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July 2014


Introducing the

20 Under 40 People to Watch

Pour it on Bakersfield summer craft beer guide

Search & Rescue Meet Savannah, K-9 in training

What makes Kristie Coons so fashionable?

Get ready for Beach volleyball in Bakersfield? $3.95








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Bakersfield Life Magazine

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July 2014

F E A T U R E S July 2014

20 Under 40 People to Watch Our second annual feature highlights successful leaders who are doing big things professionally and locally. Our readers nominated nearly 100 people and Bakersfield Life’s selection committee narrowed down the list to these 20 shining stars.

Natasha Felkins, 32 Community health educator

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Living green locally It isn’t hard to live green. Follow these suggestions for a healthier, more environmentally conscious life. Page 80

Staying prepared Are you and your family prepared for the unexpected? Follow these tips to keep your loved ones safe. Page 86

Summer brewery guide


Craft beer is all the rage, and we found 10 of the best breweries that are just a short drive away. Can’t make it out of town? We tapped a few of our favorite local watering holes as well. Page 91


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

D E P A R T M E N T S July 2014



Dining Divas Food and Wine Foodie Entertainment Hometown Hero On the Road Why I Live Here All-Star Athlete Talk of the Town

60 For a Cause 96 Golf 98 Inside Story 100 Pastimes 104 Home and Garden 108 History 112 Our Town 118 In My Closet 120 Personality 124 Real People 126 Fit and Fresh 130 Health and Wellness 132 Trip Planner 134 Prime Finds 136 SNAP! 146 Last Word



the blind and visually impaired

CBVI hosts monthly lunch socials and is looking for 12 restaurants, organizations or individuals to donate a monthly lunch for the blind and visually impaired population.

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Up Front


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661.322.5234 1721 Westwind Drive Suite B • Bakersfield



All monitory donations are tax deductible


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July 2014


To donate lunches, please contact us today.

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Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine July 2014 / Vol. 8 / Issue 10


— Sally Baker, contributor

“I think a good community leader is someone who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty alongside us.” — Becky Lewis, major

“It’s someone who gives selflessly, leads by example, finds ways to inspire others and is passionate and steadfast about their cause. We’re fortunate to have a few great ones locally.”

retail account executive

— Olivia Garcia, editor

“I feel a community leader should have a selfless commitment to all issues, large and small, not just the ones that are covered by the evening news.” — Gregory D. Cook, contributor

“Anybody can go with the flow and make the politically-correct decision. That’s easy. But the ability to make a decision that is unpopular, yet in the community's best interest is what is desperately needed!” — Lisa Kimble,

“Strength, experience, compassion, and the ability to listen.”

“Someone who works in silence and lets his or her success make all the noise.” — Mark Nessia, contributor

“Those that move in silence.” — Michael Lopez, contributor


“A person who is passionate, has integrity, and listens to the voices of their fellow neighbors, family and friends to make changes and better the community for all.” — Hillary Haenes,

“A good community leader actually listens to the concerns and solutions for the problems affecting the community they’re serving. The best insight comes from the people that actually are on the ‘front-line.’”

specialty publications coordinator

— Linda Petree, advertising account executive

“Good community leaders remember where they started. They are strong communicators, influencing others to share their vision. But the best leaders touch the heart as well as the mind.”

“Good leaders listen and engage in open, honest ways with their communities and the people they lead.” — Rachel Cook, assistant editor

— Diana Greenlee, contributor

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. To advertise, contact Lisa Whitten at lwhitten@bakersfield.com or 395-7563. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Interactive Sales Manager Gunter Copeland Advertising Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Managing Editor Rachel Cook Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Henry A. Barrios, Katy Baker, Sally Baker, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Alana Garrett, Philip Guiry, Scott Hislop, Katie Kirschenmann, Michael Lopez, Tom Macht, April Massirio, Greg Nichols, Mark Nessia, Carla Rivas, Rod Thornburg, Adriana Vega Contributing writers Sally Baker, Ken Beurmann, Gregory D. Cook, Diana Greenlee, Philip Guiry, Ken Hooper, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, Stephen Lynch, Mark Nessia, Melissa Peaker-Whitten, Jacque Servadio, Chris Thornburgh Interns Elizabeth Castillo, Alana Garrett, Sandy Ornelas, Paul Rivas On the cover Photograph by Michael Lopez. A cold glass of Paso Robles-based Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s 805 is the perfect way to cool off on a hot Bakersfield day.


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July 2014


MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS Paul Rivas is one of Bakersfield Life’s editorial interns this year whose writing talent comes naturally to him. He is a graduate of Cal State Bakersfield with a bachelor’s in English and a minor in philosophy. He says he is on a journey to becoming a great writer. Rivas currently participates in the open mic held at Dagny’s Coffee Company every first Friday where he reads his original poems. He also hosts a creative writing workshop at Russo’s Books new location on New Stine Road. You can also find Rivas working at Kern Federal Credit Union where he assists members with their transactions. His daughter, Scarlett, inspires him with her sparkling spirit to never give up on who he is in life. Melissa Peaker-Whitten is a Bakersfield native who has been a contributing writer for The Bakersfield Californian and Bakersfield Life Magazine for more than 15 years combined. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Cal State Bakersfield and wrote a column for Eye Street’s Express page geared toward younger readers while finishing her degree. Peaker-Whitten loves writing and the freedom it affords her to continue perfecting her craft while raising her two daughters. Her favorite pastimes are reading, writing and gardening. She also loves camping and spending time at the beach. Her dream is to someday have her own column. For her, the best thing about being a writer is getting to tell other people’s stories. Heather Hawkins hails from Orange County. She is one of six children. Hawkins’ family is incredibly close and she credits her success to them, especially her parents. Hawkins studied at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., where she worked in the restaurant and real estate industry. She moved to Canada and took her first job in newspaper advertising working for Sun Media. Hawkins still talks to her old publisher and credits him with her sales skills. Her world revolves around her three children and two soon-to-be step children. In addition to the kids, she and her fiance have a dog, a cat and a Guinea pig named Pancakes. Hawkins loves what she does and the gratification she gets every day from her job is priceless. Working for The Bakersfield Californian for the last year and a half has been a wonderful experience, and Hawkins truly enjoys working with clients and her coworkers every day. 12

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

LEADERS IN BAKERSFIELD “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams


here are times in our lives when we encounter people who inspire us to take our dreams and turn them into reality. These people may not consider themselves leaders but they lead in a way that comes naturally — and it becomes contagious. Bakersfield Life wanted to honor these kind of people in our community. We wanted to feature community leaders but also those who move quietly behind the scenes, the unsung heroes, if you will. So we asked our readers for their nominations for our 20 Under 40 People to Watch contest. We received about 100 nominations and the judging committee found it tough to narrow down the winners. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that we have so many great individuals under the age of 40 making things happen. In this issue, we have them, the top 20 Under 40 of 2014 who are making Bakersfield a better place. The honorees come from all walks of life, and that diversity goes to show that leaders can be found and measured in numerous ways. They are layered in our community, from business and government to the higher education and high school football fields. These people go about their day-to-day lives affecting positive change on the people they impact and by doing so, they influence us to become better, as well. I encourage you to look inside and discover who made our 2014 list. Special thanks to our judges, Ginger Moorhouse, publisher; Richard Beene, CEO and president; John Wells, senior vice president, revenue and marketing; Glenn Hammett, art director; Rachel Cook, assistant managing editor; Hillary

Haenes, specialty publications coordinator and myself. We honored this year’s 20 Under 40 at a private ceremony at The Mark. Deepest thanks to the other key players in our 20 Under 40 project, The Mark Restaurant, Raymond’s Trophy and photographer Michael Lopez. On another note, this summer issue comes with a sizzling guide to cool breweries within driving distance. If you and your friends or significant other are looking to explore some new breweries, then check out our guide. My husband is a big IPA fan, while I am more of a lager or hefeweizen gal. We have explored a few of these spots, and others are now officially on our todo list. If you check some out, let us know what you think.

CONTEST Summer is in full swing, and we want our readers to tell us about your favorite family summer activity. Send us your photos of your favorite thing to do in Kern County during the summer with your loved ones and be entered in a contest to win a family four-pack of tickets to the Bakersfield KidsFest on July 19 at the Kern County Museum. Email photos to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the subject line: Family Summer Fun. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. July 11.

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


WORD ON THE STREET Compiled by Alana Garrett

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO SPEND FOURTH OF JULY IN BAKERSFIELD? Party and drink with friends. — David “Zipper” Watkins

Fireworks and food, the normal American deal. — Saxon Peavler

Barbecue and fireworks. — Patrick Talburt

Stay home and do fireworks with my family or maybe go to Bakersfield College if they still do fireworks. — Kate Soren

With lots of activities, people, education and fireworks. — John Gutierrez

Barbecue with some friends and have a good time. Maybe go to the Blaze Baseball game and get fireworks for free. — Mark Wilkins

Hanging out with family. — Autumn Pore

Barbecue with family. — Griffin Peavler








With my family. — Lisa Page



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LIFEGUARD ON DUTY Photo by Rod Thornburg

Lifeguards line up to get their student assignments for the first day of swimming lessons at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center. 14

Bakersfield Life Magazine

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NAMED AFTER By Lisa Kimble



The St. Vincent de Paul Center serves the homeless population in east Bakersfield. 16

Bakersfield Life Magazine

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The St. Vincent de Paul pantry.



uly 6 marks the 60th anniversary of the incorporation of the St. Vincent de Paul Store and Center in east Bakersfield. For six decades, a skeleton crew and an army of volunteers have helped some of the most vulnerable in our midst — the poor and homeless — through donated goods and charitable works. The St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) Store was the brainchild of Father Francis Trotter, a priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in the mid-1950s. With the help of a group of prominent local businessmen who provided financial support, a house was purchased at 425 E. 19th St. in 1954, and the store and center were incorporated as a nonprofit. In 1958, the center had already outgrown its location and the store was relocated to a new property at 300 Baker St. An addition to the store was completed in 1964. Back then, sandwiches and coffee were handed out to the hungry who ate in a small waiting room or on an outside patio. In 1968, Father Ralph Belluomini took over as director of the center and remained there until 2000. The center’s hall is named in his honor. “Father Ralph was really the heart of this place,” said Joanne Border, the center’s board president. The mortgage was paid in full and a loan note burning ceremony was held at Wool Growers on Sept. 27, 1973, the feast day of namesake St. Vincent de Paul. The saint cared for the poor and the downtrodden in his native France and is the

Catholic Church’s patron saint of charitable societies. In 2000, property next to the store was purchased for the Homeless Center, and the following year all three parcels merged into one. In 2005, thanks to a grant from then Mercy HealthCare West, a mobile unit was purchased to serve as a makeshift dining hall. A call to action in 2007 dramatically changed the face and aesthetics of the center. In January 2007, the board began exploring the possibility of expanding. St. Francis Parish pledged its support for an improvement plan for the grounds and facilities. An influx of donations financed the building of four bathrooms, two showers and a covered patio and the installation of lush landscaping. In December 2010, just three days after Christmas, the final stage of the ambitious project, an industrial-sized kitchen and beautiful hall, opened. Rather than sleeping in the shadows of warehouses and alleyways, visitors could spend part of their days in a park-like setting and secure environment. “They feel safe here now,” Border said of the center’s visitors. “We want to protect this little community.” The center’s days of handing out sandwiches are almost a bygone era. About 150 men and women receive a hot breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, as well as mail, clothing and hygiene kits, from the center. A second county SVDP Thrift Store is located in downtown Tehachapi. Last fall, the center held an inaugural barbecue fundraiser in an effort to bulk up its coffers and heighten the community’s awareness to its existence. “We are just a little ministry, not a public agency,” Border said. Expectations were modest. “We thought if we got 250 people and raised $25,000, that would be a success,” Border said. No one could have anticipated the swell of support on that warm October night. More than 825 people attended the event and upwards of $70,000 was raised. “We are blessed. We have no real source of income, yet we just keep going,” Border added incredulously. The center’s 60th birthday celebration will be held at the second barbecue this year on Oct. 9.



ment schedule. Mortgage companies may temporarily or permanently modify your loan, resulting in more affordable payments for you. Even utility companies offer programs to families experiencing unforeseen hardship.



ost of us will face a financial emergency in our lifetime, and yet the majority will not be as prepared as we would like to be. If you are blindsided with a financial crisis, whether it is a job loss, medical bills, large auto or home repairs, or some other unexpected drain on your money, there are steps you can take to deal with the aftermath. Here are a few tips for handling a financial emergency.

DON’T PANIC The worst thing you can do is panic in a financial crisis. Relax, get control and assess the situation. Fear of the unknown is unsettling, but there’s a solution to every problem. Staying calm will prevent mistakes made out of desperation.

REVIEW YOUR OPTIONS Determine what caused the financial emergency before seeking a solution. Is it lost income? Escalating ordinary expenses? A broken water pipe and a flooded house? While each situation may lead to financial stress, your plan of attack needs to address the root of the problem to be effective long term.

PRIORITIZE EXPENSES In a financial crisis, you may have to tighten the belt and cut expenses. Establish the important bills to pay first, such as groceries, mortgage or rent payments, and utilities. Here’s the emotionally challenging part — cut unnecessary expenses from your budget to prevent diving deeper into the financial abyss.

NEGOTIATE WITH CREDITORS It may come as a surprise, but it’s in the best interest of your creditors to help you make your payments. Don’t wait until you are severely delinquent to contact your creditors. If you wait too long, they may be less willing to work with you. By reaching out, credit card companies may extend a lower interest rate or even create an alternative or delayed pay-

If you’ve plowed through the three to nine months of living expenses that you socked away in your savings account, don’t despair. There are alternatives. If you own a home, consider borrowing against its value with a home equity line of credit. It is smart to apply for a home equity line before you need it. You don’t have to use the money right away and generally there is no cost. When an emergency arises and you need access to funds, you may not qualify for the line of credit, especially if you are temporarily out of work, options become limited. The home equity line has a great tax advantage because you can write off the interest on your home loan up to $100,000 in most cases. If you have no built-up equity in your home, there are other options. Do you have a 401(k) or similar retirement account? You can borrow against your 401(k) account. Most employers allow a 401(k) participant to withdraw up to half of their balance or $50,000, whichever amount is smaller. Since this is a loan, proceeds are not taxed but timely loan repayments are required. Rules vary by employer. You can also tap into your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Withdrawing money from your retirement savings is not recommended under most circumstances. If you must withdraw funds because of a hardship, such as a disability or a medical condition, distributions are penalty-free. Distributions, however, are subject to federal and state income tax. Knowing all your options will alleviate the stress of financial emergencies. Certain options may have tax consequences. The advice of a knowledgeable tax advisor may help mitigate your tax burden.


— Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@bacpas.com or (661) 324-4971. bakersfieldlife.com






Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Aaron Lynam and Savannah, his search and rescue dog in training. Lynam is a volunteer member of Kern County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.



aron Lynam’s pup Savannah is no ordinary dog. At just 6 months old, Savannah is enrolled in an 18-month training program to be a certified tracking K-9 with the Bakersfield Search and Rescue group. Lynam received Savannah, who is a bloodhound, from a certified breeder. He has always enjoyed the breed and jumped at the chance to get one. “Savannah is a very smart K-9,” Lynam said. “She learns quickly and enjoys finding persons that lay a trail for her to follow and hide for us during trainings.” Lynam, 42, was born in California, but raised in the Midwest. The former U.S. Marine volunteers his time with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and is the captain of the Bakersfield Search and Rescue group. When he isn’t volunteering, Lynam is a hydroelectric power plant mechanic. He has four children, including one son who is also in the Marine Corps. He and his wife will celebrate their 22nd anniversary in July. In addition to Savannah, Lynam has a white lab. When he and his dog aren’t running to the rescue, Lynam likes to build things out of wood and metal and has built porches and gazebos for family and friends. I named my pet Savannah because… a friend of mine thought it was a fitting name for a bloodhound. Favorite memory: It would be when I got her and she was 8 weeks old, and she was nothing but a puddle of wrinkles. I know my pet is moody when… she has a long day of training, she has had enough and is hungry! What Savannah means to me: Savannah means a lot to me as a pet and partner, when at home with the family or with me on search and rescue time. Antics: She is a bloodhound — they have many! It’s been fun learning her tricks and bad habits and correcting them. Five words that describe my pet: Happy, curious, mischievous, adventurous, eager. Savannah’s favorite activities: Sleeping, playing, training.




akersfield has a reputation for pet overpopulation. The organization Critters Without Litters hopes to amend the issue by providing sterilization services for the pets of the Bakersfield community and creating “a community where every pet has a home to call their

own.” According to the organization’s website, more than 16,000 cats and dogs were euthanized in Kern County shelters in 2013. “Critters Without Litters was founded in 2012 ... with a mission to reduce the number of animals killed (in shelters),” said Vicky Thrasher, Critters’ executive director. Critters Without Litters, a nonprofit, lowers the cost of animal sterilization through grants and donations by local businesses and other members of the Kern County community. The group also offers services including nail trims to pets while they are in surgery to be spayed or neutered, Thrasher said.

A cat is prepped for surgery at Critters Without Litters.



Anyone can help critters by visiting this group’s website, critterswithoutlitters.com, and clicking on the “Donate” button. The site also includes a wish list of items the nonprofit needs. — Elizabeth Castillo


ROBIN BEATTY Owner of BookHounds


ookHounds used bookstore opened its door last year but proprietor Robin Beatty has been sniffing out good deals on novels for nearly two decades. Before Beatty started BookHounds Book Warehouse, she sold books and movies online. She was also a stay-athome mom and served cookies at a high school student store. In April 2013, Beatty shared her nose for cheap paperbacks, textbooks and flicks Robin Beatty with the community when she opened BookHounds at 4000 Fruitvale Ave., Suite 9. Though she didn’t have cash to advertise


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

the opening, word of mouth proved to be all she needed. “People have been very generous, even donating their books and their personal time, to help us out because they love the idea of having a place to browse good old ‘real’ books,” Beatty said. Beatty, a mother of two grown children and grandmother to one “darling grandson,” sells records, audio books and books of every kind at the store. The 55-year-old Bakersfield native lives in the Oleander neighborhood with her dogs — a Jack Russell Terrier named Milo and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Madison. What I’m currently reading: In the middle of “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. It is on the best seller lists and the reviews sounded really good to me. I love a twisty plot! Favorite author: That’s a tough one! I love Nora Ephron and David Sedaris for their dry humor; I’m a longtime Agatha Christie fan; and I really like Alice Sebold, Philippa Gregory and Joyce Carol Oates. Favorite book: “Emma,” by Jane Austin.

Books I’ve read more than once: “A Woman of Independent Means,” by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, “Emma,” “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” The book that’s been inspirational in my life: I guess I love to read about people picking themselves up in midstream and starting over again! Loved “A Year by the Sea,” by Joan Anderson and “Eat, Pray, Love,” by Elizabeth Gilbert. All the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” books really changed how I thought about money! Any other thoughts on reading you wish to share with readers? You cannot read to your kids or grandkids enough. Even if the book seems above their heads, it is the language usage they’ll pick up and the great warmth of you sharing your time, thoughts and laughter with them.

CHECK OUT THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK AT THIS CONFERENCE The conference will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 24 at Hodel’s Country Dining, 5917 Knudsen Drive. Tickets are $35 for chamber members, $50 for non-members. For sponsorship and ticket information, call 871-4555 or email norchamber@bak.rr.com. — Sandy Ornelas



orth of the River Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend the 2014 Economic Outlook Conference. The event will cover issues facing Kern County’s economy with commentary and analysis from local business professionals and industry experts will offer their perspectives on local matters.

An artist conceptual rendering of the Outlets at Tejon Ranch.



hop for a good cause and get a peek at a much-anticipated shopping center at The Outlets at Tejon VIP preview party. The Outlets at Tejon is teaming up with Bakersfield nonprofits to raise money for the charities from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6 at 5701 Outlets at Tejon Parkway. Tickets for the grand opening preview are $25, including a goodie bag and store savings. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit groups including The American Red Cross

Kern Chapter, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, CASA of Kern County, Junior League of Bakersfield and Links for Life. The event will include live entertainment, wine and hors d’oeuvres. To purchase tickets, contact the following charities: The American Red Cross at 324-6427, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County at 325-3730, CASA of Kern County at 6312272, Junior League at 322-1671 or Links for Life at 322-5601. — Sandy Ornelas bakersfieldlife.com







f you are a health nut or love to work out, then mark your calendars for the NGA Natural “Mr. & Ms. Western America” Bodybuilding Figure, Physique and Bikini Championship. The competition heats up Aug. 2, at the Bakersfield School District Auditorium at 1300 Baker St. Pre-judging begins at 9 a.m., and the main event starts at 6 p.m. On-site tanning services will be provided by Heat Wave Tanning Bakersfield and photo packages by Doll Face Photography. For details on tickets, sponsorships and more, contact promoter Mark Pacheco at 327-2585 or markp@nationalgym.com.

rom Buck Owens to Merle Haggard, Bakersfield is known for amazing country music. Now, Celeigh Chapman, an up-and-coming country music artist from Bakersfield, might just put her name down in history with many other Bakersfield greats. Chapman was born and raised in Bakersfield and had already performed at (and sold out) Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace before she was 18. Chapman just released her EP, “Happy Now,” which is available for digital download on Amazon and iTunes. Chapman hasn’t forgotten her Bakersfield roots and thanks the town for all of its support. “Los Angeles is a huge city of people trying to make it as an actor or singer. I’m just grateful everyone in Bakersfield is so supportive,” Chapman said. Chapman currently lives in Los Angeles and dreams of working with Dolly Parton in the future. “Dolly Parton has so much energy and she is an amazing artist,” she said. Chapman’s CD is available for purchase from World Records in Bakersfield. Learn more about Celeigh on her website, celeighchapman.com. — Alana Garrett





Bakersfield Life Magazine



Celeigh Chapman was born and raised in Bakersfield.

July 2014

To be a part of this muscular competition, download an application at musclesunlimited.com. — Sandy Ornelas

ugust is our Kern Life issue highlighting all things Kern County. We want to feature your best photos from all around the county in this upcoming issue but to do that, we need your help. We’ll pick our favorite shots from the Capture Kern website. To submit your photos, visit capturekerncounty.com and create an account, if you don’t have one already. Then just start uploading!










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33 Years of Bakersfield Real Estate Service Excellence in both Buyers & Sellers Scan the QR Code with your smart phone to sign up and see 50-photo Visual Tours of all listings

or visit www.MaryCRealtor.com (661)301-Mary 301-6279 bakersfieldlife.com




CARL SMITH Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach By Stephen Lynch


Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Carl Smith works with Russell Wilson during the 2012 minicamp. 24

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014


arl Smith has great memories of playing football with his neighborhood friends as a youngster growing up in Wasco. Those were the good old days for the 66-year-old former Wasco High, Bakersfield College and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo standout. Not that things haven’t gone well for Smith lately. Earlier this year, Smith reached the pinnacle of pro football success, winning a Super Bowl as the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks.

“It was surprisingly pretty spectacular,” Smith said of winning the Super Bowl. “I really hadn’t spent any time dreaming about it or thinking about it. I know that’s kind of strange to think of ... but I hadn’t.” Smith, who began his coaching career in 1971 as a graduate assistant at Cal Poly, has spent the past 28 years, minus a one-year stint in 2004 at USC, as an NFL assistant coach. He’s been with the Seahawks since 2011. Smith, whose parents were both teachers, was a threesport athlete — football, baseball and basketball — in high school and at BC. But he began his foray into sports well before that. “My neighbors, Dick Permenter and Ned Permenter, they were my earliest influences,” Smith said. “We played sports every day from the time I was 5 years old.” Smith quarterbacked BC to an undefeated regular season and spot in the state playoffs in 1967. During his time with the Renegades, Smith began thinking about his long-term future in football, inspired by Gerry Collis and his staff, including Harvel Pollard, Carl Bowser, Walt Johnson and Duane Damron. “Just watching those guys interact with us; that’s when I decided I wanted to coach,” Smith said. “What I remember the most about those guys was how happy they were to coach and how committed they were. And how invested they were in all of us.” Smith has held several different assistant coaching positions during his long, successful career. He’s made 13 stops along the way to the Super Bowl, including a short stop in the now-defunct United States Football League. “I’ve always just tried to do the best job at whatever job I’ve got at the time,” Smith said. “If something better comes up then I take it. Or if they don’t want me to do that anymore, that’s always their prerogative.” Smith held the role of offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2005 to 2007 before two years as the quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns. His most recent stint tutoring Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson has arguably brought Smith the most notoriety. “Coaching Russell is a real treat,” Smith said. “He’s the best guy that I’ve ever coached at fixing stuff ... Whatever it is, if it’s footwork, if it’s ball-flight, if it’s understanding of a pattern that we have, if it’s understanding of a defense or defensive blitz or a line call that can help get him protected, he fixes stuff ... He’s been a real pleasure for me to work with these first couple of years.” Busy with his coaching career and family obligations, Smith hasn’t been back to his hometown in several years. “My wife is from Louisiana, and so when we get off in the summer, we usually head back to there,” Smith said. “She gets her time back with her family. I don’t get back (to Kern County) much.” Regardless of where he spends his time these days, Smith will always have a special place in his heart for Wasco. “My whole life was there,” Smith said. “It was all very positive. It’s a terrific place to grow up.”




IN SEASON By Paul Rivas


ire is an essential element for California’s ecosystem. Fire contributes to the ecosystem’s health by thinning forests, removing corroded growth and preparing seed beds for new plants to grow. But fires can also endanger homes and lives. As of May, CAL FIRE had already responded to nearly 1,300 wildfires this year, more than twice the normal average. As wildfire season comes blazing through, it is critical for California residents to understand how we can all prevent forest fires.



U.S. Forest Service Fire Captain Mike Martinez with engine No. 47 walks near the 2010 Canyon Fire. 26

Bakersfield Life Magazine

2. Gather fire tools such as a rake, chainsaw, bucket and shovel. 3. Wear protective clothing such as cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face. After a wildfire:

1. Build an emergency kit and create family communication plans. 2. Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher. 3. Install fire-resistant drapes and use fire-retardant chemicals for your roof and the exterior structure of your house. Plant fire-resistant plants such as hardwood trees and aloe. 4. Install dual-sensor smoke alarms near bedrooms and check them twice a year. During a wildfire:


1. Arrange a place for your family to stay outside of the threatened area.

1. Do not enter your home unless officials say it is safe to do so. 2. Use caution when entering burned areas. 3. If you detect heat or smoke when entering a damaged area, evacuate immediately. 4. Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.

Wildfire smoke is harmful and can impair your vision and irritate your respiratory system. Protect your health by paying attention to local air quality reports when a wildfire occurs in your area and avoid spending time outside. If you stay indoors, keep your air as clean as possible by closing all windows and doors. Also, make sure you have a clean filter for your air conditioner. Do not pollute the air inside by smoking and do not vacuum, as it will stir up particles that are already inside your home.


Kern County is a beautiful part of California that offers an assortment of wildlife for everyone to enjoy. Using proper outdoor etiquette goes a long way toward preventing wildfires in our natural lands. • Monitor campfires and make sure that they are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended. • Properly put out and dispose of matches, cigarettes,and cigars.

• When doing “hot work,” such as welding, soldering, cutting and grinding, be aware of your surroundings and prevent sparks from flying onto dry grass, which can easily start a large fire. • To protect your home from fire, clear pine needles, leaves and debris from your roof and rain gutters. • Make sure your home has at least a 100-foot radius of defensible space around it. If you live in the hills, mountains and grasses of our county, take the proper precautions to prepare your family and home for a wildfire. Here are some ways to keep you and your family safe. Before a wildfire:

July 2014

GET A COMPLETE HEART HEALTH CHECKUP AND LEARN YOUR HEART AGE Includes screenings, consultation, and personalized report to share with your physician.






Call to schedule an appointment.

Do you know your Heart Age? It might be older than you think. A woman’s “heart age” can sometimes be several years older than her actual age. Our women’s heart health checkup can help you discover your heart’s biological age and other important information about your cardiovascular health and risk factors. Some risk factors can quickly age your heart, which in many circumstances lead to heart disease. Through education, early detection and preventive screening, we can help you understand your risks and determine the steps you can take to improve your heart health and your heart age. Heart disease kills 50,000 more American women than men each year. The Women’s Heart Center at Bakersfield Heart Hospital can help you do something about it.





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

HAPPENINGS: Can’t-miss events in July and one child, $3 for each additional child. 852-7430. The Highwaymen Live, 7:30 p.m., The Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $29.50 to $64.50 at the box office window. vallitix.com or 322-5200.

Sat. 19 KidsFest, local vendor booths, activities for children, bounce houses, entertainment, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $5, children age 3 and younger get in free.

Mon. 28 Bakersfield Blaze vs. Visalia Rawhide, 7:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Sam Lynn Ballpark, 4009 Chester Ave. $7 to $12.

Tues. 29 10 a.m. Summer Movie Express, Tuesday: “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” and Wednesday: “Rio 2,” Edwards Cinema, 9000 Ming Ave. $1. 663-3042.

Wed. 23

“The Adventures of Tintin”

Goo Goo Dolls/Daughtry/ Plain White T’s, 7:30 p.m.,

Tues. 1

Fri. 11

Summer Movie Express, 10 a.m., Tuesday: “The Adventures of Tintin,” and Wednesday: “Rise of the Guardians,” Edwards Cinema, 9000 Ming Ave. $1. 663-3042.

Beach Blast Family Fun Night, games, swim, water slides, 6 to 9 p.m., McMurtrey Aquatic Center, 1325 Q St. $3; $10 for groups of four to six. 852-7430. Movies in the Park: “The Smurfs 2,” begins at dusk, Silver Creek Park, 7011 Harris Road. Free. 3263866.

Wed. 2 Kids Summer Film Festival, 9:30 a.m., “Turbo,” Wednesday and Thursday, Maya Cinemas, 1000 California Ave. $1. 636-0484.

Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $42.50 to $57.50 plus fees. ticketmaster.com or 800-7453000.

Thurs. 24 Concerts by The Fountain, blues, rock, and oldies with the Mike Montano Band, 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Free.

Thurs. 3 Concerts by the Fountain, oldies, funk, latin, country with Thee Majestics, 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Free.

The Highwaymen Live

Sat. 5 “The Role I Wasn’t Born to Play,” 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday, The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. $20. 327-7529.

Tues. 8 Family Night, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center of Bakersfield, 1325 Q St. $5 to skate. 852-7400.

Wed. 9 Friends of the Kern County Library Used Book Sale, pre-sale for members, 3 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, $10; $15 per family; public sale, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, half-price day Saturday, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. 868-0796.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Wed. 16 Kid’s Summer Film Festival, “The Nut Job,” 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Maya Cinemas, 1000 California Ave. $1. 6360484. Bakersfield Blaze vs. Lake Elsinore, 7:45 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Sam Lynn Ballpark, 4009 Chester Ave. $7-$12. 716HITS.

Thurs. 17 Concerts by the Fountain, the blues with Fat Daddy Blues Band, 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Free.

Fri. 18 Parent & Me Pool Playtime, 10 to 11:30 a.m., McMurtrey Aquatic Center, 1325 Q St. $5 for parent

July 2014

Fri. 25 2014 Philippine Weekend, pork adobo cook-off; grand parade, Saturday and Sunday; barrio fiesta, basketball tournament, cultural entertainment, live performances, dance and singing contest, bingo Saturday and Sunday, most events at Cecil Park, 17th Ave., Delano. Free. 679-9698. “Menopause the Musical,” 7 p.m. The Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $51 to $71 at the box office window. vallitix.com or 322-5200.

Bakersfield Blaze


LIVING GREEN IN BAKERSFIELD 83 percent of adults in the greater Bakersfield area (317,590 people) recycle glass, plastic or paper.

4 percent support politicians based on environmental positions.

4 percent donate money or time to environmental causes.

77 percent use energy-efficient light bulbs.

Source: Scarborough Research (March 2014)

44 percent use less water at home.

33 percent recycle electronics (batteries, cellphones, computers, etc.). 33 percent have energyefficient windows. 31 percent drive less/use alternative transportation.

13 percent buy organic food. 28 percent use rechargeable batteries. 23 percent buy locally grown food. 28 percent use cloth/reusable shopping bags. 17 percent buy ecofriendly household cleaning products. 11 percent pay more for eco-friendly products and services. bakersfieldlife.com




DICK TAYLOR By Bakersfield Life



rom Amazonian jungle operations to real estate deals, Dick Taylor is a modern Renaissance man. Taylor, 58, currently bears the title of the director of the Kern County Veterans Service Department, but he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and led his family business, a Goodyear dealership, before he took up county work. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Taylor attended East High and Bakersfield College. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married since 1978, and they have two adult children and two grandchildren. Before he settled into a career in county government, Taylor traveled the world with the Marines. He was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea for “Operation Fluid Drive” in 1976 to support the evacuation of Americans from Beirut after the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon. Taylor was also deployed to South America to conduct joint military operations with the Brazilian Navy and Marine Corps, among other assignments. After Taylor was honorably discharged, he ran Taylor Tire & Brake for 27 years, holding positions as president and general manager. Taylor worked as a field representative for Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard before he became the head of the local veterans department. Taylor’s department aims “to promote and honor all veterans and enhance their quality of life and that of their dependents and survivors.” Taylor also has a real estate state license and sits on boards for several local nonprofits.

1. My first car was a Chevy Vega. I sold it and bought a Harley Sportster.

2. I enjoy eating King Oscar Tiny Tots sardines and saltine crackers with my grandkids, and they like them, too.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

3. I work for a pyrotechnics company that puts on large fireworks shows. 4. I love hot fudge malts at Dewar’s and date shakes from California Fruit Depot. 5. I have been 700 feet below the surface of the Pacific aboard a Los Angeles-class fast attack nuclear submarine; aboard an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer at sea; and enjoyed riding aboard the Goodyear Blimp several times, with the exception of the time when I threw up at age 9. 6. For several years I raced dirt bikes competitively in the California desert. 7. I was a member of the rifle club while a student at East Bakersfield High School. And yes, there was an underground rifle range under the old basketball gym. Mr. Otto was our instructor.

8. I met my wife, Cheryl, when I crashed her New Year’s Eve party in 1974.

9. While in the Marine Corps, I was in charge of the brig on an aircraft carrier, where I routinely administered the commanding officer’s punishment of “three days bread and water” to Navy scofflaws.

10. I have participated in military operations deep in the Amazon jungle of Brazil.

11. During survival training at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center near Bridgeport, I discovered that baby birds and dandelion leaves taste pretty good when you haven’t eaten for two days.

12. I competed in the Volkslauf for 11 years and finished each time standing up and with my son or daughter.

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B A K E R S F I E L D M AT T E R S By Lisa Kimble


hen Bakersfield philanthropist Betty Younger aspired to higher education after high school back in the late ‘40s, she dreamed of becoming an architect. But social mores at the time dictated otherwise. So like many women her age, Younger obtained degrees in art and a teaching credential and went into the classroom. Fast forward to today with nearly two dozen of her enormous sculptures scattered throughout town, and one can’t help but wonder what she might have done on a much grander, architectural scale. But luckily for our community, the renowned sculptor, often dubbed the “Woman of Steel,” chose the path she did. Where most of us see junkyard scraps, Betty Younger envisions works of art for all to enjoy, a testament to the love affair she’s had with public art for more than a half century. Her latest statuary, “Circle of Friends,” was dedicated on the Panorama Drive side of the Bakersfield College campus earlier this year in honor of former Chancellor James Young. The piece, nearly twice as tall as the artist, took six months to complete. Younger, who attended BC her freshman year, gifted it to the college and estimates its value at $14,000. It’s not the sort of day job one expects of the diminutive, always impeccably coiffed and bejeweled arts patron and regular on the charity fundraising circuit with her husband, prominent attorney Milt Younger. And to think it all started in shop class at then Kern Union High School where she learned to weld and make jewelry. “I loved jewelry and working with metal,” Younger said. With the advent of modern art, she started small, making contemporary and sleek pieces of jewelry. “I loved updating modern design jewelry, and I enjoy enlarging it and promoting public art in schools and in the community,” Younger said. She designed ornaments for several local jewelers and moved on to wood, ceramics and marble. But she always returned to her creative first love, three-dimensional art forms using metals like bronze, copper and stainless steel. “I just love metal. It is stable and enduring,” Younger said with her trademark giggle. Almost all of her pieces are within plain view, with names as fun and whimsical as the statuaries, “Sun Catcher,” “The Eye” and “Zig Zag.” All are bold, dramatic, eye-catching and glistening. They all started as an idea, refined through numerous renderings, and come to life in Younger’s open-air foundry and workshop on S. Fairfax Road on property where her daughter used to board horses. “I have helpers. I train them, motivate them,” she said. With wisps of her blonde hair tucked behind her industrial welding helmet, Betty Younger uses blow torches to cut and meld, shaping, polishing and eventually painting. Coy about her age, she now leaves the forklifts to her helpers. “Public art is heavy to lift and install,” she laughed Although small in stature, Betty Younger is a mighty force in advocacy for women in the arts and public art. She earned a silver medal in the 2000 Olympic Art Compe-


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Betty Younger with her sculpture, “Mending Hearts,” at Houchin Community Blood Bank.



tition for her work, “The Eternal Flame.” The piece was purchased by the president of the International Olympic Committee and added to the permanent art collection at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Here in Bakersfield, “Moon Window” sits in the Sculpture Garden adjacent to the Bank of America building, which the Youngers own. “Mending Hearts,” an 8-foot-tall, 10 gauge, polished stainless steel piece, was gifted to Houchin Blood Bank, and a life-size statue of Jesus welded from a 1,200pound steel pipe sits in the garden of The Mission. In a ground floor suite in the Bank of America Building, the Younger Gallery has hosted countless exhibitions over the years. “I was always interested in doing gallery-quality sculpture artwork,” Younger said. Another of Younger’s sculptures sits across from the front entrance of the Padre Hotel, on property that her pioneering family the Hoenshells homesteaded in 1884. Slowed somewhat by age, Betty Younger’s mind of ideas still moves at breakneck speed, and local officials are seeking her opinions on plans for public art along the new Westside Parkway. Betty Younger’s career path may have deviated from her young girl aspirations, but Bakersfield is all the richer for the woman who has been the architect and visionary for public art in our community. Lisa Kimble


Dining Divas in their element at Logan’s Roadhouse. Left to right, Nina Ha, Aryana Mosley, Norma Diaz, Amanda Reade and Tanya Hutson.

LOGAN’S ROADHOUSE Dining Divas lasso some down-home country cooking Photos by Greg Nichols


alk into this laid-back restaurant with peanut shell dust on the floor, steer horns flanking the fireplace and country music tunes playing on the jukebox and you know that Logan’s Roadhouse is undoubtedly an upbeat family-friendly establishment. Logan’s offers food for everyone’s dining preference, serving large portions that are great for sharing or bringing home for lunch leftovers the next day. The wait staff is extremely attentive and knowledgeable about the popular entree items and what best accompanies them. All of us Divas had a difficult time deciding what to order because every menu description sounded delicious, but we chose wisely and were beyond satisfied with our selections. 34

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Grilled zucchini

APPETIZERS Nina on the rockin’ onion petals: When I was a kid, my parents used to take us to a restaurant where you could eat peanuts from a bucket and throw the shells all over the floor. To a 5-year-old, it was like hitting a dinnertime bull’seye. My childhood memories came back to me at Logan’s Roadhouse when I walked in and saw a big red wagon full of in-shell peanuts and a floor covered in husk. It’s a casual atmosphere that immediately relaxes you while coaxing you

to have a good time. As I snacked on the peanuts, I decided to try the rockin’ onion petals appetizer. It’s almost a full pound of onions deepfried into crispy, bite-sized pieces. Individually, they look like the petals of a flower immersed in thick batter and served alongside a kickin’ Texan sauce. The horseradish-based dip shoots a much-needed bullet of excitement into the mild, creamy onion petals. It’s a fun take on the classic American onion ring. Tanya on the Logan’s Roadhouse Southwest grilled Location: 3310 California Ave. shrimp: Since I was Phone: 861-1447 in the mood for a little Website: logansroadhouse.com surf and turf, I selectHours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday ed the Southwest through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 grilled shrimp for my p.m. Friday and Saturday. appetizer. It is listed as one of Logan’s signature items, and now I see why. Perfectly seasoned, grilled succulent shrimp were served on a skewer, which made it easy to share. Although the menu states that the shrimp is accompanied by salsa, I would describe the blend of diced avocado, tomatoes, roasted corn and black beans more like a salad. It’s so delicious that it should be given its own spot on the menu! Norma on the grilled zucchini: A short while after we were seated, our waiter brought us some grilled zucchini (it’s not on the menu but can easily be requested). I have to say that the chef knew just how to grill it perfectly. The texture was crisp and seasoned to attract even non-zucchini palates. Amanda on the Roadhouse ‘shrooms: This appetizer was unique. A full plate of whole button mushrooms battered and fried. Alongside these delicious bite-sized mushrooms was a dipping sauce of spicy horseradish. The tangy combination of the batter and sauce was delightful. I could not stop eating these throughout the meal. And after dinner was done, I couldn’t help but wonder when I might be able to come back and order these glorious golden morsels again.

Famous baby back ribs

ENTREES Nina on the onion brewski sirloin: After my enticing onion appetizer, I was still fiending for my favorite vegetable. Logan’s onion brewski, packing both crispy and grilled onions, not only delivered on taste, but also had Samuel Adams lager in its ingredients holster. The 8-ounce sirloin sits perched upon a bed of marinated grilled onions while its crispy counterparts decorate the top of the tender USDA choice beef. My medium rare, hand-cut carnivorous chow came sizzlin’ hot on a cast iron skillet. You can really taste the warm, garlic butter as you experience the pleasantly contrasting textures of both onions. When it comes to sides, Logan’s sweet potato is the real deal. This Texas-sized tater comes to you swimming in a magical concoction of cinnamon and brown sugar butter. Each bite was so rich and mellifluous that it almost overshadowed the main attraction. It’s a must try if you like your spuds sweet and savory.

Continued on page 36

Southwest grilled shrimp bakersfieldlife.com


Dining Divas Tanya Hutson, left, and Norma Diaz show off their cowgirl spirit.

Continued from page 35 Tanya on the famous baby back ribs: As for the turf portion of my meal, I was looking for something meaty, so I decided to go with a full rack of Logan’s famous baby back ribs. The menu states that they don’t cook their ribs, instead they baby them — and I agree! These babies were so tender that they fell right off the bone. I especially liked that I could order the ribs with just a dry rub instead of sticky barbecue sauce. I selected the grilled mushroom skewer as my side dish. I don’t know what spices Logan’s uses, but they are onto something because everything I ate had such a wonderful, yet not overpowering, flavor. Norma on the mesquite wood-grilled salmon: My mesquite-infused filet of salmon was served with a good

sized floret of broccoli to complete my flavorful dish. Being that my plate was super healthy, I opted to indulge in a baked sweet potato as an extra side. It was the right mouthwatering carb to complete my balanced meal. I was happy with this healthy and hearty choice. Amanda on the country fried chicken tenders: Because this has been one of my favorite dinners since I was a kid, it was a no brainer that I would order this meal. Two crispy chicken breasts covered with white pepper gravy ... I was in heaven! The mashed potatoes served alongside were a classic touch. I would like to note that two people could have easily shared this sizeable dish. Aryana on the Porterhouse steak and shrimp: I would describe myself as a meat-and-potatoes kinda girl. Therefore, when you’re at a steakhouse, you absolutely must have the steak. I ordered mine medium rare. Cooked to perfection, well seasoned and piping hot, this juicy piece of meat was served alongside a loaded baked potato (extra bacon and sour cream, please!) and steamed broccoli. The shrimp was grilled to order with steamed veggies and rice pilaf on the side.

DESSERTS Nina on the Mississippi mud pie: Since I’ve become a card-carrying adult, I’ve found that I really like the taste of a good cup of coffee. In addition, I’m a big fan of the inside layer of Oreo cookies. With the Mississippi mud pie, you get a copacetic combination. Mocha ice cream is generously served with shaved almonds, whipped cream and an Oreo crumb crust. Our wonderful server, Katelynn Webb, handdrizzled chocolate and caramel sauce on many of Logan’s desserts. This mud pie will end your evening on a sweet note as you walk out with a smile on your face. Tanya on Logan’s Roadhouse straws: Anyone who knows me knows I love fair food, so I was excited to see

New York-style cheesecake


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Logan’s version of the funnel cake on the menu. Served as individual straws of batter instead of a doughy lump, these confections were lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar and cooked to the ideal crispness. The dipping sauces (chocolate, caramel and berry) were a perfect addition, although the straws were also very tasty on their own. It may be a challenge with all the tempting entree options, but make sure to save room for this creative dessert. Norma on the big & chewy hot fudge brownie: As we all know, no meal is complete without something sweet. This brownie was not only moist and chewy but had huge flavor! Topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and a big spoon to help yourself dig in and share with those you love. Amanda on the New York-style cheesecake: It’s a dense slice of creamy perfection. We were served a large piece of cheesecake with a graham cracker crust drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce. This was another rich dessert fit for sharing, which is why I think all of us Divas enjoyed passing this one around the table while exchanging yummy sounds.

OVERALL REVIEW Logan’s Roadhouse is old-style cowboy steakhouse meets modern day family fun. There’s something for everyone from their mouthwatering ribs to their creative fried cheese and bacon burger. Drinks range from fun-flavored iced teas to Logan’s legendary alcoholic lemonade. Plus, the friendly servers will have you wanting to come back soon.



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LOCALLY GROWN GOODNESS Taste delicious foods grown right here in Kern County By Alana Garrett


GRAPES Grapes have had quite the history around the world. From pharaohs in Egypt to dictators in Greece, grapes were and are still enjoyed by many. Grapes also have made an impact in California. With the state’s warm and dry climate, grapes flourish here. These tiny but delicious fruits are considered to be the first fruit mentioned in Kern County’s early history and have provided the county with a large profit over the years. In 2012, grapes ranked as the county’s No. 1 agricultural commodity, with a value of nearly $1.5 billion. Grapes also provide many health benefits, such antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which help our cardiovascular 38

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Citrus is Kern County’s fourthranked crop.

Almonds ready to be harvested near Delano.



alifornia produces fruits and nuts that are eaten all over the country, and some of the top producers of these goods are right here in Kern County. Considered to be one of the top agriculture counties in California, from delicious crunchy almonds to sweet grapes, Kern County has it all. Kern hosts many major agriculture companies, including Grimmway and Bolthouse farms, Sun Pacific and Paramount Farms, to name just a few. When it comes to the availability of fresh local food, agricultural biologist Cerise Montanio said Kern is “an amazing place to be.” “With more than 155 crops grown all around us, you can find local produce in grocery stores, farmers markets, fairs, food co-op programs and restaurants,” said Montanio, who works for the Kern County Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards. Montanio’s advice: Seize the goodness around us. “As Kern County residents, we are really lucky to have this availability to produce — so take advantage of this opportunity and don’t be afraid to get creative with your cooking, summer barbecues and fresh food consumption,” Montanio said.

A CLUB FOR LEADERS Established in 1952, the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield is an integral part of the heritage

Grapes being harvested at Kovacevich Farms.


and history of Kern County. Our Club is a member-owned local facility with a philosophy that reflects our commitment to excellence. Today, we are the premier private business and social club of Bakersfield. Our members are leaders of our community spanning from single to married, young to mature, and


working to retired. We are proud to serve not

Carrots aren’t just Bugs Bunny’s favorite snack. They also provide an excellent source of vitamin A and are great for eyesight. Like most vegetables, carrots provide dietary fiber that maintains bowel health and lowers blood cholesterol. Carrots also have been said to guard against asthma, prevent wrinkles and protect your heart. Carrots may be known for their orange color, but they actually come in a rainbow of colors, such as white, purple, red and yellow. In Kern County, both Bolthouse Farms and Grimmway Farms produce carrots and are known locally and around the country for their delicious carrot products. In Kern County’s 2012 crop report by the Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards, carrots ranked seventh just under cattle, with a value of more than $350 million. Multi-colored carrots in a field in northwest Continued on page 40 Bakersfield.

only our many fine members but the city of


system, and grapes even help balance blood sugar.


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Continued from page 39

CITRUS When most people think of citrus fruits, the orange may come to mind. However, there are many other citrus delights to tantalize your taste buds, including lemons, limes and grapefruits. Citrus fruits have been known to provide high amounts of vitamin C and are excellent sources of potassium. The high amounts of vitamin C in citrus fruits provide antioxidants that help your body stay in its best shape. In Kern County’s 2012 crop report, citrus fruits ranked fourth just under milk with a value of more than $620 million. Citrus fruits are also grown in Kern County by Sun Pacific and Paramount Farms.



Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and vitamin K.

Grapes may lead Kern County’s crop report, but nuts follow closely behind. We even celebrates this “nutty” produce annually with the Kern County Nut Festival. Almonds are Kern County’s second highest-ranking commodity, and they provide many health benefits. Although almonds are high in fat, they are actually very good for your health. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats that have

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

been associated with the reduced risk of heart disease and in some studies, almonds have been proven to increase the levels of protective antioxidants. Pistachios help lower cholesterol, manage weight, and also have high levels of healthy unsaturated fat. In Kern County, large companies like Paramount Farms grow almonds. In Kern County’s 2012 crop report, almonds were ranked second and pistachios came in fifth.

POMEGRANATES Pomegranates bear the pride of being one of the oldest known fruits. They are often found in texts such as the Bible and the Greek myth of Persephone. These sweet fruits are also considered to be fruits of paradise and fruits of fertility in some cultures. Pomegranates’ health benefits include antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin K and potassium. POM Wonderful, a leading producer of pomegranates, grows many of their pomegranates in Kern County. The 2012 crop report ranked pomegranates 12th. With a value of $58 million, that’s nothing for this crop to be ashamed of. The next time you taste a flavorful grape, a crisp carrot, a crunchy almond, a seedless orange, or a juicy pomegranate seed, remember it may have just been grown right in your home sweet home, Kern County.




Ella Luque with her final dish — lemon chicken with penne. 42

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July 2014

Ella slicing lemons for juicing.

Ingredients for lemon chicken with penne.

ELLA LUQUE A kid with food allergies learns the art of cooking By Hillary Haenes


Photos by April Massirio

lla Luque’s parents first discovered their almost 1year-old daughter had severe food allergies when they fed her peanut butter on an apple slice. Their little girl immediately had an allergic reaction — sneezing, hives and swelling. Karen and Joseph Luque rushed Ella to the hospital where she was given a shot of epinephrine, and the doctors informed the frightened parents that their daughter had suffered an anaphylactic shock from a potentially life-threatening food allergy to peanuts. The scare led to further testing, which revealed that Ella had more food allergies, including nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, oats, rye and barley. “We quickly realized why she always had rashes on her face and hands — she had already been ingesting some of these foods or traces of these foods when she was able to start eating whole foods. We quickly had to change her diet, find recipes and read labels on everything,” Karen said. This 10-year-old may have outgrown many of her allergies, but she still has to be extra cautious not to consume anything with traces of nuts or eggs, which is why Ella is

already learning to cook. “My mom and grandma are teaching me to make more things on my own that are more complicated,” said Ella, who mastered making breakfast dishes, chicken marsala and lemon chicken. While cooking has become somewhat of a lost art in many households, it’s treasured by Ella. In fact, she encourages other kids her age, especially those with food allergies, to learn their way around the kitchen. “She reminds me of my mother, who was taught at a very early age by her mother how to cook. Cooking together not only encourages children to try healthy foods, but it makes them feel like they are accomplishing something and making a contribution to the family,” Karen said. Besides taking a liking to cooking, Ella is very active in her church, community and school. She plays AYSO soccer, is in Girl Scouts, and involved with the drama program and on the cheerleading squad at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School.

COOKING ADVICE When did you develop an interest in cooking? I realized that when I get older, I may still have allergies and will need to cook on my own. I asked if I could help my family and have been helping for a long time. I started making breakfast on my own and will learn to make more meals. Cooking is important to me because: It is something that keeps me busy. Plus, my brother, Ciano, loves my cook-

Continued on page 44 bakersfieldlife.com


Ella’s mom, Karen, watches as Ella places chicken in an oiled pan with the broth and garlic.

Continued from page 43 ing. How often I cook for my family: I cook a little bit when my parents are watching, so they can make sure I don’t get hurt. I always mess up: Making scrambled eggs for my family — I forget to put the salt and pepper in the eggs. My go-to ingredients: Herbs like basil, rosemary and parsley. One of my cooking secrets: Herbs are great in food. Sometimes I use more than I need to, but it always tastes

Advice for families with food allergies • Educate your food allergic child, family members, school, day care providers or anyone who may have a misconception about food allergies. • Read labels on packages of everything from food to hygiene products, and if you’re not sure, don’t bother buying it. • Once your child is able to read, teach them how to read labels on packages. • When you dine out, try to access the restaurant’s food allergy warnings and menu online. Inform the restaurant that you have a food allergy, and if they are not


Bakersfield Life Magazine

mindful of it, then walk out. • Always keep an updated stock of epi-pens and Benadryl at home, school, mom’s purse — never leave it in the car. • Make sure to teach your food allergic child early on to not take any food/candy offered to them before checking with you until he/she is old enough to determine on their own. • Join a local support group in your area if there is one, or join Food Allergy Research & Education (foodallergy.org), which is a great resource. — Karen Luque, Ella’s mom

July 2014

great. If I could spend a day with a famous chef, it would be: Rachel Ray because she is a great chef, and my mom likes her show. Advice I would ask her: I would ask how she became such a great cook.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE Must-have kitchen tools: Spatulas, whisks, juicers, blender, pots, pans and bowls. Go-to cookbooks: I have my own cookbook with allergy-free recipes. Spice cabinet necessities: Garlic salt, season salt, rosemary, basil, parsley and mint. Ingredients that I avoid: Nuts and eggs. Favorite item in my kitchen: Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewers. I enjoy a cup of warm chamomile tea. I used to have dress-up tea parties with my brother, cousin and other family members or friends.

GLOBE-TROTTING Favorite cuisine: I like my grandma’s homemade lasagna. Local restaurant and my order: That is hard considering my allergies, but when we do eat out, we like Red Lobster because they handle my food allergies well. My order is usually a lobster and some grilled shrimp. Best food memory: Making tamales with my Great Grandma Aurelia Pena, Grandma Marcelina Arias and Mom.








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SUMMER BEERFEST Lemon Chicken Ingredients 1-2 pounds boneless chicken breast 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 ½ tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon garlic salt with parsley blend 1 cup chicken broth 1 tablespoon flour 2 lemons 2 teaspoons minced garlic (jarred) 1 tablespoon dried or fresh parsley

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Directions Rinse chicken breast and pat dry with paper towel. Slice each breast diagonally to make two thin breast slices. Mix flour and garlic salt in a bag. Add the chicken to bag and shake until all pieces are evenly coated. Add oil and butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt and swirl the butter. Place the chicken into the skillet and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. While the chicken is cooking, mix broth (warmed) and juice of lemons into a mixing bowl. If you want your sauce a little thickened, whisk in 1 tablespoon or so of flour. Add garlic and parsley. Once you’re done cooking the chicken, reduce pan heat to medium and add the chicken-lemon broth mixture to the pan. Give it a stir with a slotted spoon. Add the chicken back to the pan with the broth. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, turning chicken occasionally.

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS Always in the fridge: Yogurt. I’m addicted to: Lay’s potato chips. Comfort food: Ice cream. Family recipe: Tamales. Healthy snack: Carrots and ranch. Breakfast dish: I can make biscuits with jelly, omelets, bagels and cream cheese, and toast with jelly.

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FAMILY FUN FOR EVERYONE! Come out for a memorable day at Bakersfield KidsFest By Bakersfield Life


Bakersfield Life Magazine

The Bakersfield Condors mascot will be hanging out at the Bakersfield KidsFest.

July 2014



here’s only one place you’ll get a water slide, rock climbing wall, intriguing educational activities, free run of an outstanding museum and dozens of family resources all at once this summer: Bakersfield KidsFest. The Kern County Museum will be transformed for a family fun day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19 featuring lots of local vendors and a play zone. At just $5, tickets are a bargain considering attendees can check out all of the museum’s exhibits during the events. Children age 3 and younger get in for free. Roland Maier, executive director of First Five Kern, said KidsFest will be a great opportunity for families to get in some quality time together and alleviate any summer boredom. “It’s really good if families have time to be families,” Maier said. First Five Kern is sponsoring the event, along with Heritage Christian Schools, American Kids Sports Center, Gianquinto OrthoArts and Children’s Hospital Central California. Dr. Jared Gianquinto and the OrthoArts team will provide an interactive demonstration on oral hygiene care and orthodontics with life-size teeth models. Gianquinto will also provide free orthodontic and oral health screenings at the OrthoArts booth. Emilee Hurlbert, alumni coordinator/administrative assistant for Heritage Christian Schools, encouraged families to stop by the school’s booth to snag a free ballon animal and to learn about an alternative to public schools. “People can stop by and talk to us about our school and education in general,” Hurlbert said. “From what I know is planned so far, it’s going to be a really fun family day.” While the festivities will offer plenty of parenting resources, there’ll be a lot more than just brochures to keep toddlers to tweens entertained.

Along with several inflated water features, kids can try out games like soccer, baseball and basketball in the Fun Zone. Children age 5 and younger can hop through an inflated crayon obstacle course, and kids 6 and younger can jump around in a bigger bounce house. Kids get to enjoy two activities with each paid admission, or purchase a $10 wristband for unlimited access in the play zone, which includes the bounce house and water slides. Kids can also scale the rock wall twice for $5. Arts and crafts and other activities are all free. Youngsters can also explore the Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center and find out how we get oil from the ground to our gas tanks at the museum’s Black Gold exhibit. Food vendors will be ready to keep little tummies happy and full. Amid all the fun and games, the KidsFest will also offer engaging educational activities for children. Fred Hallmark, a retired petroleum engineer, is looking forward to giving kids hands-on lessons in the power of electricity. Hallmark will offer demonstrations throughout the event in physics, with an emphasis on how electricity works. “I’ll have a lot of electrical gadgets...and a little electric motor that the kids can actually operate with their hands,” Hall-


Children attending Bakersfield KidsFest can explore the Lori Brock Discovery Center.

Bakersfield KidsFest • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19 • Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. • Tickets $5, free for kids age 3 and younger, available online at bakersfield.com and bakersfieldkidsfest.com

mark said. One of Hallmark’s favorite demonstrations is a hand-operated generator made of old bicycle parts. Kids can crank it with their hands and see how much energy it takes to light up different kinds of light bulbs. “All the energy that lights up the bulbs come from the people themselves and it’s very dramatic,” Hallmark said. “People are amazed at the difference.” Kids can explore a GET bus, pal around with the Condors mascot, and meet Chuck E. Cheese (though this mouse will only be squeaking around from 10 to 11 a.m.). Condors staff will give basic hockey lessons from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The options are endless, so bring the entire family out to KidsFest for an unforgettable day of fun. Don’t forget the sunscreen and swimsuits for the kids!

Enter to win a free bounce house rental from Amazing Bounce Sponsored by




BRAD VAUGHN Captain, U.S. Army By Paul Rivas

Photos courtesy of Capt. Brad Vaughn


t a young age, Army Capt. Brad Vaughn felt a calling to serve his country. Vaughn graduated from Highland High School in 2004, then headed to Vanguard University of Southern California in Costa Mesa. To help pay for tuition, he joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Cal State Fullerton. Thanks to Uncle Sam, Vaughn graduated in 2008 with a degree in history and political science. While attending university, he met the love of his life, Cortney, and married her a week after graduation. Vaughn was commissioned in the Army as a second lieutenant and three weeks later was on active duty. The 27-year-old is now stationed at Fort Irwin 40 miles north of Barstow and manages to make it back to Bakersfield about once a month. Vaughn enjoys backpacking, CrossFit training and renovating his house. When he has time off, he takes pleasure in relaxing with family and friends. When his time in the Army is complete, Vaughn hopes to pursue a career as a high school history teacher and coach football or take a job in law enforcement.

Capt. Brad Vaughn environments. It will challenge you daily and teach you things that no other organization in the world can.

Capt. Brad Vaughn receives a unit safety award from 11th Armored Cavalry Regimental Commander Col. John Ward at Fort Irwin. Assignment: Secretary of the General Staff for the National Training Center and Fort Irwin. Where I’ve served: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, 2010 to 2011, in Diyala province, Iraq. While deployed in Iraq, I was a platoon leader and company executive officer. What the military has taught me: Leadership. Above anything else, the United States military teaches you how to effectively lead young men and women in the most dynamic 48

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Greatest accomplishment: Being a company commander. I just relinquished command of a company, and it was truly the highlight of my time in the Army. Many times, the Army can wear you down but every day, soldiers will do things that amaze you. Favorite memory: Returning from Iraq on June 26, 2011 and seeing my wife waiting for me. Advice for people thinking about joining the service: Go for it! There is absolutely no limit to what you can accomplish if you work hard and bring a great attitude with you to work every day. I’ve always said I’ll take a less technically skilled soldier with a great attitude over a highly trained soldier with a terrible one. When times are rough, it’s leadership and a positive attitude that will help you pull your soldiers through it.


Bakersfield Life assistant editor Rachel Cook drives the 2014 GMC Terrain Denali.

2014 GMC TERRAIN DENALI A crossover with all the attitude, bells-and-whistles you need By Rachel Cook

Photos by Mark Nessia


ince GMC introduced the Terrain in 2009, this crossover has been the perfect fit for drivers who want the space and feel of a bigger truck but also the flexibility and features of a smaller car. This crossover gives you the feeling of driving a powerful SUV. But it’s perfectly suited for families and young adults looking for something more than the average sedan. Though you’ll feel like you are navigating with the swagger of an SUV, the low step-in height makes it easy for children and short folks like me to get in and out without a comical struggle. The body is stronger and more SUV-like than other crossovers, echoing the design of the Yukon in a smaller package. Chrome touches on the side molding and exhaust tips create eye-catching accents in this crossover’s bold facade. 50

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The dash features soft-touch materials with colorful but subtle stitching.

While all levels of the Terrain come with a 7-inch touch screen in the center of the dash, Bluetooth, OnStar and a backup camera, the Denali has top of the line safety features that make you feel like you’re driving in a protective bubble. The forward collision alert system watches the cars in front of you, the lane departure warning system chides you when you start to drift, the side blind zone alerts light up in your mirrors when a car is coming and the rear cross traffic alerts warn you of approaching vehicles and objects as you backing up. I felt like the entire car was safety-proofed as I drove it. Inside, the Terrain’s interior has unique touches like con-

The available navigation system is easy to follow on the Terrain’s 7-inch touch screen. The second row of seats folds down for storage and can recline for passengers' comfort.

A sunroof is one of the many luxurious touches in the 2014 GMC Terrain Denali. trasting stitching. The back seats slide to open up more room for long legged passengers. And the rear seats fold down neatly to open up nearly 64 cubic feet of cargo space. The ride is remarkably smooth and quiet. Taking photos with Terrain at Lake Ming, I didn’t feel bumps and jostling as I drove in the dirt. I think this flattery from AutoTrader.com best sums up the Terrain’s versatility. “While some classify the GMC Terrain as a compact crossover, others say it’s a midsize. The truth is the 2014 GMC Terrain enjoys the best of both designations,” the

site said. “It offers fuel economy fit for a compact and the roominess of a midsize utility. Add to the equation trucklike styling and the GMC Terrain becomes a truly compelling package.” Kelley Blue Book editors also praised the Terrain’s aesthetics and performance. “Compared to some of its likely competitors, such as the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V, the 4-cylinder Terrain has fuel economy ratings around the upper-end of the category, and the optionally-available V6 engine delivers 301 horsepower-worth of performance, yet is still remarkably fuel-efficient,” their review states. Edwards Roberts, product specialist for Motor City Buick/GMC, said the Terrain’s fuel economy and cargo space are well suited for young soon-to-be adults. “It’s awesome for college students who want to get decent gas mileage,” Roberts said, joking that the Terrain also offers plenty of space for hauling loads of laundry home. The Terrain Denali comes with five years of free OnStar remote link that lets you unlock, lock and remote start the car with your phone. Roberts said that handy feature has saved him twice after he locked his keys in his car. My favorite tech touch was the Terrain’s SiriusXM Travel Link, which let me check local movie listings and weather reports on the go. Whatever you needs, the Terrain is sure to please.

It’s all in the details Mileage: The Terrain Denali offers a 3.6-liter V6 engine that tops out at 301 horsepower at 6500 RPMs. The fuel economy for the Terrain Denali is 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway with a maximum driving range of 480 miles on this 20-gallon gas tank. Price tag: A standard Terrain Denali starts at an MSRP of $37,980. Five best features: My favorite features on the Terrain Denali would have to be the safety features. Terrain Denali includes standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert. Last but not least the Terrain Denali comes standard with a Power Sunroof! Who doesn’t like sunroofs! Target customers: Terrain appeals to a broad customer base, especially those with families or those who need extra cargo space with the added incentive of optimum gas mileage. These customers want features/content, safety, functionality, and fuel economy all in one package. The 2014 Terrain Denali is perfect for… a customer who is looking for everything they want in one vehicle that provides features, efficiency and exceptional value for their lifestyle. Three words that define the 2014 Terrain Denali: Sporty, competitive and active. What I like most about the 2014 Terrain Denali: The bold looks that help differentiate it from other, less capable crossover SUVs. For example, the squared-off front end with precise edges and a unique GMC Honeycomb Denali grill that contributes to the Terrain’s muscular shape. Source: Edwards Roberts, Product Specialist, Motor City Buick/GMC




2015 CHRYSLER 200 All-new, redesigned sedan delivers power, beauty and ingenuity

Bakersfield Life editor Olivia Garcia discovers that the redesigned, refined look of the 2015 Chrysler 200 is definitely an attention-getter.

By Olivia Garcia Photos by Mark Nessia here’s a familiar saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” And as a mom, I have constantly preached that to my four sons. But is there ever an exception to the rule? Take the 2015 Chrysler 200, which I recently test-drove. This baby imbues good looks and an aura of charm. I immediately fell in awe by judging it from the outside. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. Forbes contributor Matthew de Paula recently wrote that he found himself a tad mesmerized while admiring the outer feel of the 2015 Chrysler 200 at the New York auto

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show in April. He wrote, “I felt as if the car’s fluid form somehow had a calming effect, which, as it turns out, is just what (Brandon) Faurote had in mind.” Faurote is the head of exterior design at Chrysler and in a press interview with de Paula and others at the car show, described the Chrysler 200 as “an elegant composition of forms. What we mean by that is there aren’t any abrupt endings on the car in terms of line work or shapes or forms that aren’t well resolved. Your eye just continues to flow around the car and enjoy it.” The redesigned aerodynamic and quiet, soft ride is definitely a head-turner (the LED tail lamps and light pipe are eye-catching), but what about the inside, I asked myself.

Of course, Sami Ayoub, a sales and leasing consultant of Bakersfield Chrysler Jeep, was quick to show me that the inside was just as intriguing as the outside. Some of the interior features that impressed me were: adjustable and heated steering wheel; heated and cooling seats; soft touch interior (no plastic here); and backup camera feature. Ayoub also noted that the Chrysler 200 delivers a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and a ninespeed transmission, which translates into a better fuel economy. As many know, the geek in me loves the tech candy that is loaded into new autos and the 200 did not disappoint. For one, there is an option to turn your 200 into a Wi-Fi hot spot. That’s a great idea for traveling and kids. The Uconnect system is super manageable for drivers and passengers to access cool upgrade features, such as SiriusXM, voice text reply (it will read your text messages and allows you to reply) and navigation on an 8.4inch touchscreen. I really dug the SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Traffic systems that provide movies listings (including name of movies, location and times); fuel prices (broken down by brand, price or distance); and The Uconnect system is user friendly. traffic updates (including traffic congestions and construction work within a certain mile radius). For sports lovers, myself included, you can also access sports information such as event scheduling. I am a big music listener, too, and the Alpine sound system made the sounds just perfect. Ayoub also showed me a shortcut that allowed me to record a certain favorite song, to favorite a song or artist so I can get an alert whenever it comes up again. I then have the option to switch over and listen to it. Another trick I decided to explore was an alert that informed me whenever I went five miles over the area speed limit. Sometimes, in our rush to getting to places, we can get too comfy in our speed, and this system keeps you honest. There are a number of safety features (including blind-spot monitoring and eight airbags), but I also enjoyed the ability to gain vehicle information digitally. It’s great to know when things such as your oil pressure or temperature, battery life or tire pressure are in or not in control just by accessing information with the touch of a button.

Drive in comfort and style with the Chrysler 200.

It’s all in the details Five best features Value: Starting MSRP under $22,000. Outstanding fit and finish and harmony of all vehicle elements. Several class-exclusives and best-in-class accolades with features typically only found on vehicles starting at thousands of dollars more. Safety: More than 60 standard and available safety and security features, including the sophisticated four-channel Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. The only car in its class with standard electronic parking brake with safehold feature and only vehicle in its class with available ParkSense Active Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist with Stop Feature. Available Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist. Performance: Tigershark 2.4L I-4 engine delivers 184 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque and Pentastar V6 engine delivers best-in-class available horsepower (295 hp) and 262 lb-ft of torque. The first and only car in the segment to offer a 9-speed transmission. Sport mode chassis system (200S and V6-equipped 200C models) offers enhanced steering feedback, enhanced stability control calibrations, a more aggressive transmission shift map and more aggressive AWD performance. Technology: Can be equipped with more than 20 safety-related sensing elements, including cameras, radars and various distance-tuned ultrasonic sensors that bring a 360-degree sensatory capability to the vehicle. Connectivity for Bluetooth, 115volt outlet, two 12-volt outlets, auxiliary input jacks and USB. The largest available touch screen in its class. A full array of safety, comfort and technologyrelated accessory offerings including Mopar’s Electronic Vehicle Tracking System, a wire-

less cell phone charger and an Autonet Wi-Fi kit. Quality: A combination of underbody panels, air dams/deflectors, diffusers, claddings and spats contribute to the 200’s best-in-class aerodynamic performance, fuel efficiency and road/wind noise performance. Triple-door seals have been added to all four-entry points so high-speed wind noise is a thing of the past.

What do you like most about the 2015 Chrysler 200? The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan has come to dominate it as it simultaneously lays the groundwork for the future of the Chrysler brand. Pitted against competitive makes and models like the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and a few others, the new 200 delivers an immediate statement in all customer hot spots including design, efficiency, technology, ride and handling, premium refinement and performance.

What makes the 2015 Chrysler 200 stand out from others? A standard 9-speed automatic transmission is mated to the most powerful of all current Chrysler four-cylinder engines – the Tigershark 2.4L. It’s also paired with the available, awardwinning Pentastar V6. With all that and more, buyers won’t find a better-crafted, more refined or highly advanced vehicle for their money in the midsize segment as they will in the 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan. Source: Sami Ayoub, sales and leasing consultant, Bakersfield Chrysler Jeep






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Homegrown attorney enjoys Bakersfield life as a father

Attorney Tony Lidgett started out working in the Kern County Public Defender’s Office before he opened his own law firm.

By Paul Rivas


ony V. Lidgett knows the delights of growing up in Bakersfield and is passing them on to his three children. Lidgett graduated from Cal State Bakersfield earning his bachelor’s in psychology. He received his law degree from the California Pacific School of Law. Lidgett worked as a deputy public defender for a decade and then started his own law firm in 2011. His busy life has him in constant motion between work and his three children — Brea, Alia and Cole. You’ll often find him watching one of his kids participate in a sporting event. And if Lidgett is not watching, he’s coaching one of his children in baseball or in softball. “The life of a ‘club parent’ is never dull,” he said.

Arena and The Fox Theater for all the concerts and sporting events. Soccer complex near Hart Park and Sam Lynn Ball Park for all of the years watching and coaching my kids. What is your best memory in Bakersfield? Too many. Playing baseball at GBA and/or practicing at the bus barn near our house on Fairview Road and H Street. We used to have some incredible games with some very talented athletes. Many went on to play professional sports. It had a “Sandlot” feel to it. That’s why I love that movie. Speaking of movies, I used to love to go to the Crest Drive-In with my family. What’s the best thing about Bakersfield? The closeness of the community. I think people like to feel important, kind of like Norm from “Cheers.” Here, everyone does know your name and if they do not, someone who knows them certainly does.

What do you love about Bakersfield: It is my home. It is where my family and friends are located. So I love everything about Bakersfield.

What is your favorite community event? Basque picnic. I have some good friends who are Basque, and I loved it every time I went with them.

What makes Bakersfield special? Great athletic town. Our teams compete and win against all other towns. People from other cities know that when you are playing a team from Bakersfield, you have a challenge ahead of you. There are so many examples, but look at last year with Bakersfield High and Bakersfield Christian High going to the state finals in football. That was simply amazing and with BHS winning it all in a route — yes, I attended the game — wow!

Where do you like to travel outside of Bakersfield? I love to travel up and down the coast, both east and west. I want to visit every state and even had a goal to watch a baseball game from every Major League ballpark. Watching Raider games (yes, I went there). My eldest is really into the Raiders (the other two are now showing interest) and going to their games. Nothing better!

What is your favorite place in Bakersfield? Rabobank

What surprises you about Bakersfield? How quickly we are growing. It used to be I knew at least one person on my panel of prospective jurors. Not so much anymore. bakersfieldlife.com



Hometown race car driver dominates the track By Stephen Lynch


here is a good reason that Bakersfield Speedway track announcer Mike Moshier nicknamed Brad Pounds “The Dominator” a decade ago. The local International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Modified driver has regularly whipped up on the competition since he began his racing career in 2000 at age 15. Pounds recorded his 100th career IMCA Modified victory on May 10. Pounds was honored for reaching the historic triple-digit win mark by IMCA and the Bakersfield Speedway with a ceremony in victory lane at the track on May 31. “I was pretty happy just because it was Mother’s Day weekend and my

Brad Pounds (15B) battles Michael Johnson (22C) in a 2013 IMCA Modified heat race at Bakersfield Speedway. 56

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mom passed away a few years back,” Pounds said of win No. 100. “That just meant a lot to me to win that for her.” The 2002 Ridgeview High School graduate and son of successful Late Model and Modified racer Scott Pounds has three IMCA Modified track championships at Bakersfield Speedway from 2010, 2011 and 2013. This year in the first seven IMCA Modified feature races held at the local third-mile clay oval, Pounds notched four wins even though he missed a race. “My favorite part of racing is winning,” Pounds said. “I love winning. I don’t want anyone else to win that I race against.” While roughly half of his IMCA Modified victories have come on his hometown track, Pounds has done

extremely well on the road. He won the Mojave Valley IMCA Modified track championship in 2006. In 2007, he competed against the top IMCA Modified drivers in the country at Boone, Iowa and finished the Amain event in seventh place. That same year, Pounds won an astounding 28 of 34 races in the Street Stock division at Bakersfield Speedway. But most of Pounds dominating has been in a 400- to 650-horsepower IMCA Modified. His cars’ chassis are built by Larry Shaw in Arkansas, but Pounds and his father, who serves as his crew chief, do the rest of the work getting the car ready to race each week. Pounds credits his own success as a driver to watching his father race. “Watching him maneuver around the track and the way he drove and passed people, I think that helped out,” Pounds said. “I think it made it a little easier for me when I got out there because I kind of knew what to do.” Following in his father’s footsteps, Pounds’ driving style is aggressive but also calculated. He seems to have a spe-



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Pounds has three IMCA Modified track championships at Bakersfield Speedway.



Brad Pounds Facts Born Sept. 30, 1984 in Bakersfield. One sibling, younger sister Krista. Girlfriend, Tina McGowan, is an IMCA Sports Mod driver. Has raced Hobby Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks and IMCA Modifieds. Began his racing career winning six of nine races in a Hobby Stock. Has never raced on anything but dirt tracks. Has never flipped a race car or been seriously injured while racing. His IMCA Modified does 90 miles per hour down the straightaways at Bakersfield Speedway. Took first place in both Super Late Model and Modified division at the Bud Nationals in 2011. His car No. 15B comes from the fact that Pounds was 15 when he started racing and because it is the number of ultra-successful Late Model driver, Brian Birkhofer. Works as a welder for Mid-Cal Fabrication. Favorite tracks are Bakersfield Speedway and Tulare Speedway. Hobbies include snowboarding and shooting guns.


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cial gift for knowing when to push his car to its limit and when to back off just a little bit. “I definitely think I have that killer instinct that you have to have to be a successful race car driver,” Pounds said. “But you also have to be smart. You have to be there at the end. My dad has always told me, ‘The best guy doesn’t always win. The smartest guy wins.’ So I try to be smart also, not tear my stuff up and be there at the end.” Pounds usually winds up in victory lane, a fact that wasn’t lost on Moshier when he chose a nickname for the talented driver. “He dominates the field when he’s there. He doesn’t put that (The Dominator) on his car because it sounds really bragging,” Moshier said. “It shows what type of person he is. He’s not boastful. He just goes out and gets it done on the track.” bakersfieldlife.com


City workers pick up a brimming recycling bin on Prairie Stone Place.

BRING ON THE BLUE BINS City director shares success of Bakersfield’s curbside recycling program By Bakersfield Life


n 2002, Bakersfield began a voluntary curbside-recycling program and since then, the blue bin bonanza has grown by leaps to keep our city waste-free. Almost 90,000 single-family homes use blue bins in the city, and many businesses recycle as well. Captain Planet taught people a lot about recycling during morning cartoons, but Kevin Barnes, the Bakersfield’s solid waste director is here teach to residents about the city’s residential recycling program.

HOW DID THE CITY’S CURBSIDE RECYCLING PROGRAM START? Bakersfield established a network of free community drop-off recycling centers in 1993. The first step toward curbside recycling was a voluntary blue cart program, beginning in 2002. 58

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About 10,000 households took part in that optional program. The participants paid a $4 per month fee to cover the cost of the program. Now, thanks to community support and sound fiscal planning, curbside recycling is universal in the city. It is included in the basic residential refuse fee. From public notifications to re-routing to Kevin Barnes inventory and deliveries, curbside recycling has been quite a large undertaking. For instance, from fall 2012 to spring 2014, the Solid Waste Division delivered nearly 80,000 blue carts to residents for the universal program.

WHAT ITEMS CAN GO IN THE BLUE BINS? A lot of people still don’t realize how many household items can go into the blue cart. Paper products, glass (clear, green, brown), rigid plastics No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, and aluminum and steel may all go in the same blue cart to be recycled. You don’t have to sort items, so it is very convenient. It’s as easy as that. Recycling reduces a lot of waste in your kitchen alone. Every cardboard box and carton, jar and can that comes out of your kitchen can be recycled. Your junk mail, newspaper, magazines, old homework and business papers are all recyclable.

By rigid plastics, I mean the sturdy stuff like milk jugs, takeout food containers, and tougher packaging. If in doubt, you can look for a number on your plastic products. If it has a 1 through 7 on it, recycle it. If it’s flimsy like cellophane (film wrap), a dry cleaner bag, or a grocery bag, then it’s not acceptable in your blue cart. However plastic shopping bags can be recycled at large markets and stores in Bakersfield. As for your beverage bottles and cans, you can put them in the blue cart, but it’s fine if you want to cash them in at a place of your choosing. … If in doubt about what may go into the blue cart, you can look on the lid, our website, or give us a call at the Solid Waste office at 326-3114. We’re happy to help. We’re here for you.

What may go in the blue cart is really determined by what can be processed by local recyclers…


So many people are thrilled about curbside recycling. We received so many phone calls from — Kevin Barnes, people asking, “When City of Bakersfield will I get my blue cart?” Solid Waste Director that we made a special look-up program to answer that on www.bakersfieldcity.us, in addition to our flier campaign... Right now we are working on delivering blue carts to multifamily homes on a case-by-case basis. Since all single-family homes may have a blue cart as part of basic service, public dropoff locations maintained by the City of Bakersfield will shut down at the end of business on June 30. It’s also important to understand that as the capabilities of local recyclers expand, the list of acceptable items that may go in the blue cart may expand, too. What may go in the blue cart is really determined by what can be processed by local recyclers like Metropolitan Recycling Corporation and Bakersfield ARC.

COULD RESIDENTIAL COMPOSTING BE NEXT? Time will tell what’s in store for the future of food composting endeavors in Bakersfield. There is no decision yet on whether or not food composting will be a standard residential service in the City of Bakersfield. What we do have is a stellar local composting facility. In fact, we’re recognized as an industry leader for what we do right here in Bakersfield. So we’re prepared for the possibility of residential food composting by having a competent and experienced facility. For instance, our school food waste and wrapper composting program in place at 53 schools in Bakersfield won a Composting Excellence Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America. Residents may find it interesting to know that the Solid Waste Division gives the business community at large the option to compost food waste. Businesses that embrace this option include Aera Energy LLC and Nestle Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. — Paul Rivas contributed to this article. bakersfieldlife.com




Sheriff Donny Youngblood recognizes Sgt. Mark Brown with an Officer of the Year Award in 2013.

HONORING HEROIC DEEDS, SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation prepares for annual Officer of the Year Awards Dinner By Sandy Ornelas


July charity event will honor local police heroes and scholarship recipients pursuing a career in the same profession. The 2014 KCLEF Officer of the Year Awards Dinner will be held July 11, at Stockdale Country Club and is organized by the nonprofit Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation, which was established 26 years ago. The foundation’s purpose is to foster “efficient law enforcement by providing assistance and support to the various police agencies of Kern County… (and) to provide scholarships for 60

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students who aspire to become involved in a law enforcement career, and to recognize outstanding accomplishments of law enforcement officers and lay citizens who, at risk to themselves, have courageously taken action to resolve a law enforcement emergency,” said Angela Barton, vice president of the Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation, who is organizing the awards dinner. The officers honored will be those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have performed heroic deeds on the job, Barton said. The honorees will be announced at the dinner. Another highlight of the event is scholarship recognition. In the past 21 years, the foundation has sponsored more than $40,000 in scholarships for students in Kern County. “The foundation believes that a college education is a critical component in the development of tomorrow’s law enforcement officers and leaders. I have a great interest in serving on the scholarship committee and assisting with the identification of deserving students who will benefit from a KCLEF scholarship,” said Shelly Castaneda, a Kern County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy, who is the scholarship committee co-chair. Castaneda said the scholarship awards are her favorite








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part of the dinner. “I take great pride in seeing the scholarship recipients being recognized at the annual dinner for their academic achievements,” said Castaneda Each student is recognized for their academic, athletic and community service activities. “When you see what these scholarships can do for these people, you just get excited to be a part of this foundation,” said Jon Busby, a Realtor and the foundation’s president. Busby has been volunteer2014 KCLEF Officer ing his time for the foundaof the Year Awards tion for 10 years. Dinner Eligible scholarship When: 6 p.m., July 11 at Stockdale Country Club recipients must meet certain guidelines, including a Tickets: $100 per person; $1,000 per table. Sponsorhigh GPA, be a local student ships vary, $2,200-$5,500. and be enrolled in college Details: Samantha Hubbard, full-time. 332-8597, samantha@stockAfter the application dalecountryclub.com and selection process, the candidates are interviewed by a foundation panel. Each scholarship recipient can receive up to $4,000. Busby said the foundation would not be able to provide such awards without the funding from foundation membership fees and the support of numerous community and business members. The foundation also hosts several fundraising events throughout the year such as a spring luncheon and annual poker tournament. Busby said all proceeds raised from local events stay in Kern County. “The program is exceptionally rewarding to our board of directors as a way to reinvest in our future law enforcement leaders… There are many outstanding students who have benefited from the financial assistance of a KCLEF scholarship,” Castaneda said. “With our investment, the foundation hopes that our scholarship recipients will give back to their communities by seeking law enforcement careers locally.” Tory Zimmermann, 19, is one of the scholarship recipients. She attends California State University, Chico, and is majoring in criminal justice. Zimmermann plans to pursue a career in law enforcement after she graduates from college. She received $4,000 in the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year and used the scholarship money to pay for her tuition. The scholarship helped Zimmermann attend the university that she wanted, and allowed her to pursue her chosen career. “I want to thank the scholarship committee for the opportunity. It definitely made my college experience easier on me and my family,” Zimmermann said. Another scholarship recipient, Tyler Scledicher, 20, goes to Bakersfield College. He received a scholarship in June 2011 to help pay for his tuition and books. The scholarship motivated Scledicher to receive his degree in criminal justice, and he plans to become a police officer. As the dinner approaches, Busby is looking forward to honoring the college students and recognizing local law enforcement heroes who put their lives at risk to make their communities safe. “(It is) very touching but very rewarding as to what these officers do, men and women alike… (At last year’s event) there was not a dry eye in the room,” Busby said.



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By Bakersfield Life

Bakersfield is growing. New businesses and nonprofit charities are forming and fresh faces are helping our community flourish. For Bakersfield Life’s second annual 20 Under 40 People to Watch feature, close to 100 upcoming local young professionals between 18 and 39 years old were nominated. It was difficult to choose, but in the end, Bakersfield Life’s selection committee could only honor 20 of these shining stars who are doing brilliant things for the city they call home. Each leader is making their mark in a different way; some own their own businesses while others have put in time and love to causes dear to their heart. Meet our 2014 honorees who strive to make Bakersfield a better place for everyone. Editor’s Note: A special shoutout goes to The Mark Restaurant for allowing us to hold our photo shoot at their lovely establishment and also a big thanks to Raymond’s Trophy for sponsoring plaques for each talented individual.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

40 Under

People to Watch


Recognizing Bakersfield’s leading young professionals bakersfieldlife.com



Jaclyn Allen


Jaclyn Allen

Heather Abbott

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Heather Abbott Co-owner of Bella at The Marketplace Age: 31 Community involvement: Served on Make-A-Wish Evening of Wishes board; supports charities like CASA, Kern County Honor Flight and Bakersfield Homeless Shelter; narrated and styled fashion shows for the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference; judge and supporter of Bakersfield High School’s fashion classes; among others. Advice to other young professionals: Work hard, continually set goals for yourself, do something you love and always dream! Secret talent: Making everyone smile when I karaoke “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. I’m actually a terrible singer, so I compensate by giving the crowd a dramatic and unforgettable performance. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? As an individual, I support local businesses and charities and attend local events. I believe that by doing this, our community and businesses will prosper. Through Bella, I hope to make as many women as possible feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. What are your career aspirations? To keep growing Bella. I envision myself a lifelong entrepreneur. I’m learning to think big ... who knows where that will take me! 66

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Owner/operator of The Hens Roost which organizes three of Kern County’s farmers markets Age: 36 Community involvement: Brimhall Farmers Market was first established in 2010. Because of its success, we later opened the Oildale Farmers Market, which is our newest market and the recent winner of the Bakersfield Beautiful Award for health. I’m also the president of a nonprofit called Apple Core Project that promotes healthier lifestyles for our community. Advice to other young professionals: Set your goals high and shoot for the stars; you might be surprised how far you get if you believe anything is possible. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? To bridge the gap between farm to table. I want to end Kern hunger and promote healthier eating. Kern County is one of the leading areas in our nation for organics and farming in general. I believe we have the power to change. What are your career aspirations? Hopefully, someday I will have a farm(s) of my own to help do amazing things.

Brooke Antonioni President/CEO of Trans-West (provides physical, private security services and janitorial services) Age: 37 Community involvement: Serve as board member on Rotary Club of Downtown Bakersfield, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, Kern Economic Development Corporation Foundation, the Greater Bakersfield Vision 2020 Task Force and Cal State Bakersfield’s Council of 100, among others. Favorite part of your job: I am so thankful to have a loving family that I get to enjoy time at home and work with. I am grateful to my parents for their leadership and the role models they have been to me, and for the opportunity to work with such an awesome team of employees and customers. Advice to other young professionals: Make the most of every interaction you have with family, friends and other professionals; every day is about balance, so make your personal and professional priorities successfully co-exist; and never bring up an issue or problem without offering possible solutions.

How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? Continue to participate on boards and sponsor events. I also want my family and our employees to understand that we all have a responsibility to shape our community. At Trans-West, we try to offer opportunities to give back. My twin girls have participated in volunteer events from the start. I’m proud to say I was born here and get to live and work in this beautiful city.



Brooke Antonioni

Amber Beeson

Executive director of The Giving Tree Project Benefit Corp. Age: 33 Community involvement: I’ve been working with my twins’ school William Penn Elementary and Keep Bakersfield Beautiful since 2011. Since then, I have designed the school garden where I regularly volunteer and host a training workshop to teach other schools how to create and sustain their school’s garden. So far we have trained 130 people, resulting in 20 additional school gardens in Kern County. I also enjoy volunteering for Bakersfield Aids Project, Stop the Violence and Bakersfield Museum of Art. Favorite part of your job: Influencing the children of the future to make smart decisions and be part of a healthy community and environment is what it is all about. Advice to other young professionals: No matter what anyone says, you have to have faith in your own calling... Above all else, lead your life with love. Many young professionals chase the paycheck, but at the end of the day, it’s about living. What are your career aspirations? Within a few short years, I believe that community gardens, healthy living, sustainable education and affordable local fresh food access will be a common community practice for Bakersfield. This practice, once implemented, can foster a stable and growing local economy. My goal is to create a replicable model and expand The Giving Tree Project across the country. I also intend to further my family’s business EESTech by introducing sustainable technologies and agricultural practices to Kern County.

Michael T. Bowers


Amber Beeson

Michael T. Bowers Senior district representative for U.S. Rep. David Valadao Age: 31 Community involvement: Serve on committees like Kern County Alzheimer’s Association Capital Campaign, Housing Authority, American Cancer Society Gala and Stop the Violence Community. Advice to other young professionals: Take risks, you can often learn more from mistakes than successes. Professional in your field who inspires you: Russell

Continued on page 68 bakersfieldlife.com


Continued from page 67

Irma Cervantes


Johnson and Pete Parra inspired and encouraged me when I first entered politics. They were always encouraging and gave invaluable advice. I appreciate that both are trailblazers in how they can work across cultures and political affiliation. Secret talent: Beatboxing. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? Inform people about the importance of oil, ag and water. They play such a vital role in the growth and sustainability of our local economy. I want our community to become energy voters and vote for the jobs that are the lifeline of Bakersfield.

Dana Culhane-Brennan


Irma Cervantes

Dana Culhane-Brennan Deputy chief of staff, California State Sen. Jean Fuller Age: 28 Community involvement: Rotary Club of Bakersfield, Short-term missions with International Christian Ministries, Children To Love, Center for Student Missions, and Laurelglen Bible Church. Also serves as first vice president of Bakersfield Republican Women, among others. Favorite part of your job: When we have the opportunity to honor those who have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. Advice to other young professionals: Stay true to who you are and never forget to operate with the utmost integrity. Professional in your field who inspires you: When I was finishing my undergrad on the East Coast, the last thing I thought I’d ever embark on was a career in politics. However, one person gave me a chance when many probably thought she was crazy. That woman was Jean Fuller. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? My parents taught me it’s far better to find ways to solve problems than to complain, and that’s exactly what I plan to continue to do in Bakersfield.

Public affairs coordinator, Cal State Bakersfield; part-time communications faculty, University of Phoenix Age: 37 Local affiliations: Serve on committees such as Latina Leaders of Kern County-public relations, Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference-board/marketing; CSUB Alumni Association-communications, CAPK Friendship House-communications, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce-government relations, among others. Advice to other young professionals: Be patient. You will not always get to where you want to be in your career at the time you want, but if you continue to work hard at improving yourself personally and professionally, you will eventually reap the rewards. Secret talent: I’m a great shot. I love target shooting, both with rifles and handguns. I’m working on developing my skills at trap shooting in hopes to one day compete. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? Every time I visit area schools and speak to students about how I was able to accomplish my goals — a young girl from Delano and graduate of CSUB, became a two-time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist — I see their eyes light up. I hope to be able to do my part to promote and inspire a brighter future for our youth, for the greater good of our community.

Ryan Clanton Business development for Multi-Chem Halliburton, NFL free agent Age: 24 Community involvement: Varsity high school football coach, seventh-and eighth-grade football coach, football camps with Carr Elite and multiple charity events.

Continued on page 70 68

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014


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Matthew C. Clark


Professional in your field who inspires you: My father, Ray Clanton. He is a great teacher and amazing man. He will let me fail, which makes me figure things out for myself and helps me be a stronger businessman. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? I want to give back to the community that gave so much to me. Football is very popular in Bakersfield, and I believe that it teaches important life lessons and helps young men develop character at a young age. I have had a lot of experience playing at the highest levels along with being around some of the best coaching from high school, junior college, University of Oregon Ducks, to the NFL. I want to pass on my knowledge to the youth of Bakersfield. Our city has a rich football history, and I want that to continue on in future generations. What are your career aspirations? I want to be the CEO of a large company in the future and start two more businesses by the time I am 30. I want to be the best at everything I do.

Matthew C. Clark Attorney/senior partner with Chain | Cohn | Stiles Age: 38 Community involvement: Clinica Sierra Vista board, San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation board, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Miracle Society member, Mothers 70

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Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Walk in Kern County volunteer and board member. Professional in your field who inspires you: Although this may sound contrived, I am honestly inspired by my law partners, Dave Cohn, Dave Stiles and Jim Yoro. My successes are a result of their mentoring and encouragement. Secret talent: Since helping my in-laws build a pizza oven in their backyard, I’ve become a pretty decent pizza chef. Also, it’s been said that I have an “intimidating head of hair,” at least according to Scott Cox. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? I grew up in Bakersfield, moved away for school and then returned. I’ve been back for about 13 years now. During this time, I have worked with clients of every imaginable background and one thing is universal to all of them — the need for quality, local medical care. Through my volunteer activities and affiliations, I have tried to commit my time toward this goal and will continue to do so in the future.

Chelsea Esquibias


Continued from page 68

Chelsea Esquibias Workforce development administrator at Goodwill Industries; part-time philosophy and ethics instructor at San Joaquin Valley College Age: 29 Community involvement: Latina Leaders of Kern County, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, Kern County WIB and Youth WIB (Workforce Investment Board), Chamber Palooza, Housing Authority of Kern County Annual Gala and Leadership Bakersfield Graduate 2013. Advice to other young professionals: There are so

Natasha Felkins


many amazing professionals in our community — reach out to them for advice and assistance and learn from their mistakes. When someone comes to you for help, then help them as much as you can. Professional in your field who inspires you: Norma Rojas-Mora with the Housing Authority of Kern County is one of the most giving women I have ever met. She dedicates herself to the success of others, ensuring she helps as many people as possible. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? To show people in Bakersfield that helping others doesn’t take a lot. Do what you can. All types of giving makes a difference. What are your career aspirations? To continue in nonprofit and education throughout my career. I love Goodwill and our mission. If I made a change, I could see myself taking a stronger role in the education system.

Natasha Felkins Community health educator II at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Age: 32 Community involvement: Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry

Continued on page 72



board. Since moving to Bakersfield from Mission Viejo, I’ve personally rescued and fostered more than 60 dogs and cats. Favorite part of your job: I feel incredibly blessed to provide support and mentorship to local teens. I have been co-facilitating a teen parent group called Teen Success for the last six years. I get to actively influence young ladies lives by arming them with skills that will help them mature and succeed. Last year, our organization was awarded a grant from The Women’s and Girls’ Fund to start a group called Bright Futures. This group connected teen mothers with working professionals in our community and provided education and career planning. Advice to other young professionals: If you are fortunate enough to find something that you love to do, then give it your focus and undivided attention. Surround yourself with like-minded people and believe with your entire being that you will accomplish the goals you’ve set to achieve. Don’t forget to give service to others by sharing your time and love to those around you. What are your career aspirations? A career in real estate was initially the reason why I moved to Bakersfield, and I am actively pursuing this avenue again. I will continue investing my time serving the community at Planned Parenthood.

Ryan Ferenci Environmental consultant/CFO of Icon Agricultural Environmental Consulting and Agronomy; Pegasus Applicators; and United Tracking Systems (software development for ag industry) Age: 33 Community involvement: Supported and made donations to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Italian American Heritage Foundation, Kern County Basque Club, Frontier FFA and Kern County Honor Flight. I have also coached a few young men/women for track and field events. Advice to other young professionals: Learn from people from all walks of life and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you keep an open mind, you can really benefit from other peoples’ success, mistakes and even their view on life.

Ryan Ferenci

Once you do that, you will be given priceless insight that can really help you along your journey. Secret talent: I have competed in the Scottish Highland Games in various locations throughout California and have taken first place at many of those competitions. Instrumental and vocal music is in my blood as well. What are your career aspirations? To have a great team of employees who enjoy their work, make a difference, and are able to provide for their families comfortably while we continue to help the economy grow.

He’s one of 20 Under 40, but Number One with us. Congrats Steve Lopez!

730 E. Potomac Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93307 (661) 324-9648 www.UnionCemetery1872.com 72

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Continued from page 71

Doug Gosling Attorney at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP Age: 35 Community involvement: Kern County Bar Association board; alumni of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2013; Kern County Farm Bureau board; Amgen Tour of California, Bakersfield Stage 5 finish committee; Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mock Trial Program; and Kern County Youth for Christ Campus Life; among others. Favorite part of your job: First, I get to make a real difference in our neighbors’ lives. There is a real passion in representing their rights and making a difference in individuals’ lives or a business’ future. Second, it changes the way I see the world and my place in it. My view of the world is constantly growing through many different peoples eyes. Advice to other young professionals: Only through failure and pain do you really grow. So don’t be afraid to take risks, ask for help, or make mistakes and fail — just don’t make the same mistakes twice. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? Everyone is put in this world to contribute and make a difference in our own unique way. I will continue to serve by promoting justice in our community, encouraging our youth in legal careers and zealously representing my clients with integrity.

Mike Grigg Real estate broker and chief auctioneer at Elite Auctions & Fundraising Services Age: 33



Doug Gosling

Mike Grigg Community involvement: Fundraising consultant and auctioneer for several nonprofits and schools in the Kern County area including CASA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, St. John’s Lutheran School and Garces Memorial High School. Favorite part of your job: I love being on stage auctioneering to raise revenue for such worthy causes. One of my favorite memories was selling a glass of water to Kevin McCarthy for $1,500 at a Links for Life auction, then immediately selling another glass of water to another bidder for the same price. Advice to other young professionals: Find something you love doing, and you won’t work a day in your life. Give back to your community and make time for your family to balance out your life. Professional in your field who inspires you: It would have to be a mix of my mom and dad. My mom for her incredible ability to organize a super successful fundraising event, and my dad for his integrity-driven business sense.

Chad Hathaway Owner/founder of Hathaway LLC; co-owner/founder Payzone Directional Services LLC; owner/founder Hathaway Farming LLC Age: 38 Community involvement/volunteer activities: Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government co-founder; California Independent Producers Association board; Bakersfield College Helmet Club board member; St. Francis School board; and member of the Quest Club. Advice to other young professionals: Nothing will ever replace hard work and persistence.

Continued on page 74 bakersfieldlife.com


Chad Hathaway


Continued from page 73 Professional in your field who inspires you the most: Gene Voiland, former CEO of Aera Energy. To me, Gene epitomizes what a true leader is. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? In as many positive ways as I can while still balancing a quality life with my family. What are your career aspirations? Our goal at Hathaway is to break into the Top 10 in oil and gas production in California. Personally, I strive for a diverse portfolio that will withstand any dynamics in the public markets.

Esteban “Steve” M. Lopez Director of advanced planning and aftercare at Historic Union Cemetery Age: 30 Community involvement: Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club #27 board member; Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 93. Favorite part of your job: Lending my personal experi74

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014


Esteban “Steve” M. Lopez

ences in any way a family needs, whether it’s an emotional sharing of those precious memories of their deceased loved one or just finding something to smile about amidst grieving and experiencing loss. Secret talent: Thanks in part to my wonderful 3-yearold daughter, who employs my secret talent daily, I can do an almost Disney-worthy Mickey Mouse impression. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? I have learned from older generations that my generation has strayed from fundamental traits like humility, integrity and compassion. My hope is to exemplify those traits with every person I meet and that it will motivate others to do the same. Working at Historic Union Cemetery, I am surrounded by our great city’s founder and pioneers, so I want to educate younger generations on our local history.

Briana Schechter Founder and president of Second Star to the Right Age: 32 Community involvement: Second Star to the Right; Bakersfield and Kern County’s resource for pediatric cancer families in need; Bakersfield Aquatics Club advisory board; Bakersfield Water Polo Club Scholarship Program adviser/creator; and Bakersfield College swim team fundraiser committee.

Continued on page 76

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“Sophisticated Elegance”


Briana Schechter

Continued from page 74 Favorite part of your job: Getting to work with and meeting our local pediatric cancer warriors. They are an inspiration to be around. Often times they are fighting for their lives, but they always do so with strength and courage. Advice to other young professionals: If you see or feel that there is something in your community that needs to be changed, don’t just sit back and complain about it — change it. Volunteering for something that you believe in is a feeling that is priceless. What are your career aspirations? To continue assisting local pediatric cancer families and make pediatric cancer research funding a local, state and national priority by raising awareness. We will begin our “Go Gold” campaign in September to show our support and awareness to our local pediatric cancer families. Gold is the color that represents Pediatric Cancer Awareness and September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Laser and aesthetic medicine specialist, medical director and president of Beautologie Medical Spa and Laser Center Age: 39 Community involvement: Beautologie quarterly probono laser tattoo clinic, Homeless Shelter Thanksgiving dinner kitchen hand, lecturer at Healthy Bakersfield Expo, Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Unique Design Expo, sponsor March of Dimes; Kern Partnership for Children and Families, NOR Youth Football, Links for Life; Bakersfield Homeless Center, Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, American Heart Association, Kern Law Enforcement Association and CASA, among others. Professional in your field who inspires you: My father, who is a retired physician, always studied hard and worked even harder. He taught me the value in being true to your patients and more importantly, true to yourself. Secret talent: I have been told I make a pretty good 76

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Milan R. Shah, M.D.


Milan R. Shah, M.D.

house dad. I can whip up a gourmet meal with scraps in the fridge, turn the bathrooms spick-and-span in under 10 minutes, and even get the kids to their activities and events. Oh, and I’m not too shabby with a hammer and nails either. What are your career aspirations? Beautologie currently has three locations in California with Bakersfield being the original. I hope to continue to expand the services of Beautologie to the greater Midwest and eventually the U.S. over the next 10 to 15 years.

Jay Tamsi


Jay Tamsi President/CEO of Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Age: 35 Community involvement: Filipino Community of Delano president; Workforce Investment board; Greater Delano Area Youth Foundation board; Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra board; Boys Scouts of America executive council; Dignity Health/Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation trustee; Bakersfield High School Advisory council —Project Lead the Way; Keep Bakersfield Beautiful’s Anti-Litter committee; and Delano Harvest Holidays lifetime member; among others. Advice to other young professionals: Be open and listen to others. Each year, find another great mentor. Most importantly, give back to your community, and as you do, learn to balance your career, community work and family life. Secret talent: My grandfather Marcelo shared his Filipino cuisine recipes with me, and much to my family’s surprise, I cook them quite well. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? Leave a legacy of multiculturalism in our community and clear a path for our youth, not just in business but also culturally. It’s this diversity that will make our community stronger.

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Sasha Windes


Program manager at Kern Green; owner of GS Consulting

Sasha Windes

and Local Lending Home Loans; and my favorite job — Windes Household Mom Age: 39 Community involvement: Various committees like Keep Bakersfield Beautiful-educational; Kern Green Awardsbanquet planning; Cal State Bakersfield’s-president’s advisory; Women’s and Girls’ Fund-advisory; Women’s and Girls’ Fund 2014-grants; green education speaker; Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2012. Favorite part of your job: Inspiring kids to take action — watching it happen puts a smile on my face. As adults and leaders in the community, we have knowledge that these young kids want to soak up. Taking time to share some of our experiences with them pays back tenfold. Advice to other young professionals: Life repeatedly puts forks in the road. Be smart in the decisions you make and use your conscience to do the right thing. It’s not always the easiest path, but in the end, it will be the most rewarding. How do you hope to make a difference in Bakersfield? With persistence and a group of talented people around me, I hope to have more good quality air days; grey water systems throughout our county; recycling and compost programs at every business, home and school; community gardens instead of dirty vacant lots; and inspire others to consider a greener alternative in their daily lives.

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Kern County Hispanic Chamber Business Education Foundation proudly salutes Jay Tamsi for being honored with the 2014 “20 under 40” People to Watch” Recognition for his longtime and various commitments in our community. “I believe it’s important to give back to the community and especially get involved in the political process that affects the city you live in. There is no greater feeling than helping others and making a difference in the lives of those that surround us.” - Jay Tamsi

231 H Street 78

Bakersfield, CA

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Blake Luecke found his culinary inspiration at a young age during family visits to his grandparent’s home. There, sharing a meal was an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen family ties. From that point on, a young Blake was constantly underfoot in the kitchen, whether it was helping his father grill or assisting his mother with the family’s secret recipe chicken Veronese. At a young age, Blake travelled throughout the country. Visiting Colorado, Michigan and others, he was exposed to inventive American regional cuisine. In 2001, Blake relocated to Bakersfield, California and later enrolled in Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell, CA. After graduation, Blake took the opportunity to work under Chef Chris Joslyn at LB Steak in San Jose, where he was energized by the excitement of a professional kitchen. In 2010, Blake returned to Bakersfield and began working at Moo Creamery, where he discovered a passion and knack for hand-crafted ice cream. Blake’s ice cream expertise has been recognized at the Kern County Fair, where he’s been awarded first place for his creative flavors, such as mudslide with toasted marshmallow and kettle corn. In 2011, Blake was hired as a line cook at Padre Hotel. Quickly recognized as a rising culinary star, he was soon promoted to Sous Chef by his mentor, Executive Chef Brad Wise. Today, Blake is the Chef de Cuisine of Padre Hotel, overseeing all aspects of the kitchen operations, including Belvedere Room, Brimstone Bar, Farmacy and a dynamic event program. A hometown boy at heart, Blake embraces the Bakersfield community by supporting Kern County farmers and participating in charitable events such as Chef Showdown and the CASA farm to table dinner.



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Bike Bakersfield executive director Jason Cater rides in downtown traffic. 80

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Shoppers at the Golden State Mall farmers market get up close and personal with their produce.

LIVING GREEN By Diana Greenlee


t’s not easy being green. But living green, making choices that reduce the depletion of natural resources, is simpler than ever — and the movement is gaining ground in Kern County. A few simple changes in your routine can make a difference when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. On a sunny Saturday morning, shoppers, some carrying reusable bags, meandered through

It isn’t hard to go green in Bakersfield

Photos by Scott Hislop the aisles of the farmers market at Golden State Mall on F Street. Living green was on the mind of one mother as friendly merchants chatted with patrons and offered samples. Emily Ledford, 29, stood with her two daughters, Lydia, 7, and Abby, 2, as the girls honed in on ripe blackberries. This trip is a regular practice for the trio. Ledford said the farmers market fare is fresher and sweeter than food found in stores, and she

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believes the benefits don’t stop there. “Their snacks are always fruit,” she said of her daughters’ eating habits. “And they hardly ever get sick.” Joe Denney, 68, owner and manager of the market, agreed with Ledford’s conclusions. He said the market gives folks the chance to be up close and personal with their fruits and veggies. The market operates year-round and hosts 15 to 20 certified growers, depending on the season. It also boasts a variety of local artisans producing items like goat cheese and soaps. Denney said much of the produce in stores is grown outside the U.S. and “you don’t know what they sprayed or where it came from.” At the farmers market, shoppers can ask the farmers about fertilizer, water, pesticides — and they get to taste the produce before they buy. “It’s about knowing what you’re going to put in your body and feed your family, and that’s not a bad thing,” Denney said. Living green isn’t limited to what you put in your body; it also extends to how you choose to dress yourself and your family. Plato’s Closet buys and re-sells lightly used, popular clothing, attracting the socially conscious as well as fashionistas in front of and behind the counter. “We had a girl apply for a job because she said she didn’t want to contribute to child labor used in other countries,” said Store Manager Brittany Carter, 23. “It’s just smarter to buy and re-use the clothes that we have.” Carter said shoppers can also save money and still have clothes with highend labels. “When people spend their dollars here, they go a lot further than at the mall,” she said. Downtown shoppers can also get in on the second-hand deals. An eclectic mix of designer bags and racks of name brand clothes greet customers as they walk through the doors of In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques on 18th Street, a three-story, 16,000-square-foot consignment mega-boutique and home furnishings store. Ginger Boyd, general manager, said the store has thousands of consignors all over Kern County. Consigning offers locals an opportunity to “recycle their 82

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Racks of name brand clothes and fun costumes can be found at In Your Wildest Dreams.

In Your Wildest Dreams features 16,000 square feet of used clothing and home furnishings.

wardrobe” and make some extra cash, Boyd said. “We write out quite a few checks,” she said. “You can recoup some of your investment.” Of course, recycling your attire isn’t the only type of “cycling” you can do to go green. Biking is an easy way to reduce your emissions, and it’s a fun and healthy alternative to driving. “Bakersfield is very flat,” said Bike Bakersfield Executive Director Jason Cater, 27. “(Biking is) affordable and great daily exercise.” Bike Bakersfield is a nonprofit that operates two bike kitchens (community bike shops where tools and parts are available to repair your bike) — one in Bakersfield and one in Arvin. The group stocks donated bikes, parts, and commuter essentials like tubes and lights. The organization also teaches safe riding skills to both children and adults, creates and shares safe routes, works with local gov-

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Continued from page 83 ernment to improve biking infrastructure and promotes community rides including monthly full moon and city rides. “We also have a bike valet at the farmers market at The Marketplace so people can park and shop,” Cater said. “It’s about being active, as well as healthy eating and awareness.” Back at the F Street farmers market, Abby Ledford, with a blackberry in one hand and a peach in the other, waited patiently for her mother. Ledford is committed to living green. Her family uses solar power and they are serious about saving water, taking five-minute showers and watering once a day. Ledford believes it’s important to teach her girls about conservation so they will follow in her footsteps, treading lightly. “I try to teach them about the earth; we’re not going to have unlimited water or unlimited energy. Then they can teach their kids,” Ledford said. “It will have a lasting impact.”

Many customers feel produce from farmers markets is fresher and tastier than that found in grocery stores.

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Follow advice from the American Red Cross and keep a number of key items handy in case of an emergency. 86

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Ready for

anything Tips for keeping you and your family safe By Alana Garrett


t is always important to be prepared for an unexpected crisis on the homefront. A disaster, natural or otherwise, can strike at any moment and if you are not prepared, the impact can be even more catastrophic.



Before calamity hits, make sure that your family has a disaster preparedness plan that includes where your family members should meet and what you should do in the event of a disaster. According to the American Red Cross, you should choose two places to meet, including one right outside of your home in case of an emergency like a fire. Pick a spot outside your neighborhood as well in case your family is asked to evacuate the area. Designate an out-of-area emergency contact that the family has written down or saved in a cellphone. If you or one of your family members are separated, the Red Cross has a website where people can register to let others know they are safe. If a disaster occurs, visit safeandwell.communityos.org or call 1800-RED-CROSS to register yourself and your family.

BUILD A KIT To be prepared, you not only need a plan but also the correct supplies. The American Red Cross recommends keeping these basic supplies on hand:

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Continued from page 87 • One gallon of water per person, per day. Keep a three-day supply for evacuations and a two-week supply for your home. • Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food. • Flashlight • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio, the Red Cross recommends the NOAA Weather Radio. • Extra batteries • First aid kit (visit redcross.org to find out what to put in the kit). • A week’s supply of medications • Multi-purpose tool • Sanitation and personal hygiene items • Copies of personal documents, including medication list and medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies. • Cellphone and chargers • Family and emergency contact information • Extra cash • Emergency blanket • Map(s) of your area Your supplies should also depend on the needs of your family members, so you may want to add baby goods, pet

supplies and other items like glasses or contact lenses. One emergency kit isn’t enough, according to Amy Mayer, volunteer coordinator from the American Red Cross Kern Chapter. “You should keep an emergency kit in your car, in your home and at your place of work. Anywhere you are frequently, you should keep one in case of an emergency,” Mayer said. Mayer recommended you should check your kits at least two times a year. A good rule to follow is every time — Katie Allen, corporate the time changes, check relations representative for your kit and change your Pacific Gas and Electric Co. smoke detector batteries. Mayer also urged people to have the right amount of supplies. “You should have food and water for at least 10 days in your home,” she said.

Keep important phone numbers, such as the hospital and fire department, in case you are in need of emergency assistance.



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BE READY FOR ANYTHING In the event of an emergency, a power outage may occur. “Keep important phone numbers, such as the hospital and fire department, in case you are in need of emergency assistance,” said Katie Allen, corporate relations representative for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Allen said you should make sure that you can manually open the garage before an outage occurs. In Kern County, wildfires are a common crisis and the Kern County Fire Department recommends creating a “defensible space” around your home. You can protect your home by cutting grass and brush and trimming your trees, taking special care to make sure trees don’t touch the house. “Creating a defensible space can make sure the fire doesn’t have a chance to grow,” said Brandon Hill, Kern County Fire Department spokesman. The department also recommends protecting your home by removing debris from under porches, cover house vents, using fire resistant siding, and choosing safety glass for windows. Remember, just because Mother Nature might rain — or in California’s case, quake — on your parade, does not mean you can’t be ready. If you and your family make a plan, you can help reduce some of her disastrous effects.

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Our summer guide to 10 breweries within driving distance BY BAKERSFIELD LIFE

The craft beer movement keeps chugging along and it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hard for Bakersfieldians to take a sip of the action. California has some of the best breweries in the country, and many of them are within easy driving distance. So hit the road this summer to explore these California brew houses. Continued on page 92 bakersfieldlife.com


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Driving distance from Bakersfield

What’s on tap*

Contact info

Kern River Brewing Company

13415 Sierra Way Kernville

53 miles about one hour

Isabella Blonde Easy malt body and a mild hop aroma produced by traditional English hops. Great for hot summer days.

760-376-BEER (2337) kernriverbrewing.com

Firestone Walker 1400 Ramada Drive Brewing Paso Robles Company

112 miles, almost two hours

Pivo Hoppy Pils 805-225-5911 Classic German firestonebeer.com Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors, floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes.

BarrelHouse Brewing Co.

3055 Limestone Way Paso Robles

113 miles two hours

Poor Man’s Blonde Style Ale Imparts huge citrus and fruit character while finishing slightly sweet and ending clean.

Indian Wells Brewing Company

2565 N. Highway 14 Inyokern

102 miles, about one hour and 40 minutes

Whiskey Barrel 60-377-4290 Amber mojavered.com Authentic whiskey barrel-aged amber lager, pairs well with barbecue and is just great for sipping.

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company

745 Fulton St. Fresno

108 miles one hour and 40 minutes

California 99 559-486-2337 Golden Ale tiogasequoia.com Easy drinking honey golden ale with a slight sweetness and rich flavor is derived from the honey malt used along with other specialty grains.

Kinetic Brewing Company

735 W. Lancaster Blvd. Lancaster

87 miles about an hour and a half

Fusion Robust 661-942-BEER (2337) Porter kineticbrewing.com Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head. Dark roasted malt, cocoa and coffee aromas.

Brewbakers Brewing Company

219 E. Main St. Visalia

79 miles an hour and 15 minutes

Sequoia Red 559-627-BREW (2739) Deep red with the brewbakersbrewingco.com perfect blend of hops and malt. Don’t be fooled by its dark color; this is a light bodied, easy-drinking beer.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

805-296-1128 barrelhousebrewing.com



Driving distance from Bakersfield

What’s on tap*

Contact info

Wolf Creek Brewing Company

27746 McBean Parkway 79 miles Santa Clarita an hour and 15 minutes

Golden Eagle Ale 263-9653 A mellow, balanced wolfcreekbrewingco.com ale that’s golden in color, lightly hopped, which produces mild bitterness. A great “starter ale” for those new to craft beers.

SLO Brewing Company

1119 Garden St. San Luis Obispo

138 miles, Just shy of two and a half hours

Reggae Red 805-543-1843 This medium bodied slobrewingco.com American Ale possesses a rich malty flavor and red color derived from roasted caramel malts.

Smog Center Brewing Company

1901 Del Amo Blvd. #B Torrance

125 miles two hours and 15 minutes

Coffee Porter 310-320-7664 A robust porter aged smogcitybrewing.com on fresh locally roasted, fair trade ground coffee. Enhanced flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, and, of course, coffee.

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* Descriptions from ratebeer.com

Beer On Tap $2 OFF LG • $1 OFF SM Join Us For Tequila Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, and Live Music



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A look at some watering holes in town If you can’t steal away from an afternoon or weekend beer run, try these local establishments.

Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beers has a wide selection of beers, as well as whiskeys. 10520 Stockdale Highway, 241-5999, eurekaburgerbakersfield .com




Goose Loonies Tavern & Grill has a lot to offer on tap and plenty of screens to watch the big game on. 816 18th St., 631-1242, gooselooniestavern.com





Lengthwise Brewing Company has three locations in Bakersfield, including 6720 Schirra Court and 2900 Calloway Drive. 836-ALES, lengthwise.com


19th & N Street, Downtown Bakersfield www.emporiumwesternstore.com 94

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BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is another great sports-watching, beer-drinking site. Taste their ales, light beers and lager. 10750 Stockdale Highway, 241-5115, bjsrestaurants.com

Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchants normally makes you think of wine, but this establishment also stocks beer. 4140 Truxtun Ave., 633-WINE (9463), imbibewine.com





nlike traditional business networking functions, golf fosters and strengthens long-lasting relationships. Networking through golf is a powerful tool that anyone can use to build new business or improve existing professional relationships. Here are just a few ways you can use the game of golf to boost your business and your work relationships:



One of the biggest criticisms of golf is that it takes too much time. It might, but the great thing about golf is that it gives you enough time to get to know a person — a major asset when you’re doing business with someone. When you’re out on the golf course, you get a real understanding of people. It’s hard to talk to your opponent in tennis, but in golf, you can talk between shots. When you are invited or invite someone to golf, you have his or her time.

ENVIRONMENT Compare a golf course to an office environment. Would you rather sweat it out in the waiting area watching your competitors come and go before you are called in, or would you rather sweat it out on a peaceful golf course? You will get more time to bond and you’ll get a better feel for who you are dealing with if you meet with prospective business partners in a more relaxed setting.


GET IN THE GAME When you are learning golf for business purposes, shooting par is definitely not a prerequisite. You should be able to shoot a score of between 55 and 60 on nine holes or from 110 to 120 on 18 holes to be ready to play for business. It’s not so much how you handle the clubs, it’s more about how you handle yourself. You will want to have knowledge of the rules and the etiquette of the game so you can make it through the course with confidence. — Jacque Servadio is an LPGA Class A teaching professional at Kern River Golf Course and specializes in skill-based golf instruction. For information, appointments, visit jsgolfinstruction.com, or contact her at 301-5944 or jacque@jsgolfinstruction.com.


Knowing whom you are doing business with is critical to your job whether you’re a buyer or a seller, a CEO or an entrylevel employee. How people act on the golf course is a good

indication of who they are off the course. Golf shows a person’s character and by the end of the day, you have a sense of the person — their honesty, temperament and opinions. Other traits you’ll pick up on are if a person is patient, has confidence, and can control his or her emotions, and how he or she handles pressure. If everything goes well on your golf outing, you have three things your competitors don’t have with the client — something in common, knowledge of each other’s integrity and character, and a bonding experience. Remember, the positive aspects of playing golf for business aren’t limited to the course. Simply mentioning that you play golf during business conversations can bring down barriers and start conversations. People who golf love to talk about golf. If your boss, co-worker, client or prospective employer shares your passion and you are well versed in golf dialogue, you could have a critical advantage.


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

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INFLATABLE FUN FOR EVERYONE Photos and story by Mark Nessia


hirty years ago, LoraLee Bell purchased a balloon bouquet. Unhappy with the way it looked, she took it apart and rearranged the balloons herself. Her creation was a hit at a party she attended and shortly after, Paradise Balloon Designs was born. These aren’t a bunch of heliumfilled balloons on a weight. Bell’s creations have a definite “wow” factor as her custom designs utilize hundreds, sometimes thousands, of balloons and can stand as stall as 20 feet. “We create and build incredible balloon sculptures for events,” Bell said. “We take a plain room and make it exciting.” From birthdays to parties, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, proms, corporate events, sporting events and more, Paradise Balloon Designs does them all — no event or balloon arrangement is too big or too small. “My goal is that every customer is a repeat customer,” Bell said. “I remember after we decorated a baby’s first birthday, the mom called me up and said, ‘We want to book you for the next 18 years.’” Paradise Balloon Designs can be found on Facebook and at paradiseballoondesigns.com.

LoraLee Bell of Paradise Balloon Designs works on a balloon arrangement for the Bakersfield College radiologic technology certification and pinning ceremony at The Bridge Bible Church on May 14.

LoraLee Bell inflates balloons on a dual split-second sizer as she pieces together the parts to create a balloon minion. 98

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Bell typically comes up with her designs on the go, ensuring the arrangements complement the venue and theme and are unique for each event.

Bell and her 17-year-old son Nick put the finishing touches on the balloon arrangements for the Rosedale Middle School graduation dance.

Bell often recruits the help of her husband, Mark, and son Nick.

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The sand that fills the three courts of the new Barnes Beach Volleyball Center at Cal State Bakersfield is from San Juan Capistrano and has been washed and filtered. Between 200 and 300 tons of sand was needed for each of the facility’s three courts.

BRINGING THE BEACH TO BAKERSFIELD CSUB sand volleyball program blossoms, thanks to community support creating court Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook


akersfield is nearly 100 miles from the nearest ocean, but that didn’t stop supporters of Cal State Bakersfield’s new sand volleyball team from creating a little bit of beach right on campus. As the name suggests, sand or beach volleyball is played outdoor on a court marked in the sand. And while it looks like its indoor counterpart, the members of the CSUB sand volleyball program are quick to point out that the two sports are 100

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not the same. “There’s a big difference going from six people on hardwood floors to two people in the sand,” said freshman Sydney Haynes. “And it’s hotter outside.” “You feel a lot slower in the sand,” added sophomore Sara Little. “Indoor, you can push off the floor easy, but the sand has some leeway. You have to get your sand legs.” For the program’s inaugural season, players used the public sand courts on Truxtun Avenue to practice. The lack of a suitable facilities meant the team had no home games its first season. But thanks to the Student Recreation Center, the Athletics Department and community support, CSUB now has the new CSUB Sand Volleyball Courts as a home court for the sand program and a recreational area for the student body. The beach volleyball facility boasts three sand courts, lighting for night play and slopping grass sides perfect for spectator seating — all surrounded by palm trees. The courts are filled with sand from San Juan Capistrano that has been washed and filtered. Between 200 and 300 tons of sand was

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CSUB sophomore sand volleyball player Sara Little winds up in the sand after a dig during a practice game at the sand courts.

needed for each of the facility’s three courts. “It feels like the beach. We’ve brought the beach to Bakersfield,” said junior Molly O’Hagan. “They did a great job.” As of early June, the total cost of the project to date was $350,000, according to CSUB. Corey Costelloe, the director of new media/broadcasting for CSU Bakersfield Athletics, said the cost was split between the Student Recreation Center and the Athletics Department. Costelloe said the money from the athletics side of the project was donated as part of a six-figure gift to the university from Steven Barnes. “The way I look at it, not only would (the courts) give the team a place to play, it would be a good opportunity for intramural volleyball and other ways to bring the students together,” Barnes said. “To me, it’s kind of a win-win.” Barnes, a longtime sand volleyball enthusiast, was instrumental in developing the new courts. He and his wife were happy to get involved with the project. “It was a big step for us,” he said. “But I’m so passionate about the sport, and of course, the team and the coaching they have really inspired us to get involved.” The courts opened on March 26, when the Runners defeated Oregon 3-2 on the new sand. “This facility already has been and will

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Steven Barnes, a supporter of the CSUB sand volleyball program, played a major role in sponsoring the new sand courts. continue to be a benefit to the campus and the entire Bakersfield community,” Costelloe said. “It was a great model of partnership between the Student Recreation Center and CSUB Athletics and already we’ve had several community groups and organizations rent the facility to help further develop the sport

Continued on page 102

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Continued from page 101 of beach volleyball.” CSUB’s sand volleyball program recently completed its second season, and despite being a new program, its members have already proven themselves a force to be reckoned with, competing against schools like Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and the University of Oregon. The team closed the season placing third at the Pac-12 Invitational Team Championship and one pair reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 Invitational’s Pair Tournament, beating a USC team along the way. “When we walk into a sand competition, we’re not looked down on in any way,” O’Hagan said. “People know we are going to compete, and we are beating some teams that might have overlooked us in the past.” It’s a sentiment at the very core of the program’s philosophy. “We want to make Bakersfield proud and allow everyone to know that we are respectable and are going to compete at the highest level with poise,” explained coach Olivia Simko. “We’re out there, competing with the best, and we want to continue to give that opportunity to our athletes.”


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Sara Little sends a kill over the net during a scrimmage.


BACKYARD BOMB SHELTERS Bomb shelters stand as a reminder of fearful times, make good storage spaces today By Melissa Peaker-Whitten

Continued on page 106 104

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July 2014

Steve Pierce shows off the narrow entrance to the old bomb shelter in his backyard on S. Garnsey Avenue.



lthough today the Cold War may seem like ancient history, it was not long ago that some homeowners were building fallout shelters to prepare for a nuclear attack. The war, characterized by a state of political and military hostility between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, spanned more than 40 years from 1945 until 1990. Concerns were heightened during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, when Americans considered a nuclear attack to be an imminent threat. The aboveground double-wall shelter at the Kern County Museum was built in 1960 by the United States Navy Seabee Reserves, to offer homeowners a model bomb shelter. The building plans came from “The Family Fallout Shelter” guidebook, from the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. Lori Wear, curator at the Kern County Museum, said the funds for the museum’s prototype were provided by the Civil Defense and Disaster Council. The museum also offered a map of areas in the U.S. where there was a high probability of being attacked by an atomic bomb. “The thought behind (the shelters) was that anyone who wasn’t in the immediate blast range, if they had shelter from fallout, could survive,” Wear said. Bakersfield is home to several underground shelters, at least five of which were built by local contractor James Womack, the late father of Bakersfield native Keith Womack. “Dad built almost all the houses on our street,” said Keith, referring to S. Garnsey Avenue. Keith’s home on Garnsey was built in 1957. In 1960, James built one of the first underground bomb shelters in Bakers-


United States Naval Reserve Sea Bees construct a model fallout shelter at the Kern County Museum in 1960.




Steve Pierce peers out of the old bomb shelter in his backyard on S. Garnsey Avenue.

Continued from page 104 field in his own backyard. He came up with a pricing schedule and built at least four more, according to Keith. One is located just two doors down from Keith’s former Westpark home. James also built a bomb shelter off of Terrace Way, and another one in the Garces area. “They were basically just cement holes underground, said Keith of the shelter at his childhood home. “Each one was a

little different; some had stairs, ours had a ladder that folded up. As he built them, they progressed.” Only 10 years old at the time his father built the shelter, Keith remembers it more in later years as a cool hangout for him, his two younger brothers and the neighborhood kids. For many years, Spam and other canned goods lined the shelves and Army cots were stored in the shelter in case the family had to move into it. Eventually, the family built a garage over the top of it and the current owner of the home, Mattie Padilla, said her husband uses the shelter for storage. Once the threat of a nuclear war receded, the shelters became relics that were more often used for storage than preparation for nuclear disaster. When Betty Pierce and her husband, Steve, bought their home on the same street as the Womacks in 1975, a bomb shelter was already in place at the house. By then the shelter wasn’t considered a necessity for protection, so Betty used it to store her canning supplies and her kids had sleepovers below ground. The shelter still has electricity and running water. The shelter remains covered by a large metal door, much like a cellar, with stairs that lead down into the cool space. Today, the shelters serve as a reminder of Bakersfield’s historical connection to a time when the possibility of a nuclear war gripped our nation, and, practically, as good storage spaces.

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Terrified by the sudden death all around them, Americans sought protection from the dreaded influenza epidemic of 1918 with both traditional medical techniques, such as surgical masks and folk remedies.

THE SPANISH FLU ‘GRIPS’ KERN COUNTY More than 700 people died from the flu By Ken Hooper

“McGinty had a little dog His name was Enza; When e’er McGinty opened the door In-flu-enza,” — Children’s skipping rhyme, 1918


tories of the Spanish Flu began appearing in Kern County newspapers in the fall of 1918. Kern County High School Principal A.J. Ludden noted on Oct. 3, 1918 that the flu, a “visitor to the city,” was to blame for the postponement of the senior dance once again. While some public health officials would downplay the flu’s impact, the disease claimed hundreds of lives in Kern and millions of lives around the globe. Starting in the U.S. Army camps of the Midwestern United States in spring 1918, the influenza strain traveled with the soldiers to Europe and returned with homebound 108

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troops. The flu became a military secret as it ravaged the ranks of the troops in the trenches of World War I in the summer of 1918. But the influenza respected no national boundaries. As the flu virus slipped into Spain, a neutral country in World War I, the virulent strain found a name, the Spanish Flu. This was an influenza strain the likes of which the world had never seen. The nickname of “The Grip” spoke ominously of the severity of its symptoms. High fever, dizziness, congestion and severe coughing gripped the victim from three to five days. Recovery came slowly or not at all. About 20 to 40 percent of the world’s population fell ill and an estimated 50 million people succumbed to the pandemic, according to flu.gov. The federal government site notes that unlike seasonal flu outbreaks, the 1918 flu pandemic felled healthy adults, with the highest mortality and illness rates being among people between the ages of 20 and 50. The Bakersfield Californian published a statement on Oct. 14, 1918 from Kern County Health Officer Dr. C.A. Morris under the headline, “No Cause for Big Alarm Over Influenza.” But shortly thereafter, schools in Fellows, Rosedale and Randsburg closed their schools indefinitely. Within seven days, the city schools of Bakersfield and Kern County High School were also closed. Dr. J.P. Cuneo, a city health officer, said the closures were due to lack of attendance and not influenza. “Personally, I believe the children are safer in school

Continued on page 110

Spanish Flu patients being cared for in the Auditorium Hospital in Oakland in 1918. The flu pandemic killed millions worldwide.



instead of on the streets,” Cuneo said. Bakersfield schools were closed for five weeks and did not open again until Nov. 24, 1918. The full weight of the epidemic was felt countywide. The Spanish Flu soon threatened oil production, one of Kern County’s economic engines. The Bakersfield Morning Echo’s Oct. 20, 1918 ediDr. J.P. Cuneo tion reported that the oil fields on the western side of the county were hit particularly hard by the virus. “Unless the disease can be quickly checked, the oil interests of the state are going to suffer materially,” the paper warned. Kern County officials reported that 97 people had died in October 1918 due to the Spanish Flu and related illness. In an attempt to stop the spread of the epidemic, Bakersfield passed an ordinance requiring every person within the city to don a gauze mask at all times while out in public. City police officers immediately posted the announcement on street corners throughout the city and made several arrests for non-compliance.

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Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station in Washington, D.C., during the 1918 influenza pandemic.


Kern County Historical Society’s Kern Veteran’s Oral History Project

Continued from page 109 Cuneo again downplayed the severity of the outbreak in December, stating that, “During the past two weeks, 13 cases have been officially reported. Reports that the epidemic is again here are not true, for if they were, I would have received official statements from the physicians.” Despite the optimistic report, and despite the best efforts by health officials, the Spanish Flu lingered in Kern County well into the spring of 1919. By mid-February 1919, Kern County health officials announced the end of the epidemic. In all, Kern County historian Garth Milam estimates that a little more than 700 local people died from the Spanish Flu in 1918 and 1919. Seventy-eight Kern County servicemen died in combat during World War I and an estimated 30 to 40 local service people died of the flu and flu-related illness in the

Become part of history one more time! The Kern Veteran’s Oral History Project is designed and created for veterans of any age, any branch of service, whether combat experienced or not, to tell their story of their service to our country. If you have a story, we are ready to listen. The Kern Veteran’s Oral History Project is a coordinated project between the Kern County Historical Society, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter # 604, Bakersfield High School’s CEO Academy students, and KGET TV 17. Contact the Kern County Historical Society at kchs1931@gmail.com.

months after the war. — Ken Hooper is a history and archiving teacher at Bakersfield High School. He is also the past-president of the Kern County Historical Society, historian for the Kern Veteran’s Memorial Foundation, and coordinator for the Kern Veteran’s Oral History Project.

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July 2014



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The Olive Drab Drivers display their restored military vehicles at community events throughout the year like this Memorial Day service held at Greenlawn Cemetery Southwest.

‘KEEPING ’EM ROLLING’ Club preserves military history one jeep at a time Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook


t may be just a coincidence that the initials of Bakersfield’s Olive Drab Drivers spell out the word “Odd,” but it’s a description that the club’s members are proud to accept. “The anagram is perfect,” said club member John Yerry. “We’re all a little odd around here. You have to be to get into this kind of thing.” The “thing” the Olive Drab Drivers are into is restoring and displaying military vehicles. “We call them ’rolling history,’” Yerry said. “And that’s our motto, ’Keep ’em Rolling.’” The Olive Drab Drivers got its start nearly 15 years ago when Yerry and fellow military vehicle enthusiast Jeffery “Al” Goines decided to form a club that would make it easier to support their common goal — preserving military vehicles. “We had a dream to see if we could come together and have people help each other with parts, research and labor,”


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

An assortment of military vehicles are on display during the Olive Drab Drivers’ monthly meeting at the Chuy’s restaurant on Rosedale Highway. Goines said. “When we find these vehicles, some of them haven’t moved in 25 years or more, and we have mechanics in our network that can get them running in a matter of hours.” Over the years, the club has grown into a community of friends from all walks of life, with more than 100 pieces of military history between them, ranging from World War I automobiles to vehicles still used today in Afghanistan. In addition to jeeps, half-tracks and trucks of every size, club members are also in the process of restoring a few aircraft.

Olive Drab Drivers members Ryan Maise, Mike Terry, John Yerry and Jeffery “Al” Goines socialize around Yerry’s 1942 Ford GPW during the club’s monthly meeting at the Chuy’s restaurant on Rosedale Highway.

“If we don’t restore the history of this stuff, who will?” asked Yerry. “Who’s ever going to see a jeep from World War II if we don’t do it?” In addition to the mechanical challenges of refurbishing a vehicle that is 75-plus years old, Yerry pointed out that a lot of painstaking research can go into restoring it to its original To learn more about condition. the Olive Drab Drivers or to contact the club, visit “You see, both Ford and olivedrabdrivers.com. Willys made jeeps during World War II,” he explained. “But Ford put an ’F’ on every part of theirs, right down to each individual bolt.” According to Goines, finding such specific parts used to be something of a challenge, but these days, the Internet is a restorer’s best friend. “The Army stocked so many spare parts, you can still find a lot of original parts online,” he said. “Otherwise, you can get reproduction parts for just about every nut and bolt.” In addition to restoring the vehicles, the club takes pride in displaying them to the public and rolls out to a number of community events throughout the year. “In the Veterans Day Parade, we will have a three-block long column,” Yerry said. “We’re normally the biggest entry in there.” They also make regular appearances at veterans events, Memorial Day services, and visits to retirement homes in the community, as well as at their monthly club gatherings at the Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler on Rosedale Highway. “We normally have a pretty good turnout for our meetings,” Yerry said. “There are clubs out there that don’t have as big a meet once a year as we have once a month.”

Olive Drab Driver Chip Goforth shows off the engine of his Korean War era Willys jeep. Unlike other car clubs, the Olive Drab Drivers doesn’t collect dues from its members or charge fees to show vehicles, and anyone with an interest in preserving a piece of military history is welcome to join them. “We’re just a cool, odd group and I wouldn’t belong to any other club,” Yerry said. bakersfieldlife.com


Each year, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy nominates Kern’s brightest students to attend U.S. military academies. This year’s students, with Congressman McCarthy are, from left to right, Sarah Manges, Tyler Myers, Kyle Mathes-Orr, Congressman McCarthy, Mickey Cushine, Gabriel Glazer, Noah DeMoes and Andrew Francis.

ach year, Kern’s strongest and brightest students are nominated to attend U.S. military academies across the nation. The students are interviewed by U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s interview committee and the committee’s selections are submitted to the congressman. Seven young leaders shared their inspiring stories and the reasons they chose to serve their country with Bakersfield Life.

— I thought it was a great opportunity,” DeMoes said. DeMoes stayed busy juggling school and extracurricular activities, but he managed to excel and earn a 4.5 GPA at Liberty High School. As the captain of the basketball and swim teams, DeMoes is a natural born leader who has the qualities to serve his country. “My motivation to succeed in school stems from my desire to reach my fullest potential. I’ve been blessed to have a mind that comprehends things easily and because of that, I want to challenge myself,” DeMoes said. When DeMoes is not busy with school and his additional responsibilities, he enjoys playing basketball, reading books, and working on projects with his dad around the house. DeMoes will be attending West Point alongside his brother Joost “Luke” DeMoes — who is in his third year — and will major in mechanical engineering. His career goals are to serve in the military with honor and then become a high school math teacher and basketball coach.



U.S. Military Academy at West Point

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

PROUD AND READY TO SERVE Kern students ship out to military academies By Paul Rivas


Noah DeMoes wasn’t really interested in attending a military academy until his brother attended a summer leadership experience at West Point five years ago. “It started to peak my interest. I’ve always wanted to do something with the military, so when I heard that if you go to one of the academies, you not only get to serve but also get your education 114



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July 2014

North High School graduate Andrew Francis overcame a near-death experience right before the start of his senior year in August 2013. Francis suffered a punctured lung and 15 bone fractures in a dirt bike accident and required surgery with an orthopedic specialist to pin his left scapula (shoulder blade) back together. His injuries made him to miss

the entire first quarter of his senior year, but he was able to continue his studies with the help of his mother and a teacher. “My amazing ag teacher Ms. Natalie Ryan worked with my mom as she took on the task of teaching me at home for the quarter, so I didn’t fall behind in school. But that wasn’t anything new for her because she was my home school teacher from third grade through eighth grade,” Francis said. Since elementary school, Francis has wanted to attend a military academy, a desire sparked by reading the biography, “General George Patton: Old Blood & Guts.” “As I read about his life, including his attendance at the USMA at West Point, I knew wanted to attend West Point,” Francis said. Francis plans to major in mechanical engineering with a sub-discipline in automotive systems. He is excited about the new experiences and plans to be a proud participant at West Point by joining the shooting teams and becoming a cadet rider for the Army Mules mascots.

GABRIEL GLAZER U.S. Military Academy at West Point

For Gabriel Glazer, college has always been the only option to assure a bright future. His mother emigrated from Korea to the United States to gain an excellent education, and

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she has passed her strong work ethic to her son. The future cadet is an avid learner who is always searching for ways to improve himself and to help others succeed. He understands that his noble personality made him an exceptional candidate for the academy. “My dedication to selfless service and determination to succeed has allowed me to become who I am. I believe that the military academy saw this in me,” Glazer said. As a very active scholar, he is the student body president at Independence High School and is part of the Jim Burke Education Foundation Dream Builders. Glazer will be the first person in his extended family and immediate family to pursue a military career. Glazer will be attending West Point, and he looks forward to meeting like-minded individuals who are just as passionate as he is about serving the country. He plans to major in computer science because the intricate world of computers and coding fascinates him. His goal is to become a military service chief in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Continued on page 116

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Congratulating graduates Five young men from Kern County graduated from military academies this spring. Second Lt. Douglas R. Taylor Jr. graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in American history. He is a graduate of Liberty High School. Taylor reports to the 2-11th Infantry Training Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., on July 24 to begin Basic Officer Leaders Course. Next year he will report to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas. Second Lt. Alexander Kim graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in French. He is a graduate of Stockdale High School. Kim will report to 2nd Squadron 16th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. to begin the Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course and the Army Reconnaissance Course. In 2015, he will report to his first duty station in South Korea with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Second Lt. David Dolinar graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis with a bachelor’s in weapons and systems engineering. He is a graduate of Stockdale High School. At the end of July, he will head to The Basic School in Quantico, Va., to begin Marine officer training. Ensign Ian Hagen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis with a bachelor’s in Chinese. He is a graduate of Garces Memorial High School. After graduation, he will be reporting to Pensacola, Fla., to begin flight training as a Navy aviator. Second Lt. Alexis “Alex” Wilson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., with a bachelor’s in foreign area studies with a minor in Japanese. He is a graduate of Desert High School at Edwards Air Force Base. He will attend pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, in February. Source: U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s Office


Bakersfield Life Magazine

Continued from page 115

SARAH MANGES U.S. Naval Academy

Sarah Manges has been ready for high school to be over for quite some time. She wants to move onto college and develop herself into a strong and wonderful leader. “I want to attend a military academy because I wish to gain skills and accomplish feats that surpass the academic realm,” Manges said. Striving to be accepted into an academy motivated her to make the best of her time at Centennial High School. This mentality allowed her to break out of her comfort zone and assert herself as a leader on and off campus. Manges participated in cross-country and swimming and involved herself in student leadership programs like peer counseling. She also has the honor of being a four-year member of the forensics speech and debate team as well as a member of school’s We the People team. “I have a lot of leadership experience. Because of forensics, I’m also an effective communicator,” Manges said. “I feel I will develop myself into a respectable officer and effectively collaborate with my fellow midshipman.” With her parents supporting her to be the very best, Manges will be attending U.S. Naval Academy and hopes to become a Navy flight officer. “I look forward to the experiences that are specific to being in the Navy. I’m excited for the opportunity to travel and experience the different adventures that come with joining the military,” she said.


Mickey Cushine was introduced to military academies when his father took him to an academy forum hosted by Congressman Kevin McCarthy when he was in sixth grade. Cushine learned how he could attend college for free and also gain the opportunity to change lives by helping others achieve more than they imagined. Cushine started Flights for Friends to allow children with mental disabilities to experience flying. Cushine, who is a pilot, said he wanted the July 2014

children to have a moment where they could be in control and feel free of their limitations, even if just for a moment. This Good Samaritan continues to help out the community with his mother, Maggie Cushine, at her many events for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County. Cushine is a motivated student who stays focused on doing the right thing and being a model for others to follow. Cushine graduated from Independence High School and will become a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He plans to participate in intramural soccer at the academy and wants to major in aerospace engineering or aeronautical engineering. Cushine is following in the footsteps of his grandfathers who both served in the Air Force. One grandfather was a transport manager and the other was an aerial photographer. “They both never really liked to talk about their service, but I’ve always had a great amount of respect for them and what they risked for their family and nation,” Cushine said.

TYLER MYERS U.S. Air Force Academy

Tyler Myers is the valedictorian for Desert High School at Edwards Air Force Base. When he wasn’t busy at school, he took care of Mother Nature by replanting trees at school. Myers wanted to attend the Air Force Academy after he learned about it from family and friends who are currently attending the academy. “College was always a priority for me. I have been focused on getting into a good school most of my life. Hearing about the programs and opportunities available at the Air Force Academy really sparked my interest,” Myers said. Myers comes from a long line of men who have served their country with honor and valor and will continue that tradition as he attends U.S. Air Force Academy. He plans to major in aeronautical engineering and wants to become a pilot and engineer for the Air Force. “My father was in the Air Force, my grandfather was in the Coast Guard, and my uncle is in the Navy. There are many opportunities available at the Air Force Academy that are not available anywhere else,” Myers said. As the younger child of two, Myers helps out with chores at home and is interested in music. He is the drum major at school and plans to take his talents to the Air Force by joining the Academy’s band.

KYLE MATHES-ORR U.S. Naval Academy

Kyle Mathes-Orr finds joy in learning and has always envisioned himself going to college and challenging himself to be the best he can be. His interest in attending the Navy Academy peaked when he had the privilege to talk to retired and active service members. “Attending a summer seminar at the Naval Academy gave me the motivation to become a midshipman,” Mathes-Orr said. His motivation to succeed is rooted in his desire not to fail himself. He does not want to lose out on any opportunity because of something that he did wrong, so he continues to work as hard as possible to reach all his goals. “I continually give my all, and when I fail, I have the strength and motivation to pick myself up and keep on working, and I hopefully learn something from my failure,” said Mathes-Orr. This Tehachapi High School graduate takes pleasure in spending time with family and friends and math, as well as helping out the community. He often finds himself putting in overtime on school work and projects in his spare time. He will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy and plans to make a career in the Navy.


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KRISTIE COONS Community leader’s chic sense of style centers around her fun personality By Hillary Haenes

Photos by April Massirio


ristie Coons may be “old enough to have dressed in one of the best and one of the worst decades for style in the 20th century,” but she is still quite a fashionable lady. Her self-described “adventuresome, eclectic and often humorous” style is applauded because she allows her fun personality to shine, no matter what’s trending in the fashion world. And much like the dual nature of her Gemini zodiac sign, Coons enjoys being casual and comfy then transforming into chic clothing at the drop of a hat. “I like going from ‘boyfriend’ clothes to excellently designed, tailored, architectural-feeling clothing in a flash,” Coons said. The retired Bakersfield native worked with the Kern County Library, serving as head of community outreach and support services for 39 years. Currently, Coons coordinates One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern and other community outreach initiatives for the county library. She is also a busy member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, a leader in Faith in Action Kern County, as well as a fan and supporter of local theater, arts and music. Five prized possessions in my closet: A hand-knitted, rose colored sweater made by my grandmother for my mother in the early ’40s; the North Beach Leather beaded suede jacket that my husband gave me; a vintage deco style Native American cross necklace; vintage Stetson cowboy hat that was purchased in Santa Fe, N.M.; and Central American woven belt — the best go-to item in my closet. 118

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Local fashionista Kristie Coons picks from quality designer brands and consignment store finds to create her hippie chic wardrobe. July 2014

My style philosophy: I am much more interested in expressing my creativity by having my clothes reflect who I am, rather than following seasonal fashion trends. I believe clothes should be like a second skin, like a bird’s plumage; part of the essence of a person. The great thing is, unlike birds, we can change our feathers whenever we choose! You should have a garment in your closet in which you could visit the Queen of England or dress for virtually any Stetson occasion. My worst purchase miscowboy hat takes have been made shopping specifically for a particular event. Buy only what you love and select the highest quality goods you can, at the best price you can get. How long it usually takes me to get ready: Not long at all. I experiment putting different things together all the time, so I can usually put together an outfit pretty fast.

shopped at Christine’s downtown. Out of town, I enjoy Anthropologie and consignment stores in San Luis Obispo and Cambria. My biggest fashion faux pas: I once bicycled to a downtown art exhibit on an old red bike with no rear fender, wearing a full-skirted red Esprit dress and admiring myself in the windows of the Native stores as I biked, thinking American I looked like someone out of a cross necklace French movie. It was only after I returned home from the art opening that I looked in the mirror and saw that I had road tar all over the back of the dress. Everyone apparently had been too polite to tell me that! Also, the jumpsuits I loved to wear in the late ’70s and early ’80s. They looked nice, but logistically (in public restrooms, for Central example) were totally impractical.

Where I get my style ideas: I American am pretty much my own fashion muse. woven belt One staple every woman Growing up, I was in partnership with my should have in her closet: A black mom, who was an accomplished seamstress. She pull-over knit top is a great foundation made all of my clothes from grammar school for outfits both casual or elegant. through my first pregnancy, and had great style and wonderful taste. We would pore Fashion advice: As one proover Vogue pattern books, and gresses through decades of dressspend a lot of time choosing fine ing, keep re-inventing and re-interfabrics — silk, cotton, linen and wool preting your personal style. Emphasize blends. She was a working mother and those body parts, which are assets — would sew complex Vogue Paris Original designs working on fabrics like black crepe early in the morning before work. Like I like bare shoulders North Beach Leather these days! that line in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” it wasn’t always clear beaded suede whether she was making a dress or constructing a piece of jacket architecture. The 1970s Stretch & Sew and synthetic fabrics ruined our fun. Where I find my jewelry/accessories: Mostly while traveling — Native American jewelry from New Mexico, beaded bracelets from Africa and an amulet of a Norse god from Norway. What’s the trick in always looking put together? My palette of clothing colors is pretty small, so many separates go together like taupe, black, gray, white, green, rosy red, and that terrific metallic shade of yellow, which is featured some seasons. Also, a belt can create a puttogether outfit. My favorite designers: French Connection, DKNY, Ralph Lauren and Esprit. However, many of my clothes are vintage or from consignment shops. I have always loved inhabiting another woman’s clothes, especially if it’s a dress or outfit from a loved friend or relative who had great style. Where I shop both locally and out of town: In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques, and in the past I




A LEGACY OF JUNIOR LEAGUE LEADERSHIP Incoming Junior League President Christine Icardo will preside through golden anniversary By Lisa Kimble


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Christine Icardo and her son, Evan, in his baby days.



here is a sense of providence to Christine Icardo’s term as president of the Junior League of Bakersfield during the organization’s golden anniversary next year. Twenty-five years ago, her mother-in-law, Cynthia Icardo, served as the league’s leader during its silver anniversary year. In fact, the 37-year-old joined the woman’s charitable group a decade ago at the encouragement of her mother-in-law. “She is an impressive woman,” Christine Icardo said of Cynthia. “She told me about the organization, and I liked the mission of Junior League, the idea of helping the community and the camaraderie.” A few months back, before Icardo took over the gavel to begin the 2014-2015 term as president, her mother-in-law hosted a dinner for the incoming board. “She told us about the ‘good ole days,’ the requirements and hoops members had to jump through back then,” Icardo laughed. Decades ago, a new member’s year lasted 10 months. Most members were stay-at-home moms rather than careeroriented women. And ambitious and exhaustive fundraisers like Holidays of Magic and Whale of a Sale were the organization’s main sources of revenue. “I love it that Junior League today works for everyone in every life stage, whether you have a lot of time or a minimal amount, you can still make an impact,” Icardo said. “We are women from all backgrounds with amazing carts and huge hearts who aren’t paid and who believe in the mission and are willing to make a difference.” Christine Hillis Icardo grew up in Bakersfield after her family moved here when she was 4 years old. A graduate of East High School and Cal State Bakersfield,

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Past Junior League President Tracy Walker-Kiser, current President Christine Icardo and then-President Lydia Rowles at a meeting in November.



where she received her teaching credential, her introduction to service began with her church and missionary trips to Mexico every Easter. Now a practicing Catholic, Icardo met her husband Adam through Rotary Club’s community service program, Rotaract. Married since 2001, the Icardos are parents to 6-yearold Dominic and 3-year-old Evan. In June, they welcomed their third son, Clayton. Icardo, who is a stay-athome mom, has always felt a strong connection between League and children. “My first placement was one of my favorites, serving on the Bakersfield Homeless Center Committee planning the Halloween Carnival and Easter Egg Hunts for the children at — Christine Icardo the center,” she recalled. As she moved up the leadership ladder, Icardo said her heart always stayed linked to that first project. “I really liked working with the kids there at the center and trying to bring happiness to their lives,” she said. Icardo said she never set her sights on the organization’s highest office. “It wasn’t purposefully, I wasn’t thinking I would ever be president,” she said. “I had been asked before, but every time I felt that it wasn’t the right time.” But eventually, the timing was perfect. “I’d learned about all there was to learn, so at one point it seemed the natural step,” she said. Looking ahead to a momentous year in the organization’s history, Icardo is appreciative of the challenge and honor. “I love League, and the impact it has in our community,” she said. “I want to further that impact and be its voice as we head


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I’d learned about all there was to learn, so at one point it (becoming president) seemed the natural step.

Continued on page 122 bakersfieldlife.com


into our 50th year. I am going to try to use the anniversary to boost public awareness to what we have done and use it as a motivational year to persuade a lot of vocal, local women leaders in the community to reconnect with our history and mission.” For her part, Cynthia said she never would have guessed in 1990 that her future daughter-in-law would lead Junior League as it celebrated 50 years in Bakersfield. Today she is proud of and excited for Icardo, just as she is proud of the organization she dedicated herself to 25 years ago. “The ‘options’ for women continue to be many. But single women, women with young and grown families, women employed full-time, women with many and other varied responsibilities in life continue to see the value of also finding the time to help other women and children through the many Junior League of Bakersfield projects and programs,” Cynthia said.


Continued from page 121

New Junior League of Bakersfield President Christine Icardo rubbed elbows with U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy in Washington, D.C. last year for the 2013 Junior League Annual Conference. Pictured here with then-President Lydia Rowles and past-President Katie Kirschenmann.

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Retired Kern County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Ely volunteers his time with search and rescue.

BAKERSFIELD’S LIFE-SAVING UNIT Bakersfield Search and Rescue volunteers focus on saving lives By Sandy Ornelas


f you asked Doug Ely what he loves the most about his role in the Bakersfield Search and Rescue group, he will immediately tell you it’s about the people. There’s no greater glory, said the Bakersfield Search and Rescue operations lieutenant, than saving the lives of those caught up in unexpected life-threatening moments, most often in the face of raging, swift waters. “The rewarding part about being on the team is helping others (and) giving back to the community,” said Ely, 58. “We rescue to save lives, locate and recover to give closure to grieving families. There is a good feeling about the jobs we do,


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014



but for me, it is mostly about the victim or lost/missing person and their family.” According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office website, the Bakersfield Search and Rescue group, also known as BAK SAR, carries a critical duty of assisting “with rescues or recovering drowning victims of the lower Kern River, in the canyon and in the waterways of the lower San Joaquin Valley.” Sheriff’s officials say the group also provides assistance in searches for missing children or seniors throughout the county, and they support other sheriff units when needed. The Bakersfield Search and Rescue group is one of about a dozen search and rescue groups that exist in the county through the sheriff’s department. The search and rescue groups rely on a large pool of citizen volunteers to provide support to help the sheriff’s office do its job effectively. Ely is one of those volunteers. Having spent several years as a Kern County deputy sheriff and previously a reserve deputy, Ely felt he needed to do something after his retirement. As Ely looked back on his military and law enforcement days (he was a helicopter crew chief on CH-53A helicopters during his Marine Corps service prior to joining the sheriff’s office and working various units), he centered on one of his favorite past duty assignments: the Air Support unit.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office Air Support unit was Ely’s assignment just before retirement. There, he began as an observer and worked his way up to pilot for all types of helicopters and airplanes, and eventually become a Certified Flight Instructor. “Some of my duties flying included doing search and rescue work,” Ely said. “I really enjoyed that part, especially when there was a final outcome. ... So when I did retire, I went back to volunteering my time with the Bakersfield Search and Rescue group. I have been with the team for four and a half years now and even though some is hard work, I enjoy most of it.” As the group’s operations lieutenant, Ely said whenever the team gets called out to do a search, rescue or training, team members gather at the sheriff’s office for a briefing before they set out on their mission. The Bakersfield team is “primarily a swift water rescue team. We do man tracking, rappelling, and we also have search K-9s on our team,” Ely said. For Ely, the most difficult part is rescuing small children and infants. “It is heartbreaking to have to rescue or recover — Doug Ely them,” Ely said. “They are looking for their parents to train them or keep them out of harm’s way. When that doesn’t happen, we sometimes have to get involved.” He states that there are many happy endings to the work that he does, but credits it to the teamwork. “There is a big time commitment being with a SAR group,” he said. “We become an extended family. …It means a lot being a member and that is who we are.” He also said the team couldn’t do what it does without family support. But there is always a need for more volunteers. Those interested can contact the sheriff’s voluteer services by calling 391-7659 or visiting kernsheriff.com. In addition, Ely encouraged people who want to visit the river or any waterway to wear a personal flotation device or life jacket. It can make a world of a difference.

It is heartbreaking to have to rescue or recover them (small children).

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Kick-start your garden with homemade compost, check out this fun run By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann


Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014


Brown waste (dried leaves), green waste (kitchen scraps) and a rotating compost bin make up this composting station.

This ceramic compost bucket stores kitchen scraps until they are added to your bin.

“brown” waste ratios dialed in, then you shouldn’t have bad stink issues. • Composting attracts pests! Sealing your composting bin correctly and turning the bin frequently eliminates those problems. • Composting is for people with big yards and lots of space! Not so! The popularity of backyard farming has created a wealth of easily accessible and affordable products for even the smallest of yards. Begin by finding the right composter for your yard, your time commitment and your waste. Expect to spend anywhere from $80 to $140 for a good bin. Anything more expensive is probably over your head. Add dried leaves to your Select a bin that compost mixture if it turns. Rotating the becomes too wet. compost mixture speeds up the process. I purchased my bin — a simple 150-gallon rotating barrel — from Orchard Supply for $129. I chose this particular model because it has wheels. When the compost is finished, I can push the bin over to wherever I need to spread it. Now that you have your bin, it’s time to start the process. Compost recipes vary and are widely debated. But one thing that’s consistent in everything we have read is the 30-to-1 ratio, that is, 30 parts carbon waste to one part nitrogen waste. Think two parts leaves and shredded paper, one part kitchen scraps and one part grass clippings. If your mix is too wet and smelly, add more “brown” waste like leaves, straw or saw dust and shavings. If the mixture is too dry, spay with a little water and add more “green” waste like kitchen scraps or grass clippings. The materials should be as shredded as possible so they break down in a timely manner. Keep a well-sealed small compost bucket in your kitchen. We found a great ceramic bin from Cost Plus World Market, complete with a carbon filter, for $14.99. When the kitchen PHOTO BY KATIE KIRSCHENMANN


t’s officially summertime, so if you enjoy backyard gardening, it’s your season to shine. If you’re new to the urban garden/suburban garden world, it is your time to experiment. If you are looking for a bountiful summer garden, it’s always tempting to buy the products that boast “miracles” for your vegetables and flowers. We are here to tell you to avoid the lure of a chemically-induced backyard bounty by making your own miraculous fertilizer using kitchen scraps and yard waste. Composting is easy, and the results will make your garden the envy of the neighborhood. Summer is the best time to begin a composting regime, especially if you’ve never attempted it before. Yard waste and kitchen scraps need high temperatures to break down into rich, healthy compost. Bakersfield summers offer nothing but high heat, providing good conditions for first-time composters. First, let’s address composting myths that tend to discourage people from trying it. • Composting stinks! Well, it can stink. If you’ve got your “green” waste to





Kitchen scraps and yard waste can produce lush, chemical-free gardens.


Israeli Couscous Cucumber Salad

bin is full, dump it into outdoor bin, adding equals parts of yard waste as you go. We keep a small can of yard waste (clippings and leaves) next to the composter to make it easy.

WHAT TO COMPOST: • Grass clippings. Add grass clippings to your mixture sparingly, not all at once. • Shredded brown paper • Fallen leaves • Manure from sheep, horse, cows and chickens • Kitchen scraps, such as coffee grounds (high in nitrogen), potato peels, apple cores and uncooked veggie scraps • Plant cuttings and weeds without seeds • Straw or hay

1/4 cup chopped parsley 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese 1 small chopped English cucumber 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon) 2 finely chopped shallots 1 1/2 cups of Israeli (or pearl) couscous 2 cups of chicken broth Olive oil for cooking Chop the parsley and shallots, set aside. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan on low heat. Add pine nuts and stir until golden. Remove to a small bowl. Add another tablespoon of olive oil, and brown the shallots until golden. Add the couscous and stir until it starts to turn golden. Add the chicken broth, bring it to boil, and then turn heat to simmer until all broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Stir in parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest and cucumber. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shredded chicken is a tasty addition for extra protein. Sprinkle cheese on top.

WHAT NOT TO COMPOST: • Meat • Citrus and citrus rinds, these don’t breakdown easily and could make your mix too acidic. • Cooking oils • Cooked veggies. Cooked vegetables and heavily dressed salad leftovers are a no-no. They attract critters and will stink. • Cooked leftover food. • Dog poop. No, you can’t do it; don’t try it. • Kitty litter. Gross, don’t even think about it. If conditions are right, and you rotate the bin frequently,

the compost should be ready in three to four weeks. Work the fruits of your labor into planting beds and let it sit for a week before planting. The only problem you should experience at this point is an overgrown garden. Check out howtocompost.org, gardeners.com and gaiam.com/composting/ for more tips.

RACING THE TIDE AT ROCK TO PIER The 45th Brian Waterbury Memorial Rock to Pier Fun Run

Continued on page 128 bakersfieldlife.com



Emily Wainwright demonstrates the jumping jack squat.

The jumping jack squat is also a solid cardio workout.

Continued from page 127 is coming up on July 12. The run starts at Morro Rock and finishes at Cayucos Pier. Choose the traditional six miles or the half marathon option. Due to the incoming tide, the race will start at 6:30 a.m. to ensure even the slowest runners can make the return trip through the rocks before the high tide creeps in. The half marathon option called “Rock’n Around the Pier,” turns at the pier and returns to the rock with a loop added around Cloisters Park to bring the distance to 13.1 miles. I can say from experience, a trudge through very soft sand at the 11-mile mark is very challenging! Returning to the beach after the loop, you still have to race over a mile to the finish with the rock looming in the distance. Folks are friendly, the air is fresh and cool, and the breakfast tastes good. For registration forms and details, visit leaguelineup.com/rock2pier/.

STAYING COOL WITH NOR Being able to swim proficiently is imperative for California children, especially for kids living in a hot city like Bakersfield. By July, we’re all looking for a place to take a cool dip to survive the heat. Swim lessons are available for children of all 128

Bakersfield Life Magazine

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ages from parent and child classes, toddler classes, and on to many levels covering all ranges of water skills. Highly trained instructors work with small groups through each session, which usually last around 10 days, Monday to Friday for two weeks. Check the North of the River’s website, NORfun.org for information or to register.

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH: JUMPING JACK SQUAT Start standing tall with good posture, toes slightly out. Slowly bring arms out to the front while coming down into squat position. Keep your spine long and abs drawn in for stabilization. From the squat position, power yourself up to a full jumping jack off the ground. With control, land lightly in squat position again, absorbing well through the knees. This is a fairly advanced plyo-metric exercise, one you will soon realize is also high cardio. Try starting with 10 reps, focusing on good postural alignment. It’s great for strengthening quads and glutes, burning calories, and overall body balance. For beginners, start from a minimal squat, and come up to a standing starfish position without your feet leaving the ground. Repeat. You can also add one to two pound weights to this option.




SPLISH AND SPLASH IN TO SUMMER SWIM LESSONS Lessons abound for young and old as temperatures rise

By Elizabeth Castillo

Photos by Rod Thornburg


ummers in Bakersfield mean triple-digit temperatures and children home from school. Swimming lessons are a great way to stay healthy, learn a new skill and keep cool in the Bakersfield heat. Aside from the fun, swimming is a lifesaving skill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five individuals who die from drowning are children age 14 and younger. “It’s really important for children to take swim lessons because of water safety,” said Terri Elison, the recreation supervisor for the aquatic program at McMurtrey Aquatic Center.

Jump in!

Shelby Hamond holds on to Ronald Pleitez, 10, as she shows him how to float on his back during swimming lessons at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center. 130

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

• McMurtrey Aquatic Center, offers classes from 6 months to adults, 852-7430, www.bakersfieldswim.us. • Bakersfield College, offers youth and adult classes, 395-4663, bakersfieldcollege.edu/pool. • American Kids Sports Center, offers child classes, minimum age 6 months, aksc.com.

We are pleased to welcome

Debbie Alteparmakian and Tasha Brown in joining our Aesthetics RN Team, with April Cooper JULY SPECIALS Lifeguard/Water Safety Instructor Laura Hamel watches the little ones in her group and trains them to get used to the water on the first day of swimming lessons at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center.

“If a child doesn’t learn how to swim by the third grade, 88 percent of them will likely never learn,” Elison said. Learning to swim at a younger age is also beneficial because children may not have developed aquatic apprehension. “It’s easier when you’re a kid to learn how to swim because there is less fear factor of the water and no insecurities in a bathing suit,” said Tina Cummings, the aquatics director at Bakersfield College. Cummings enjoys seeing children encourage their parents to learn how to swim. “I have people who come back to me and parents say they should learn how to swim, too. Everybody needs to know how to swim,” she said. Cummings believes that swimming can help young students learn important social skills as well. “Swim is so incredibly social. You learn how to be a part of a team, take instruction, and learn how to interact with others,” she said. Swim lessons can provide children with new friends and the social experiences that students gain in lessons also impact their instructors. Mac Robertson, an aquatics coordinator at McMurtrey Aquatic Center said filling in for a co-worker provided him with a memorable moment with students. “I was substituting for a female lifeguard and she had three little girls who hated boy instructors. By the end of the lesson, I was able to get the girls smiling and their mom was really impressed,” Robertson said. “Two of the girls — twins — were also afraid to dunk their heads in the water. After the lesson, they were able to dunk their heads in the water and were having fun,” he said. Brittany Mesa-Bailey, another aquatics coordinator at McMurtrey, enjoys seeing her students’ eyes light up as they learn their new skill. Mesa-Bailey’s favorite classes are with students with special needs. “Ten years ago, I taught an adult with the mental ability of a 7year-old. It was awesome to see him progress in his swimming, and he competed in the Special Olympics,” she said. Cummings, who also teaches some swimming lessons at BC, said teaching others is rewarding. “Ten- to 12-year-olds learn really quickly. They learn how to swim in two weeks,” she said. “As an instructor, by teaching that child how to swim, you’ve opened up this whole other world for them! You’ve changed a kid’s life in two weeks!”

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Visalia's Recreation Ballpark was built in 1946, but recent renovations include a Hall of Fame Club, new seating area, and grassy berm for fans.

MAJOR LEAGUE FUN FOR A MINOR LEAGUE PRICE Take a trip up the 99 to watch the Blaze face off against the Rawhide at Visalia’s charming ballpark Story and photos by Philip Guiry


ou don’t have to spend big bucks for the major league experience this summer. Instead, you can hit the road with the Bakersfield Blaze. Two California League teams play within two hours of Bakersfield and one team boast a unique, remodeled ballpark and a charming downtown to explore after the end of the ninth. Just over an hour north on the 99, you’ll find the Visalia Rawhide faster than you can find an exit out of Dodger Stadium’s parking lot. Recreation Ballpark, a former rodeo ring, has been a home for baseball since 1946. Recent renovations have spruced up the park and made for a better game experience. The park’s brick exterior offers the feel of any classic ballpark, but inside, you’ll find a ballpark that reflects the Central Valley. Rawhide General Manager Jennifer Pendergraft said 132

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July 2014

Bakersfield Blaze season ticket holders John and Dina Keigley enjoyed a road trip to watch a game in Visalia in June. the team name change and renovations in 2009 reflect baseball and Western roots. “Local flair comes to life through the groundskeeper’s red barn in right/center field, the General Store (team shop), the ‘Pasture’ lawn seating area, Snakebite Saloon, and other small accent pieces scattered throughout,” Pendergraft said of the ballpark. There are plenty of seats to choose from, ranging from $7 to $30 each. The grandstand, a cozy section of seats carved into the face of a concrete covered hill of dirt, offers a very intimate view of the field.

“You can sit closer to the action in Visalia than any other professional ballpark in the country,” Pendergraft said. “Sitting behind home, you’re only 20 feet from the catcher.” The Fan Dugout gives you the same view the players get. Water, sunflower seeds, and line-ups are provided, lending an air of dugout authenticity. The Snakebite Saloon feels as though Jesse James himself might come walking through the swinging doors to quaff a root beer and Catch a game in Visalia catch a few innings. The Recreation Ballpark is located at 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia. The saloon even has a workBakersfield Blaze play the Rawhide ing player piano that in Visalia at 7 p.m. on July 1, 2 and 3 Pendergraft said a staff and at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 through 10 and member found on found 6 p.m. on Aug. 11. Tickets are $7 to on Craigslist for free. $18 in advance. Or pay $30 on the day of the game for a seat in the The Hall of Fame Hall of Fame Club. Buy tickets online Club offers air-condiat tinyurl.com/Rawhide-tickets or tioned seating inside, balcall 559-732-4433. cony seating outside, a full bar, catered meal, televisions, and Visalia baseball memorabilia. “Pasture” seating, a grassy knoll in right field, overlooks the visitor’s bullpen. The Kids Corral, with bounce houses and whiffle ball field, is located just beyond the right field wall.

No ballpark trip is complete without a trip or two to the concession stand. Recreation Ballpark has a multitude of options, from your standard concession fare to a specialty French fry stand that’s open Thursday through Sunday. A father-son team of deep fried potato purveyors cut the taters by hand and serve them up original, garlic, or “Drunken Bacon Fried,” topped with whiskey soaked bacon. You’ll find the classic ballpark offerings of hot dogs and peanuts, but you can also check out the “559 Menu,” which features locally sourced food. A deep fried Twinkie, served with a scoop of Hanford-based Rosa Brothers ice cream, the same ice cream served at Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield, is a sweet way to finish off any game. Chances are this season that you’ll get to see a good game if you watch the Blaze take on the Rawhide. The Blaze won the Northern Division First Half title for the season but the Rawhide were close on their heels. The Blaze are guaranteed a spot in the September playoffs and the Rawhide may very well be waiting for them there. The final out does not mean it’s time to head home. Visalia’s quaint downtown offers plenty of boutiques and restaurants to peruse before heading back to Bako. “Downtown Visalia is very proud of the fact that nearly all of their shops and restaurants are locally-owned,” Pendergraft said. “No matter what you feel like, there is an option for you: Brazilian food, California cuisine, coffee shops, barbecue, locally brewed craft beers, South African food, Italian, great breakfast joints… literally everything.”

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014



Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival May 24 Held at CSUB Amphitheatre Photos by Rachel Cook View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Janet Andrea, Erin Miller and Patricio Castillo

Jeff Ross, Denis and Sam Lepine

Valerie Black, Maranda Blanton, Erika Pierce, Kimberly Ward-Graham, Amanda Scheidemantel and Brittney McGlasson

Matt Brannon, Jessica Swetalla and Dusty Fox

Brianna Moncier and Saunikka Ford

Chris and Elisa Huot, Alex Balfour, Carla Barrientos, Christina Ortiz, Kat Balfour, Don Bynum and Ryan Doolittle

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Driller Football Hall of Fame dinner

Priscilla Van Osdel and Rick Van Horn

Nick Valos, Elaine Solan and Dena Theodore

Anna Hunt, Vince Fong and Michelle Watson

May 22 Held at Bakersfield Marriott Photos by Adriana Vega View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Hannah and Brad Hunt

Silas Nacita, Connor and Meagan McCarthy and Cambria Bank

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Tina Garza and Asauni Rufus

Relay For Life of Bakersfield May 3 Held at Wingspoint Photos by Adriana Vega View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

April Saich and Melanie Rutledge

Karyn Ortiz and Julie Marie Perez

Joe, Mike, Kim, Benito, Rebecca and Richard Herrera, Arella Criswell and Selinda Herrera

Gerald and Cindi Tadej Maria Solario, Dana Fabbri and Chris Thomas

Noami Grey, Lupe Vasquez-Ortiz and Samantha Cisneros

Robin Wilks and Eva Finnel

Isabel, Roxanne and Larry Fernandez and Jesus Trevino 138

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July 2014

Yvonne and Andrew Cisneros

Janell and Colton Slattery

Saul Lewis, Devon Flores, Johnathan Bradford, Juan Melendrez and Amanik Grewal

Tigerfight Casino Night June 7 Held at The Padre Hotel Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Richard and Louise Arreola

Sarah and Ryan Dawson and Eric and Kelly Steinback

Pastor Mark and Barbie Airey

Holly and Chris Wilson

Shannon and Rick Dossey

Jennifer Khachigian and Jason Grooms

Donya and Bryan Cott

Katie Treichel and Johnny Frank

Ian and Naomi Woodbury, David Ralph and Tiffany Anderson, and Cecily and Kyle Jones bakersfieldlife.com


Applause for Paws June 14 Held at the Masonic Temple Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Barbara Comstock and Anne Quinn

Michelle Moreno and Stephen Beard

Karolyne LaBrecque and Suzanne Brierley Bakersfield Life Magazine

Cori Mincher and Vanessa Garay

Patricia Mell, Chris Kornbau, Jessica Mojarro and Sherauna Provensal

James and Jaclyn Uloth


Karen and Tony Eterno

July 2014

Judy and Don Crafton

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Miracle Society annual dinner May 16 Held at Wall Street Cafe Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Jacob and Nicole Panero, Sue Benham and Rogers Brandon

Lindsay and Nick Ashley

Jennifer and Daniel Clifford

Victoria and John Trichell

Molly Clark, Nicole Panero, Krista Thomas, Jennifer Clifford, Victoria Trichell and Lindsay Ashley

Krista and Brian Thomas

John Trichell, Matt Clark, Nick Ashley, Jacob Panero, Rogers Brandon and Herb Benham bakersfieldlife.com


TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) event May 1 Held at Buck Owensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Crystal Palace Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Cameron McArthur, Jennifer Proseus and Robert Gulliver

Frank and Donna Ronkese

Larry Fields and Sandra Lara

Greg and Michele Schultz

Teanna Henderson, Jenne Cessar, Rhonda Marquez, Belle Hernandez, Kimberly Torella and Terry Harvey

Joshua and Shanell Dawson

Julie Morales, Blake Kirshman, Ellen Plugge and Steve Gardner 142

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Kern County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Benefit Association Honor Run May 17 Held at Hart Park Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Amy Beagle, David Simmons and Heather Dickson

Amber and John Rodrigues and Mike and Sarah Lewis Crystal Bernard, Maggie and Ted Parker

Brock, Julie, Tyler, and Larry McCurtain

Kalae Paxson, Janelle Costamagna, Debbie Weiss, Kris Anglin, Tracy Miller and Shannon Martinez

Alexander, Emilio, Victoria, Jessica and Angelo Gonzalez

Chris Oser, Jonathan McClay, Adrian Arias, Glenn Ryder and Sean Caudillo bakersfieldlife.com


Foundation Wealth Management Wounded Heroes Fund event May 22 Held at Buck Owensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Crystal Palace Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com.

Nancy and Miguel Mory

Bonnie Hosick and Virginia Newberry

Jeremy and Sharon Essen, Rick and Shannan Yanez and Christi and Carl Tenter

Gloria and John Marshall

Betty and Bill Winn

Brent Fidler and Mona Cimental

Gabe Smith and Gabby Salazar

Lacey Sutterfield, Jessica Szczech, Yanette Licon and Kristin Jurich 144

Bakersfield Life Magazine

July 2014

Armando Trujillo and Christelle Speaks

Will and Heather Sullivan

Greg and Liz Jack, Kathy Troxell and Max Strubett


By Ken Beurmann


ast year I was honored when I received notification that I would be featured in Bakersfield Life Magazine’s inaugural top 20 Under 40 feature. As I read the profiles of the other 19 amazing individuals, I could not help but think we all had three things in common: We were young, we were determined, and my guess is somewhere along the way, someone had taken a chance on us. Someone certainly took a chance on me. As a 21-year-old college graduate with no real professional experience, I was offered my first job opportunity. Less than two years later with no retail or nonprofit management experience, I was offered my first executive position at Goodwill. Three years after that, at the age of 26, I was offered the CEO position at Terrio Therapy-Fitness. To Tim Terrio and Sheryl Chalupa, thank you for taking a chance on me. Over the last two years, this magazine has now identified 40 young professionals doing astonishing things in our community, which raises the question: Is “lack of experience” such a bad thing? Almost every job posting has a requirement for “years of experience in a related field” but is that requirement just an arbitrary number, or is previous experience truly required for a candidate to succeed? I ask the question because I believe my lack of experience actually benefited me. I entered the workforce in 2008 at the height of the economic recession. My coworkers remembered a time when things were easy, when cost-of-living increases were always awarded, and when 401(k) matching was taken for granted. I never had this luxury because the world I entered was in sheer panic, and I quickly realized that critical thinking was the quintessential trait differentiating those employees who thrived and those who did not. My lack of experience did not hinder me because we had entered a “new normal” where efficiencies and problem solving reigned king, and “we do it this way because we’ve always done it this way” was a thing of the past. If you are under the age of 30, chances are you’ve never experienced working for a company that is “fat and happy.” I


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think this limited experience actually makes you an asset because you bring a unique and modern perspective into the workplace. Young professionals, out of necessity, have learned how to make the very most out of the very least — as long as they are given the chance. I remember once glancing at a job posting. I wasn’t looking for a job at the time, but this posting caught my eye because it paid well and I thought I’d be a very strong candidate. I opened the ad to see if I qualified. The job requirements read like this: “Valid California driver’s license.” Check. “Master’s degree in business or a related field.” Check. “Proven ability to manage people/teams.” Check. “Minimum 10 years professional experience in…” At this point, I stopped reading the ad because 10 years ago I was still in high school. To this day, I feel like I would have excelled in that position. So I’d like to encourage every local organization to evaluate their job requirements. If you’re trying to hire the chief of surgery, then previous experience in the field of medicine is probably a must. However, my intuition tells me businesses are requiring an unnecessary amount of experience for most jobs they have available. Is requiring three years of experience important enough to overlook someone with no related experience who is trainable? A respected colleague of mine once said, “I can teach any employee about the industry, but I can’t teach them how to think.” To all the young professionals out there, work hard, stay determined, and take every possible opportunity to network. To current business executives, look at the 20 individuals who were featured in this year’s magazine and ask yourself if they would be a strong addition to your organization. There are countless other young professionals living right here in our community with the skill set and ambition required to be featured in next year’s top 20 Under 40. Someone just hasn’t taken a chance on them. — Ken Beurmann is a Bakersfield native who obtained his undergraduate degree from Cal State Bakersfield and his graduate degree from USC. He is the CEO of Terrio Physical Therapy & Fitness, Inc. where he oversees 200 employees spread across 12 clinics in three cities.

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www.bakersfieldgi.com July 2014


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Profile for The Bakersfield Californian Specialty Publications

Bakersfield Life Magazine July 2014  

20 Under 40 People to Watch, Bakersfield Craft Beer Guide, Living Green

Bakersfield Life Magazine July 2014  

20 Under 40 People to Watch, Bakersfield Craft Beer Guide, Living Green