for the coming months. Next, pick your vendors, church and venue, and book them early. Also, pick your bridal party carefully. Of the hundreds of weddings we’ve coordinated, we’ve found the ones where the bridal party is truly there for the bride are the most joyous. Finally, in your mind, push your wedding date up a month. Trust me; unexpected things will come up in the final weeks, so try to get the to-do list clear with 30 days to spare. Dear Fairy Godmother: A lot of my recently married friends are encouraging me to get a wedding coordinator. My mom and sister are really organized, and I know they’ll be helpful the day of my wedding, so I’m not sure I really need a coordinator. What can a wedding coordinator do that my friends and family can’t? — Lisa Dear Lisa: The day of your wedding, you probably want your sister, mom or friend to enjoy the event, not have to work at it! It is not fun acting as the “wedding coordinator” while everyone else is visiting, dining and soaking in the day. I don’t think your sister wants to schlep things around the venue; your mom probably doesn’t want to oversee setup and call vendors; and your friends would probably rather not deal with the inevitable emergencies. By hiring a wedding coordinator, you will have access to an expert who can assist you with every detail of your wedding, and keep your day moving without a hiccup. This person will be an experienced adviser who has vendor connections, will know all of the hot spots to get married, and who can be a coach, a friend and an objective mediator at critical times. Dear Fairy Godmother: How do I pick the perfect vendors? There are so many! — Becky Dear Becky: You are so right. The services offered in the wedding world are extensive, and they can be overwhelming. First, prepare a list of questions to ask each vendor when you meet with them. Do your homework. Check their website, their Facebook page and references. Referrals


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are a great way to pick your vendors, and will refer other vendors with a good reputation. Ask other newly married brides for recommendations. Make sure you are offered a contract (and read it well), as it will protect you. Choose services in the order of priority. If amazing photographs are very important to you, research and book the photographer first. If you have your heart set on a unique venue, make that appointment right away. Your Colleen Bauer wedding planner/coordinator has had exposure to hundreds of vendors in action and they will also have a list of their most trusted sources. — Colleen Bauer is the creator and primary wedding planner for this enchanted business. A “thank you” to the brides who sent in questions. For those with more questions, feel free to contact Fairy Godmother at abridesfairygodmother.com, colleen@fairygodmotherco.com; or 808-7816.

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Celebrations

Formally fashionable Ladies and Gents Bridal features freshest dresses for high school formals, proms By Bakersfield Life Magazine

S

oon, thousands of high schoolers

throughout Bakersfield will be donning their best formal wear, loading

up in limousines and dancing the

night away at local venues. It’s formal season. And with more than 400 dresses in stock to choose from, including one-of-a-kind items, Ladies and Gents Bridal can help your teenager pick the perfect formal wear. The shop is known for featuring high-end bridal gowns from designers like Maggie Sottero, Allure and Mori Lee. But it also features hundreds of prom and formal pieces. Dresses with sparkles, feathers, and highlow dresses are in for the season, according to Ladies and Gents Bridal — all available in store. The shop also offers alterations at personable prices: hems starting at $35, and $25 to make a piece smaller. Alterations are less than $75 for prom and formal dresses. And sister shop Blush Bridal & Prom — at 324 Oak St., Suite P — carries dresses with “cheaper” prices. Here are some examples of the latest formal fashions available now at Ladies and Gents Bridal. More information, selections: ladiesandgentsbridal.com, 325-7911. — Photos by Mariel Hannah (marielhannahphoto.com), and Mark Nessia with Bakersfield Life Magazine — Models: CJ Heard, Braden Sauer, Courtney Payne, Karlie Reynolds 78

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January 2013

Karlie Reynolds, left, is wearing an Alyce dress priced at $258, and Courtney Payne is wearing an Alyce dress priced at $283.


Ladies and Gents Bridal is at 124 Oak St.

Designer Alyce dress. $270

Ladies and Gents Bridal offers hundreds of dresses for high school formals and proms.

A few of the many dresses for high school formals and proms: (left to right) Sherri Hill, Scala, Sherri HIll, Scala, Night Moves.

Continued on page 80 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 79

From left to right, attire includes LaStrada suit, Alyce dresses and Calvin Klein Arden suit.

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January 2013

Courtney Payne, left, is wearing an Alyce dress priced at $470, and Karlie Reynolds is wearing a Jovani dress priced at $640.


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Celebrations

Celebration venues Hotels, landmarks, museums, country clubs: Choose your special venue with this guide By Brian N. Willhite

Choosing the right venue to host your special event or celebration can be a daunting task with so many places offering a variety of options. We at Bakersfield Life have done some research and found several hip locations in town that are sure to be a perfect fit for the wedding of your dreams, 50-year class reunion, 21st birthday or other celebration. Here is a partial list to consider in your location planning guide.

Hotels If there will be out-of-town guests arriving and needing overnight accommodations, choosing a hotel for your celebration may work best for you. The Padre Hotel gives guests looking for style and flair for their special celebration a one-stop spot at the city’s center. The hotel’s fine dining experience and bustling night life make The Padre an ideal choice for trendy events in the lounge, dining hall or on the rooftop overlooking downtown Bakersfield. Event planners looking for high-end meeting places with modern designs will also appreciate the hotel’s boutique style and amenities. Guests looking to have their wedding at The Padre will also receive a complimentary honeymoon suite, a discount for block room rentals, and a staff dedicated to your event, a coordinator and more. 1702 18th St. thepadrehotel.com, 427-4900. Bakersfield Marriott Hotel offers guests looking to host their business functions, social events or weddings and receptions an abun-

PHOTO BY JESSICA FREY

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dance of room space and ideal proximity to Rabobank Arena and the Bakersfield Convention Center, which are next door. Professional catering staff and certified, skilled wedding planners are also on site to organize and coordinate the event to your specifications. The Marriott has 10 meeting spaces and includes the grand ballroom with a seating capacity of 900. The hotel is also conveniently located near county and city offices. 801 Truxtun Ave. marriott.com, 323-1900. DoubleTree Hotel offers an ideal venue for roaming events, corporate functions, business seminars, social gatherings and weddings for attendees traveling to Bakersfield, as it’s close to Highway 99. Guests looking for ample meeting space will appreciate the hotel’s large ballroom and meeting rooms located next to each other. The onsite coordinator and professional catering staff will work you to meet the needs of your event. Wedding planners are also available to coordinate and will organize a block of rooms for guests seeking accommodations. 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. doubletree.com, 323-7111. Four Points by Sheraton Bakersfield offers guests looking to host an event or wedding a variety of elegant backdrops and settings indoor and outdoor. Whether it’s a corporate reception or seminar, social gathering, fundraising event, or upscale celebration, Four Points has a formal or banquet space for every engagement for up to 230 seated guests. With wireless high-speed Internet and audio-visual capabilities available, the hotel is sure to fit your business meeting needs. Professional catering for your event is available. 5101 California Ave.. fourpoints.com/bakersfield, 325-9700.

A Touch of History When the tone of your event calls for local charm that is uniquely Bakersfield, these hometown venues have been doing it well for years. The Noriega House offers guests a historical and picturesque atmosphere and a versatile setting with the ability to host small or large functions indoors or outside in the scenic garden area. Weddings, bridal showers, corporate events, birthday parties or other life events can all be accommodated here. Included in the package are all the

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Continued from page 83 tables, chairs, linens and a coordinator to help create a stressfree event. Set up and take down services are also included in the pricing. Caterers, decorators and DJs are provided by the guest. Reservations for large events should be made at least nine to 12 months in advance. Event packages range from $300 for small events to $5,000 for large scale events. 1325 Baker St. noriegahouse.com, 633-9016. The Kern County Museum’s Pioneer Village has a variety of venue options with their eight different historical and picturesque locations that are sure to be the perfect backdrop for any special event or memorable occasion. Events are rented out in three-hour increments and include all tables and chairs, set up and take down services, security, and a coordinator. Entertainment and decorations are provided by the guest. Prices for booking range from $825 to $1,650. 3801 Chester Ave. kcmuseum.org, 868-8410. Hodel’s Country Dining offers a variety of options. Whether it’s a Sunday afternoon luncheon with the family, a business seminar, reunion or large wedding reception, Hodel’s can accommodate you with one of their nine banquet rooms, which can host up to 500 guests. They also offer full-service catering at off-site locations for up to 3,000 guests.

Hodel’s can design a menu to meet your party’s needs or guests can serve themselves from the restaurant buffet. Prices for smaller gatherings are per person and depend on breakfast, lunch or dinner menus. Large event packages begin at $2,316 and include tables and chairs, linens, food, and serving staff. 5917 Knudsen Dr. hodels.com, 661-399-3341. Kern County Basque Club offers guests a large space with plenty of room for dancing, large banquet needs or corporate functions. The hall will hold up to 380 and includes rent-free tables and chairs. Among other on-site amenities are a full kitchen or caterer of choice, as well as barbecue facility and full-service bar. The rental fee, which includes security, totals $1,800. A refundable $500 cleaning fee will be returned upon satisfactory inspection. 2301 South Union Ave. kcbasquclub.com, 833-9420. Wool Growers Restaurant offers guests space for small- to mid-size gatherings, such as rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, business meetings, reunions or other life celebrations. The family-owned, three-generation establishment specializes in lunch and dinner events with many menu options available. Group prices are on a per person basis and range from $18 to $21 for lunch, and from $27 to $35 for dinner. 620 E. 19th St. woolgrowers.net, 327-9584.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

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Just the Right Size If you’re looking for an open space to plan your own theme into and fill with banquet tables, then consider large, open halls for your next event. Bakersfield 420 Club, also known as California Highway Patrolman’s Club of Kern County, offers an indoor and outdoor venue allowing you to create the dining or reception area that works best for your event. Weddings, receptions, birthday parties, corporate outings, club events and more can all be accommodated with the club’s 200-seat banquet room and outdoor patio area, which includes a gazebo perfect for weddings. The venue also includes a full-service kitchen and bar with restrooms on site. Guests must provide tables and chairs, as well as all decorations, entertainment and security. Cost to rent the venue is $2,200, and $500 is used as a security deposit and refundable upon satisfactory inspection after the event. 3910 Alfred Harrell Highway. bak420.com, 871-5750. Moorea Banquet Centre offers an elegant space with a neutral color scheme to match the decor of any event, and features plenty of floor space for dancing or banquets. Guests will also enjoy the centre’s welcoming foyer, soaring ceilings and cocktail area, as well as the multi-purpose stage to accommodate the needs of their event. A fully functional kitchen is

available for the caterer of your choice. Call to discuss pricing for your event. Palm Island Plaza, 8700 Swigert Ct. No. 109. mooreabanquetcentre.com, 665-1055. Bakersfield City Firefighters Hall offers a multi-purpose facility to accommodate most events within a quiet area with ample parking. Whether it’s a wedding reception, fundraising event, social party or other celebration, the firefighters hall is well-equipped to meet your needs with a 250person capacity, or 200 diners. Included in the rental price are tables and chairs, as well as use of the commercially equipped kitchen for a caterer of choice. Audio and video equipment, including a jumbo-size screen and a full service bar, are also available for an additional fee. Rental prices range from $600 to $1,600, with an additional refundable deposit of $500 to $1,000, depending on event size. 7320 Wible Road. bakersfieldfirefighters.net, 397-1001. Elks Lodge offers a downtown location ideal for large banquets, receptions or corporate functions featuring its grand hall, welcoming foyer, full-service kitchen, and audiovideo options. Rental of the lodge is $1,750 and includes tables and chairs, kitchen use, cleaning, security for the event and a bartender. Guests must provide their own linens, entertain-

Continued on page 86

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Continued from page 85 ment, and decorations. Check out time is midnight. 1616 30th St. 865-0584. Bakersfield Womans Club is a venue rich in historical charm that can accommodate most functions large or small. The 1921 landmark includes a stage, a bar, an outside patio area, and full kitchen with an ice maker on site. Tables and chairs are also provided, though renters will be responsible for set up and clean up before and after the event. Maximum capacity is 325 for banquet seating and 350 auditorium-style seating. Renters will also provide their own caterers and linens, though decorators will appreciate the neutral color scheme to allow for more versatility. The club rents for $2,000 for eight hours with additional time for set up. An additional $1,000 refundable security fee is also added. 2030 18th St. bakersfieldwomansclub.com, 325-7889.

Non-traditional or a new twist Hosting your celebration in a non-traditional venue can be a fun alternative for some. Here are a few places for you to consider. Bakersfield Museum of Art can accommodate just about any type of event, whether it’s a surprise birthday celebration or formal social gathering, with the museum’s rich,

inviting atmosphere. The museum’s versatile space includes a banquet room that seats up to 175, as well as a shady, outdoor garden area with a maximum capacity of 300 perfect for weddings and receptions, too. Event package deals include additional time for rehearsals and set up and includes the use of tables and chairs, audio system, piano and security. Wedding packages range from $1,000 to $2,500. 1930 R St. bmoa.org, 323-7219. Metro Galleries, one of Bakersfield’s premier art galleries, offers guests an elegant decorum with versatile lighting and a loft space to entertain. Event packages are available to accommodate small weddings, parties or social gatherings, as well as larger functions with a maximum occupancy of 320, or 200 seated. Some of the gallery’s features include cherry hardwood floors, a baby grand piano, and parking space in the downtown parking garage half a block away. The gallery is also available for rental by the hour. 1604 19th St. themetrogalleries.com. Elements Venue at the historic Ice House offers guests a non-traditional and fresh atmosphere with two levels and inviting patio adjacent to the outside water fountain. The venue can be transformed to the setting of your choice and is ideal for birthday parties, private concerts, social events, business functions or small weddings. The venue can

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

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accommodate 100 seated guests on the first level and 50 in the loft, with additional space at the bar. Pricing ranges from $800 to $2,500, and includes use of the bar and fully equipped kitchen, as well as the stage and DJ booth. Renters must provide decorations and entertainment. 3401 Chester Ave. Suite H. elementsvenue.com, 869-1952.

Elegant, country clubs For those looking for the elegant, fine dining experience for the setting of an event, member-owned clubs provide a multitude of professional services in-house. Here are some local clubs to consider. Bakersfield Country Club offers members and member-sponsored guests a stunning view of the San Joaquin Valley and the Tehachapi Mountains from the clubhouse’s main dining room, and the outdoor courtyard. Guests looking to host their weddings, receptions, dinner events or other special occasion will enjoy the benefits of the club’s in-house catering staff, whose dishes have received numerous accolades. The club can accommodate up to 250 guests with overflow space available in the patio and lounge area. In addition to a personal event coordinator, guests can also order a custom-made ice sculpture, out of a 300-pound ice block, done in-house. Prices vary depending on services requested and entrée choices. All events not hosted by a member must have a member sponsor the event. 4200 Country Club Dr. bakersfieldcountryclub.com, 871-4000. Seven Oaks Country Club offers five-star service for events hosted by members and member-sponsored guests through trained staff and catering professionals who will make your wedding or social engagement one to remember. The club also features a variety of hosting facilities that are ideal for small gatherings or dinner events, as well as larger functions for up to 400 guests in the ballroomand up to 600 outdoors. The formal dining experience and picturesque grounds, lake and beautiful rose garden are sure to make any engagement one to remember. Rental prices vary depending on the time of year, and range from $1,000 to $2,000 for room rental, as well as a per person food fee. 2000 Grand Lakes Ave. sevenoakscountryclub.com, 664-6404. The Petroleum Club of Bakersfield offers guests a high-rise view of the city from the 12th floor of the centrally-located building. Guests will enjoy professional staff and catering for their weddings, receptions, social engagements or corporate functions in a stress-free environment with the assistance of the provided coordinator. The club has a maximum capacity of 250 and is equipped to handle all of your audio-video needs. Price is on a per person basis and range from $29 to $48 depending on the menu desired. Renters must provide their own entertainment and centerpieces. In addition, an additional fee is charged for non-members. The club is closed on Sundays. 5060 California Ave. thepetroleumclub.com, 324-6561. Stockdale Country Club offers elegant options to meet your event needs regardless of the size. Whether it’s a five-person dinner or a large formal wedding, Stockdale Country Club will provide members and non-members with a beautiful atmosphere and a professional staff to help create a memorable event. The club has an ideal location for anniversary dinners, holiday receptions, or corporate engagements, including serene ceremonial and wedding locations. Prices vary depending on menu options, and event specifics and services needed. Non-members must also have a member sponsor. 7001 Stockdale Highway. stockdalecc.com, 832-0310.

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Celebrations

Invitations Allure your guests from the start with that unique invitation By Bakersfield Life Magazine

Photos by April Massirio

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013


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Race OF A LIFETIME

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

Local woman begins journey in ‘Race Across America’


Kimberly Keathley has no problem keeping up with the men as they head up China Grade Loop. In fact she’s the only rider smiling at this point of her morning training ride.

By Kelly Damian

Phots by Felix Adamo

n 1952, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Mount Everest. They were drawn to the top of the mountain by a need to do something that no human had ever done before, to stand on the top of the world, even if for just a moment. Their achievement sparked a fire in thousands of adventure seekers, and since that day, about 4,000 people have reached the top of Mount Everest. Right here in the United States, there is another tremendous journey that hundreds of people undertake each year. Like Everest, it is an expedition requiring precise planning, intensive physical training, and a willingness to push the body and mind to their breaking points. But unlike Everest, only 813 people have managed to complete this journey. This year, one local woman is determined to join the ranks of those select athletes who have completed what has been described as “the world’s toughest bike race.”

I

Keathley’s rise through the ranks of USA Cycling’s women’s division has been astounding.

Race Across America It’s called Race Across America, or RAAM for short, and is a 3,000-mile bike race that begins in Oceanside in June and ends in Anapolis, Md. Solo riders have to finish in at least 12 days, and fast solo riders will finish in a little more than eight days. The route goes through the deserts in the Southwest, the extreme elevation of the Rocky Mountains, and the flatness of the prairies. There is no alloted time for rest or sleep. Fifty percent of the racers won’t finish. In the 30 years of the race, cyclists have been hit by cars, been forcibly taken off the course by ambulance and have hallucinated to the point of temporary madness. There are two ways to participate in the race: on a team or as a solo competitor. Most of the solo competitors are middle-aged men with years of racing and riding experience under their spandex belts. This year there will be a new face in the crowd. At 23 years old and 5-feet, 4-inches tall, with big

Continued on page 92 bakersfieldlife.com

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Courtland Keith — a 25-year cycling veteran and cycling coach with Peak’s Coaching Group — remembers Kimberly on that first ride. “She was instantly apparent because it’s pretty much a male-dominated sport. So you see a girl, she stands out,” Keith said. “And she was up in the front of the group on the climbs, making her presence known even though she didn’t know what the heck she was doing.” That summer, Kimberly rode her bike constantly. She learned how to draft, when to exert maximum effort, and when to back off. And she was able to relax and enjoy the speed of flying downhill with scant protection between her and the road.

A bumpy start On Aug. 15, 2011 she joined Bakersfield cyclists Garreth Feldstein and Tyler Williams for a ride up to Glennville. After a morning of riding, Kimberly followed Gareth and Tyler down the mountain, hitting speeds up to 40 miles an hour, when she was surprised by an unexpectedly sharp turn. “I didn’t really know the roads or the turns, and I was going faster than what I had the confidence to maneuver.” The bike's tire slid out from under her moments before her body slammed into the mountainside. The crash, which took place on a Sunday, left her with a concussion, three broken ribs and a broken clavicle. Still fuzzy from the concussion, her first question when she got home was: “So do you guys think I’ll be able to ride on Tuesday?”

It’s still pitch-dark as Keathley prepares for a training ride.

The road to recovery

Keathley chats with (left to right) Anthony Finocchiaro, Courtland Keith and Carl Crawford prior to the start of their 6 a.m. training ride.

Continued from page 91 brown eyes and an effervescent personality that might seem more suited to a Disney fairy than serious cyclist, Kimberly Keathley doesn’t exude the gravitas of a seasoned athlete. But underneath Kimberly’s bubbly exterior is a highly disciplined competitor intent on riding her bike for 3,000 miles as fast as she possibly can.

‘Baptism by fire’ When Kimberly turned 21 — on June 29, 2011 — she got a road bike for her birthday: a blue and white Trek Madone. A few days later she went on a group ride with Hank Pfister, a family friend and her high school tennis coach. She described that first ride as “baptism by fire.” “I had to hang on for dear life and pedal the bike absolutely hard as I could until I couldn’t keep up any more,” she said. 92

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

A week after the accident, she started her senior year of college with her arm in a sling. For her clavicle to heal, her shoulder had to be completely immobilized. She learned to do daily tasks with one hand, and because of her injured ribs, she slept upright in a recliner. But she missed riding her bike. So much so that she would sneak into the spin room at the gym. There, with her arm secured to her torso by an ACE bandage, she would pedal just enough to get the feeling of riding again. The accident worried her parents, but it did not shock them. “She’s always been that way,” father Duane explained. “She wanted to go as fast as the fastest person.” Her mother Corey remembered that as a child, Kimberly was very active. But what set her apart from other children was her total lack of fear. When she was just 2 years old, she would jump from the diving board and swim the length of the pool. From there followed gymnastics, rollerblading and skiing. No matter the sport, Kimberly would find the limits of her body and push past them. The moment she was cleared by her doctor, Kimberly jumped on her bike. After a few months back in the saddle, she decided to give racing a try.

Racing to the top For racing purposes, USA Cycling divides riders into categories based on their experience and race results.


Race

OF A LIFETIME

Using bright headlights for safety, the cyclists head down Morning Drive northeast of Panorama Drive. Keathley is fifth from right.

There are four categories for female competitors: Category 4 is for novice racers, and Category 1 is reserved for Olympic and professional cyclists. To move into the higher categories, a cyclist needs a certain amount of points that are accumulated during the racing season. The higher the rider in each race, and the bigger the competitive field, the more points the cyclist gets. Kimberly participated in her first race in February of

2011 as a Category 4 racer. By June of 2012, she had competed in 20 races — finishing in third place or higher in half of them — and was upgraded to Category 2. “It’s just mind boggling,” said Courtland Keith, “... the acceleration she’s moved through.” Hank Pfister agreed. “She is one of the fastest in Southern California in her

Continued on page 94

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Race

OF A LIFETIME

Continued from page 93 division, and everyone knows who she is when she rolls up to the start line,â&#x20AC;? Pfister said.

A seed is planted Her progress caught the attention of local RAAM record holder Joe Petersen, and he invited her to join his eight-person tandem About this series team to compete in the This is the first in a four-part feature on Race Across America in local athlete Kimberly Keathley, who June of 2011. The team set has quickly made her mark in the the eight-person tandem cycling world. Soon, she will ride in the team record when they race of her life â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Race Across finished the race in less America. In this series â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which starts than six days. with this issue and culminates in the Kimberly wrapped up August issue â&#x20AC;&#x201D; get to know Keathley her senior year in college as she prepares for the arduous race, in May, continued racing learn about her purpose for racing, and and was accepted to sevtag along during the highs and lows of eral big-name universities the competition. for graduate school to study physical therapy. Things were moving along nicely, except some-

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thing was nagging at her. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This seed was planted in my mind of what it would be like to do solo Race Across America,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It gave me the chills thinking about it.â&#x20AC;? She kept this notion to herself, and in the meantime turned down the University of Southern California in favor of Chapman University. She filled out her school paperwork and prepared to begin her training in physical therapy in the fall of 2012. But RAAM had its teeth in her, and it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let go. Finally she called her friend and role model Tricia Bland, a cancer survivor, ultra-endurance athlete and a trainer. Kimberly held her opinion in high esteem. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I called her and poured my heart out,â&#x20AC;? Kimberly said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;RAAM was this fantasy, a futuristic goal, but I was really, really drawn to it.â&#x20AC;? After a long conversation and a look at the pros and cons, Tricia encouraged her to go for it. This meant Kimberly would leave behind graduate school for now and reapply for the 2013 school year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is something sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been gifted with,â&#x20AC;? Bland said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She has the muscle mass. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got that drive. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got that perseverance.â&#x20AC;? When Kimberly hung up the phone, she couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wipe the smile off her face. That was on June 27, nearly two years from the date she got her bike.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

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Solo, but not alone The average person may have trouble understanding the appeal of Race Across America. It is a slow, grueling journey fraught with physical pain, emotional struggle and sleep deprivation. However, it is also an expedition across the entire landscape of America, away from the sterility and shelter of the airplanes, train or automobile. It is a chance for athletes to test their mettle, to discover they are capable of far more than they ever imagined. They find â&#x20AC;&#x153;that untapped human potential that most people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even come close to reaching,â&#x20AC;? Joe Petersen explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think elite athletes get closer, sometimes dangerously close to that full 100 percent physical potential,â&#x20AC;? he said. This race will fulfill not only a personal goal for Kimberly, but also will raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In 2011, mother Corey Keathley was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The news shook the family to the core, and Kimberly wants to give back to the group that supported her mother through her diagnoses and treatment. When Kimberly waits at the starting line in Oceanside, she will benefit from the wisdom of the local cycling community, the support of her family and a deep sense of faith. Joe Petersen said he thinks there is one more thing that she needs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crewing or sponsoring or encouraging,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would love to see Bakersfield get behind Kimberly on this.â&#x20AC;?

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Home and Garden

Crisp and colorfully white Antonia Valpredo picked colorful art, accessories to pop against the bright walls

96

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013


Antonia Valpredo’s living room is bright and filled with design pieces and art she accumulated over the years.

By Don Martin

W

Photos by Michael Lopez

hen local realtor Gary Belter called Antonia Valpredo to tell her the New Orleans-style house she had long admired was on the market, she had no intention of buying it. After all, she had reserves and planned to build a custom home in the hills of Northeast Bakersfield. But, after just a few minutes of walking through the stately old home, her mind was made up. Shortly thereafter, she moved into the guest house and began the project of bringing new life to the 60-year-old property. Antonia Valpredo, or Tonia as most call her, is known for her connection to Luigi’s, the family-owned business that’s been around for more than a century. Her roots here are deep, and the family atmosphere that is felt at Luigi’s is certainly sensed in her home. As she gazes around her living room, her Italian eyes sparkle in delight as she discusses the various design pieces. Tonia embraced the history of the house and started the yearlong renovation searching for ideas, saving design magazines and asking herself, “Would this light work here? Would this chair work there?” She took her time slowly incorporating her existing furniture and accessories with new pieces. Her style,

which she describes as “eclectic and fun,” suits the house perfectly. Most of her house is a very crisp white. “The white walls make the art and other accessories in the room pop,” she said. And the art and accessories truly are the stars in this home. At one end is a colorful abstract — Antonia Valpredo painting of a cowboy by local artist Alberto Herrera, and on the other are beautifully displayed pieces of glass collected throughout many years. With the remodel came stories for her choices of design. She had spotted a gorgeous, contemporary glass chandelier at House of Moseley, a local design studio, but

You don’t need to go out and spend thousands, or even hundreds of dollars on a look you may want. Just use some existing pieces and go to antique stores, shop around and design your room from there. When you find something and you love it, buy it.

Continued on page 98 bakersfieldlife.com

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The old outdoor patio table provides a perfect contrast to the more formal dining room.

Continued from page 97 she decided she could not spend the money on it. Shortly thereafter she was going through some of her late father’s possessions and found a suitcase that contained old travelers checks. “I cashed them and immediately went to House of Moseley and brought the chandelier home,” she said. “Thanks dad!” It now hangs in her office and is the perfect addition to the style of the room. The kitchen was a focal point in the remodel, and it’s where she spends most of her time. This, after all, is the kitchen where the Lemucchi-Valpredo family gathers to make some of their famous Italian dishes, and it was the room design and layout had to be perfect, Tonia said. “We spent a lot of nights sitting in here with a glass of wine deciding where things should go,” she said. “What the flow should be.” The result is fabulous and a mixture of formal and casual design. There are no upper cabinets in the kitchen — everything was designed to make grabbing items easy. The countertops are marble even though she was advised against it. “The marble is easy to keep clean and is exactly what I wanted,” she said. On one wall, a custom built display cabinet finished in light turquoise is filled with beautiful Italian pottery, cookbooks and family recipes collected throughout the years. The kitchen table is an old outdoor patio table that’s the perfect contrast to the more formal parts of the room.

Continued on page 101 98

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Tonia Valpredo’s design sources • House of Moseley: 8200 Stockdale Highway. houseofmoseley.com, 397-7227 • In Your Wildest Dreams: 1720 18th St. buywildestdream.com, 324-6484 • CB2: 8000 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. cb2.com, 323-848-7111 • L.A. MART Design Center: 1933 South Broadway, Los Angeles, LAMart.com (design professionals only)

Antonia Valpredo in front of her New Orleans-style home she designed.


The kitchen in Tonia Valpredoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home was a focal point in her interior designing because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where she spends most of her time.

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Continued from page 98 When asked about her design sense and philosophy, Tonia said, “I just do what I like. I find something I already have — it may be a chair, or a painting, or even a piece of pottery — and I build around it.” She continued: “You don’t need to go out and spend thousands, or even hundreds of dollars on a look you may want. Just use some existing pieces and go to antique stores, shop around and design your room from there. When you find something and you love it, buy it.” Tonia has several such legacy pieces in her house, including her mom and dad’s graceful old bed that has been restored, and is the centerpiece of the master bedroom. Another is the antique player piano in the living room that belonged to her grandmother, and still works today. Though the house is complete, she is still adding new pieces and changing things to keep the home “fresh and exciting,” she said. Graceful, charming, colorful and unique: all words that can be used to describe this beautiful home and this lovely lady. — Don Martin is the owner of Metro Galleries at 1604 19th St., and occasionally writes a home design feature for Bakersfield Life Magazine. To reach him, email don@themetrogalleries.com or BakersfieldLife@bakersfield.com.

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Amador Galvez, right, poses with his brother and one of their kills. Galvez has been hunting for more than 40 years.

Why we hunt Experience provides solace, bonding time, lunch for hunters By Gregory D. Cook

O

nly a few generations ago, many Americans hunted out of necessity to feed their families. When the U.S. Army of the Confederacy surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the end of the Civil War, they were permitted to keep their firearms to be able to hunt. In fact, until just prior to the beginning of World War II, servicemen were allowed to purchase their rifles when they left the military so they would have a means to hunt when they returned home. When I was young, I asked my grandfather one day how he was such a good shot with his rifle. He said, “Back when I was your age, if you missed what you were aiming at, you didn’t eat.” 102

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PHOTO COURTESY OF AMADOR GALVEZ

Pastimes

In today’s modern world, with supermarkets and restaurants on nearly every street corner, hunting may not be a necessity any longer, but it is still a tremendously popular pastime, especially here in Kern County. For Amador Galvez, who has been an avid hunter for more than 40 years, hunting provides an escape from the rat race. “What hunting does for me is put me in a whole different world,” Galvez said. “You’re in a place where nobody has access to you, no cell phones or meetings, and you start to wind down. All of the knots in your neck go away and you can just recharge.” It’s a common theme with hunters, many of whom don’t judge the success of hunt on whether or not they take home an animal. “We never go to hunt in the same place twice, so it’s always an adventure,” said Mark Palomo, another veteran hunter of 40 years. “It’s just a well-rounded experience.” Palomo first started hunting with his father as a boy, and he credits hunting for bringing the two closer together. “One of the saddest days of my life was when he said he couldn’t do it anymore,” Palomo said. “That was 10 years ago. He’s 90 now, and still pretty tough.”


PHOTO COURTESY OF WAYNE MARDEN

Happy New Year!

Hunter Wayne Marden is continuing a family tradition by teaching his son to hunt, just as his father taught him. It’s a pastime that often gets passed down from one generation to the next. “Hunting, for my family, is about tradition,” said Wayne Marden, avid hunter and range master at Ole Boy Outdoors. “My father is a hunter. He got me into it, and my son has followed in our footsteps, so it’s a generational thing.” Palomo is also keeping the family tradition alive, and now hunts with his children. “I used to take my daughter, and she enjoyed it. Now my son and I hunt,” he said. “I always try to show them that not only are we out looking for an elk or deer, but that there are other things to see. And I get to teach them things like, ‘this is how to build a fire,’ and things like that.” Galvez also says that his regular hunting trips with his brothers help keep this family close. “When we are there, we can talk about anything,” Galvez said. “All the tension and stress is gone, and you just can’t put a price on that kind of therapy.” And then, of course, there’s the — Amador Galvez meat. “The things we hunt, for the most part, just taste good,” Marden said. “Venison tastes good. Quail tastes good. Dove, chucker — they all taste good.” Galvez, who primarily hunts elk these days, raves about his wife’s elk meatloaf, and he has also recently taken up hunting wild boar. Some hunters also find sport in hunting predator animals. With civilization continually encroaching on formerly wild areas, predators such as coyotes and bobcats have become an increasing threat to ranchers and land owners, and limited hunting of some of these predators is allowed as a conservation measure. Hunting-based organizations, such as the Rocky Mountain Elk

The things we hunt, for the most part, just taste good. Venison tastes good. Quail tastes good. Dove, chucker — they all taste good.

Continued on page 105

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Pastimes

Passing down history

Mark Palomo

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE PALOMO

For a lot of hunters, hunting has been a part of their family for multiple generations, so it makes sense that the tools of the pastime would also be passed down. My grandfather hunted and he passed his rifles down to my father, who then past them to me. Along with both of their hunting rifles was a Krag-Jorgensen rifle that belonged to my great-grandfather in the late 1800s. The rifle is still in perfect firing condition, and while its nicks and scratches might reduce its value for a collector, each one of them represents a story to me. I am constantly awestruck by the amount of history this rifle has been witness to.

Mark Palomo, Kern County Fire Department I got bypassed on it. My father in 1958 started hunting, and in 1964 he bought a Winchester Model 70, Featherweight .3006. When I was old enough to start going with him, he let me use that rifle. It wasn't mine, but he let me use it, and I took a lot of game with it. My father had a lot of guns, but that one was the cherished one of the bunch. As a matter of fact, the last deer my father ever took, he shot with that rifle. As my son Derek was growing up, he saw that he was interested in hunting. So about a year ago my father said, "I want to give you my guns, but I'm going to give that 30-06 to Derek.â&#x20AC;? That's his rifle now, and that makes me feel good.

Amador Galvez, Pacific Gas & Electric (retired) When my folks were working in the fields, my grandparents used to take care of me. And guess what my grandfather did? He hunted a lot. I heard story after story, and as a little child I would just sit there in awe and listen to him. He had a Winchester 1873, .44 caliber â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a lever action rifle. Before he passed away, he gave that rifle to me. He passed that rifle down to me not knowing that I would eventually become a hunter myself, and I think that might have inspired me. That and the stories he told.

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Continued from page 103 Foundation, have purchased millions of acres of land for safe wintering grounds for elk and other game. “Today we have more elk than we have ever had because of that kind of conservation,” Palomo said. The first step for anyone interested in getting involved in hunting is to complete the California Hunter Education Program. The 10-hour, state-mandated safety course is required before a hunting license can be purchased. After passing the course and purchasing a hunting license, you may be required to purchase additional tags or stamps depending on what you are planning to hunt. “One thing I recommend folks do is find some locations where we have public access,” Marden said. “A good thing about Kern County is that we are still surrounded by public land that we can hunt on.” Marden also recommends that people do some research before they head out to hunt. Call the Bureau of Land Management and ask about different areas, or take a drive out and talk to the rangers and game wardens. And finally, go out there with realistic expectations. “The true success of a hunt can not be measured in the pounds of meat that you bring home,” Marden said. “It’s the number of memories you bring home. And if you keep that in mind, you’ll do well.” — Is there a local hobby or pastime you think should be highlighted? Please let us know. Email us your idea to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the message subject line: Pastimes.

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Why I Live Here

General counsel at Worklogic HR Legal Solutions, partner in Blaine Law Group

Katy Raytis lives near Cedar and 20th streets in downtown Bakersfield.

Compiled by Jeneal Wood

ersfield to see the world’s most prominent politicians and newsmakers. Two words that describe my neighborhood: Super fun (downtown Bakersfield rocks!)

Age: 41 Career: Attorney (general counsel at Worklogic HR Legal Solutions, and partner in Blaine Law Group).

How I relax: Backyard barbecues with neighbors and friends.

Life in Bakersfield: I was born and raised in Bakersfield but left when I went away to college in 1989. We moved back in 2003 and have been here ever since.

Where you will usually find me eating lunch or dinner: Moo Creamery, Luigi’s, Steak & Grape and Wool Growers.

On moving back to Bakersfield: When my husband and I decided to move back to Bakersfield in 2003, I had been away for almost 15 years. During that time, I was surrounded by crazy people in places like Berkeley, San Francisco and Washington D.C. All that time away made me more than ready to get back to Bakersfield where there are good values, good prices, good food and most of all, good people! What I missed most about Bakersfield: Seeing people you know everywhere you go. What surprises me most about Bakersfield compared to other places I have lived: Bakersfield has a unique “boomerang” quality about it. People seem to go flying off into the world only to quickly turn around and come back home. I don’t think many other places can boast a return rate like we can. I love being able to raise my kids alongside my own childhood friends. Best memory of Bakersfield: Bakersfield Business Conference. It was pretty funny that I was living in Washington D.C., but my politically-crazed friends had to fly to Bak106

Bakersfield Life Magazine

PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

Katy Raytis

January 2013

What I enjoy most about living here: Everyone knows each other, going back multiple generations. There is a level of safety, comfort and camaraderie that comes from a community where people truly know and care about one another. Bakersfield is famous for: Hot weather, hot weather and hot weather. Did I mention hot weather? Bakersfield’s best-kept secret: Buena Vista Elementary School’s Edible Schoolyard. Favorite community event: HolidayLights at CALM. Bakersfield often gets negatively ranked on lists, the positive list I think Bakersfield would rank near the top on is: Most supportive community.

— Do you know someone from outside of Bakersfield who now calls Bakersfield home — or returned here after living away — and is proud of it? Please let us know. Email us a name and contact information to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the message subject line: Why I Live Here.


History

Kern knows how to celebrate County’s patriotism evident in Independence Day revelry of years past By Ken Hooper

O

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY MUSEUM

f all the celebrations in the history of Kern County, Independence Day draws some of the most excitement and attention. Ever since Kern County was created from sections of Tulare and Los Angeles counties in 1866, generations in three centuries here have celebrated it with similar events and activities. Raising the American flag, potato sack races, parades, music, dances, barbecues and fireworks are some of the activities that have bound Kern County generations together.

Phillip Niederaur rides in a pony cart in a Fourth of July parade in 1892. 108

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Our second U.S. president, John Adams, would have approved of the way Kern County celebrated Independence Day in 1876. Adams stated that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews [horseshoes], games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” The only problem was that he made this statement regarding July 2, not July 4. The Second Continental Congress made its decree for freedom on July 2, 1776, but it was not until two days later when Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, and the Liberty Bell was sounded in Independence Hall, that the newly minted Americans began to celebrate. The “Grand Centennial Celebration” in 1876 started with 38 cannons being fired at sunrise, noon and sunset with the echo bouncing off the mountains and across the San Joaquin Valley. Today there are restrictions and prohibited fireworks across Kern County, but in 1876 the list of fireworks for sale at Coon’s General Store in Bakersfield included Roman candles, rockets, bombs, colored lights and toy pistols — enough pyrotechnics to make any Fourth of July a success. One of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in Kern County’s history took place under the shadow of World War I

January 2013


in 1918. The celebration drew 20,000 people into the city, which was more people than actually lived in Bakersfield at that time. The afternoon program consisted of bicycle and horse races, athletic games, motorcycle events and a boxing match between Kid Booker of Bakersfield and Joe McGurk of Fresno. Thomas Lee Woolwine, Los Angles District Attorney and candidate for governor on the Democratic Party ticket, was the keynote orator on City Hall steps at 8:30 p.m. Afterward, the Bakersfield Band played at a large street dance on Truxtun Avenue, between Chester Avenue and K Street. Later the Bakersfield Police Department described the event as: “Patriotism rules and no arrests were necessary.” The anxiety of our troops fighting in the trenches of France was present, and the city only sighed relief when the July 5, 1918, The Bakersfield Californian stated: “American Independence day on the American sector passed off with only normal activity. If there were any anticipations the Germans might seize upon thee Fourth of July as a day upon which to strike a blow against the Americans, they did not materialize.” The first Fourth of July celebration in Kern County after the conclusion of World War II could be considered modest by standards set by earlier generations. Tehachapi had the largest celebration when 10,000 people enjoyed a barbecue, rodeo and a parade, while Delano’s large Filipino population celebrated American Independence Day in 1946, as they also celebrated the independence of the Philippines from the United States. The 200th Bicentennial Celebration of America’s Independence in 1976 brought a replica of the Liberty Bell to Bakersfield. The Liberty Bell — at Truxtun Avenue and Chester Avenue — in front of the Kern County Superior Court building, was one of the two replica Liberty Bells allocated to California.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY MUSEUM

PHOTO COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY LIBRARY

Local children pictured here on July 4, 1913 wave their American flags in celebration.

Fire trucks drive through Chester Avenue in Bakersfield in 1918 during a Fourth of July parade.

The setting of the concrete was only a few hours old when it was peeled in the name of freedom for the first time. The editorial in the Daily Californian in July of 1891 stated: “Slight Thanksgiving Day if you like; work New Year’s Day if your business is pressing; slur over Washington’s birthday by casting up your accounts and doing odds and ends of business on the quiet, but keep the Fourth of July ... let us celebrate it.” — Ken Hooper is a Bakersfield High School history teacher, past-president of the Kern County Historical Society and historian for the Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation. bakersfieldlife.com

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PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO

Our Town

Nadene and Marvin Steinert,

Marvin and Nadene Steinert Married 70 years, local couple dedicate lives to charitable giving By Katie Avery

Photo by Felix Adamo

M

arvin and Nadene Steinert are two of Bakersfield’s biggest supporters who have dedicated their lives to giving locally and to many other communities. For this, the Steinerts — who celebrated 70 years of marriage in September — were recently awarded the “Spirit of Philanthropy” award by the Kern Community Foundation for their lifetime of charitable giving. A former board member of the Kern Community Founda110

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January 2013

tion, Marvin Steinert learned about charity from his father, who put away $2.50 out of his $25 per week paycheck to give to their church. His father never told him to give, he said. He just followed his father’s example and has been giving to the church and his community ever since. Marvin met his wife Nadene at a rodeo in 1940, and he offered to drive her home. Eighteen months later, they were married, and after an 11-day honeymoon, he was sent off to war. After serving in the U.S. Air Corps at the tail end of the Battle of the Bulge, Marvin came home just in time to see his son born. They now have three sons, six granddaughters and 13 great grandchildren, all of whom they taught the importance of charity. The Steinerts started with nothing, they said, but they had success in business and were able to give more generously. “The Lord blessed us,” they both said. Marvin Steinert became an accountant for a local cattle farm and gradually got involved in real estate. Throughout many years, he built a successful business and has used that success to invest in the community. He found a place on the board of the Kern Community Foundation in 1971 and uses the foundation as a conduit for his giving. Foundation President and CEO Jeff Pickering calls it a “home for local philanthropists” that helps grow charity in Kern County. Individuals and businesses can set up a fund, and the foundation checks the viability of charities they are interested in and oversees the donation of funds. Many smaller charities can only take direct donations, but the Kern Community Foundation can work with large gifts — like real estate and assets — and helps connect people with charities of interest. The Steinerts established the Marvin Steinert Family Charitable Fund to pool their donations and disburse them to the charities of their choice. And those charities are numerous. Some of the Steinerts’ favorites include Teen Challenge, Salvation Army, Youth For Christ, Women’s and Girls’ Fund, Star Theater, Bakersfield Rescue Mission and the Bakersfield Museum of Art, among others. They have also thrown support to educational institutions including Bakersfield College, Cal State Bakersfield, Fresno Pacific University and Bakersfield Christian High School. It is especially important to support youth, Nadene Steinert said. “(We’re) helping kids grow up — helping them have a new or better life,” she said. Another important goal for the Steinerts is to support Christian programs. They funded seminars at the Haggai Institute in Atlanta, Ga, which trains third-world nationals to become ministers for their native countries with the ultimate goal to spread Christianity all over the world. The Steinerts have been officially recognized in Fresno, where their charitable contributions have helped build an athletics center and a student commons at Fresno Pacific University. Their lifelong philanthropy has gotten them local, state and national recognition. In May, they gifted a piece of commercial real estate to the Kern Community Foundation that represented the largest single contribution so far by any


Home of the Steinway Family of Fine Pianos individual or family to the foundation. The foundation is still relatively young, but the Steinerts helped build the foundation to what it is today, Pickering said. The Steinerts look toward the future, and through their habits of giving, paved the way for others to follow, he said. “(They) are pioneers in the community,” he said. “They have taken the lead in support of causes that others eventually get behind.” The Steinerts do not care much for the renown that their philanthropy has brought them. They have always lived a life of modesty. “It’s not our doing,” Nadene Steinert said. “We’ve been blessed.” They only hope their newfound — Jeff Pickering, Kern fame gets more people involved in Community Foundation the foundation. president and CEO “We got our reward from the Lord already,” Marvin Steinert said. For people who are looking to get more involved in charity and the community, Marvin Steinert recommends using the Kern Community Foundation to organize giving. For more information, go to kernfoundation.org.

(They) are pioneers in the community. They have taken the lead in support of causes that others eventually get behind.

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Community

California Highway Patrol spokesman Robert Rodriguez tosses toys collected in front of The Bakersfield Californian.

CHiPs for Kids toy drive Community, agencies come together to make holiday brighter for local kids By Bakersfield Life

Photos by Alex Horvath

D

uring the holiday season, countless local businesses and agencies worked together to make sure thousands of under-privileged and hospitalized children throughout Kern County were not left

toyless. Among them was the California Highway Patrol, which partnered with The Bakersfield Californian, Keller Williams Realty of Bakersfield and Motor City of Bakersfield in the CHiPs for Kids toy drive. One of the many CHiPs for Kids drives brought the CHP, The Californian, Starbucks and KERN Radio 1180 together Dec. 4 to collect new, unwrapped toys in front of The Californian building on Eye Street downtown. Locals who drove by to drop off toys were welcomed by CHP officers and Californian staffers, and treated to newspa112

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January 2013

Californian news artist Kent Kuehl checks out a California Highway Patrol motorcycle as CHP’s Robert Rodriguez watches closely.

pers and Starbucks coffee made by baristas. Meanwhile, Californian Radio and KERN Radio shows broadcasted live. More than 450 toys — dolls, games and art sets — were donated in that one day, and 520 total collected by The Californian. In all, CHiPs for Kids and partners brought in enough toys to serve 3,000 children, and they were distributed to kids throughout our community the week of Dec. 16.


More than 500 toys were collected in front of The Californian for CHiPs for Kids.

Jeff Lemucchi, left, and Richard Beene host Californian Radio Dec. 4 during a CHiPs for Kids toy drive.

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Neighborhood Spotlight

Riverlakes Ranch

phere it offers homeowners. “For me, I live on the lake so coming home feels like I am going on vacation every night,” said Billiard, president of the Riverlakes Ranch Master Association. “It’s like living on a resort.”

Amenities, schools

By Matilde Ruiz

F

inishing a busy day at work, Don Billiard knows there is one place he count on to relax — a place he can go every day to fish, kayak, take a boat ride or simply stroll around a lake with a beautiful view. If it’s hot enough, Billiard can take a swim in one of three different pools. On chilly days, he can relax in a jacuzzi or even go to the spa to pamper himself. The best part of it all, Billiard calls this place “home.” He lives in Riverlakes Ranch, a private community near The Links at Riverlakes Ranch golf course in northwest Bakersfield. It’s known for the great amenities and family atmos-

Kenn McCloud and his son, Caden, enjoy a few laps around the Riverlakes Ranch lake in their paddle boat at Southshore. 114

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January 2013

Riverlakes Ranch offers homeowners a private beach club that features three different pools — including one with a beach entry — spas, two jacuzzis, five pocket parks, five picnic and barbecue areas, and a clubhouse that homeowners can reserve for family events or birthday parties. Some of the best amenities it offers are fishing, boat rides, and the beautiful 17-acre lake homeowners can simply walk to from their backyards. The lake is also home to various birds, turtles and other wildlife. Another homeowner favorite is the walking trail, which goes around the lake. For those with kids, two of the top performing school districts in all of Kern County serve Riverlakes Ranch — Fruitvale and Norris school districts. Riverlakes Ranch is known for maintaining a tight community where everyone knows their neighbors. “In general, this is a really family-oriented community with many things for kids to do,” Billiard said. “With our lake, we know our neighbors who live in front and back of us.”

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

‘Like living on a resort,’ homeowners benefit from private lake, award-winning schools


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Drawn to Riverlakes Riverlakes Ranch was born in mid-1990s and has been growing ever since. The average home starts at 1,100 square feet to as big as 3,800 square feet. Prices of homes range from about $145,000 to about $500,000, depending on size. “Buyers are drawn to this area due to the golf course and gated prestigious neighborhoods,” said Stephanie M. Franks, realtor with Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors. “This area of town is also close to shopping, great parks and award-winning schools.” She added: “From an investment standpoint, it is always a solid residential investment to purchase on or near a golf course. These neighborhoods always hold their value best.” In fact, it’s such a popular neighborhood that homes for sale normally do not last long on the market. “For sale (homes) are very, very few,” Franks said. “And if a new listing hits the market, there are usually multiple offers within a few days if it is priced well.”

Coming together Riverlakes neighbors regularly get together during events for homeowners. A few years ago, the area was host to a sailboat race where several homeowners joined. During the winter, homeowners take part in a boat parade, where they decorate their boats with Christmas lights and put on a show on the lake for the community to watch from their backyards. In the past, up to 22 boats have been a part of the private boat parade. The Riverlakes Ranch Master Association’s board of directors holds monthly meetings, allowing homeowners to give input about

Continued on page 116

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Riverlakes Ranch

Riverlakes Riv es neighborhood Dr. Olive K nt ria

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School

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sh

al Can

the community and work to maintain it. “It is a great private community, and like any private community, we do not like it to be abused,” Billiard said. “It is well maintained, and we want to keep it like that. Homeowners like to keep everything clean, including their homes. They are people who like to take care of what is theirs.” In all, Riverlakes represents the unity of

neighbors and families who work together to make the best out of their home, Billiard said.

Calloway Dr.

er n

Continued from page 115

Riverlakes Dr.

F

RiverLakes golf course

So u

th

Hageman Rd. 1/4 mile

Centennial High School

Cof fee Rd.

The Links at Riverlakes is the centerpiece of the Riverlakes neighborhood.

Source: The Bakersfield Californian Market Research Department

ore D

PHOTO BY AMY RYMER

and San Trope neighborhood • 1,044 single family homes • 72 percent of households have incomes of $75,000 or more • 90 percent are homeowners • 70 percent have lived in the home for six years or more • 69 percent of the household have a head-of-household 50 years or older


PHOTO BY GREGORY D. COOK

Twice a week during the holiday season, the residents of Riverlakes Ranch deck out their boats in festive lights and parade around the lake, wishing the people on the shore happy holidays and singing Christmas carols.

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It’s a Guy Thing

Monsignor Mike Braun, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

Wedding officiants Bringing two loved ones together is special for these four Compiled by Tyler Stevens

Photos by Mark Nessia

Monsignor Mike Braun Braun, from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church and rector at Garces Memorial High School, has been officiating weddings for more than 45 years. His first was in May 1967. What is the most memorable wedding ceremony you have been a part of? It occurred during my first years as a priest. The bride and groom, both seniors in college, had planned a late summer wedding so they could save some money by each living at home before the nuptials. But the bride and her mother disagreed over the wedding dress. Her 118

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mom chose one and the bride another. The next day the bride came home to find all her belongings on the front lawn and herself locked out of her parent’s home. The bride had no place to go. The couple moved their wedding up, and her friends hosted a potluck reception. A small chapel was found, and flowers left from an earlier wedding completed the scene. Her parents did come to the wedding, but sat in the back pew and were most unhappy with me that the wedding was happening at all. But the bride wore the wedding dress she had chosen. Two years later, I was asked to baptize the couple’s twins in that same small chapel. I drove up to see the bride’s mom and dad standing outside, delighted to see me. Each held a grandchild. That wedding was different, but the twins made it memorable. What are a few qualities a wedding officiant or a pastor should have to provide a genuine wedding experience? Approach each wedding as if it is your first. Spend time with the couple and learn who they are. Do the rehearsal yourself so you can meet their family and friends. And, during the wedding, smile. It’s not a funeral. What is the most rewarding part of being an officiant? The honor of being a part of a couple’s life at its happiest and most memorable moment. Why is faith important in marriage? A marriage is


totally based on faith. A spouse has no idea what to expect from another person in five years, much less 25 years of marriage. And yet people are still eager to get married. If faith is not important to a life of marriage, then that marriage is in shambles from the start. What do you enjoy doing when you aren't marrying people? When I am not marrying people and being a pastor of a parish of 1,200 active parishioners, responsible for its grammar school, and serving as rector of Garces Memorial High School, I enjoy a good book on American history.

riage covenant. Why is faith important in marriage? Because faith in Jesus Christ keeps couples focused on their roles and responsibility as husband and wife, instead of one another's shortcomings after the honeymoon is over. What do you enjoy doing when you aren't marrying people? Preaching and teaching the word of God publicly and privately.

Antonio M. Alfred, Pastor

Haywood has married people for 33 years. What is the most memorable wedding ceremony you have been a part of? The marriage of my son was a very special time for me. I married him and my daughter-inlaw at Golden Gate Park. Looking into the eyes of my son and daughter-in-law was very memorable for me. I also did a wedding for a young man from Ireland and a girl from Bakersfield. The young man was a helicopter student so we flew up in the Kern Canyons and did the ceremony facing the lights of Bakersfield. Why is faith important in marriage? It is a Stickum that make all the difficulties of marriage stick together. It holds a dimension to offer patients and hope. What are a few qualities a wedding officiant or a pastor should have to provide a genuine wedding

Alfred of St. John Missionary Baptist Church has been officiating wedding for four years. What is the most memorable wedding ceremony you have been a part of? Jeremy and Daniel Wright. It opened with a baptism of the groom and closed with a wonderful celebration of praise and worship unto God. We had church. What are a few qualities a wedding officiant or a pastor should have in order to provide a genuine wedding experience? Be prayerful, encouraging, flexible, and excited for the couple. What is the most rewarding part of being an officiant? Leading the couple in the taking the vows of the mar-

Continued on page 120

Rev. Albert M. Haywood

Pastor Antonio M. Alfred, St. John Missionary Baptist Church bakersfieldlife.com

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vide a good wedding experience. What do you enjoy doing when you aren't marrying people? I am a history buff. I have been studying World War II for more than 55 years. I am also a chairman of the board for Minter Field Air Museum. I have been to most of the air museums in Southern California. I also have a pilot’s license.

Jason Rickett

Rev. Albert M. Haywood

Continued from page 119 experience? They should have patients. I am a very calm individual. I did a wedding once in 112 degree weather on a golf course where everyone was irritable and restless, but I continued with the ceremony and made everyone comfortable again. I also think humor is a good quality to have to pro-

Rickett has been performing ceremonies for nearly two years. What is the most memorable wedding ceremony you have been a part of? Joining two unique people in matrimony creates stunning circumstances, making each service special. One of the most beautiful services was at the Lodge at Painted Rock — incredible venue and beautiful surroundings. The groom was so pleased with my service he tipped me with a bottle of his homemade beer. I also enjoy doing services in the chapel at Kern County Museum. There's something about that little building, the history of the place, and the intimate space that elevates the whole service. And every service where the bride and groom write their own vows, and tearfully read them to one another is always special. What is the most rewarding part of being an officiant? Looking at the couple during the ceremony, seeing the two of them completely caught in the moment, lost in each

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other, seeing how much they are in love with each other. I fight choking up, and potentially losing my place in the ceremony when I see that. What are a few qualities a wedding officiant or a pastor should have to provide a genuine wedding experience? Empathy toward what a couple would want in their ceremony. It stuns me how many couples come to me and ask, "Am I allowed to do that?" Or they were told their wedding had to be a certain way. Listen to the couple, help them through the process, offer suggestions and allow them to have the ceremony they want, not the ceremony the officiant wants. What do you enjoy doing when you aren't marrying people? I enjoy my work with Bakersfield Burrito Project. Every Sunday, no matter what, myself and a steadfast group of volunteers feed the hungry and homeless of Bakersfield. And, the nerdier side of me plays a mean game of Minecraft.

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Real People

Rich Vieyra sits inside of the spacious limo he drives for The Limousine Scene.

Limo driver Rich Vieyra, Jr. strives to make his passenger’s ride memorable Compiled by Hillary Haenes

R

Photos by Henry A. Barrios

ichard Vieyra, Jr.’s longtime career as a California state parole agent with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation doesn’t conflict with his part-time gig as a limo driver for The Limousine Scene. Having a flexible schedule has allowed him to work both jobs. 122

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With more than 11 years of limo driving under his belt, Vieyra, 47, is certainly an expert when it comes to safely transporting passengers. He enjoys interacting with his clients, and he’s definitely met a lot of interesting people along the way. What made you want to become a limo driver? I was attracted to becoming a limo driver from a high school friend of mine. He said the pay is good, the tips are great, and you’ll almost never break a sweat. He also said because the job is part-time, you will work around your regular job schedule. That was very appealing to me. I consider myself a people person, and I love to drive, so it seemed like a perfect fit. What has been your favorite day on the job? I will always remember my very first driving trip. I


drove New York Yankees baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez, other ball players and their friends from Bakersfield to Las Vegas. The date of the trip was Sept. 13, 2001 — two days after 9/11. There were no other forms of transportation available. Do you need a special license to drive a limousine? Contrary to popular belief, driving a limo does not require a special driver’s license. However, driving our limo party bus or 15-passenger van does require a Class B license with a passenger endorsement. How difficult is it to drive a limo? What types of challenges do you face? As a limo driver, I consider myself a concierge on wheels. If we are running late for a restaurant reservation, I will call ahead and inform them of our expected arrival time. I can make suggestions for local bars, clubs, restaurants or points of interest. I consider it my job to do whatever needs to be done to assist my clients in having the best, most enjoyable trip, regardless of where we are going or how long I will be with them. After the trip, I have to re-fuel the car, clean it up and leave it ready to go for the next driver. We operate a 24/7 business, so our cars must be ready to go at all times. Driving a limo is really not that difficult in terms of handling of the vehicle. You really have to pay attention when turning corners. You cannot cut it too sharp or you will run up on the curb and possibly damage the car. It is much longer than a normal car or truck and requires more stopping time. Freeway traffic often can provide challenges. People don’t realize that you are traveling the same speed they are. What’s the farthest you have driven passengers? The farthest I personally have driven passengers was either San Francisco or Las Vegas. We have a package where we can drive you and your party to Las Vegas, and stay there for the weekend, providing transportation while you are there, and then drive you home. Prices can vary depending upon which vehicle you use and our destination, plus any special requests like special beverages, food, flowers, balloons, etc. We have sedans, stretch limos, vans, party buses and regular buses. We can also assist with out-of-state transportation needs with reputable companies across the nation. Have you driven any other celebrities? I have driven a number of celebrities. When the Bakersfield Business Conference was alive and well, we provided all the transportation for the events. Over the years I have driven the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vince McMahon along with several WWE wrestlers, Tim Conway, Neil Diamond, Gen. Tommy Franks, Joey Porter and Buck Owens. Where has been your strangest request to be transported? When I picked up this young man and he said, “Just drive

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Rich Vieyra, a driver for The Limousine Scene, is ready to roll in his limo parked outside of the Four Points by Sheraton in Bakersfield.

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January 2013

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Continued from page 123 around until I have had enough to drink to go pick-up my girlfriend and ask her to marry me. If we go over the allotted time, I don’t mind paying for overtime.” We drove around for almost three hours, stopping to buy more drinks along the way. He called her only to find out her flight had been cancelled, and she wasn’t due to arrive in town until the next day. What types of events make up most of your business? Primarily, most of our business comes from weddings, anniversaries and parties. We perform quite a bit of wine tours, and have developed a great reputation with a host of wineries in Paso Robles. We also provide a lot of airport-cruiseport transportation, as well as the seasonal proms and formals for high schools. We can customize any trip to suit the needs of the clients. My favorite times to drive are the special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and driving a Make-A-Wish Foundation recipient. Times that you know are memories that will stay forever in the passenger’s mind. Being a part of their special life events, and playing a favorable part, is something I always enjoy.

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Fit and Fresh

Avoid the poundage during your next celebration Start the New Year right with tips, runs, exercise ideas By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann

Photos by Sally Baker

Kirschenmann: ‘Tis the season to celebrate, and unfortunately, sometimes celebrating means overeating and overdrinking. And with the arrival and passing of the holiday season comes the seemingly never-ending spread of holiday treats. Never fear, it is possible to avoid the poundage with five simple tips on what and how to eat at your next celebration. 1) Eat a healthy meal at home before going to a party. Make an effort to eat a “pre-dinner” full of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. You are less likely to overeat at a party if you’re not hungry. Drink plenty of water, and start your night off well hydrated. 2) Put the cookie down. One cookie is okay, two is not a crime, but three in a row is asking for trouble. Don’t deprive yourself; the trick is not overdoing it and becoming a Cookie

Monster. 3) Navigate the hors d’oeuvre minefield. Take it from me, hors d’oeuvres are dangerous. Just because they’re bite-sized doesn’t mean that you can eat 20. When choosing between the fried cheese balls on a toothpick and crudité, choose the crudité. Raw vegetables will fill you up, and you can eat as much as you want. Go ahead and sample the puff pastry filled with cream cheese, but eat only one. Your gut and your heart will thank you. 4) Don’t pile onto your plate. If your plate resembles a scale model of Mount Everest, you have crossed the point of no return. Make sure your plate is heavy with veggies and proteins, and light on the carbs. Two servings of roast vegetables? Yes! Two servings of double cheese macaroni casserole? No! Avoid carbo-loading and sugar binging. Put down the dinner roll, and pick up the brussel sprouts. 5) Don’t drink your calories. This is how most of us gain weight over during celebrations. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a friend complain about post-holiday pounds, and all the while swearing they didn’t overeat. The real culprit was not the food but the drink. Holiday libations and toasts are fun and to be enjoyed, but enjoying too much will ensure not-so-fun mornings and weight gain. Remember, alcohol is sugar. Drinking too much guarantees a belly. So, don’t be the person wearing the lampshade. Match each alcoholic beverage you consume with a glass of water. And those who get too “toasty” are then far more likely to overeat. Stay away from the sugary mixed drinks and go for the clear liquors and soda water with a squeeze of fresh

What’s in harvest? Lemons and lettuce Mixed lettuce salad with goat cheese and walnuts and lemon vinaigrette This recipe is simple, nutritious and delicious. I used a variety of fresh lettuce picked from the winter garden including arugula, watercress, baby spinach and mesclun. Arrange these beautiful greens on a plate. Top with goat cheese (or Feta if you prefer). Drizzle lightly with lemon vinaigrette (see recipe below). Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Lemon Vinaigrette 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon) 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper Shake well. Makes 2/3 cup of dressing.

— By Sally Baker 126

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Wainwright does some core work at the Kern River Parkway.

Henry Wainwright uses one of the 11 new outdoor fitness area at the Kern River Parkway.

lemon or lime. If drinking beer, stay on the light side. When choosing wines, keep in mind that sparkling wines usually have fewer calories per serving than reds or whites. The best decision, however, is just to avoid alcohol altogether and volunteer to be the designated driver for the night. Your friends will love you, and you’ll wake up in the morning happier and healthier.

Something different? Baker: Staying in shape always involves changing up your routine. So if you’re looking for something new to try, check out one of the programs at McMurtrey Aquatic Center. I thoroughly recommend “water walking,” which offers a low-impact, gentle exercise using water resistance to strengthen muscles and improve mobility, and even get your heart rate up if you push through the water with exertion. If you are recovering from an injury, or just want to try something new, this exercise is available year-round. Ankle weights and aqua dumbbells are available, too. More information: 852-7430

Cal State Bakersfield Peak Club Valentine’s Run (5K10K) Baker: This fun race takes place on Feb. 9, and starts promptly at 9 a.m. The Valentine’s Run is a casual, family-orientated event with hand-crafted awards for each age group, a great raffle and almost something for everyone. The course is throughout the CSUB campus, fast and flat and can be reviewed at the event website, valentinesrun.com. Download an application and mail it in, or register at active.com before Jan. 28 for $22, or $25 after that date. More information: email Jeff Moffit at jmoffit@csub.edu.

Have you noticed? Baker: The new outdoor fitness area at the Kern River Parkway is open for your exercise pleasure. The 11 new workout stations —

donated by Gary Chambers of Ace Hydraulic Sales and Service Inc. — provide a full body workout and are situated in a perfect location to include on your next ride or run. Instead of sailing by on your bike, pull over, do some crunches, pullups, stretch, grab a drink from the fountain, and be on your way.

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A group of male elk at the Tule Elk State Natural Reserve.

Tule Elk State Natural Reserve Safari near Bakersfield gives visitors an up-close look at living California history By Lois Henry

F

PHOTO BY LOIS HENRY

or a fun, interesting (and yes, educational ... shhh!) outing, pack a lunch, grab the kids and spend part of a Sunday at the Tule Elk State Natural Reserve. The reserve, which is also a state park, is only a short drive out Stockdale Highway, just past Interstate 5. But with a little imagination, you can get a feel for how the valley looked about 150 years ago when the reserve’s namesake elk roamed freely up and down the state. Make sure to pick the second or fourth Sunday of the month for your trip when the park ranger, Bill Moffat, gives auto safari tours — taking people out to the reserve for a closer look at the elk. Moffat is extremely informative about all of the animals and plant species on the Tule Elk reserve park ranger Bill reserve, and regularly conducts Moffat takes people out into the tours for school kids. Seriously, reserve for a closer look at the elk. 128

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PHOTO BY JOHN HARTE

Trip Planner

be prepared to learn a lot. Before heading out onto the reserve’s prairie, though, you have to stop in the visitor center. Moffat can show you some of the artifacts, mostly elk bones, they’ve collected throughout the years. But the coolest (in a “ugh” kind of way) display is the two elk carcasses that rangers found locked together after an unfortunate alpha battle. Seems one male got his horn stuck in the other male’s forehead, killing that guy instantly. But then he couldn’t shake the dead elk off and, apparently, dragged him around for some time before dying himself, possibly of thirst. Rangers found them locked together that way and had the heads redone by a taxidermist and displayed as they were discovered. Gruesome, I know, but it’s a pretty amazing site and really increases the “wild kingdom” feel of the trip for any kids who might think elk gazing is too boring. Tule elk, as I mentioned, used to roam all over the state and are only found in California. They’re smaller than elk found elsewhere in the United State, but they still cut a big enough presence if you get close to them on the reserve. When I went, it was rutting season, so the bachelor males (they’re all bachelors unless it’s the alpha) were off in the northwestern corner of the park. We got close enough to see their massive antlers, but not too close. Moffat doesn’t want them getting too used to humans. As impressive as the bachelor males were, when we came upon the females and the alpha, you could easily see why he was the “big cheese.” Physically, he was noticeably larger, true. But his antlers were unbelievable. I seriously didn’t know how he was lugging that kind of tonnage around. We circled the herd and got as close as we could until one little squeak from the brakes sent them running. They were magnificent to watch! I’m telling you it’s


If you go ...

worth the trip. When you get back from the safari, there is a viewing stand, picnic tables and lots of shade for a comfortable lunch. The elk were edged out of their habitat by cattle and nearly hunted to extinction in the mid-1800s. Their numbers reportedly dwindled to only about 30 when rancher and Kern River water baron Henry Miller decided in 1874, to give them some protection. He dedicated a portion of his ranch to them, and that’s where the reserve grew. At 1,000 acres, the reserve isn’t large enough to support a very big herd. So, the elk have been raised and transplanted to other reserves in the state, including Point Reyes National Seashore and about 20 other sites. An estimated 4,000 Tule elk traipse around California

PHOTO BY LOIS HENRY

Drive 20 miles west of Bakersfield on Stockdale Highway, past Interstate 5 toward Buttonwillow, until you see the sign to the park. • Park hours: 8 a.m. to sunset • Phone: 764-6881 • Web: parks.ca.gov/?page_id=584 • Safari tours: Every second and fourth Sunday of the month, 11 a.m. to noon. • Cost: $8 per auto.

Tule Elk reserve, which is also a state park, is just a short drive out Stockdale Highway just past Interstate 5.

now, thanks to Miller’s and the reserve’s efforts. It’s very cool to think that they were brought back from the brink of oblivion right here in Kern County. When you go, don’t forget to bring your binoculars so you can get a really good look at these living pieces of California history.

(661) 589-9900

Mobile Unit Available for House/Ranch Calls 2720 Calloway Drive, Suite E www.ThurmanVetCenter.com Expires 10/31/13

bakersfieldlife.com

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Business Profile SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

The Plank Foundation Patty and Lloyd Plank

2013 Plank Foundation Board of Directors Bob Parker President bparker@parkers.net Susan Eaton Secretary Denise Thomas Treasurer Tom Burch Terry Maxwell Scarlett Sabin Lacy Silicz Mark Ramsey Mike Rubiy John Wells Lloyd Plank Honorary Director Rich Harger Honorary Director

The Plank Foundation P. O. Box 173 Bakersfield, CA 93302 Website: theplankfoundation.com

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or more than 27 years, The Plank Foundation has been providing for those less fortunate in the areas of health, hunger and humanity.

What is The Plank Foundation? The Plank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation established in 1985, by Lloyd and Patty Plank in partnership with the Bakersfield East Rotary Club. Its goal was to provide for those less fortunate, especially in the areas of health, hunger and humanity. Today, The Plank Foundation operates on its own with an established Board of Directors of local Bakersfield professionals and the Plank family. What is the Mission of The Plank Foundation? Our mission is to assist hospice in providing end of life care for persons with a terminal illness. Our support provides hospice organizations within Kern County the means to provide dignified care for patients and their families, allowing them to be free to attain a degree of mental and spiritual preparedness for death. The Plank Foundation is dedicated to continue the fight against cancer, and to help create a healthier community for those who are afflicted. We are committed to supporting the Florence R. Wheeler Cancer Center as they provide state-of-the-art care and treatment in the fight against cancer. The Plank Foundation believes in compassionate care and support for those in our community and all suffering from terminal illness. Our vision is to ensure that terminally ill patients receive quality care during the final phase of life and to achieve the elimination of cancer in our community.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

What is the Plank Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award? For each of the past 15 years, The Plank Foundation has recognized an individual whose commitment and efforts to improve our community are without parallel. On Oct. 1, The Plank Foundation was honored to present the 2012 Humanitarian of the Year Award to Barbara Grimm-Marshall. Barbara believes that personal and business success is most often achieved not through chance but through determination and effort. She has overseen the philanthropy efforts of Grimmway Enterprises for the past 15 years. Barbara remains devoted to the communiGrimm-Marshall tyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most precious resource â&#x20AC;&#x201D; our children and the importance of mentoring the next generation. She believes there is nothing more important than the education and enrichment of our children, for their own personal success and for more vibrant communities to flourish. Barbara took the lead in developing, constructing and opening the Grimmway Academy in Arvin, California. The school sets out to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills that will prepare them for future success. Previous recipients of the award include: Buck Owens, Coach Gerry Collis, Ray Dezember, Dr. Dean Davis, Florence and William Wheeler, Mrs. Bebe Burke, Dr. Romain Clerou, Dr. Jim Clark, Jim Burke, George Culver, Father Craig Harrison, Wendy Wayne, Jim Scott and Robin Mangarin Scott, and Mayor Harvey Hall.


The Plank Foundation Golf Classic came back after a 1-year break and the 2012 Tournament was the best ever! This year was the 15th year for this great Bakersfield tradition and it’s only possible through the generosity of Bakersfield / Kern County residents! Your participation and contributions allows the Plank Foundation to continue its fight against cancer and support local area hospice.

2012 Golf Classic Sponsors Don and Earlene Barnes

Barbara Grimm-Marshall San Joaquin Hospital The Wheeler Foundation Dignity Health – Mercy & Memorial Hospitals • Ray Dezember San Joaquin Community Hospital Three-Way Automotive • UBS Financial – Jason Cohen • WA Thompson Jim Burke Ford • Townsend Design • Advance Beverage • Motor City Lexus • Jordano’s Patrick James • The Bakersfield Californian • Guinn Construction • CBCC Design Mark & Associates

Thanks to the professional staff at Bakersfield Country Club and the over 108 golfers who came out to support The Plank Foundation. Very special thanks to the many volunteers who made the event possible and the tireless work of The Plank Foundation Board of Directors and Lloyd and Patty Plank!

Save the date….We’re coming back next year on Monday, October 7, 2013

Contact us at The Plank Foundation, PO Box 173, Bakersfield CA. 93303 or email us at bparker@parkers.net


PHOTO COURTESY OF WONDER VALLEY RANCH

Business Profile SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center What makes this resort special? Family-owned and operated since 1973, Wonder Valley Ranch Resort is successfully being managed by the three generations of the Oken family. The entire staff at Wonder Valley is fully dedicated to the success of the company and the satisfaction of our guests. We pride ourselves in being able to customize packages to fit the desires of each individual request. What types of wedding services does Wonder Valley Ranch Resort offer? Wonder Valley’s wedding gazebo overlooks the shimmering Dalton Lake and is a picturesque backdrop for garden ceremonies. Some brides choose to make a fairy tale entrance with Wonder Valley’s horse-drawn bridal carriage. To make for a romantic winter setting, indoor ceremonies are also offered in front of a stone fireplace. Receptions follow in the gorgeous Legacy Lodge. Besides weddings, what types of events are available at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort? Wonder Valley offers a wide variety of customized events. Whether you’re looking to book a church retreat, banquet, holiday party, company picnic, reunion or conference, Wonder Valley is the ideal location. Our highly trained facilitators specialize in group team building events, outdoor education programs ,and summer camps for children and families. There are a number of specialty camps that depend on Wonder Valley to accommodate them each year. Group tours or 132

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January 2013

Wonder Valley Ranch resort and Conference Center

leisure travelers find Wonder Valley to be a picture-perfect destination.

Location: 6450 Elwood Road in Sanger, CA 93657 Phone: 800-821-2801 Email: veronica@wondervalley.com Websites: wondervalley.com and wondervalleyweddings.com

Tell us about the accommodations and recreational activities that the resort provides. The 52 guest rooms range from country cottages to spacious resort-style rooms that overlook the swimming pools or the Dalton Lake and have a view of the surrounding Sierra foothills. Every room features heating and air conditioning, in-room coffee service, free Wi-Fi Internet access and satellite television. Popular activities include boating and fishing, horseback riding, tennis, volleyball and basketball. Team building on our ropes challenge course or paintball course are among our guests favorites. Describe the grounds at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort. Home to 75 of the most beautiful acres, nestled in the Sierra Foothills, our stunning property will exceed all expectations. Manicured daily, the tranquil landscape at Wonder Valley is surrounded by awe-inspiring, rolling hills. Our private and serene location is uplifting and brings relaxation to our guests.


Comprehensive Cardiovascular Medical Group What services do you offer? Our practice specializes in the early detection, treatment and prevention of heart disease. We offer comprehensive heart services including office consultations, holter monitors, echocardiograms, stress testing and CT coronary angiography. We have highly skilled cardiologists on staff who have expertise in catheterization, stents, pacemakers, defibrillators and radiofrequency ablation of cardiac rhythm disorders. In addition, we have a research department where our physicians participate in a number of drug and device trials. Finally, our cardiologists perform interventions for heart attack patients at the local hospitals in Kern County that have a cardiac program in place. How long have you been in business? Comprehensive Comprehensive Cardiovascular Cardiovascular Medical Group has been in business Medical Group for 17 years. The practice started Bakersfield Location: 5945 with one cardiologist and three Truxtun Ave. employees. Today, we have five carPhone: 323-HART (4278) diologists and one physician assisWebsite: ccvmg.com tant on staff, and close to 30 employees. We have office locations in Bakersfield, Delano, Tehachapi and Lake Isabella. Our practice has grown over the years due to the prevalence of heart disease in our community. What sets your practice apart from others? Access into the practice and the availability of our cardiologists. We have cardiologists available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days per year. In addition, we have a highly 134

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013

From left: Viral Mehta, M.D., Supratim Banerjee, M.D., Nasser Khan, M.D., Kiersten Melendez, PA-C, Leopoldo Puga, M.D., Moksedul Habib, M.D.

PHOTO BY SOLORZANO PHOTOGRAPHY

Business Profile SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

skilled and trained workforce that focus on providing excellent customer service so that patients have a positive experience in our office. Not only does our practice focus on the diagnoses and treatment of heart disease, we also focus on prevention of heart disease. How is Comprehensive Cardiovascular combating heart disease in the community? We are Partnering for Prevention of heart disease with various local organizations such as the American Heart Association, to spread the word about heart disease and its effects on people living in Kern County. In addition, we coordinate care with local physicians and encourage our patients to eat healthy, exercise and live a stress-free lifestyle. Finally, heart disease is a growing concern for women, with it being the leading cause of death. Our cardiology team recommends cardiovascular screening for women with the associated risk factors (i.e. smoking, family history, eating habits and stress). How does Comprehensive Cardiovascular keep up with the latest trends in technology? Our organization has been a leader in implementing new technologies. We were the first cardiology practice in Kern County to bring in a 64 slice multi-detector CT scanner. Five years ago, we brought into the practice Electronic Health Records. This technology enabled us to streamline and improve the delivery of our cardiovascular care services to our patients. As healthcare technology continues to advance, Comprehensive Cardiovascular will remain the leader in implementing new technologies focused on providing evidencebased cardiovascular care.


Prime Finds

1. Party plates

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Every Color Me Mine birthday party includes a personalized hand print plate. 9000 Ming Ave. 664-7366. bakersfield.colormemine.com Color Me Mine at The Marketplace

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2. Mouth-watering toffee Fine, handmade English toffee by Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth. Available at Luigi’s, Sweet Surrender Bakery, Cafe Med, Flourishing Art and Sullivan Petroleum stores. 725-5200. auntmaessweettooth.com Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

3. An evening in Paris Decorate that perfect spot with this quaint distressed artwork reminding you of beautiful Paris lights and romance. 9500 Brimhall Rd., Suite 701. 588-7997. uniquelychicflorist.com Uniquely Chic Florist

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4. Healthy snack Yogurt is a great way to make that New Year’s resolution come true. We have 16 flavors, 45 toppings and no sugar added flavors each day. Tutti Frutti Bakersfield on Facebook for daily flavor updates. 8300 Stockdale Highway. 396-8000. Tutti Frutti on Stockdale Highway

5. Keeping doggy warm At Biscuits Boutique & Doggy Spa we have adorable sweaters for dogs of all sizes, and in all price ranges. Come and see our great selection. 1617 19th St., 321-9602. Biscuits Boutique & Doggy Spa

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6. Creative celebrations Birthday parties, gathering with the girls and office team building are all more fun at Creation Craze Studio. Our private party area accommodates 12. 9680 Hageman Rd., Suite D. 588-7107. Creation Craze Studio

7. New Year, new you We love our knitted half-sleeve sweater paired with a cute blouse. Feel confident, comfortable and fabulous in our pieces as you accomplish your big resolutions for the year. 205 E. 18th St. near Union Avenue. 396-1609. Ilitichi Boutique

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8. Unique invitations An invitation or favor box is an easy way to customize and personalize any of life’s festivities. Visit allintheinvite.com or find us on Facebook. 412-3815, or email us at info@allintheinvite.com All In The Invite

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KE A B

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Voting Starts January 7th! Go online to bestofkern.com to vote for your favorite places, people and businesses in a variety of categories. New catagories will be posted each week. Week 1 - Jan 7-13 • Week 2 - Jan 14-20 Week 3 - Jan 21-27 • Week 4 - Jan 28-Feb 5 Best of Kern County will publish in the April 27th edition of Bakersfield Life Magazine

www.BestofKern.com


Annual Pancake Breakfast Dec. 1 Held at Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Fred Hufnagel and Don Cornett

Julie and Ben Higginbottom

Jennie Sink and Frankie Feldman

Daniel Franco, Tom Davis, Patrick Johnson, Chris Lamedica, CJ Wilson and Rick Guzman

Sylvia Wilson, Chris Lamedica and David Luera

Hal Eggleston, Helen and Craig Austin and Jan Walker

Thomas Woods, Jr., Thomas Woods, Sr., and Antoinette and Nathaniel Woods

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Vera Gillie, Alma Higuera and Robert Barcenas


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club Festival of the Trees

Sandee Senior and Darleen Carpenter

Melody Smith and Diane Rowland

Renee Lee, Monica Zamora and Valerie Lee

Regina and Kyra Winton

Betty Beurmann and Kathleen Ansolabehere

Joyce and Connie Hawley

Evelyn and Sarah Elliott

Marilyn Thompson, Jerelle Kavanagh and Michelle Leggett

Nov. 17 Held at Rabobank Theater Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Jennifer and Judy Walsh

Nicole Cameron, and Katelynn and Shelley Ross

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Tom Xavier’s Enchanted Forest 2012 Nov. 30 Held at Seven Oaks Country Club Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Harriett Knight and James Scrivano

Stuart and Margaret Patteson

Harold and Addy Cox and Charles White

Becky Fulce, Preston and Michael Robison and Russell Engel

Jim and Julie Francisco

Shelton and Melina Stevens

Brent, Michelle, Chad and Jennifer Burton and Tom Xavier

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John Steel, Charlene Oliver-Steel, and Ozzie and Jay Gould


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

Bakersfield Uncorked Wine Fest - Junior League of Bakersfield Nov. 17 Held at Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Tracy Kiser, Christine Valenzuela and Mary Milkie-Andrews

Connie Consie, Sylvia Lozano and Deana Witwer

Jennifer and Ron Holbert and Amy Freeman

John McConn, and Stacey and Anand Manohara

Wendy Porter, Stacy Bart, and Terri and Gregg Bender

Coming Soon to... Teaming up and taking care of business!

Ted and Valerie McCurdy, and Katie and Doug DeGroot

January 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 31

February 1, 2, 7, 8, 9

This hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the rolodex era tells

the story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their

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Mendiburu Magic Foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Compassion Awards Dec. 12 Held at Wool Growers Restaurant Photos by Michael Fagans View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Dr. Julien Sage, Monsignor Craig Harrison and Bill Rector

Janelle Capra and Emily Poole

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Lisa and Julian Aguinaga

January 2013

Brian and Valerie Mendiburu

Lyle and Connie Martin

Megan and Randy Raymond

Scott Ferguson and Kimberly Morse

Jim an Dina Madden

Sandra and Larry Reider

Michelle Collier and Tom Corson


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

Downtown Business Association mixer

Joshua Marquez and Erin Swan

Dave and Pam Urner

Kathleen Faulkner, Susan Salvucci, and Jim Faulkner

Vickie Martinez-Tate and Melissa Kelley

Nicole Saint-John, Brenda Sharp and Elizabeth Harris

Dec. 4 Held at The Padre Hotel Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Jerry Baranowski and Joseph Simpson

Carol Ramirez, Lesley Reneau, Angie Moreland and Victoria Champion-Ochoa

Ed Flickinger, Enone Arenajo Evans, Michael and Jennifer Prince and Diane Monsibais

Jennifer and Michael Prince, Coryn McBride, Ali Dougherty, Shawn Rader and Elisa Robinson

Debra Rogers, Ruth Darrington and Marcelle Tillett

bakersfieldlife.com

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The Pie Run Nov. 22 Held at Hart Park Photos by Mark Nessia View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Back: Jeff and Becky Stambook. Front: Kate and Carter Stambook

Melanie Jensen, Laura Ante, Sheryl Brennan and Jennifer Bolstad

Rey Rodriguez and Denni Jorgensen

Rilee Marchbanks, Kyle, Esteban and Evan Solano, Shylo and Zayne Pelayo and Savannah Solano

Matthew Neubauer, Tish Duke, Carla Tafoya, Arika Jackson, Kym Campbell, Deb R-Wells.

Coby Adams, Dan Dumble, Nick Godbehere, David Dumble, Kade Godbehere and Cairah Adams

Frankie, Francisco, Orlando and Mariela Ramirez and Veronica Figueroa

Brent Milton, Evan and Raymond Rodriguez and Eric and Daniel Snelling

Joe Leary, Melissa Poole, Rachel Magnus, Ari and Jake Cimental 144

Bakersfield Life Magazine

January 2013


(855) 393-2840 www.motorcitywest.com

San Joaquin Community Hospital AIS Cancer Center opening

Pat Warner and Don Clark

Judith and Treanna Pierce

Stephani and David Irvine

Elli and Stan Ray

Cindy Connally and D’Lo Smith

Dec. 9 Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

Michael and Robert Rivera

HOFFMANN HOSPICE

Bob Beehler, Ryan, Amanda, Emily and Sidney Frank and Jarrod McNaughton

Gilberto Hinojosa’s last wish was to attend his daughter’s high school graduation. He did so in 2008, with wife Rosa and nurse Laura Burns.

At the end of life, every choice matters. Phillip Fuentez, Mary Watkins and Estelle Fuentez

661-410-1010 www.hoffmannhospice.org bakersfieldlife.com

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Inside Story

Dagny’s Coffee Co. Compiled by Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Felix Adamo

History: “My wife and I bought Dagny’s in April of 2007, after I retired from Albertsons supermarkets after 30 years. Jackie, my wife, recently retired from the Tehachapi Unified School District and works at Dagny’s several days a week,” said owner Mike Walters. “We are the fourth owners of Dagny’s in its 17-year history.”

Dagny’s Coffee Co. at the corner of 20th and Eye streets.

Dagny’s facts:

The Californian, a chocolate chip cookie, and a mocha rosetta at Dagny’s Coffee Co. Life is good.

Serving it hot in the winter: • During the winter months, Dagny’s normally serves 250 hot coffee drinks and 50 hot tea drinks per day versus 100-plus during the summer months. • While mocha (chocolate) is always the favorite hot coffee additive during the holiday season, Dagny’s sells many hot drinks with peppermint, hazelnut, gingerbread, Irish mint and pumpkin as the additive. • During the fall and summer months, Dagny’s sells many cappuccinos, mochas and lattes. Another favorite for the downtown crowd are An Americano is one of the the old-fashioned espressos and macmany favorites at Dagny’s. chiatos. 146

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January 2013

• Dagny’s was named after the character Dagny in “Atlas Shrugged.” • Many of Dagny’s current customers have worked at Dagny’s in the past. • All of Dagny’s coffees and teas are prepared from 100 percent natural whole beans and leaves. • Come in almost any afternoon and you’re sure to see Bakersfield’s own “Superman” — a regular customer who dresses like the superhero. • Dagny’s has one of the largest selections of tea leaves in the Bakersfield area. • Dagny’s teams up with Bord A Petite catering company to serve fresh-made sandwiches and salads every day. • All of the whipped cream used at Dagny’s is made daily. • Dagny’s recently teamed up with The Apple Shed in Tehachapi to offer a large selection of their daily fresh baked pastries. • Dagny’s sells beer and wine, and has recently doubled its Wesley Sims enjoys beer selection. Dagny’s comfortable • Look for a new surroundings. Dagny’s to open soon in Tehachapi. • In October 2008, Dagny’s partnered with the Kern County Network for Children to open the Dream Center & Coffee House, at 1212 18th St. In collaboration with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, it employs only emancipated foster youth at the Dream Center.

Source: Mike Walters, Dagny’s Coffee Co. owner


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Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2013