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July 2010

SUMMER SIPS Cool cocktails to help you beat the heat

RISE AND SHINE! Fitness boot camps will get you in shape

Dining Divas Dream come true at Valentien’s

Hit the road Weekend getaways fun for whole family





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My name is Sheri, and this is my take… Eighteen years ago, Sheri Seal-Bailey weighed 330 pounds. Today, after losing the weight, and more importantly, having learned how to keep it off; she’s happy, healthy and more than 200 pounds lighter. As the director of Bariatric Solutions at San Joaquin Community Hospital, Sheri uses her personal experience to help patients summon the courage to change not only their pant size, but lifestyle as well. “When my granddaughter was born, I knew if I didn’t lose weight I wouldn’t be around to see her grow up. That’s why I’m passionate about helping others find their inspiration for losing weight. When they come through the door, I look through their excess weight and see their potential. I’m able to see the thin person inside.”

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Summer Sips

When the mercury rises, all you can think about is cool relief. So what better way to beat the heat than with a cocktail? From mango mixology to a must-try mai tai, we’ve got eight great drinks from local restaurants that are sure to help you forget about the heat.


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Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Travel Time

Summer is also a good time to hit the road. For those who don’t plan on traveling too far from home, we’ve got the must-try activities and hot spots for a number of desirable destinations, including San Diego and Las Vegas. Consult our tips before you plan your next trip.


Real Estate

Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s time to start planning. In our special section, we’ve got tips on how to get the most out of your home sale as well as easy ways to increase the value of your home. Beyond the section, we also talk to local real estate professionals in a variety of sectors in our On the Red Couch and Guys on the Green features.


Dining Divas

Our four gals love to dine and dish, but when we told them they were headed to Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar for this issue, it was if a dream had come true. Along with guest Diva Cathy Bennett, they enjoyed a wonderful lunch complete with wine pairings from restaurant co-owner Jeramy Brown. They came down off their blissful cloud long enough to share their thoughts with us.






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D E PA R T M E N T S 16 Real People

It’s a nonstop day by the pool for lifeguard Mac Robertson.

18 History

Downtown building stand as testament to city’s past.

22 Food and Wine

Central Coast wine trip a perfect way to escape the heat.

28 Home and Garden

Plot your garden with help from Robby’s Nursery.

30 On the Red Couch

There’s no doubt these four women know their local real estate.

56 Guys On The Green

These four know the advantages of local commercial and industrial real estate.

64 Living Green

60 Community

Horses find a safe haven at Bit-O-Heaven Ranch.

69 Why I Live Here

City’s green waste facility helps us do our part for the environment.

Natalie Erlendson and her husband tell us why they love their northeast neighborhood.

66 Health and Fitness

62 Personality

54 Pastimes

72 SNAP!

Early risers feel the burn at bevy of local boot camps. Rafting the Kern is a cool adventure close to home.

President Willy Duncan pumping new life into Taft College. Bakersfield Life’s cameras were at some of the city’s top events recently. Check out who was snapped there.

82 Last Word

Radio personality Rachel Legan shares her best piece of advice and more.

For the record: The February issue of Bakersfield Life magazine incorrectly identified Zack Scrivner as a supervisor. He is a Bakersfield city councilman and county supervisorial candidate. In the June issue, Today Cleaners was misidentified in the 2010 Best of Kern County readers poll. 

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

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Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Vice President Sales, Marketing, Circulation & Operations John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Vice President of Content Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Art Direction Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo Henry A. Barrios Casey Christie Michael Fagans Michael Duffy Jessica Frey John Harte Ken and Maribeth Heasley Jenn Ireland Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Jan St. Pierre Carla Rivas Jose Trevino Contributing Writers Annis Cassells Lisa Kimble Chelley Kitzmiller Jeff Nickell Gabriel Ramirez Dana Robinson Paul Ulrich Advertising Lupe Carabajal 395-7563 Reader Inquiries Bakersfield Life magazine P.O. Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440 395-7492 On the cover The Paloma at Agave Grill and Cantina is just one refreshing choice for summer cocktails. Photo by Jessica Frey


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Summer offers new adventures Summer is here, and many of us are taking advantage of the outdoors, whether it’s in town or out of town. This is a great issue for you. Inside, Assistant Editor Stefani Dias rounds up some of Bakersfield’s finest cocktails. She explores eight specialty drinks brought to you from popular restaurants such as Uricchio’s Trattoria, Tahoe Joe’s and Agave Grill and Cantina. There's nothing like Sunday brunch at the Crystal Palace, but that’s not their only claim to fame. A standout among their signature cocktails is the Tiger by the Tail mai tai. It’s definitely one I will have to try. Along with the story behind the drink, we also have the recipes! So if you are your own bartender at home or you’re hosting a party, give them a try. Let me know what you think! With travelers in mind, we also explore neighboring getaways. If you’re headed to popular destinations such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas or even the Central Coast, we provide you with some details of the right spots to hit once you are there. For the history buffs, Jeff Nickell of the Kern County Museum explores Bakersfield’s changing downtown architecture and shares something new about noted architect Charles Biggar. One of my girlfriends, Sofia, men-

tioned she was going to give “boot camp” training a try. It is a hot trend among women, and it seems to be taking off here, according to an article we have in this issue. Check out what local boot camp trainers have to say and where you can give it a try. I was happy to learn that a home in our neighborhood, which had been sitting vacant for about a year, has found a new owner: a pleasant family whose son is about to start college. Their move gives us hope that the real estate business is picking up and filling once-vacant homes in established neighborhoods. In this issue, we devote a special section on real estate and introduce you to some great professionals dedicated to the industry. If you are looking to sell your home, buy a new one or even invest in commercial property, then check out the pages inside. I want to thank readers who have passed on information about their community functions, which make great Snap! events for us. It’s important for us to be there to record you with friends and colleagues in the moment and share them in our Snap! photo gallery. If you have an event, please e-mail me at Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

July 2010 / Vol. 4 / Issue 10

Olivia Garcia Vice President of Content 395-7487

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First Friday, featuring live music, art openings, specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, 5 to 9 p.m., Downtown Arts District. 634-9598.

Shaila Durcal and Mariachi Sol de Mexico, 8 p.m., Rabobank Convention Center. $42.25 to $147.25 plus fee. or call 800-7453000.


Sat. 10

Sat. 10

“Urinetown, the Musical,” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 12:30 p.m. Sunday (other shows through the month) Stars Dinner Theatre. $50 to $55; show only $30. 325-6100.

Lewis Black, 8 p.m., Fox Theater. $46 to $56. 3241369.

Grand Hollywood Premier Gala, benefiting the American Cancer Society of Kern County, 6 p.m., Stockdale Country Club. $150. 327-7827.

Find more community events at or

Thur. 22 Fri. 23

Sat. 24

Concerts by The Fountain, A.K.A., 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace. .

Ice Cream Social, with ice cream from Rosemary's, noon to 2 p.m., Beladagio. 829-2288.

Family Fun Night, Pirate’s Cove, 6 to 9 p.m., McMurtrey Aquatic Center. $3; group rate available. 852-7430.


Thur. 29

Sat. 31






Can’t-miss events in July

Bakersfield Blaze vs. Modesto Nuts, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Sam Lynn Ballpark, $5 to $9. or 716-HITS.

Concerts by The Fountain, Fat Daddy Blues Band, 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace.

Go West Day, with music, dancing, cowboys, food and more, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bakersfield Museum of Art. 323-7219.


Bakersfield Life

July 2010


It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Throngs of valley residents will make their summer migration to the Central Coast this month by way of Highway 46, passing by, or in many cases stopping at Blackwell's Corner. The landmark pit stop has been both safe haven for stranded motorists and a beacon for those seeking some Hollywood lore over the years. The desert depot got its start on Nov. 18, 1921, when a young George Blackwell set his sights on the corners of what are now Highways 46 and 33 in the northwestern corner of Kern County. The intersecting roads between Bakersfield and Paso Robles were nothing more than two dusty trails at the time. Blackwell reportedly had a few sticks of lumber, a few more cans of water, but an abundance of determination in transforming the treeless and sparsely vegetated desert vista into a thriving gasoline and refreshment stop. George Blackwell never got the chance to see his corner to its full potential. He was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1924. That same year, Kern County weathered one of its worst droughts on record. By then, Joe and Edna Puckett, who’d traveled to Kern from Lemoore, were running the rest stop. That summer, carcasses of cattle and abandoned automobiles were common at the site. Joe Puckett died in 1931, but Edna carried on, managing the corner during the Depression and later marrying Frank Rose, who helped breathe new life into the intersection. In 1942, with the world immersed in war, the 91st Division was sent to the neighboring Lost Hills area with 50,000 troops. A post

Photo by Alex Horvath


exchange was created at the corner, and the Blackwell's Corner training ground was the beginning of General Patton's 10th Army. But it was a visit by a pair of customers in the early evening of Sept. 30, 1955, that put Blackwell’s Corner on the pop culture map. Around 5 p.m., actor James Dean and his mechanic drove onto "the World’s Largest Parking Lot" in his Porsche Spyder. Dean bought an apple and a Coke. Thirty minutes later, he was dead, the victim of an automobile accident. The general store has billed itself "James Dean’s Last Stop" ever since. Ownership of the site changed hands the following year, and, in 1968, a suspicious fire destroyed the original structure.

The Pulse: What’s hot and what’s not this month in Bakersfield



Stockdale High success

Our dunce cap

The hard-working staff and students landed Stockdale on Newsweek magazine’s list of the nation’s “best high schools.”

Sunny idea Local school districts are hoping to save on energy costs by contracting with companies offering solar power.

Unseasonably cool weather Last month, Bakersfield residents experienced some unseasonably cool weather. But brace for the upcoming dog days of summer.

A home run for local pride Centennial High graduate Megan Langenfeld helped UCLA claim its 11th Women’s College World Series softball title and was named the event’s Most Outstanding Player last month.

Stockdale may be a top performer, but named Bakersfield one of the five worst cities for education.

Red, white and bust The annual “Red, White and Boom” event held at BC was canceled due to sagging finances, leaving many looking for other fireworks shows or hosting their own.

Vanishing young farmers Agriculture is the heart of Kern County, but reports show that family farm operations face a dim future as the next generation chooses other careers.

Low voter turnout In last month’s primary, voter turnout in Kern County was a sad 24.9 percent. Remember, every vote counts!



Short Takes


Tips for celebrating July 4th Celebrating one’s independence is a huge deal! So this year, get the family together and go all out with these four tips for the 4th of July.

1. Throw a family barbecue. Nothing

brings family together and says celebration like mountains of food. All you need to throw a great barbecue is food, flames and family. Of course don’t forget to have plenty of drinks, utensils and shade — after all it is summer.

2. Display Old Glory, the ultimate


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Watching a local show is a great way to spare the air and be safe. Although the "Red, White and Boom" at Bakersfield College has been canceled, there are other shows, including the annual 4th of July Celebration at Shafter High School, Delano’s Star Spangled Spectacular at Memorial Park and Bakersfield Christian High School’s firework display.

4. Have your own fireworks show.

• The flag should never be displayed with the union (the starred blue union) down

• Only buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store or stand.

• The flag should never be drawn back or bunched up in any way.

— County Supervisor Ray Watson, in reference to a county board decision to return funding to several arts and culture programs that they had previously planned to slash.

3. Watch a local fireworks show.

symbol of patriotism. But before you place that flag outside, remember that there are certain rules to be aware of and follow.

• The flag should not be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery (exception for coffins)

What is a community without some of the things we're talking about here, other than a barren wasteland where people go to work and go home?

• It should be illuminated if displayed at night.

• When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground. • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary. • No other flag should be placed above it.

Before you light be sure to follow the following regulations and guidelines: • Use fireworks outside only.

• Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter or combine them. • Never re-light a “dud” firework. (Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water) • Always have water handy. • Only people over age 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type. • Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.

Letter to the editor Recently I stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel and in my room was a copy of the Bakersfield Life magazine. The cover had a teaser about “local heroes,” and, yes, I wondered what other organization in Bakersfield honors local heroes. To my surprise, there was a four-page

spread about the American Red Cross Real Heroes! The article was great and I wanted to thank you for being such a great community partner! — Ellen Knapp Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central Valley Region

Got something to say? Letters to the editors can be e-mailed to or by mail, Olivia Garcia, Bakersfield Life Magazine, PO Bin 440, Bakersfield, Ca. 93302. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and space.

BY THE NUMBERS: Public pools

75 1,000 3 the number of lifeguards employed by the city

the number of people who use the city pools daily during the summer

4 7 the number of city pools

the number of city spray parks


the cost in dollars per person to use the pool at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center Source: McMurtrey Aquatic Center

the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit that is maintained for city pools

So You Want To ...

Stay cool Get wet Take advantage of the eight free local spray parks, or take the children or grandkids to the McMurtrey Aquatic Center.

Road trip time

Photo by Jenn Ireland

Take a nice drive over to Kernville or Tehachapi area, where temperatures are a bit cooler. If you are ready for a splash, then head over to river rafting in the Kern River Valley area. (See our story on page 54 for more details.)

Support the local arts and reading Take an afternoon trip to a local art gallery and view the works of some of our best artists. Or stroll on over to a public library or bookstore that offers free Wi-Fi.

Manage the temperature in your home Open windows and doors with screens during the cooler evenings. Angle blinds

up, or close them to avoid direct sunlight. Minimize cooking and ironing, if possible.

Protect your body Drink plenty of water and don’t rely on

thirst as an indicator that you need more. Avoid eating hot foods or drinking alcoholic, sugary or caffeinated drinks that can actually dehydrate you. Exercise or do physical work in the early morning.



Mac Robertson, aquatics coordinator, and lifeguard Dominique Curran keep an eye on the children going down the large red and blue slides from the top of the stairs at McMurtrey Aquatic Center.

Standing on guard One lifeguard finds many rewards in his duties By Gabriel Ramirez


s a lifeguard, Mac Robertson’s day can go nonstop. First, there’s early morning pool maintenance followed by teaching swim lessons and coaching a swim team. Then Robertson takes on lifeguarding recreational swimmers and, oftentimes, teaches evening swim lessons or supervises swim meets. By the end of the week, Robertson has spent 20 to 25 hours lifeguarding and more than 40 hours a week poolside, performing his many duties. Sounds exhausting, right? Not for Robertson. “I just really love being around the water and the people I meet 16

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Photos by Casey Christie and work with, as well as providing a service to the community,” Robertson said. “I like making sure the pools are as safe as they can be and also really enjoy teaching swim lessons and coaching.” The 35-year-old aquatics program coordinator is currently on his 16th summer of lifeguarding and now spends his days working with other program coordinators making sure all runs well at McMurtrey, Silver Creek, Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. pools. And, although he is busy ensuring all the pool programs run well, Robertson still puts in two to five hours a week as a lifeguard when the pools need a substitute. Although Robertson did swim in high school, he didn’t always think of becoming a lifeguard. Robertson worked in a restaurant

for two years before deciding to give it a try. “I started out just wanting a different job to get me outdoors, and just wanted something different,” he said. Lifeguard candidates must complete a set of requirements: You have to be certified in CPR, first aid, administering emergency oxygen, and using an AED (automated external defibrillator). You must also undergo blood-borne pathogen training and, of course, learn lifeguard and water safety instruction. “Lifeguarding is definitely a great deal of responsibility because you have others relying on you for their safety,” Robertson said. “However, I don’t feel any aspect of lifeguarding is hard.” Robertson said that the greatest perk of being a lifeguard is making an impression on the kids he meets. “There are several kids who I have taught swim lessons to or that I coached on recreation swim teams that became lifeguards when they got older that tell me they remember me as their teacher or coach,” Robertson said. While lifeguarding is something Robertson enjoys, he did admit that he's aware of the risks such as skin damage or dehydra-

tion, which can lead to further complications. “It is also important for people to follow water safety so that they can enjoy the water without the risk of injury or possible death,” he said. At times, “people may ignore the warnings of no running or no rough play. In general, people usually overestimate their abilities and put themselves in danger by swimming alone or swimming in areas that are too dangerous, such as large lakes, rivers or oceans.” When Robertson is not in the water, he is a substitute teacher and working toward obtaining his teaching credential. But spending the summers in aquatics is something he enjoys. That’s not counting the memories. Robertson said most of his favorite memories have to do with lifeguarding competitions. “I managed a nearly all male staff one season that won the ‘pool with most team spirit’ title over another pool that was comprised mostly of cheerleaders,” Robertson said. “Another good memory related to the competition was just all the fun I had with the staff I managed in 2001 while preparing for the competition and winning the overall title.”

Lifeguarding is definitely a great deal of responsibility because you have others relying on you for their safety — Mac Robinson

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Bakersfield’s changing downtown

architecture By Jeff Nickell, Director, Kern County Museum Photos courtesy of the Kern County Museum


Bakersfield Life

July 2010


f course, most of you know this area had inhabitants before the likes of Col. Thomas Baker, the Jewett brothers and a slew of others who came here in the mid to latter part of

the 1800s. The Yokuts Indians had a large settlement near where Mercy Hospital now stands. Their homes were made from willow branches and tule reeds. By 1870, our town was a fledging community with pioneers who were looking to make the most of the lower end of the San Joaquin Valley. Board and batten buildings were the norm, and false fronts made businesses look larger to attract more patrons. I am always amazed that just a few years earlier, the area was really nothing more than marshlands with the area being known as Kern Island due to the fact that the mighty Kern had two forks running through much of what is Bakersfield. Col. Baker himself laid out the down-

The First Baptist Church during construction.

The First Baptist Church on Truxtun Avenue, currently the Bell Tower Club. town streets of Bakersfield. In fact, Baker was somewhat of an expert surveyor through his penchant for reading everything he could about the subject. The streets and avenues were laid out wider than most towns of time. Baker wanted streets where travelers could pass slower-moving wagons or turn their wagons around.

Knock on wood On these streets, buildings began to emerge made from what most towns across the country were being made of: wood. The process of building used was called board and batten, which describes a type of exterior siding or interior paneling that has alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips. The boards are usually — but not always — one foot wide. The boards may be placed horizontally or vertically. The battens are usually — but not always — about half-inch wide. These battens are placed over the seams between the boards. Mills were built in Frazier Park and on Breckenridge Mountain due to the ample supply of wood their surroundings provided. This was a great way to build. At least that is what the residents and business owners thought until the great fire of 1889 destroyed much of the city. The fire and the earthquake in 1952 caused extensive damage that changed our downtown architecture. The fire caused a building boom with brick, and the earthquake damaged many structures beyond repair, causing us to utilize steel to reinforce structures to protect us against Mother

Nature. Personally, these parts of history are not things I lived through. Growing up in Bakersfield, I did not get the opportunity to see the Arlington Hotel, the Southern Hotel (in all its finery), Redlick’s Departments, and so on. The downtown landscape building-wise is not that much different than what we had when I was kid. Yes, we have the Rabobank Arena, new courthouse, the County Administrative Office, the Superintendent of Schools building, and a few others but for the most part, minus the wonderful trees, what we now have it is much the same.

The influence of Charles Biggar If you travel through the downtown area and beyond in just about any direction, you will find some grand old buildings, several of which were constructed between the 1920s and 1940s, that are a huge part of what Bakersfield is today, not only architecturally but historically, too. Some of these buildings include the Bell Tower, constructed originally for First Baptist Church; the Haberfelde Building (of Heberfelde Ford fame, the precursor to Jim Burke Ford); Vests Drugs; The Bakersfield Californian building (placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983), the Central Fire Station or Fire Station #1, the Fox Theater (completed Dec. 25, 1930), and many of the structures at Bakersfield High School, including community treasure Harvey Auditorium. All of the listed buildings were designed by noted architect Charles Biggar. And, even though flood, fire, and earthquakes have ravaged our downtown area, it would not have the historic feel that it has if it were not for Charles Biggar. A historical survey completed several years ago by historian Chris Brewer, under the auspices of the city of Bakersfield, offers some details about some of these buildings. The Central Fire Station is “squarish Moderne Public Works Administration style architecture” that was built in 1938 on property that was once the Continued on page 20


Vests Drugs at 19th Street and Chester Avenue in downtown Bakersfield.

The Bakersfield Californian building at 17th and Eye streets was built in 1926 and placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1983.

Continued from page 19

So next time you are downtown, look around for some of the wonderful buildings that still exist from the earlier years of the place we call home. They are not only pleasing to the eye, but truly give us a sense of history as we go about our daily lives. (P.S. I have purposely left out 1950s construction. You may want to turn a blind eye to that era for the most part. It is just my opinion that they are not the best-looking buildings in downtown, although they are quite functional).

old Bryant School. The property cost $15,420, and construction costs amounted to $120,000. The same historical survey by Brewer indicates that Fox Theater was “considered the finest of its kind between San Francisco and Los Angeles” when it was opened to the public. The theatre boasts a Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture, and its clock tower is six stories tall.













MONDAY- SATURDAY 12PM-7PM 661-392-1147


Bakersfield Life

July 2010


We get it. Staying fit and healthy at every stage of your life isn’t easy. You might even be tempted to let things go. To put off healthy habits till “tomorrow.” Like exercising, eating right, controlling your blood pressure and blood sugar. But the truth is, your health is precious. If you don’t take care of it, you can lose it. That’s why at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, we’re always thinking about you…and ways we can be your partner in staying healthy. With health fairs and screenings where we can check your risk factors for heart

disease and diabetes. Our Five-Ton Weight Loss Challenge, helping Kern County residents slim down. Our Healthy Promotions Dental Program, providing dental care to those in need. Our Homemaker Care Program, which allows older residents with limited incomes to manage their health, maintain their dignity and live independently. As well as countless other programs to keep Kern County healthy. This community built our hospital back in the 1950s—and we’re committed to being here for you. Doing our best to keep you healthy. Every minute, every day. So even if you don’t want to think about how to stay fit, it’s OK. We will.


Play the “Memorial Game of Life” at You could win some great prizes!

420 34th Street Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661) 327- 4647 |

Become a fan on Facebook

Worth the drive

Photo courtesy of Laetitia Winery


Put Chamisal Vineyards, Laetitia Winery on your must-see list when visiting California’s Central Coast


By Paul Ulrich, wine columnist

uly is the time when many locals seek a break from the Bakersfield heat and visit the Central Coast. This is also a good opportunity to visit some coastal wineries, starting with those of the Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo. I suggest your first stop be Chamisal Vineyards. This vineyard was the first one planted in the Edna Valley in 1973, formerly known as Domaine Alfred. The winery has been recently purchased and renamed by the group that owns Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa, another personal favorite. Chamisal produces pinot noir, chardonnay, and Rhone style wines. The chardonnay is made in several different styles. Their Stainless Chardonnay is made with no contact with oak at any time. It’s acidic, re-


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

freshing, and a good choice for a light summer meal. The Califa wines, translated as the “prettiest one,” are most familiar to the public. They showcase the expression of the Edna Valley terrior, or the special characteristics the terrain bestows on the varietals. The Califa Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wines from any Central Coast producer. The winery also has some small lot, limited production wines that are very interesting and only available at the winery. I have also started to appreciate the Rhone varietals lately, including syrah and grenache. A visit to the Chamisal tasting room gives you a chance to try all of these wines and decide on your own favorite. Santa Maria is another area that produces some fabulous wine, primarily chardonnay and pinot noir. One of my favorite stops is Laeti-

as single vineyard pinot bottlings. I absolutely enjoy every one of the single vineyard wines, especially Les Galets and La Montee. It is interesting that there can be such a difference in wines that are grown in the same area, albeit with different soil types and different microclimates, as seen with the single vineyard wines. It is also nice to have the opportunity to taste wines like this at the same time to appreciate their differences and similarities. The only downside to the single vineyard wines is that they are made in small quantities and sell out quickly. The winery is located along Highway 101, just south of Arroyo Grande. The knowledgeable staff is very friendly and will help guide you through the fine wines that they produce. I think you will find a perfect wine to fit your tastes at Laetitia.

Photo courtesy of Laetitia Winery

tia Winery, which is actually in the Arroyo Grande Valley American Viticultural Area, just north of Santa Maria. This property was originally developed as a sparkling wine facility by Maison Deutz. A private owner, Selim Zilkha, has since acquired it. Laetitia has something for everyone, from sparkling to still wines. Their Barnwood and Nadia wines are grown in the Santa Barbara Highlands, off State Highway 33 near Cuyama. This group of wines consists of Rhone-style blends, cabernet blends, and petite sirah. The Nadia White is my top choice of the wines from this group. Of their sparkling wines, I prefer the Brut Rose. To me, the real stars of this winery are the pinot noirs. The Estate Pinot is widely available in Bakersfield and reasonably priced. Laetitia also produces a Reserve Pinot Noir, as well

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Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar

From left, Aimee Williamson, Whitney Rector, Wendy Horack, guest Diva Cathy Bennett and Lori Ritchie at Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar. 24

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Perfect match Wine-food pairings, guest Diva make for fine dining experience at Valentien Photos by Greg Nichols

Warm welcome

Whitney: Walking into Valentien is quite a nice feeling. There is no hoping you are going to get a good meal — you know you will. Needless to say I was almost running into Valentien to begin our dining feast. For those who have been there, you know what I am talking about! Valentien is casual yet sophisticated. I love it because you can dine casually or for a special occasion. Blake, our excellent server, seated us and our journey began. Jeramy Brown, the co-owner of Valentien, explained the menu to us and had me at “hello.” (Sorry, Bill.) Wendy: We have been waiting for this moment for months now. We’ve been chanting, “We want Valentien, We want Valentien!” Finally, we’re invited to go to Valentien, and let me tell you we took advantage of everything they had to offer! Jeramy greeted us immediately. His passion for great French food showed in the wonderful French cuisine that we were so fortunate to eat. There are only a handful of restaurants in Bakersfield that contend with Valentien, and I think they all have a respect for each other.

Steak tartare

Perfect pairing

Aimee: Jeramy suggested we do the wine pairing with our meal: small portions of a variety of wines that would complement each phase of our dining experience. He took the time to explain what each wine was to be paired with and why. They were all fantastic, and really did make the food even better. What I loved the most about the wine experience was the attitude of the staff. They said wine is personal, while the suggestions are important, not everyone has the same tastes. There is no right or wrong with wine, as long as it is a pleasurable experience for the person drinking it. Lori: I really did not know much about Valentien, only that they had the best wine selection and amazing food. What I love is that Jeramy made all the decisions on wine. I think at one point we had at least 15 wine glasses on the table. Thank goodness we all love wine. Wendy: I was comfortable about having wine this time because Whitney was the driver. I must add that I didn’t plan on wasting a single drop either. The wine and food pairing was perfect. I’m just glad that there are people like Jeramy who like to make people like me Continued on page 26

Creme brulee, above, and lemon tart.

Ahi tuna rolls

Lamb sirloin with frissee



Valentien co-owner Jeramy Brown offered a full selection of wine pairings with the meal. Continued from page 25

happy with incredible food and wine.

Guest Diva

Lori: Cathy Bennett, our special guest, was a delight. She is an attorney here in Bakersfield. We were delighted to have Cathy join us for this lunch. In fact, Cathy fit in really well with us; we all laughed and joked together. Aimee: We had the opportunity to have a guest Diva this month. Cathy Bennett joined us for lunch. When I found out she was going to be our guest diva, I knew she would fit in just fine!


Lori: To begin our lunch, we all started off with a glass of Charles de Fere, a Brut sparkling wine with smooth texture and fine delicate bubbles to cleanse our palette. I love champagne. This is how you should begin each meal, cleansing the palette with a glass of sparkling wine and warm, homemade sourdough bread. We decided on trying all the appetizers they have to offer: grilled asparagus with a poached egg and crisp onions; steak tartare on a piece of the amazing grilled sourdough bread topped with a fried quail egg; ahi tuna rolls; and, to our surprise,

one more appetizer was brought out, ceviche. All of the appetizers were outstanding; there is not one I would pick that is better than another. Good thing all five of us shared. Aimee: The bread was so good. The crust was crunchy with a perfectly baked warm inside. Everyone loved each of the appetizers, but my favorite was the grilled asparagus with poached egg and crisped onions. The asparagus was cooked perfectly, not too soft with the perfect amount of crunch! The combination of the egg and the asparagus is something I didn't think I would like, but it was so good. Wendy: The first thing that came out was the homemade bread. It was fabulous. Then the ceviche came out and the ahi tuna rolls arrived soon after. Poor Aimee, I was starting to feel sorry for her, not! More for us! The ceviche was perfectly prepared with fresh fish and just the right amount of citrus that made it a very refreshing appetizer. The ahi tuna melted in my mouth, it was so good. Then the steak tartare came out. Will Aimee try this? No ‌ more for us again! At this point, I have high expectations and anything less than fabulous just won’t

From the guest Diva, Cathy Bennett I scored: lunch with the Dining Divas at my favorite Bakersfield spot, Valentien! If you're wondering, I paid dearly for the experience, but for a good cause. I bought my lunch at a charity auction for Youth Connection, sponsored by my Rotary Club, Bakersfield North. We ordered and shared each of the lunch appetizers. We all enjoyed every bite — except Aimee, who, it seems, doesn't eat anything from the water. Each of us ordered from the prix fixe lunch menu. I enjoyed a succulent lamb sirloin on a frisee salad. We finished off with dessert — crème brulee for me. Of course, Jeramy paired everything we tasted with a wonderful wine. Lunch with the Divas was a pleasure because they are great friends who enjoy each other’s company. The four of them welcomed me to their group and we talked about families, summer vacation plans and the latest adventures. They each have a great sense of humor, and they know each other so well that they pull no punches. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours. Thanks, Divas! Thanks, Jeramy and Valentien! And thanks, Bakersfield Life!

do. The steak tartare was perfectly stacked on grilled bread and topped with a fried quail egg. It’s a “must try.”

Soup or salad?

Aimee: I chose the salad for my first course. It was simple mixed greens with roasted beets, goat cheese and a sherry vinaigrette. It was a nice blend of savory and sweet. Whitney: I went for the soup, which was asparagus that day. This was a hearty soup that was rich and flavorful. Valentien makes its own bread, and it came out hot out of the oven and made the soup even better. We had a Kistler Chardonnay, which is a strong chardonnay and balanced well with the soup. Wendy: Soup du jour! Creamed asparagus! Can you say butter? OK, my personal cooking motto: If it doesn’t have butter, cream, mayo and more butter in it, it can’t be great. This was fabulous. I want that recipe. Jeramy, give it up!


Aimee: The menu at Valentien is not overwhelming. You have variety of choices, but don’t feel overwhelmed about choosing your food. The lunch menu changes every few weeks and the dinner menu changes about five times a year. Valentien offers choices to fit any type of appetite from the meat eater to the vegetarian. Wendy was in her usual bossy form, announcing the minute we sat down that she was having the filet mignon. I am tired of her always getting the steak, so I put my foot down and said I was ordering it, too! The filet mignon was to die for! It was kind of embarrassing; it looked like I had been served nothing at all due to the fact I ate every bite of food and every ounce of sauce on my plate! Lori: I chose the special of the day: lamb. It was so good that there was not one crumb left on my plate. In fact I think everyone cleaned their plates. A Morgan Pinot Noir, Rosella’s Vineyard, was served with this course. Perfect pair; thanks, Jeramy.

Whitney: While the other carnivores went for filet — what a shock — I ordered the vegetable lasagna. Light yet so heavenly. The eggplant, asparagus, mushrooms, onions and bell peppers tasted like they had been roasted prior to assembling the lasagna, which made it all the better. It had goat cheese layered between the pasta with an ever-so-light sauce. It was excellent. Here comes the red wine! Pinots from Santa Lucia are fruity, and I wanted another glass. Wendy: It was no surprise that I was set on ordering the filet mignon. My filet was cooked perfectly medium-rare, served with roasted tomatoes and asparagus topped with a Bearnaise sauce. I didn’t want it to be over. I love this food!


Aimee: We had the choice of a lemon tart or creme brulee. Wendy and Whiney ordered the tart, which is fitting for those two — a tart for the tarts! I ordered the creme brulee and what a fantastic choice it was. Cathy can hold her own and can dish it out as good as any seasoned Diva. This was proven when Wendy announced to the table that she wanted any dessert that was, in her words, “molting.” Cathy looked at me and asked if she meant “molten.” I said, “Yes, that is what she meant.” So like any nice Diva would do, Cathy and I assured her if there were any birds losing their feathers on the dessert menu, she could have it! Valentien also offers a cheese selection, a flight of three for $10 or a single cheese for $4. There are times I would throw dessert out the door and finish my meal with a great cheese and wine. So whether you like sweet or savory to end your meal, Valentien has something for you! Wendy: Cathy was very sweet and held her own while dining with this rough crowd! I thought I would announce to the table that I was planning to order any dessert that was remotely molten, specifically lava cake. I might have actually said “molting,” which means something else. Did I mention that I wasn’t wasting a drop of the fabulous wine? Lori: Aimee, Cathy and I all chose the creme brulee; all three of us licked our bowls clean. Aimee literally licked hers it was so good. Aimee said she could have eaten 15 servings. We all laughed. It was that good. Whitney: I jumped on the lemon tart. Thick crusted, lemony slice of heaven would best describe my dessert. I'm a lemon girl, just ask my sweet dentist.

A ‘taste of heaven’

Wendy: Valentien is doing it right. Romantic, beautiful, modern French atmosphere combined with exquisite wines and incredible cuisine make for a memorable experience. You can enjoy Valentien for any occasion, business lunch or date night. If you haven’t had Valentien, put it on your bucket list. And if you “kick it” before getting to Valentien, no worries, I’m sure heaven has a Valentien because it really is a “taste of heaven.”

Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar 3310 Truxtun Ave., Suite 160. 864-0397 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday



Kathy Robinson has various textures visible in the garden at Robby's Nursery.

Plotting your garden of Eden Whatever your plans, Robby’s Nursery has some ideas for you By Lisa Kimble


Photos by Henry A. Barrios

f your garden is a diamond in the rough instead of your home’s crown jewel, consider approaching it as you would the purchase of a stone, as if carefully considering the four C’s. After all, while the visual appeal of your yard may please your sense of sight, it can have endless possibilities for your sense of smell, touch and sound as well. “People don’t realize how many choices they have. They get stuck in a rut of thinking they have to do what their neighbor did,” said Kathy Robinson, owner of Robby’s Nursery in northwest Bakersfield, one of the oldest nurseries in town. Robinson recommends homeowners visit a nursery to see and


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

feel what excites them and do so at different times of the year. There is “something spectacular each season,” she said. At Robby’s, which is celebrating its 48th year, the acre-and-a-half-property has been arranged into groupings of smaller gardens to give homeowner a wide range of ideas. “We have tried to set up the nursery as a yard,” Kathy said. “Each area is like a different room creating interest.” Her father, Harold, or "Robby" as he is known, has been cultivating garden magic for 68 years. “When customers come in and say that we did work for them, and everything is still doing great, that puts a feather in your cap,” he said. The Robinsons advise plant shoppers to consider where the

Robby Robinson helps customer Roxann Williams with the items she bought and with advice on how to use them. Thorough knowledge of the things they sell keeps Robby's Nursery's customers coming back. shrub, tree or plant will go. A sun-loving plant will not do as well in the shade and vice versa. “In Bakersfield, if you plant a shade-loving plant in the sun, you will have a problem,” she said. And remember not all nurseries are created equal. Some keep all of their greenery under a shaded tarp, misleading shoppers into thinking that all the plants will do well anywhere. “We don’t want the plant to go into shock.” Shade-lovers include shrubs like azaleas, camellias and ferns. Those with splashes of color include impatiens, begonias, fuchsias and hydrangeas. Rose bushes and crepe myrtles are among those that will do well in the sun. Kathy Robinson also suggests getting trees out into your yard. Trees, she says, can create a lot of interest and structure. When designing your ideal garden, have fun with colorful plants like geraniums. “You don’t want all gray plants in one area,” Kathy added. Considering Bakersfield’s location, make sure to include drought-tolerant plants. One plant growing in popularity is the Palo Verde desert museum. Plant shoppers should also create a mix of textures. Using cactus, for example, can create a striking look. “Don’t rule out using something just because you dislike it by itself,” Kathy said. The plant you don’t care for may complement the grouping perfectly. Grassy leaves or ground leaves should not be overlooked, and the sharpest focal point should always be near the entryway, Robby says. Continue adding dimension to your garden through the senses with scented shrubs such as star jasmine. “That opens up another realm,” Kathy added. Sound should be just as indispensable, whether it be with chimes hanging from a tree branch, birds that are attracted to those trees, or water features. Today, fences and exterior walls are considered extensions of the garden. Don’t be afraid to have fun with pots, statues, stakes and wall sculptures using recycled metals. By integrating all of the senses in the garden, including the layering of foliage, the yard will exude an intimate feel, whether the space is tiny or part of a great expanse. “You don’t have to be out in the country to create your own area,” said Kathy. And if you are still overwhelmed with all of the choices, consider a garden consultation. The expert advice and ideas will serve you well in the end.




Moving in When it comes to local real estate, these women know their stuff.

Mary Christenson Realtor, WatsonTouchstone ERA Real Estate

What is the hottest neighborhood/area of town that people are looking to move into? Mary: Southwest and Brimhall/Brighton areas have excellent community amenities and schools, and most areas have CC&Rs (homeowner association rules) that enhance lifestyle. Adoree: One of the best things about Bakersfield is our great neighborhoods. The northwest continues to be the fastest-growing part of town and is expanding to the north and to the west, with plenty of land still available. It’s close to award-winning school districts, parks and excellent shopping, with more in the plans. Debbie: The affordable ones! Homes are selling everywhere right now and people love a bargain at any price. Laurie: The northwest and southwest neighborhoods are still the highest in units sold and the most often requested by buyers.

What is your best client story? Mary: That’s a tough one — there are so many! I met my husband, Tom, when he came house hunting. He eventually bought a house next door to my own, then we married and moved into his. Adoree: I was showing a man a home in the northeast area. I rang the doorbell and a man totally naked answered. We opted not to go in. Debbie: A HUD home purchased by a first-time homebuyer mom and her children. They tried so hard and had so many challenges with events and never gave up. She owned her own landscaping company, had no other support and was raising three or four kids by herself, never complaining. When she got the keys, it was a really great feeling. You would have thought that Campus Park home was the Taj Majal. 30

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Debbie Craig-Banducci Broker/president, RE/MAX Magic

Laurie McCarty Coldwell Banker Preferred

Laurie: After 27 years in the business, it would be hard to pick just one, as there have been so many rewarding times. One of the most recent was helping a seller — who called me 10 days before the foreclosure date was scheduled to occur — achieve short sale approval on the home. During those 10 days, we marketed the home, got an acceptable offer, postponed the foreclosure and got short sale approval for a closing scheduled to occur in late June.

What are you focused on in the current local home market? Mary: I specialize in the high-end luxury home market — southwest Bakersfield as well as golf course and country club neighborhoods and Kern River areas. That market was very slow for the last two years, due to strict financing requirements and high jumbo loan rates, but that has eased up a little and there is more movement and more confidence in this market now. Adoree: Our company is focused on keeping up with the daily changes in the market. Debbie: Education. It is so imperative that the agents and the public have the most accurate information on all of the different programs available on financing, tax credits, HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives), HAMP (Home Adoree Roberson Affordable Modification Program), Owner/manager, short sales, REOs (real estate owned Premier Realty property) and things we had never heard of before that are changing so rapidly. We as Realtors must be at the top of our game like never before. Laurie: The focus is the same regardless of the market conditions: listening to your client, whether buyer or seller, and helping them through the process in a way that best serves their needs and meets their goals. Continued on page 32


Continued from page 31

How do you feel the Bakersfield home market is different from others?

What would you say to someone who is considering buying a home right now?

Mary: We are very affordable for California! Our city is rich in oil and agriculture, and we continuously bring people in to support these industries. Adoree: Bakersfield is and always has been unique in many ways. The national trends don’t necessarily reflect our market. We don’t have a shortage of land, and we have a strong base of oil and agriculture. Even though our population is over 300,000, when you meet someone for the first time and talk for over five minutes, you’ll find you know someone in common. Debbie: We have such a wonderful variety of neighborhoods, so many programs and Bakersfield’s residents make it different and special. There are opportunities to buy a home at nearly any price range and style. Laurie: While we have gone from No. 1 in growth during the boom years to among the top 10 for foreclosures in the nation, we are now experiencing a recovery that most other areas are still hoping for. Our affordable housing, central location and quality of life make Bakersfield a very desirable area for homeowners and investors alike.

Mary: Interest rates are still historically low, inventory has diminished and there is more confidence in the market — now is the time to buy! Adoree: There has never been a better time in history to buy a home. Interest on a 30-year loan is less than 5 percent, and home prices are approximately 50 percent less than they were three years ago. That being said, the process to buy a home is difficult and there are no shortcuts. It’s complicated! You need to get pre-qualified by a lender and you need to have a knowledgeable Realtor. A good team can help you navigate through the home-buying experience. Debbie: Jump in, the water’s warm. You’ll be glad you did! This is an opportunity that may not come around again for a while with low interest rates and affordability. Laurie: With the California tax credit of $10,000, continued low interest rates, seller concessions and record low prices, there has never been a better time to be a buyer! In fact, it’s not unusual for a buyer to have a lower mortgage payment than they were paying in rent.




Bakersfield Life

Craig-Banducci July 2010


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Hooters’ Christmas Light Lemonade 34

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Keep your cool with these refreshing drinks By Stefani Dias


Photos by Jessica Frey

fter a balmy spring, Bakersfield is in the midst of another sweltering summer. When the temperatures rise, local bartenders know there’s nothing better for beating the heat than a refreshing cocktail. All over town, they’re serving up a selection of sips sure to help you keep your cool. So what makes a good summertime drink? Some local spots set their sights south of the border while others favor fruit flavor to refresh the crowds. Bakersfield Life brings you eight drinks from popular local establishments that will have you ready for a lively night on the town (or at home). Wet your whistle with one of these potent potables, and you won't be hassled by the heat.

Hooters 4208 Rosedale Highway, Suite 100. 634-9464.

Christmas Light Lemonade 1¼ oz. Absolut Citron 1/2 oz. Sour Apple Pucker Lemonade to taste Orange, lemon and lime slices Maraschino cherry Combine vodka and schnapps and top with lemonade. Add fruit, shake and pour in a glass so the fruit settles throughout the drink.

Bakersfield likes its beer, but when it’s time for cocktails – or Hootertails, as the popular Atlanta-based chain calls its line of signature drinks, the choice is easy: Christmas Light Lemonade. The drink, created at the first Hooters in Clearwater, Fla., is so named for how the colorful fruit resembles the trademark Christmas lights that make up the restaurant's decor. In warmer weather, the local restaurant will sell eight or nine a day, according to general manager Teejay Scharf. If you’re not sure this is the drink for you,

Scharf says the Hooters girls will help you out with drink recommendations, which may include the Hula Hoop (pina colada) or the 83 Margarita, made with their own agave syrup and named for the year the first Hooters opened.

Padre Hotel 1702 18th St. 427-4900.

Mango Mojito 1½ oz. Don Q rum fresh mango 2 lime wedges fresh mint leaves Muddle together mango, lime wedges and mint leaves. Add to shaker and mix with ice and rum. Serve in a Collins glass with a sugared rim.

For those looking for the “perfect staycation,” you need look no further than the Padre Hotel and its new Mango Mojito, says manager Mark Dondanville. The light and refreshing spin on the Continued on page 36 35

Padre Hotel’s Mango Mojito Continued from page 35

standard mojito has increased in popularity as the weather has heated up. The hotel serves more than 30 of the unique drink on a busy night, when as many as 600 people may be on the hotel property. The warmer weather has increased crowds at the Padre, especially at the outdoor bar Prairie Fire, where the mojito is popular along with other featured summer favorites Blueberry Lemon Drop and Bloody Mary, which is made with vodka infused with cucumber and jalapeño.

Tahoe Joe's 9000 Ming Ave. 664-7750.

Top Shelf Patron Margarita 1½ oz. of Patron Silver 100% Agave Tequila 3/4 oz. Patron Citronge orange liqueur 2 half-wheels each of orange and lime, muddled 3 oz. Joe's Sweet and Sour

Everyone loves margaritas and Tahoe Joe's is no exception. Its Top Shelf Patron Margarita ranks among its top five mixed drinks. The 36

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Tahoe Joe’s Top Shelf Patron Margarita (center)

steakhouse, which has a rotating seasonal cocktail menu, keeps this margarita on the menu all year long, although it sells more in the summer, according to Reem Fahoum, manager of community and public relations. This drink is only one of the margaritas on the menu that also includes the Cabo-rita (with Cabo-Wabo Reposado tequila) and the PAMA-rita (with pomegranate liqueur). And if a margarita isn't your speed, Tahoe Joe's also has a Golden Peach Sangria, new for summer, that has been a hit since it made the menu in May.

Crest Bar & Grill 5025 Wible Road. 833-9998.

Pisco Sour 2½ oz. Pisco Brandy 1½ oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice 3/4 oz simple syrup 1 egg white from a small egg Angostura bitters as a garnish Combine everything but the bitters in a mixing glass and shake without ice (to incorporate the egg). Add ice and shake very well for another 20 to 30 seconds.

Crest Bar & Grill’s Pisco Sour

Continued on page 38

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Agave Grill and Cantina’s Paloma

Continued from page 37 Strain into a chilled martini glass. Dash Angostura bitters on top.

You may be surrounded by RVs, but it's all about classic cocktails at the Crest Bar & Grill. That's what manager Peter Karnowki says of the move to revive cocktails like the Pisco Sour — the national drink of Peru — that one doesn’t see at many bars these days. He describes this as a great summer drink, tasting like an “airy lemonade” with a frothy, colorful look. Since adding it to the menu last summer, the Pisco Sour has been selling well in the warmer months, with eight to 12 sold on a busy night. Summer is especially busy for the Crest as it's traveling season when families and Europeans touring the West Coast stop at the RV park. So whether you're hitting the road or staying in town this summer, if you want to try something different, check out the Pisco Sour.

splash of Squirt splash of club soda Shake ingredients and serve with a lime wedge.

If you think the best drink at a Mexican restaurant is a margarita, think again. This summer, try a Paloma, which Agave owner Omar Ruiz describes as a smoother alternative for margarita drinkers who want to try something a little different. Traditional in Mexico, the drink ranks among the top five drinks at Agave and is the top nonmargarita choice, selling about 30 on a active night. And Ruiz says activity has increased on the patio as more people are enjoying lunch outside at the Oak Street restaurant. Those lunch crowds might stick around for happy hour now that they know about the Paloma.

Uricchio's Trattoria 1400 17th St. 326-8870

Agave Grill and Cantina

Mango Fusion

250 Oak St. 322-4283. 1½ oz. Absolut Mango equal parts pineapple and orange juice splash of soda or seltzer

Paloma 1¼ oz. Patron Silver juice of a whole lime 38

Bakersfield Life

Continued on page 40 July 2010

Continued from page 38 garnish with orange or cherry Shake ingredients and garnish with fruit.

Uricchio’s has made a name for itself with classic Italian dishes, but it’s keeping things interesting in the bar. Just in time for summer, the staff has a selection of cocktails using mango vodka. While it’s good paired with pink lemonade, the vodka really shines in the Mango Fusion, which bartender Kenny Zimmermann calls a fruity and delicious summertime drink. He says the bar sells eight to 10 of the refreshing drinks on a busy night. Zimmerman also notes the signs of warmer weather — chilled white wine outsells red, Tanqueray or vodka and tonics replace Jack and Cokes and more beer is ordered — and says he expects to see the trends pick up more this month.

Buck Owens' Crystal Palace 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 328-7560.

Tiger by the Tail 1½ oz. white rum 1/4 to 1/2 oz. amaretto 1 oz. each pineapple and orange juice floater of grenadine 1/2 oz. Myers dark rum Layer ingredients in martini glass so the drink appears striped like a tiger's tail.

When it comes to the house Buck built, the drinks with the country connection are hot sellers, according to bar manager Jason Ament. Along with Made in Japan Tokyo Tea — a fruity version of a Long Island Iced Tea — this Tiger By The Tail mai tai, which has been on the menu for a couple of years, is a top seller just behind the specialty martinis. On a busy concert night, the bar may serve 15 to 20 of the specialty drink, which Ament also attributes to the fact that it packs a bit more alcohol than many other mixed drinks.

Fishlips 1517 18th St. 324-2557.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake 1 oz. Malibu or Parrot Bay Coconut Rum 1 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps 3 oz. pineapple juice Continued on page 42 40

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Uricchio’s keeps things interesting with its Mango Fusion.

Crystal Palace’s Tiger by the Tail

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July 2010

Fishlips' Andrew Wilkins pours a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Continued from page 41 splash of Grenadine Combine ingredients, shake and serve in a martini glass.

When it came to recommending a drink for our summer sips, Fishlips co-owner Andrew Wilkins picked one that’s popular with the ladies. The light and refreshing Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which is also a hit with birthday and bachelorette parties, is served as a shot, a martini or on the rocks. And for those who want to make them at home, Wilkins says it’s easy to replicate. But why not head out to the venue with live music and an even livelier crowd where 300 to 500 cocktails are served on busy nights? If this drink’s not your speed, choose from one of the 32 martinis in the Martini Club, Andrew’s secret “Love Juice” or any of the other perfect summer sips.

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Summertime adventures Sea World in San Diego offers spectacles for all ages. 44

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Photo courtesy of City of Los Angeles

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which opened in 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s film King of Kings.

Many cool destinations not too far from home By Chelley Kitzmiller


ummer is traveling season, when rising temperatures ignite plans to hit the road for a cool destination (and possibly milder weather). But unless you're still a student, the season is not an open slate, and it's not always easy to take a long vacation. Research shows that many locals looking to travel head to locales not too far from home. Luckily, Bakersfield is only a few hours away from a variety of exciting destinations — Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Central Coast, San Diego, etc. — sure to please. Whether you want a cozy getaway for two or fun for the whole family, we have some suggestions to get your started.

San Diego area Architecture, art, natural history Take a look at San Diego’s past and meander through the Gaslamp Quarter, one of the largest and most architecturally significant historic districts in the country, encompassing 16½ city blocks with more than 90 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, many more than 100 years old. Now through Sept. 5, the San Diego Museum of Art is hosting “Heroes: Mortals and Myth in Ancient Greece,” which explores the inherent human need for heroes, using ancient Greek culture as a point of origin. The museum is located at 1450 El Prado Balboa Park in San Diego. This summer, Shake-

speare’s “King Lear” and “The Taming of the Shrew,” along with Alan Bennett’s “The Madness of George III” will be performed in rotation at the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre and The Old Globe. If history is more your speed, the San Diego Natural History Museum is exhibiting “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries,” based on recent dinosaur finds including feathered dinosaurs. The exhibit shows how advanced technology allows scientists to look at these fossils in fresh ways.

Beaches San Diego is also known for its beautiful beaches. From local hangout Leucadia to lavish La Jolla, there's a beach for every mood, offering activities from swimming, surfing, cycling, sunbathing and more. Open 365 days a year, these natural treasures are waiting for you to explore.

Kids of all ages There’s always something new and exciting in San Diego where the average July high is 76 degrees. Some ideas: The New Children’s Museum is totally eco-green, with programs such as Animal Art exploring the difference between animals and humans. SeaWorld’s new Blue Horizons show features dolphins, pilot whales, birds and aerialists, and little tykes will love the Sesame Street Bay of Play. The Sea Life Aquarium, a two-story interactive Continued on page 48


Photo courtesy of Universal Studios

Universal Studios is one of several world-class theme parks in Southern California.

Continued from page 47

aquarium located next to Legoland, is a great place to view and learn about all kinds of sea creatures. There’s a whole lot more than lions and tigers and bears at the San Diego Zoo — check out their website for special kids’ camping and artistic activities. And the San Diego Wild Animal Park’s rolling safari tour allows guests to get close to herds of rhinos, giraffes and more.

Sports enthusiasts Take your pick of fabulous golf courses in and around San Diego, including The Torrey Pines Golf Course, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Baseballs fans can watch the San Diego Padres play a game or take a behind-the-scenes guided tour of PETCO Park and see "writer's row" in the press box and explore the Padres’ dugout.

Los Angeles A tourist's delight The Samuel Oschin Planetarium (the finest planetarium in the world) at the Griffith Observatory, offers the spectacular Zeiss star projector, laser digital projection system and state-of-the-art aluminum dome. Sit back in comfy seats and enjoy an unparalleled sound system and theatrical lighting. Presentations are scheduled every 60 to 90 minutes Tuesday through Friday. Even though you live in California, it’s okay to act like tourist when you visit the City of Angels. A can’t-miss tourist stop is Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which opened in 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s film “King of Kings.” Concrete blocks set in the forecourt bear the signatures, footprints and handprints of movie stars dating back to the 1920s. Right next door is Madame Tussauds wax museum where you can 46

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July 2010

see movie star likenesses up close and personal. Stars of another kind — sidewalk stars — make up The Hollywood Walk of Fame. The stars run down Hollywood Boulevard — from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue — and on Vine Street, from Yucca Street to Sunset Boulevard. These sidewalk stars salute the people who made Hollywood great. As hokey as it sounds, a bus tour of the stars’ homes and hangouts can be a lot of fun depending on your mood. Who knows? You might catch a glimpse of someone famous! If that doesn’t work for you, you can do your own star search in the stores on Rodeo Drive, that is if you can overcome your shock at the prices. Los Angeles was born on Olvera Street. The colorful village features 27 historic buildings with a traditional Mexican-style plaza area. Shop for traditional Mexican wares and souvenirs in the marketplace. Eat taquitos or tacos at the outdoor cafes. Strolling bolero musicians, mariachi music and performances by Aztec Indians and folkloric dancers are on tap each weekend. Close by is Chinatown, where you can find Chinese temples, herb shops, art galleries and antique stores. Guided 2 ½-hour tours are offered on the first Saturday of every month. The Queen Mary, docked permanently in Long Beach, is a wonderful place for a romantic couple to spend some quality time. The art deco decor, the original old woods, the stories of ghosts still haunting the ship make for an interesting experience.

Entertainment and arts Now through the end of July, “Les Miserables” is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre. The Greek Theatre has a schedule of performers that changes every few days — Sugarland, Yes & Peter Frampton and more. The Huntington Library offers “A Clash of Empires,” an exhibition of the Seven Years’ War, and “Child’s Play,” which takes you into the joys and fears evoked in 19th-century book illustrations.

Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Restaurant.

Las Vegas

Who cares that summer temperatures are above the century mark? Inside the myriad Vegas entertainment palaces, you’ll never break a sweat. Almost every hotel offers something for the entire family to enjoy. Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef is a walk-through aquarium featuring sharks of all kinds, sawfish, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha, moon jellies and the rare golden crocodiles. See more than 2,000 animals in 1.6 million gallons of water. If you are dive-certified, you can scuba dive in the 1.3-million-gallon, 22-foot-deep Shipwreck Exhibit. Or seek your thrills in the sky, screaming at X Scream, where you are plunged 27 feet over the edge of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower at speeds of 30 mph. Watch lions play ball, lick their paws and strut their stuff at the MGM Grand Lion Habitat. If you’re more of an arm-chair adventurer, marvel at David Copperfield’s breath-taking illusions or the legendary Cher’s outrageous costumes.

Central Coast

On a quieter note, a vacation to the Central Coast might be more your style. Here, the sea calls to you to come and stroll the sandy beaches. Stop in at a Morro Bay restaurant and enjoy a cup of real clam chowder. Walk the piers or boardwalks and laugh at comical seagulls, sea lions and sea otters. The little town of Cambria is a magical place with its quaint shops and small-town atmosphere. Hearst Castle is an all-day adventure, with the riches seen inside and outside giving you pause for thought. Wineries big and small offer a pleasant respite. Vineyards adorn the landscape providing great photo ops and serene viewing. Catch a lavender farm in full bloom and you’ll never forget the beauty or the fragrance.

The listings here are only a sampling of what’s available in each location. A little Internet surfing will reveal dozens more. While I love visiting the most popular places, I often find that my special memories come from the out-of-the-way places that I find online or just happen to stumble upon — the road less traveled. Whatever you do, make it a summer to remember! San Diego Childrens’ Museum, SeaWorld, Sea Life Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Torrey Pines Golf Course, Petco Park, San Diego Museum of Art, The Old Globe, San Diego Natural History Museum, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Universal Studios Hollywood, Mandalay Bay,

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Anaheim, Buena Park and Valencia are home to some of the best theme parks in the world, but don’t think these parks are just for kids. Parents, after a day of running around Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, treat yourself to an evening of dining and relaxing at the Downtown Disney District — a lively promenade just outside the theme parks, featuring unique shopping and dining, as well as exciting nighttime entertainment. Knott’s Berry Farm has always been one of my favorites, especially Mrs. Knott's Chicken Restaurant, where the fried chicken is indescribably delicious. If the thrill rides at Knott’s aren’t enough, head to Valencia to Six Flags Magic Mountain Hurricane Harbor to get your fill.

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Get more money when selling your home StatePoint When selling your home, you want to get the most money possible. But with home values having dropped considerably during the past few years, today's sellers are exploring new ways to maximize the money they can put in their pockets. Many sellers are using modern technology to sell their houses. Experts advise every little step helps: cleaning and painting, advertising in the right place and even hiring an attorney to evaluate complicated offers. Here are some tips to get as much as possible when selling your home: • Find the right agent: There are so many agents and brokers to choose from but which is the best? The key is to know the kind of agent that will fit your need. Are you looking sell your commercial property or maybe you are looking into short sales? Find the agent that specializes in those areas. Consider a re-sale agent who has the right expertise to meet your needs. Talk to friends and colleagues. In this issue, we feature a number of agents who are worth the call. • Price it right: By doing research on the Internet, you can compare your home with others on the market. This enables sellers to gauge the value of their homes and accurately arrive at listing prices. Remember, the market dictates price, not what the seller thinks it should be worth. • Market the home online: More than 90 percent of buyers use the Internet to search for homes, so it's critical to list yours on the right site. Check out local real estate sites, including On the national level, there are other sites, such as the online real estate sections at • Make a great first impression: Buyers are attracted to clean, spacious and updated homes. Remove personalized items, such as family photos, and eliminate clutter. Simple improvements like replacing worn carpets and repainting walls neutral colors enhance a house's appeal. If ever it was time for a thorough house cleaning, this is it. • Be knowledgeable: An experienced real estate attorney or agent can help you evaluate complicated offers, act as escrow agent, review contracts and handle the home's closing process. Proper legal representation should only cost a few hundred dollars and helps overcome the more confusing aspects of real estate transactions. 48

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July 2010


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July 2010




Homebuyer help Governor signs $10,000 homebuyer tax credit legislation Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently signed a bill, AB 183, that will provide a tax credit of up to $10,000 to Californians who are buying their first home or purchasing a brand new home. The bill — authored by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, and Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield — is part of the governor’s larger California Jobs Initiative, which will play a key role in getting our economy moving again by encouraging homeownership and stimulating job creation. “I have been up and down the state pushing this important housing bill that will get people off the fence and into homes while creating jobs and stimulating our economy – and today I am proud to take action and put it into law,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “I applaud the Legislature for their great work and encourage them to keep it up and pass the remaining job-creating elements of my California Jobs Initiative.”

Assembly Bill 183 gives the Franchise Tax Board authority to extend a total of $200 million in tax credits to California homebuyers; $100 million for buyers of new, unoccupied homes and another $100 million for first-time buyers of existing homes. The credit will be extended from now until Dec. 31. The tax credit will be available to buyers on a first-come, first-served basis and is applied in equal amounts over a period of three taxable years. To qualify, the buyer must not be a dependant and must purchase a home that does not belong to a relative. Gov. Schwarzenegger sought to extend and expand the homebuyer tax credit after its successful run in 2009. That $100 million tax credit, which was approved in February 2009, ran out after just four months with 10,659 Californians claiming the credit – increasing home purchases, jumpstarting building projects and boosting local economies.

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VALUE of your home StatePoint It's a busy time in the wild world of real estate. After a nationwide crisis, there has been a surge of home sales across the country and homeowners once again are looking for ways to increase the value of their houses — regardless of their intent on selling them. Experts say there are a number of simple ways to help your property see a rise in value. “To draw buyers in, you need to create a visual story of how they could live in your home,” says Starr Osborne, founder of movingmanagement and design company Tailored Transitions and author of “Home Staging That Works: Sell Your Home in Less Time for More Money.” “You need to prepare your home in such a way that it tells them a tale of the wonderful life that awaits them.” With a few quick moves, telling that story can be easier.

Consider an inspection When it comes to the inner workings of any home, a lot can go wrong. There are also plenty of inopportune times for a house's plumbing or electricity to suddenly go out. Plan a proper home inspection and rest easier knowing your property is up to code.

Get a fresh perspective By bringing in a home stager for a couple of hours, you'll gain insight into your home from someone with an established background in real estate. By offering the odd decorating idea, he or she can help bring your home in line with the latest and most popular design trends.

Stage your home There are many ways easy or temporary upgrades to your home 52

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July 2010

that can come in handy if you're showing it to prospective buyers. “Home staging has infiltrated the selling process all across the country,” says Osborne. “Clearly, staging boosts sales prices.” According to a recent HomeGain survey of 2,000 Realtors nationwide, 91 percent recommended staging before selling. Simple solutions from replacing faucets to moving furniture can dramatically impact your home's sale price.

Unclutter If you're looking to sell, improve that first impression. Make sure your lawn, shrubbery, walkway and driveway are all tidy. Get rid of messes and consider a new doormat or some nice planters. Removing books and lamps helps unclutter a living or family room.

Fix the easy stuff Repair paint cracks with spackle and a new coat. Fix cracked or missing baseboards, thresholds and tiling. Make sure hinges are well oiled and that doors and windows open and close easily.

Add some color By investing in some nice paints and applying a fresh coat, any home can be given new life quickly and easily. Assign specific colors to different rooms, and you'll find that walking around the house is a whole new experience. In a quick-fix marketplace where home values have decreased while transactions increase, deciding to sell or not can be a big decision. But a few simple tweaks can raise your home's value, whatever decision you make.

If you want your home to be about you, talk to him. You could buy most any other “production” home and end up with a house designed for someone else. Or you could buy a Towery Home created just for you. You’ll find Towery Homes affordably priced in some of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods, and with exceptional incentives, there’s never been a better time to buy your Towery Home.


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A member of this church youth group rides the wave, literally, as the River's End Rafting adventure hits Tim's Rock Rapid.

River adventure Looking for something cool to do? Consider a raft trip down the Kern


By Hillary Haenes

Photo courtesy of River’s End Rafting

uring this hot season, it’s easy for kids and adults to forget what Kern County has to offer, as scorching heat leaves many lingering indoors with the AC full blast or headed to local pools to keep cool. But if you really want to make a splash this summer, consider a trip down the “mighty Kern.” That’s what Darron Nilsson, owner of River’s End Rafting and Adventure Company, prefers to call the Kern River. His company has provided tours for six seasons. “There’s an after-sensation of, ‘Holy cow, that felt so good. I can’t believe I did that. I want to go back,’” Nilsson said. According to Nilsson, this rafting company is conveniently located near the mouth of the Kern Canyon, so there is always a pretty good flow. During the Blaster, riders will travel on a 3.5-


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

mile ride, experiencing Class II and III whitewater rapids that are more relaxing than adventurous. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get soaked. Be prepared to get wet, even if you choose not to jump overboard during the swimming spots, since there will be lots of bumpy splashes. Oh, and the tour guides enjoy flinging water with their oars at nearby rafts. “It gets my adrenaline going. I’m not a huge thrill seeker, so it’s just enough,” said Karen Olson, who has been rafting with River’s End for the past five years. Like many other first-timers, Olson was nervous, but the more she went, the more the experience wasn’t as scary as she had anticipated. Nilsson said the return ratio is high because people return year after year when they see the trip is so stress-free.

For the first few years, the company’s clientele was about 20 percent local and 80 percent from the Los Angeles region. Recently, the percentage of local people who visit River’s End has tremendously increased to even out the percentages. “We really want to educate Bakersfield on how to safely be on the river,” Nilsson said, about reaching out to the surrounding communities and introducing them to the perks of the Kern River. One of the main perks of this company is that it’s only 15 minutes from the downtown area. Also, River’s End is flexible with scheduling trips. Whether reservations are made a month, a week or a couple of days in advance, Nilsson and his team will try to accommodate all reservations. “Booking in advance helps us tremendously,” Nilsson said. To put their customers at ease, a trip pack is sent when people register, so there will be no surprises. This packet of information consists of directions, arrival time, what to expect on the trip, what to wear, and recommended items to bring such as sunblock, towels and a change of clothes. A typical season usually starts around Memorial Day and ends near Labor Day,

but could begin earlier or extend later depending on the water levels. The company operates Monday through Saturday and remains open on both Saturday and Sunday on holiday weekends. Trips for the Blaster depart at 10 a.m. and the other leaves at 12:30 p.m. and both go for an hour. The longer trip, the Master Blaster, is a half-day trip that leaves at 10 a.m. and returns around 2 p.m. Whether you want to go solo, in pairs, in large groups of friends and co-workers, family reunions, birthday parties, church groups or with a troop of Scouts, this trip is perfect for all ages. Kids age 6 and over are welcome and should not be scared — all the guides have years of experience and can lead the tour with their eyes closed. One of the most requested guides, Jimmy Bunting, is not only hilarious, but laid back as well. He enjoys giving tours, which is a hobby where he gets a chance to escape from his day job. “I love to disconnect on the river. You can’t see the city and you can’t hear it — it’s like you are far away,” Bunting said. Others who have stressful jobs will enjoy evening trips targeted at businesses. Even though these trips are not publicly

advertised, River’s End will grant requests for these excursions since they understand it’s difficult for people to make it out during the day. “Everyone needs to try it at least once, they will want to go again,” Olson said. Adam Hansen is a great example because he went more than 10 times last year. Because the same stories are told yearafter-year, Nilsson, being a local history buff, is pushing for more historical stories being told on the water instead of the fabricated tales, such as “Mayo Bridge” shared in previous years. Bunting and Nilsson’s brother, Myron Nilsson, have brainstormed the idea of having pirate-themed trips this season where all the guides will dress up and talk like pirates. Aside from rafting, River’s End offers a full day of kayaking and a mobile rockclimbing wall. Frequent visitors Mark Handy and his 10-year-old son, Peter, have gone rafting several times and have gone kayaking with Peter’s Boy Scout troop where they earned Whitewater Merit Badges. For information, visit riversendrafting. com or To make reservations, call 866-360-RAFT.

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Eye on business These four have their thumb on the pulse of local commercial and industrial real estate


How’s Bakersfield’s commercial real estate looking as compared with elsewhere in the Central Valley? Michael: Bakersfield tends to have lower prices on average than cities to the north. We were not as overbuilt on average as other communities. This will allow us to achieve stability quicker. Wayne: Over the next 10 to 15 years, the entire Central Valley is projected to grow at a much faster rate than the rest of California. From an industrial point of view, the two ends of the valley — Stockton and Bakersfield — are expected to grow more than the interior, as they are each close to metropolitan areas that are expanding and overflowing into these markets. David: I think Bakersfield is in a much better


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

position than Fresno, Modesto, or Stockton, all of which are overbuilt in office, industrial and retail. Modesto and Stockton both are influenced by the Bay Area and have benefited in the past from spillover. Fresno relies heavily on its agriculture base, and seems to be overbuilt in all sectors. We have agriculture, oil, and close proximity to Southern California.

Anthony: Strong. In comparing Bakersfield’s retail market to other valley towns, we find our overall vacancy rates, in some classifications, are lower and our market rents are about equal. Tenant demand appears to be similar, however locally we are beginning to recycle many of the larger big box spaces within the community, which doesn’t appear to be happening as quickly in other markets. Additionally, I believe our diverse economy; proximity to Southern California; and transportation systems provide Bakersfield with unique advantages over other Central Valley cities.

Wayne Kress First vice president, CBRE/Bakersfield

Photos by Michael Duffy Summit Photography


Anthony Olivieri

President, Olivieri Commercial Group Inc.

Michael Burger

President, Michael Burger & Associates, Real Estate Appraisal and Consultation

David Williams

Senior vice president/ principle, Colliers International

How’s interest from national clients looking?

Michael: It’s been awhile since a national client has called me looking for space or to help with trends in our market. National clients are necessary for our local businesses to thrive. As they come, they will need our local services. That will help with our employment recovery. Wayne: Bakersfield is “on the map” of warehouse and distribution users, thanks to the successes of IKEA, Target, and Sears as well as lesser-known names operating here, like Formica, Hillman Fastener, Ampac Tire, Hercules Tire, and Pactiv. There are currently some general canvasses going on, but nothing specific to report. Two oil-service companies are now buying sites to build and house operations, and three others acquired real estate last year to expand local operations. David: Energy-related firms and agricultural concerns will Continued on page 58


Continued from page 57

continue to expand. From an office perspective, there’s not much interest from corporate America to relocate a corporate or divisional office to Bakersfield unless they actually have a client base or asset base in the San Joaquin Valley. Bakersfield has all the right ingredients with our low cost of housing, a great location in the Golden State, and available land for development. I think we should focus on retaining what we have, help companies located here grow, and build off the base we have while always looking for new opportunities. I’m sure we will be successful in attracting new office users to Bakersfield.

Anthony: This is definitely a bright spot. Presently, we are experiencing a great deal of interest from a variety of national clients. Many of the national retailers we are speaking to realize this is a great time to expand and are taking advantage of the opportunities in the market. We are seeing activity from a variety of retail clients such as grocers, clothing stores, home goods, discounters and several new restaurants.


What parts of town hold the most promise?

Michael: Anywhere west of Highway 99 with convenient access to work. The Mohawk extension project and Westside Parkway will be a great benefit to these areas. Wayne: Our entire area holds promise. The Southland is filling up, and its expansion continues to come our way. I work industrial real estate, which is found in the airport area, the Rosedale “oil patch,” the southwest (District Boulevard), and the Highway 58/Union Av-

David Williams 58

Bakersfield Life

Wayne Kress July 2010

enue corridor. There is also Tejon Industrial Complex at the foot of the Grapevine and the International Trade and Transportation Center in Shafter. The fastest growing of these areas have been the airport and the southwest, but each of them has grown … and will continue to grow.

David: In office leasing, the part of town that offers space closest to the boss’s house usually has the leg up on the competition. Business owners and managers like an office as close as possible to where they live. California Avenue is very strong for corporate and professional users who desire high-quality office space but are not willing to expend capital to occupy the newest buildings. The Central Business District has the highest occupancy levels in the city and attracts legal, accounting, engineering, and other sectors that do business with public agencies. Northwest Bakersfield offers small buildings that are affordable, new, and often available for purchase. This submarket has the highest vacancy levels but has already begun to recover. The River Walk/University Center area along Stockdale Highway and Ming Avenue is where the most recent office developments are located and demands the highest rents in the city. Most of the major corporations that occupy large blocks of space are located here. River Walk and University Center is where the majority of the Class A office buildings will be developed in the foreseeable future. Anthony: Southwest Bakersfield, generally speaking, has maintained higher occupancy levels in most market sectors, which help hold market rents and stabilize values. However, there are various opportunities for expansion, new development and redevelopment throughout Bakersfield and Kern County. For instance, the city’s commitment to the Mill Creek project will eventually pay big dividends to our community and help the entire downtown area.

Michael Burger

Anthony Olivieri

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Sunshine Neal, 10, wipes the excess water off Dancer after a wash as Kelsie Keeler, 14, comes trotting by on Jake, in the background.

A haven for horses Horse rescue ranch seeks volunteers, community support to continue thriving By Annis Cassells


urk Martin and his buddies — Bonnie, Union, Cody and Molly — don’t know there’s a recession going on. But it’s certainly evident to their friend, Tracy TottonMartin. She’s the owner and caretaker at Bit-O-Heaven Ranch, Bakersfield’s only horse rescue ranch, and lately, she’s been seeing a decreased number of students showing up for lessons and fewer volunteers coming through the gates. “Donations have been down by half but are starting to pick up again,” she said. While the downturn has sent her searching for funds through grants and other sources, it doesn’t deter Totton-Martin. “It’s my job to take care of the horses. It’s a passion for me,” she said. No wonder. Her grandfather bred and trained Tennessee Walking horses in Bakersfield. Early on, he put her in the saddle in front of him, and by the time she was 3 years old, she was riding independently. “I had to have horses in my life,” she said. Bit-O-Heaven relies heavily on volunteers for its day-to-day


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Photos by Felix Adamo operation. Youngsters who came for lessons often stay on as volunteers. Working alongside Totton-Martin, they groom and care for the horses, gain skills, and learn responsibility and a valuable work ethic. “This can turn a person’s life around,” she explained. Those interested in veterinary can observe firsthand when veterinarian Dr. Arlena Pipkin of Panama Equine Hospital is on the ranch tending to horses’ medical needs. Even the ranch foreman started out as a volunteer and has now worked with them for several years. Totton-Martin said, “He’s made life on the ranch so much easier.” Equine residents come to Bit-O-Heaven for a variety of reasons. Often it is because owners no longer are able to take care of them. Abused, neglected, or abandoned horses come through the animal control agency. The ranch is a safe haven, a restorative place, for those horses that have reached advanced age and can no longer do their jobs in the performance ring or on farms and ranches. Bit-O-Heaven gives its horses a new job, a purpose — teach-

ing beginners how to handle horses and to ride. The lessons are one source of income supporting the rescue effort. Currently, two instructors and two junior instructors, who have been trained by Totton-Martin and other senior instructors, offer classes on Saturdays and Sundays. Up until last year, there were enough funds for every horse to be on a well-horse program, which cost about $300 each. They received vaccinations, de-worming, and hands-on contact with Dr. Pipkin twice a year. “Now about half are Ranch information: on this program,” TottonBit-O-Heaven Ranch is located at 13453 Martin said. “But, our other Olen Ave., near Taft Highway and Enos horses do receive limited Lane. well-horse treatment.” CEO and Owner Tracy Totton-Martin Thanks to the American be reached at 845-6252. Visit the can Association of Equine website at Practitioners’ vaccine donations to rescue facilities, the ranch has obtained enough vaccine for the rest of its horses. How can our community help? Monetary donations are key. They allow for flexibility since the needs of the ranch vary daily. With 41 horses in residence, veterinary bills crop up unexpectedly and frequently. It’s not unusual that one or more horses that seemed fine one day require hospitalization or medical treatment the next. Some need pain medicine to cope with arthritis. Senior horses also require age-specific feed and treats, an expenditure of about $5,000 per month. The ranch could use a tractor and needs to replace a lawn tractor. Another important need is to have more volunteers who have a love of horses and a desire to help. Bit-O-Heaven Ranch became a 501-C3 nonprofit corporation

Turk is 36 years old but is still used for lessons for the younger riders at Bit-O-Heaven Ranch. Tracy Totten-Martin is the owner of Turk and the ranch. in November of 2006. Since then, businesses and private parties have stepped up to help. There’s also an annual BBQ fundraiser in May, and they operate a fireworks stand for the 4th of July. The ranch’s enclosed arena can be rented for parties and events. However, this last year has been tough. The ailing economy and mortgage crisis have hurt. With the national ban on horse slaughter, more horses need rescuing, but decreased donations mean that the ranch cannot take them all. “We have a dozen on the waiting list right now,” Totton-Martin said. She added, “No one at Bit-O-Heaven actually gets paid. From the CEO down to the manure movers, all work for the love of our beautiful horse family.”


Photo by Henry A. Barrios


Willy Duncan, Taft College president.

By Lisa Kimble

Willy I Duncan Pumping new life into Taft College


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

t has taken 88 years, but Taft College, which now dubs itself California’s finest small college, can stake its claim on that reputation. The oil town’s junior college on the county’s dusty west side is in the midst of a transformation neither the school nor its tiny town has seen before. For decades, like an idle oil derrick, time and progress seemed to have stood still at the lackluster campus. That was until 1997, when a sharp cookie and recent graduate of Cal State Bakersfield’s business and finance programs joined the college. It would be a few more years before the vision of the superintendent/president, Willy Duncan, would begin to materialize, but today, the school enjoys a record enrollment, and its facelift includes a new amphitheater and administration/student services building. The library has gone high-tech, and a new quad is the epicenter of student life. Many credit Duncan for the $110 million capital projects makeover of the "new" Taft College, which began with the 2004 passage of a local bond measure providing the school with the seed money for the renaissance to modernize the campus. Duncan’s forward-thinking approach in looking outwardly to obtain grants and alternative sources of funding has allowed the school to broaden its appeal. “Public

institutions can’t just look to taxpayers anymore,” he said. “We have become very entrepreneurial in what we have managed to do, and you accomplish that by empowering your people to think outside of the box.” His style has brought praise from those who work with him, including the college's foundation and development director, Sheri Horn Bunk. “Willy Duncan is a young entrepreneurial academician who is building a group of the best at what they do to create the ‘new’ Taft College,” she said. The 43-year-old, who’s a native of Bakersfield and graduate of North High, never planned on serving as president of a community college. He’d set his sights on a career in finance. But two years after finishing his graduate work, he joined Taft as dean of business services. In 2001, he was named vice president of administrative services, and six years later, as executive vice president of the college. After serving as interim superintendent/ president, he was officially named to the post in the spring of 2008. There is wide consensus that Duncan has brought not only a sensible business model approach to the management of the school, but a youthful spirit and passion for its programs and future viability as well. Among the endeavors of which he is most proud (and which has garnered national acclaim and the attention of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and international educators) is the Transition To Independent Living Program. Now in its 15th year, the program is a unique educational experience that helps developmentally disabled young adults segue into society. Thanks to a $5 million grant last year, the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program provides K-12 outreach for underserved Hispanics on the west side. Another boom for the college has been the increase in impacted California schools, including Bakersfield College. “This was our biggest year yet. We had 2,800 full-time equivalent students, or a 4,000 head count,” Duncan said, adding that enrollment has more than doubled in nearly seven years. Under his leadership, Taft College has taken advantage of its size to maximize its ability to provide direct support to its students. “Willy creates an environment of trust so when you work for him you are comfortable to speak up and solve problems quickly,” Bunk added. As vice president, Duncan worked with trustees and other leaders to develop a conservative approach to the oversight of the college by building a rainy day fund. It has served the institution well in recent years. “Today that is the reason we have not suffered the layoffs other schools have because we used our reserves to hold the line,” he said. “Our biggest asset is people, that human capital. The worst thing we could do would be to let people go.” This fall when the city of Taft celebrates its centennial, and its community college likely welcomes another record enrollment and expands more programs, the man credited with infusing the institution with energy and vitality will still be touting his college. “I love education and being around students. It keeps me young,” Duncan added. “You come home at the end of the day and feel like you have done some good and are doing something positive for someone and the community.”

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After being processed, a loader adds more double grind ground cover to the growing mountain at the green waste facility.

Green innovation City facility recycles green waste into mulch, compost — even electricity By Gabriel Ramirez


ach week, many of us find ourselves in our yards, trimming bushes, cutting the grass or getting rid of those stubborn weeds competing in our flowerbeds. And if we don’t have time for the detailed work, then we turn to our gardeners who can find themselves pretty busy taking care of our green waste. But where do these green waste materials end up? The materials deposited into the bins or loaded into trucks can end up at the green waste facility located at 2601 South Mount Vernon Ave., south of Highway 58. The Mt. Vernon Recycling and Composting Facility was opened in an effort to divert recyclable yard and wood materials from the landfills. By turning the green waste received at the facility into useable materials, such as compost and mulch, muchneeded space at area landfills is saved for future use.


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

Photos by Felix Adamo “The Mount Vernon Green Waste Facility is the key to thecity's recycling efforts. It was established in response to state mandates for jurisdictions to reach 50 percent recycling goals,” said Sal Moretti, superintendent for the city’s Solid Waste Division. When the green waste facility first opened its doors in the early 1990s, it was located on roughly five acres and operated by only two city employees. As a result of Bakersfield’s rapid growth and an increase in the facility’s popularity, the Mount Vernon Recycling and Composting Facility is now operated on 97 acres by 38 staff members. While the green waste from the pickup service offered by the city and metro county area is delivered to the green waste facility, local landscapers, construction crews and other self-haulers also take their clean brush, grass, tree trimmings and lumber, free of charge. Juan Rodrigues and Pete Hernandez are two of those self-haulers.

Steve Hernandez stands in front of pile of palm leaves as he coordinates the heavy equipment operating at the site. “We take material to the facility because the green bins fill up quite easily,” Rodrigues said. “As much yard work as I do, it would take several weeks for all the green waste to be picked up using the bins. I also don’t want to contribute to littering the streets and clogging storm drains by leaving trash out so the winds blow it everywhere.” Hernandez said he also takes material to the green waste facility when there is no more room in the green waste container. “Taking the material to the green waste facility is just as important as recycling,” Hernandez said. “I believe most of the material we take to the facility can be reused and converted to mulch or fertilizer.” Moretti said that of the 500 tons of material received daily, half

is composted on site and sold. About a quarter of the material goes to the private compost facility in Taft. The remaining material goes to a local co-generation facility in Delano to generate electricity. Moretti said that the benefits of the facility are hard to quantify because there are so many. “More recycling means less landfilling, which means less waste. In addition, the air quality is improved because the compost process eliminates the creation of harmful methane gases,” Moretti said. “The compost created aids the soil quality tremendously, helping local agriculture increase crop yields while at the same time requiring less water. By using waste products for electricity, expensive and environmentally degrading mining is also reduced.” Because of recent facility modifications harmful diesel emissions have been eliminated from stationary equipment, which further improves air quality. Moretti wants to remind people that throwing any trash on the side of the roads or in a field is illegal and a blight to neighborhoods. “For those who throw green waste in their tan cart, remember that the green cart is free and simple and it is preserving our environment,” Moretti said. While the green cans are for organic yard waste items such as tumbleweeds, large stumps, dirt and trash should not be thrown in the cart. The green waste facility is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. It is closed on New Year's Day, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. To learn more about what materials are and are not accepted at the facility or to look up pricing for compost or ground cover visit pubwrks/solidwaste/index.htm.

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H E A LT H & F I T N E S S

Charging into drills Members of the co-ed Volklauf training session run in the Kern River.

Locals take early morning exercise, boot-camp style — and love it!


By Dana Robinson

Photos by Michael Fagans

t’s 5:30 a.m. The sun isn’t even up yet, and the birds won’t start chirping for at least another half hour. But while the majority of Bakersfield residents are deep in REM sleep, the ladies who attend the Bakersfield Adventure Boot Camp for Women have most likely been awake for at least an hour. They’ve reported to Mondavi Park at this most unkind hour, prepared to greet the day with a morning sweat. Unlike traditional boot camps, there are no drill sergeants shouting orders. Everyone who is attending the camp came in the name of getting fit and having fun. “I started Bakersfield Adventure Boot Camp for Women two years ago,” says Lisa Cooper. “We meet five days a week at 5:30 a.m.” The program lasts for four weeks, and each camp session begins with a walk/jog and a warm up. From there, it’s a flurry of interval and circuit training that includes dumbbell exercises, jumping jacks, squats, and lungs. “It feels great ... and it starts your day off right,” says Tracy Wood, who has been attending the camp since February and has lost about 20 pounds. “It motivates me to eat better and gives me loads of energy.” As the name indicates, this camp is for women only. “Nothing against the guys, but the majority of my campers wouldn't be in a boot camp if it was co-ed,” continues Cooper. “The all-women aspect creates an environment that is like a team. I see a lot of camaraderie in boot camp.”


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

So what if the whole boot camp idea sounds intriguing, but you’re not a member of the fairer sex and the idea of showing up to class before the dawn’s early light isn’t quite your style? You’re in luck. There are other boot camps that can accommodate varying schedules and allow men to attend classes as well. “Get Fit Boot Camp offers three classes per day,” says owner Tim Gojich. “The class times are 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.” Gojich opened the camp in 2002 with only 10 participants. He and his staff now help about 200 people get into shape per every six-week session. Classes are held at Beach Park four days a week. The Get Fit camp sessions divide the campers into a beginning, intermediate or advanced group and the participants range in age, from about 16 to 60. Singles sign on for the classes as well as couples, such as a mother/daughter duo who want to get fit together. “The mother might be 50 and may not have worked out in a while, so she would start in the beginner group, (while) the daughter might be a volleyball player and be in good shape so she will go in the advanced group,” says Gojich. “What makes my job so fulfilling is watching that 50-year-old catch up and sometimes pass the daughter by week six.” Given the somewhat intimidating title of “boot camp workouts,” it leads one to wonder why they’ve become so popular in Bakersfield and around the nation. “I think the beauty of a boot camp-style workout is its simplicity,” says Leigh Pozas, owner of

��������� ��������������� Leigh Pozas, left, leads a co-ed Vokslaugh training session next to the Kern River. Total Woman Fitness Centers. “Boot camps take you back to the basics, so in essence you feel like a kid again. There are no fancy dance steps or moves that you can’t get. Everybody can participate in a boot camp at their own level, have fun, and get results.” Pozas, along with fitness instructor Sally Baker, inadvertently started the first boot camp in Bakersfield about nine years ago. They teamed up to help people prepare for the annual Volkslauf mud run that’s held in Kern County. Over the years, the run has involved slogging through a mud-soaked ditch and climbing and crawling through a pretty vicious-looking obstacle course. Pozas and Baker prepped their clients with a six-week course that involved running in the riverbed, climbing walls and stairs, and doing sprints, push-ups and pull-ups. Participation in their program has doubled every year, and according to Pozas, it ushered in a new way of training. “Now there are boot camps all over the place; can’t even count them all,” continues Pozas. “I am proud to have been the original and started this so long ago before it was a trend.” The 20-week and 12-week Volkslauf training sessions are co-ed and kicked off on May 17, but there’s still time to get in on the fall eight-week session that begins on Aug. 9. And by the way, you don't have to participate in the Volkslauf to take advantage of the training courses. Many of Pozas’ clients have never gone near that muddy obstacle course. They train simply to have fun and get in fantastic shape. “I truly believe that people are physically more capable than they think they are,” say Pozas. “When they figure that out and the light comes on, it is a beautiful experience.”

Boot Camps Bakersfield Adventure Boot Camp for Women Lisa Cooper 378-8602 Mondavi Park Four-week program Get Fit Boot Camp Tim Gojich

325-0900 Beach Park Six-week program Volkslauf Training Leigh Pozas 325-0208 Total Woman; 5329 Truxtun Ave. 20-week, 12-week or 8-week

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Natalie Erlendson and Zach Smith

Zach Smith and his wife, Natalie Erlendson, pose with their dog Ikko at home in the Christmas Tree Lane neighborhood.

There’s so much to love about our town. From Rio Bravo to Rosedale, each neighborhood has its supporters. This month, Bakersfield Life asks newlyweds Natalie Erlendson and Zach Smith what makes the Christmas Tree Lane neighborhood special. What is the name of the neighborhood that you live in?:

Northeast Bakersfield (Christmas Tree Lane, near BC and the bluffs) Three words that describe your neighborhood? Peaceful, well-kept, friendly. Favorite neighborhood memory? Natalie: Having grown up in this neighborhood, I have many fond memories of this neighborhood. But my favorite memory is more recent. It would be moving into our new home on New Year’s Day this year — having the comfort of returning to a familiar place plus the excitement of all the new experiences that were to come with owning a home and building a life with Zach. Zach: My favorite memory is the first time I saw our dogs running around our backyard. We finally had a large area that could accommodate them. Or backyard is also big enough to have large gatherings — which we’ve already taken advantage of. What attracted you to your neighborhood? Natalie and Zach: We like the area because each home is unique — not cookie cutter. We were able to afford a good-size home that, with a little TLC, has quickly become our own. We’re also surrounded by areas where we can be active outdoors. We can walk our greyhound, Nikko, over to the dog park for an impromptu play date — and if we need a good run ourselves, we can head over to the trail along the bluffs. What is the best thing about your home? Natalie and Zach: The best thing about our home is that in just a few months of living here we’ve made a ton of progress making it ours. From literally knocking down walls to painting, organizing our library of books, movies and CDs, decorating and gardening, we’ve

Photo by Felix Adamo

Christmas Tree Lane

turned into a place that is beginning to reflect who we are. It’s been a true labor of love. What do you like about your neighbors? Natalie and Zach: The neighbors we see all the time are basically our family and friends, so we’re in good company. Natalie’s mom and stepdad are in walking distance, making it easy to stop by for Sunday dinners or a dip in the pool. Zach’s cousin lives a block away and drops in to doggie sit. And our good friends live practically down the street so we have lots of spur-of-the-moment get togethers. We’re literally surrounded by our support network. Anything you would change about your neighborhood? Natalie and Zach: The mall in the northeast has really struggled, which means we have to travel for certain amenities such as shopping, new restaurants and entertainment. There has been some recent development such as the new Home Depot and a number of fast-food spots, and it would be nice to see this redevelopment of the area extend to the mall landscape. Why someone should move there? Natalie and Zach: Life in northeast Bakersfield feels a little more at ease than other areas of town. There’s a diverse group of people here who are all down to earth and make for friendly neighbors. The proximity to the bluffs and University Park, along with some really good restaurants like Rosa’s, Red Pepper and Ichiban is also a big plus. And if you have kids or plan to, there are a number of good schools in the area, including the community college that Zach attended. Best-kept secret about your neighborhood? Natalie and Zach: It’s probably not a secret if you live here, but every Fourth of July folks in the neighborhood gather at University Park — lawn chairs and fireworks in tow. We have the perfect view of firework displays. Throughout the night people, light their own mini-firework displays along University Avenue, and we all share in a great community celebration of our country’s independence. It has this quintessential, Americana feel, and the best part is that what turns into an entertaining block party is completely unplanned. www.BakersfieldLife.com69


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July 2010

Ronda Mazzei, Ginny Hamisch and Joyce Downs

Joey Porter Celebrity Golf Tournament June 11, 2010 Held at Bakersfield Country Club Photos by Felix Adamo View these photos and more online at

Joey Porter, Linda Hartman, Eddie Rice, and Paula Johnson

Vernon Carey, Channing Crowder and Ronnie Brown Schante Harding, Sheri Fitch and Amber Rogers

Sam Hernandez, Deborah Hernandez and Nicolas Peraza

Doreen Morken and Bill St. Clair

Harry Fenske, Larry Fitzgerald and Bill Johnson

Deborah Thayn, Eric Tallman and Lisa Porcho

Celebrating 10 Years! Same Owners. Same Great Food.

Join us for

Breakfast or Lunch 7 days a week 6:00am to 2:30pm 2805 F Street 325-1219

Bakersfield’s Favorite Breakfast and Lunch since 2000!


Rotary Club of Bakersfield Hawaiian-themed party for outgoing President Duane Keathley June 16, 2010 Held at Dr. Shawn Shambaugh in Old Stockdale Photos by Richard Beene View these photos and more online at Gen. Jim Whitehead, Evelyn Johnson and Tracy Walker Kiser

Duane and Corey Keathley

Sean Collins

Mel and Darci Atkinson

Tracy Walker Kiser and Greg Gallion


910 20th St. Downtown


Joan and Ray Dezember


Pilates Reformer

Give The Gift of Beauty, Health, & Fitness • Improve Flexibility • One On One Personal Instruction • Relieve Stress • Create A Strong & Lean Body • Develop A Strong Core

Open Tues. - Sun. at 11:15 am


Painting by Charlotte White


Bakersfield Life

July 2010

1405 Commercial Way, Ste. 110 • 661-324-7848

KLEA Officer of the Year Awards June 11, 2010 Held at Stockdale Country Club Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Rick Davis and Lt. Mitch Willoughby

Kenny Hagerman, Tom Sheets and Capt. Brian Smith

Keith Nelson, Sofie and Kevin Zimmermann

Mike and John Weber

Randy Raymond, John Surface

Book your clients between June 7th-June 30th, 2010 and we’ll load up their Sail & Sign® Card with up to $40 per guest for 3–5 day cruises or up to $80 per guest for 6–8 day cruises. But here’s the coolest part. They can use the cash anywhere on board or on a shore excursion. And at the end of their cruise, they’ll get back whatever credit they haven’t used. How great is that?

Crystal Figueroa, Jason Nelson and Dennis and Shirley Brostrom



12/05/10 $259 $299 $439


12/11/10 $349 $399 $529

CARNIVAL FREEDOM 6 Day Ft Lauderdale

11/14/10 $449 $579 $699


12/12/10 $529 $589 $739


11/04/10 $649 $719 $869

The company reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per pers on per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel.


(661) 397-7447 Bakersfield, CA. *Cruise rates are in U.S. dollars, per person and based on double occupancy. No name changes allowed. Cash back offer is non-transferable. Cash back is provided as a refundable onboard credit to your Sail & Sign account of $40 per person up to a maximu m of $80 per stateroom on select 3 - 5 day sailings and up to $80 per person up to a maximum of $160 per stateroom on select 6, 7 or 8 day sailings. If your Sail & Sign account has a cash balance at the end of the cruise after all authorized purchases have been applied to the account, any remaining unused portion of the cash back onboard credit will be delivered in check form to your stateroom on the morning of debarkation with your final Sail & Sign statement.

Victor and Karen Aguilar and Susan and Brian Sawyer

Cash back offer is capacity controlled and is not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer. Combinable with Fun Select rates only. Rates are subject to change at any time without prior notice. Category restrictions and exclusions apply. Minimum purchase of category 4A is required. Blackout dates may apply. Valid on new individual bookings made between 6/7/10-6/30/10. Promotion is applicable on select ships and departures between 6/16/10-2/28/11. Government taxes and fees are additional for all guests. Cash back may not be applied to cruise fare or government taxes and fees. Please request fare code OCB. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas & Panama.”



Rachel Legan Morning radio personality aka smart alec

Best part of my job: Every part. There is not a day that goes by that I am not eternally grateful to have been on 101.5 KGFM my entire adult life. I realize I am only 21 so that isn’t very long but very exciting! I’m kidding, of course. Legal restrictions aside, I can’t think of another job that would allow me as much freedom to just be myself. Having my younger brother, Dustin, as my co-host is also fun. We can air our arguments on-air and let the listener decide who is right (and when I win, everyone gets valuable cash and prizes!) Best piece of advice: There are two pieces of advice I will never forget. The first one is, “If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything at all.” The reality is we actually do know what to do most of the time. Instinct should set the stage. Just proceed with caution. My all-time favorite advice, however, was given to me via my best gal, Oprah. Poet Maya Angelou was on her show one day and said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them ... the first time." That statement has been very useful to me. Even when I ignore it, I end up learning from it. All-time fav Missed Connection story: There isn’t a story that stands out as much as the descriptions people have for each other and what they are doing when they failed to catch the attention of a potential future spouse. I have learned that birth control can be described as “baby blockers.” I believe the missed encounter went something like “You was buyin’ sum baby blockers when we caught eyes pumpin’ fuel.” It’s also fun to read them aloud as they are written. One man discussing a local mother’s recent plastic surgery wrote, “Yowza! I knew them kid feeders under your sweeter was knew cuz I seen you before and you is way more smiking hot nowdays.” It hurts just to read that sentence, but it is hilarious on the air. Thursdays at 7:50 a.m. by the way. What’s on your iPod: I actually do not own an iPod. If I did, you might be surprised at my taste in music. It is all over the 82

Bakersfield Life

July 2010

place! Right now, I would have my man Dave Matthews singing his songs “Bartender” and “#27” live at Radio City Music Hall. Love the passion in those songs. I’m also really loving Eminem’s “Airplanes” and “I’m not afraid”. As odd as it sounds, I relate to a lot of Eminem’s lyrics because of similarities in our childhood. Finally I could never go anywhere without Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Again, just love the lyrics. When I want to relax ... I lay out in the pool of my recently rented home with a glass (or bottle) of wine and read. Sometimes I’m reading Facebook messages on my phone, sometimes, it’s The Bakersfield Californian and sometimes, it’s a book. I always have some sort of reading material within arm's length. Three things that define Bakersfield to you: It is the only place I have ever lived so the first thing is home. Second, I’d say unique. We really do have a little bit of everything and our residents defend our love for this city anytime someone tries to knock it down. Obviously they aren’t educated enough to know how tough we are. Finally, the thing I have always noticed is our sense of community. Not only do residents here always come to the aid of others in need, but also we all seem to know each other. I don’t mean personally but if you’re familiar with the theory of six degrees of separation, I think there are only two degrees in Bakersfield. Place you could be found having lunch on the weekend: Here’s the thing no one knows! I cringe when asked to meet for lunch. Since I have been up at 2:30 a.m. for the last 18 years or so, my schedule is not like the 9-to-5 crowd. My meal clock is different from nearly everyone else. I avoid lunch meetings and gatherings as much as possible and instead opt for an early dinner. Even on weekends, when my husband and stepdaughter are home, they know that it’s the one meal I usually eat at the kitchen counter. Not very glamorous but it works for me!

Visit Our Service Department

& Save Money!

Service Performed:

Barber Honda


Pep Boys

Oil & Filter Change



Front Brake Pad Replacement


Timing Belt Replacment 4-Wheel Alignment




















Genuine Honda Parts






Free 19-Point Inspection






Free Shuttle Service






Factory Trained Technicians






Save Money and Have Peace of Mind Knowing Your Honda was Serviced by Factory Trained Technicians and Equipped with Factory Authorized Parts Competitive prices based on a telephone survey conducted on January 21,2010 by Barber Honda, of single outlets for each competitive brand as selected bt this dealership. Dealer prices valid until December 31st 2010 Competitors prices may vary. Prices do not include tax. Vehicle surveyed 2002 Honda Accord Ex-4Door Sedan, 4 Cylinder 2.3 Engine,Automatic Transmission, A/C, with 121356 miles.



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Oil & Filter Change

5 Off



with coupon. reg. price $27.95

Barber Honda


Prices vary by model. Plus tax where applicable. Please present coupon during write-up. Not to be combined with any other discounts. Expires 7/31/10.

Get the Best Service at the Best Price at 4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to Bakersfield Automall

834-6632 Se Habla Español


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Bakersfield Life Magazine July 2010  

Bakersfield Life Magazine July 2010

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