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July 2011

Parades and


Pastry chef Mai Giffard

Independence and celebrations around town in July

Cultural gem Dee Slade watches over the Adobe Krow Archives

Summer sips

Refreshing drinks to beat the heat

Food Dudes Juicy Burger lives up to its name



Making their mark on the city

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From the low $200’s

From the high $100’s

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14502 Huckleberry Down payment of $3,259.93

107 Castlebar Down payment of $5,309.22

Gated privacy featuring private pool, spa and parks. Ming Ave. & Gosford Rd. 661-663-3810

Gated privacy, private pool, children’s water park. Stockdale Hwy. & Renfro Rd. 661-387-6427

Voted Best Active Adult Community. Stockdale Hwy. & Jewetta Ave. 661-829-1775

*Prices, amenities and square footage are subject to change without notice. See sales associate for full details on all offers. Offers may not be combined with any other offer. *Down Payments quoted are based upon buyer qualifying and obtaining School Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance Program (SFF)on homes shown above. Income and qualification limits do apply. All information is subject to change. Financing must be provided through Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC to obtain special incentives. All information is subject to change without notice.

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se re immume, ts, ties eld 

Bakersfield Life

July 2011


Fine dining and fun

If it’s summertime fun you want, check out four local restaurants with new food and drink options as well as entertainment for those sizzling summer nights.


10 people to watch

Collectively, these local residents are leaving a lasting imprint on the community they call home, using their talents, passion and abilities to make Bakersfield truly beautiful. Read more about these 10 fascinating individuals in our annual feature.


Summer sips

For those looking to beat the summer heat, there’s no faster way than enjoying a refreshing cocktail. In our annual feature, Bakersfield Life has gathered a potent mix of beloved favorites and new contenders for you to order at restaurants around town.


Dee Slade

As executive director of Adobe Krow Archives, Dee Slade maintains the local treasure trove of African-American history and art. Learn more about this quiet force in the community who's mentoring future leaders through her involvement with the African American Network of Kern County.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios


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12 Up Front 14 Letters to the Editor 20 Happenings 22 It "Manners" A Lot 24 Real People 26 Our Town 28 Entertainment 34 Food Dudes

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46 Why I Serve 68 Going Green 70 Ladies Who‌ 74 Why I Live Here 80 Talk of the Town 82 Communty 90 Trip Planner 102 Snap! 114 The Last Word


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Thank you, Kern County for your continued support! 

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by John Harte

42 Sports Legend 44 On the Road

Page 34 For the record: Adrian Arroyo will attend San Diego State University. A feature in the June issue incorrectly identified the college where she is headed.

Photo by Greg Nichols




Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Features Associate Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Direction Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo Henry A. Barrios Jaclyn Borowski Holly Carlyle Casey Christie Paris Davis Jessica Frey Jeremy Gonzalez Lois Henry John Harte Alex Horvath Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Barbara Lomas Christopher O’Brien Jan St. Pierre Martin Ramirez Ashley Reyes Sarah Ringewirtz Carla Rivas Contributing writers Allie Castro Gene Garaygordobil Lois Henry Lisa Kimble Stephen Lynch Rob Meszaros Melissa Peaker-Whitten Gabriel Ramirez Miranda Whitworth Advertising Lupe Carabajal 395-7563 Reader Inquiries Bakersfield Life Magazine P.O. Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440 395-7492 On the cover Mai Giffard, the assistant pastry chef at the Padre Hotel, is one of our 10 People to Watch. Photo by Jessica Frey


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Growing new leaders


While Bakersfield’s fertile land exports many crops far and wide, the town is also known for growing and grooming future leaders. Each year, Bakersfield Life magazine puts the spotlight on People to Watch. This time, writer Lisa Kimble found a group of amazing and inspiring individuals who are doing lots of neat things to make our community better. They are not movers and shakers or familiar faces — but that’s what we wanted. We wanted to showcase those who are making a difference in their own special ways. I encourage you to read about them, find a way to get to know them or appreciate these great individuals who help define Bakersfield. Speaking of defining Bakersfield, our Community section looks at the great contributions being made by The Bakersfield Californian Foundation. This nonprofit is improving the quality of life in Bakersfield through its support of other local organizations. Foundation director Tracey Cowenhoven shares some of the group’s great work with us. Much kudos for locals who are making going green a priority. Stefanie Bye is a mother of two who has launched an eco-friendly business focusing on green baby products. Just what baby items are environmentally friendly and popular? Find out in our Going Green section. In our Personality section, we try to highlight longtime community members who are making things happen. In this issue, we profile Dee Slade, whose love of arts, diversity and youth leadership drive her community work. If you ever get a chance to meet her, you will be impressed at how motivating she can be. It’s not often that you get to stay in touch with your former English college professor, but that’s how I felt as I read the Real People feature about Marci Lingo, who is now a librarian at Bakersfield College. It almost feels like yesterday that I was sitting in her class, listening to her lec-

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

July 2011 / Vol. 5 / Issue 10

tures. She was one of my favorite professors, constantly challenging us to write well and analyze what we’ve read. BC is fortunate to have her now as a librarian, and if you turn to the Real People section, you’ll learn how libraries have always been close to her heart. Also, turn to the Last Word section to read about Jay Tamsi, the newly appointed president/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As you may recall, Tamsi was one of the individuals the magazine featured in its “People to Watch” list two years ago. Tamsi is involved in many local nonprofits and has big goals for the KCHCC. And if you haven’t been to Juicy Burger, then you must read the Food Dudes’ review on their experience. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Juicy Burger a few times with the family. Not only are the burgers great, but so are the milkshakes! The Food Dudes share their must-order items with us.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487



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UP FRONT Short Takes

Learning for the pure joy of learning Knowledge is more than power. It’s rejuvenating say many who have taken advantage of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a program at CSUB that promotes continuous learning for active adults 50 years and older. “You get old by isolating (yourself) and not being involved in society,” said Doug White, a retired high school music teacher and longtime member. “The more you can be involved, the younger you’ll stay.” According to OLLI director Jennifer Patino, the program’s beauty lies in the fact that members can learn for the simple joy of learning. “There are no tests; no homework,” she said. “It’s about the sharing of knowledge and great times.” Course topics run the gamut and vary in length from quarter to quarter, ranging from a single day to 10-week sessions and

everything in between. The OLLI program operates year-round, with many courses starting late in the quarter, with classes held in the morning, afternoon, evening and even on weekends. White said he and his wife have taken courses in everything from watercolor painting and swing dancing to archaeology and art history. Other popular courses have included Tai Chi, food and wine pairings, genealogy, foreign language and a variety of art courses. Besides on-campus classes, each quarter OLLI takes an out-of-town day trip. Members have visited the Ronald Reagan Library, the Getty Museum, and the Museum of Tolerance, to name just a few. Patino said that a new social networking class has been gaining steam as of late. But, perhaps the most popular is Annis Cassells’ memoir writing course, in which she helps

students dig into their memories and, through the power of writing, create a legacy of stories for their family members to cherish. Cassells is a life coach, speaker, freelance writer and blogger, and has been teaching memoir writing for OLLI since 2006. She has seen her students blossom both as writers and as friends. “People keep coming back and it’s like a community,” she said. “Some people have come into the class saying they’ve never written anything or can’t write anything. And with encouragement from all of us, and writing prompts, they start remembering and they start writing. And the more they write, the more they remember. The stories become very rich.” OLLI is funded by a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, which supports programs on more than 100 university and college campuses across the country. — Rob Meszaros

Word on the Street

The best way to enjoy summer vacation is ... “Go to drama camp.” — Bailey Pike

“Hang out with friends and family and travel to different places.” — Kayleigh Dill


Bakersfield Life

“Having fun and getting rest.” — Tim Mullen

“Go shopping with friends.” — Jocelyn Reyes

“Attend an Angels game and go fishing in Bishop.”

“Enjoy the heat and play softball.”

— Chris Ramos

— Alisa Celedon

July 2011

“Have a cold one and watch a Dodgers game.” — Danny Reyes

“Spend it with the kids.” — Dino Cortez

“Enjoy time with family and friends and watching NASCAR!” — Gail Ramos

Signature Properties, Signature Service

By the Numbers

Kern River 34

Mary Christenson

percent of Isabella Reservoir conservation storage space owned by the city of Bakersfield



the approximate length of the Kern River in miles

in Luxury Homes, Estate Properties and Golf Course Communities

Kern River Purchase

2,800 Origin of the Kern


acres of land along the Kern River between Renfro Road and Interstate 5 acquired by the city of Bakersfield as part of the Kern River Purchase

Brighton Estates • 6bdrms, 5bths, Pool, Game Rm, 30,000 Ft. Lot

elevation in feet of Mount Whitney located in the Kern River Basin, the highest point in the continental U.S.


mean flow of Kern River in cubic feet per second on Dec. 6, 1966 (maximum on record)


the year the Isabella Dam was completed

Rapids of the Upper Kern Isabella Dam outtake

466,634 acre-foot average Kern River April to July snow melt runoff


annual Kern River flow in acre-feet

$925,000 GORGEOUS BRANDT-BUILT custom home on huge corner lot in privacy-gated Brighton Estates. Almost 5000 sq ft. of luxury living. Turnkey in every way. Office near Master Suite, upstairs huge game room with bath/closet. Private casitas bedroom w/outside entrance & bath. Fenced pebble tec pool/spa, outdoor kitchen, gym/play area, half basketball court in motorcourt between two separate garages-all gated. Rich dark hardwood floors, travertine, dark stained doors, plantation shutters, rich amenities!

Source: Water Resources Department for the city of Bakersfield

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UP FRONT It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Jack L. Schuetz Career Center

Photo by Henry A. Barrios


The Kern High School District’s Schuetz Career Center has become a model of instructional innovation within special education for schools across the country since it opened six years ago. Its namesake, 79-year-old Jack L. Schuetz still resides in Bakersfield where he spent 27 years in the field and is widely credited with modernizSchuetz ing special education within the KHSD. The center is located next to Golden Valley High School and includes an auto detail shop, upholstery repair center and student-run food services. Schuetz was born in Kansas in 1932, a product of the Great Depression and drought of the 1930s, which would later influence his retirement work. His early school years were spent on the move, never staying more than a year in one place. He came to Bakersfield in 1945 and attended East Bakersfield High School. After graduation, Schuetz served with the U.S. Navy on patrol frigates off the coast of North Korea during the Korean War. He returned to school, where he received his associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and eventually his doctorate in education. During his nearly three decades of work in the field of special education at the Kern High School District, including that of director, Schuetz and his fellow educators oversaw unique and innovative programs at the Ruggenberg Center

Upon retirement, Schuetz began a new chapter by writing a novel, “The Adventures of Charlee Rae and Billy True.” His goal was to create literature for young adults free of profanity and sex. Some local teachers are now using the historically and geographically authentic piece as an educational tool in modeling appropriate behavior against the backdrop of history. Schuetz also co-authored and edited “Gil Bishop, Leadership, Skills and Ethical Values You Can Emulate,” which was published by the Bakersfield College Foundation.

Letters to the Editor ‘Best of’ edition is great! I love this edition of Bakersfield Life. I really enjoy reading about the history of the town. It's very nice to know who and what is popular in the Best of section. Thanks for the diversity. I look forward to the last Saturday of each month. Good job! — Darlyn Baker, RN Interim HealthCare Owner/Director

June issue is a thumbs up! Super congrats to your great staff for being Bakersfield’s Best! This month was particularly great! Saluting all the grads is so very special. They are our future. And the Jag article was wonderful! Is a Lambo next on the list? Lisa Kimble’s story about the Chandler family’s ’29 Model A hot rod struck a special chord. My folks’ ’31 Chrysler 14

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

honeymoon coupe is sitting here patiently waiting for a late model engine and running gear, which I have up at our Hart Flat cabin. So many projects, so little time. Loretta and I really enjoy Lois Henry's out-of-town adventures every month! Her relaxed writing style and the places she goes make us want to get in the car and go — right away! Glad she got some R&R time in Palm Springs. Seems to us like she’s carrying a pretty big load with the radio shows and all. And the Divas this month — and that “blended margarita” — were really special. I was chuckling to myself all day yesterday about it. Made my day. They really have a great sense of humor and they make the food sound so good! Keep up the great work! — Mike and Loretta Schield

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

To submit material

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

To advertise

Please call Lupe Carabajal, retail advertising sales manager, at 395-7563 or lcarabajal@bakersfield. com or

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UP FRONT Short Takes

A year of firsts for EBHS frosh soph softball team Socorro Jessica Turney’s mother wanted her to get involved in sports, so the freshman East Bakersfield High School student decided to join the softball team. “It was my first year playing but I figured that I would try out,” Socorro said. Socorro was among 10 girls out of the 14 on the frosh soph team that had never played softball before. But their inexperience didn’t prove to be a detriment as the team went on to place first in the SEYL league this year with a 5-1 record. Coach April Tabarez and assistant coach Roxy Leiva were the motivational forces behind these girls. For Tabarez, a graduate of EBHS, this year was also a first—her first year coaching. “The 10 girls that never played before didn’t know how to play softball, couldn’t catch a ball, or throw a ball. They basically knew nothing about softball,” Tabarez said. “But the girls practiced long and hard.” Tabarez said they began by just showing them how to throw a ball, then how to field the ball, how to slide, how to run bases and how to bat. “They played in a tournament, which helped them see how other

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Bakersfield Life

July 2011

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media:scape teams played and what league was going to be like,” Tabarez said. “The girls took first in our division and fourth place over all. There were 16 schools that competed in this tournament.” Tabarez admitted that at first she felt it was going to be a “long season,” but the girls were dedicated, worked hard and followed directions. “We basically started from the ground up working on the correct softball technique for the girls. Our season started off a little rough. As first-time coaches we were unfamiliar with how to do a lineup or how to do the score keeping. There were new rules that we were unfamiliar with, but as the season progressed and thanks to some of the parents we were able to figure it out,” Tabarez said. The team plans to step up their fundraising efforts this summer to hopefully raise enough money for the girls to play summer league. As for coaches Tabarez and Leiva, they hope to be coaching junior varsity next year. “It’s very important for girls to play sports like softball. It keeps the girls out of trouble. Sports also require that the students maintain a grade-point average higher than 2.0, so it helps with academics as well,” Tabarez said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls. The girls displayed excellent sportsmanship to other teams and players. We were constantly getting compliments about the girls having respect and good attitudes toward other teams.” — Gabriel Ramirez

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

Molly Busacca This born and bred local does it all. Molly Busacca works with her husband, Bruce Busacca, at Secure Systems — an alarm company he started out of high school in 1980. Working with a spouse is not for everyone but Molly, 46, values the challenges and rewards of running a business together. What really keeps her busy are the activities her 15-year-old triplets — Anthony, Sophia and Isabella — are involved in, such as tennis. When the Cal State Bakersfield tennis program was cut, Molly decided to bring attention to this cause and is still involved in raising funds to keep it alive. “When you stand up for what you think is important, others do the same for the causes they believe in,” she said.


2. I love everything that my husband cooks.

3. Being a parent is the

hardest and best job I have ever had. And I know it is the most important one I will ever have.

4. I played the violin from third

grade through my freshman year in high school.

5. I am the oldest of six kids. I talk to all of them at least once a week.

6. I have 20 nieces and nephews. The oldest is 26 years old and the youngest is 10 months.

7. My first job was working for my grandfather,

Vincent Clerou, at Vincent’s in downtown Bakersfield. Whenever I walk into a bike shop, the smell of the grease takes me back to his store.

8. I was a cheerleader at Bakersfield High School. 9. I am a voracious reader and typically have two to three books on my nightstand at a time. I have a Kindle, but still love going to the library and bookstore where I can smell the dust from the pages.

15. I graduated from

UCLA and have pretty much always despised USC.

16. My first car was a 1975 Buick Skylark — and that was in 1987. I have always believed that you should be cuter than the car you drive. 17. My mother is my hero. She insisted that we set high standards for ourselves and take responsibility for our actions.

18. I met my husband, Bruce, when I was a freshman in high school and he was a senior. My best friend was in love with him. I was not. Things changed.

19. I love having family gatherings and holidays at our home. Bruce and I both believe there is always room for “one more” person at the table.

20. The first album I ever

10. I run almost every day. My favorite workout is running stadiums.

received was the Eagles Greatest Hits 1975-1977 from my sister Katy. They are still my favorite band.

11. Traveling is one of my passions. There is

21. I enjoy being involved with what-

nothing that beats the excitement of landing in a foreign country and having to navigate the language, transportation, money and food.

12. My niece Mia Talerico is Charlie on Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie.”

13. I believe that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Your own mind and resolve are the most powerful tools you will ever own.

14. I was an intern for Congressman Bill Thomas in college. 18

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

ever interests my children have.

22. I rarely watch television. 23. The hardest thing I have ever done was

telling my sister Sara that is was OK to die at the end of her battle with cancer.

24. My BlackBerry should probably be implanted into the palm of my hand.

25. My dad came to the hospital every day after our triplets were born two months early. He sat in the NICU and prayed for their health.

Photo by Felix Adamo

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Find more community events at or submit yours via e-mail:


Can’t-miss events in July Fri. 1

Sat. 2

First Friday, featuring live music, art openings, specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, artists will set up their artwork, 5 to 9 p.m., Downtown Arts District. 6349598.

The Dazz Band, 9 p.m., Nile Theater, 1721 19th St. $30. or 322-5200.


Wed. 6 First Wednesday, special events and refreshments, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. $4 nonmembers. 323-7219.



Wed. 13 The Monkees 45th Anniversary Tour, doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $35 to $115 plus fee. vallitix. com or 3225200.

Thur. 21

Fri. 22

Sat. 23

Third Thursdays Faire in the Park, entertainment, barbecue, arts and crafts, games, contests, farmers market, 5:30 p.m., Central Park at Mill Creek, 21st and R streets. 325-5892.

Movies in the Park, presents “Megamind,” begins at dusk Friday, Siemon Park, Redlands Drive and Pasadena Street. 3263866.

Second annual Kid’s Design Club, learn to make flowers in a glass sundae dish, 10 a.m., Log Cabin Florist, 800 19th St. $35, includes T-shirt, tour and snack. 3278646.


Thurs. 28 Thurs. 28 Fri. 29


Options Music Festival with Sheryl Crow, 8 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $55 to $99. vallitix. com or 322-5200.

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Cody Canada & The Departed, 7 p.m., Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $12.50 to $18.50 plus fee. or call 322-5200.

Movies in the Park, presents “Planet 51,” begins at dusk, Jastro Park, 2900 Truxtun Ave. 326-3866.

The Law Office of David A. Torres Is Proud to Announce the Association of

Monica L. Bermudez Attorney at Law

Monica Bermudez is a skillful lawyer who represents clients throughout the Central Valley. She has conducted numerous court proceedings, including hearings, trials and various motions. She is very familiar with the criminal justice system, and is knowledgeable of California criminal law. Prior to joining the Law Offices of David A. Torres, Monica worked for the Tulare County Public Defender’s Office as an Attorney and as a Law Clerk for three years. As a Public Defender, she was in court nearly every day, and dealt with a wide range of criminal chargesincluding Domestic Violence, Theft, DUI, Forgery, Burglary, Assault, Sexual Assault, down to Simple Possession of Drugs, Driving on a Suspended License, Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct, and many other types of cases. Also, during her time as a Law Clerk with the Public Defender’s Office, she participated in two Death Penalty eligible cases. As a member of those teams, Monica was required to conduct extensive research, write complex legal briefs and motions and assist in the primary strategy of the cases. Monica also participated in assisting Juvenile Criminal Proceedings as a Law Clerk, where she learned valuable skills in handling Juvenile Court proceedings. Her knowledge and experience from working as a Public Defender has helped her lay a strong foundation as a criminal defense attorney.

Monica was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. Her ties to the community run deep. Her parents are dedicated employees of Bolthouse Farms where they have been employed for over 30 years. Being raised by traditional, hardworking parents, Monica was encouraged to focus on her education. She is proud to be the first high school graduate in her family. Monica graduated from Foothill High School in 1998. Monica is even more proud to say that her brother is following in her footsteps and will be a Foothill Alumni in the near future. After graduating from Foothill, Monica attended Bakersfield College. She later transferred to California State University Fresno. Monica earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from California State University Fresno. Monica utilizes her skills in English when researching and writing. Monica graduated with her law degree from San Joaquin College of Law. While in law school, Monica was the recipient of several awards and scholarships, including the Kern County Women Lawyer’s Scholarship, Albert Ramirez Scholarship and the La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship.

FEDERAL CASES Major Narcotics • Search & Seizure • White Collar Crimes Internet Pornography • Mortgage Fraud • Tax Fraud All Other Federal Cases Throughout the US STATE CASES All Major Felonies: Homicide, Major Narcotics, Search & Seizure, Theft, Robbery, Sex Crimes All Misdemeanors: DUI, Domestic Violence State Bar # 135059

David A. Torres* Over 23 years Trial Experience


Accepting all major credit cards

1318 “K” Street Bakersfield, CA 93301 Fax: (661) 326-0936 Cell: (661) 301-0123

KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS You have the right to remain silent – USE IT You ALWAYS have the right to a lawyer – USE IT It is LEGAL for the police to lie to you – BEWARE If you want to leave and can’t you are UNDER ARREST The police have NO power to promise you anything – BEWARE You do not have to talk to anyone without a lawyer – EVER You NEVER have to sign anything before you see a lawyer The police DO NOT have to read your “rights” to arrest you Anything you say CAN and probably WILL be used against you REMEMBER THIS Say nothing, sign nothing, and always ask for a lawyer first!

*Graduate of The National Criminal Defense College & Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy


Summer’s social graces

S By Lisa Kimble

Summer in Bakersfield sizzles with activities indoors and out that still call for civility and thoughtfulness, even if the mercury has melted your threshold of patience. In the coming weeks, the lakes and campgrounds will be rimmed with campers and water enthusiasts, public pools will be packed with swimmers, and air-conditioned movie theaters will be crammed with people seeking relief from the searing heat in the company of Cars and Captain America. Tempers may be more likely to flare with the rising temperatures, and the casualness of the outdoors may make it easy to forget social graces, but these dog days of summer and their slower pace are a great opportunity to teach young people about the importance of being considerate in public and interacting comfortably in social situations. So whether you’ve been invited to a finger-licking good barbecue (don’t lick), not sure what to do with the uneaten popcorn and soda, or can’t remember how to wave Old Glory this Fourth of July, remember, don’t leave your manners burning on the grill. After all, it really “Manners A Lot.” Dear ‘Manners A Lot’ My friend and I are having a disagreement over what to do with our leftover snacks at the movies. Is it OK to leave the containers behind for the cinema workers to take care of? Dear Reader, As summer jobs go, that of movie theater cleanup – especially on Friday and Saturday nights – must rate among the worst! Every employee, with their brooms and garbage bags in hand deserves double pay for having to clean up after the hordes of sloppy and inconsiderate movie-goers. If only Harry Potter’s wand could make the mess the visitors leave behind disappear. Hello HermLisa Kimble

ione — help here! Unfortunately, today’s conventional thought is, someone else will clean it up. YES, someone will, but how wrong is it of the collective US to leave our trash behind in the first place? Our children grumble when we insist they discard their uneaten popcorn and drinks in one of the MANY trash receptacles available from the theater to the exit. In doing so, we still have to step over tubs of strewn popcorn and hot dog wrappers. Funny that baby strollers and purses aren’t left behind, just the garbage! From the beaches to the baseball bleachers, don’t leave your trash behind. Dear ‘Manners A Lot’ What are some important tips for exercising flag etiquette for Independence Day? Dear Reader, According to the U.S. Flag Code, “No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America.” The code, first adopted in 1923, details flag etiquette for the proper treatment of our national symbol. The National Flag Foundation has helped decode the code for easy understanding of the do’s and don’ts. Among them, always display the flag with the blue union field up. Never display the flag upside down, except as a distress signal. If the flag is hung vertically, the blue union star-studded field should be observed to the left. Raise the flag enthusiastically, lower it slowly. Don’t hang a flag after sundown unless you are able to illuminate it. And never let the flag touch anything beneath it such as the ground, floor, etc. Have a question about social graces or etiquette, agree or disagree? E-mail me at and visit me for more advice.


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Bakersfield Life

February 2011

Painting by Charlotte White


Architect’s Rendering, The Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital

Where Hope Begins The Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) brings a revolutionary, state-of-the-art, hospital-based program to Kern County residents faced with a cancer diagnosis. The only facility of its kind locally, The Cancer Center at SJCH will offer a comprehensive option in cancer diagnosis and treatment, all under one roof, another first for SJCH. Become a part of this vital new center — by giving of your time or with a financial donation. For more information, call the SJCH Foundation at 661-869-6570. E-mail: On the web:

Healing Follows

Marci Lingo has been the reference librarian at Bakersfield College since 2002.

Marci Lingo Xxxxxxx x xx x xxx xx xxxxx Bakersfield College librarian connects with students and library goers


By Melissa Peaker-Whitten For Marci Lingo, the path to becoming a librarian was circuitous. But now that she’s arrived, there’s no doubt it’s where she belongs. In fact, it’s as if her entire career up until then had been pointing toward this accomplishment. Her first job out of college was working as a junior librarian for the Kern County Library — she was the first children’s librarian at the Holloway Gonzales branch and also worked at the original Oildale branch. But the negative effects of Proposition 13 soon made her position and others like it obsolete. After that, she worked as a stockbroker for a while, but says it wasn’t a good fit, so she eventually went back to school to earn a master’s degree in English. In 1984, she began teaching English 1A at Bakersfield College and says she always felt that teaching research skills was one of the most important aspects of her job. As a result, it was a natural transi24

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo


tion when she made the switch from teacher to reference librarian in 2002. “I really am a teacher and a librarian at heart,” said Lingo. “I just recognized that as much as I love teaching, and I still am teaching — being an academic librarian you still are essentially a teacher — your role is a little different,” said Lingo. “It was a good change for me, and marked a new chapter in my career. I have the benefit of having a new career without changing where I work, so I feel very fresh in my job, (and the) benefit of being able to stay at BC.” Part of her job as a librarian is teaching students how to discern what is good information and what isn’t — and then how to really access the information that is out there. “Having the resources and being able to find them or know what to do with them are two different things,” Lingo said. When a student’s experience has been limited to a computer screen, they sometimes don’t know how to use a book effectively for research, or how to distinguish between different kinds of searches,” she said. Today’s college library looks a lot different than it did even 10 years ago, with the dawn of the Internet age and the availability of eBooks. “There have been incredible changes in terms of the kind of resources that are available,” said Lingo. “Our microfilm machines are hardly used anymore, but students can still see a New York Times article from the 1800s on microfilm — so even the old formats

still have value. Clearly the delivery of resources and breadth of resources available has changed enormously with the Internet.” Because eBooks are part of the library’s collection, students can view them on library computers or access them from home. “We’ve got over 10,000 titles in eBooks and most of them are PDF files so they look just like the book,” Lingo said. If a book from the school’s collection is checked out it might be unavailable for three weeks, but an eBook can only be accessed for an hour at a time. This means students no longer have to wait around for the hard copy of a book to be returned, which is ideal for research purposes, when you’re not necessarily reading a whole book but just looking for pertinent information for your topic, she said. “A lot of people believe the Internet spells the demise of the library, that it’s a substitute. That’s certainly an attitude that has to be combated,” Lingo said. “While the Internet is incredibly valuable, we also recognize that the world of information, because of the Internet, is becoming increasingly complex.” “The results from a Google search aren’t necessarily good results,” Lingo said. “Young people may be incredibly proficient in some areas, but when it comes to making good decisions and finding good resources, they don’t always have those skills. Many people just assume that because they’ve grown up with computers they know how to research, (but) they don’t.” The library staff shares the responsibility of teaching English 34, a course in research methods, as well as several workshops throughout the school year to help students learn how to use the library and how to effectively do research.

Another aspect of Lingo’s job is arranging author visits through the Cerro Author Visit program. Twice a year, the library works in cooperation with some of the school’s professors in selecting and integrating books into their course curriculum that are written by an author that will visit within the semester. That way, when they come to B.C., students get to meet the author of a book they’ve read. “It’s amazing to see the students respond to meeting an author. We’ve been so fortunate in our choices — great books and people who’ve connected really well with our students,” Lingo said. “The days authors come are days like no other, watching students connect with the author. It’s a really rewarding part of my job, (because it’s) often the first time students have ever had an opportunity to meet an author.” Next year will mark the fifth year of the program. Author Mark Salzman is scheduled to visit in October. In a time when libraries and librarians seem to be undervalued, Lingo said she stills sees hers as a viable profession. “The world of information is so incredibly complex that students and the public need help navigating it. And that’s what we’re trained to do,” Lingo said. “You certainly can’t rest on your laurels and say ‘I didn’t learn that in library school’ — it’s constantly changing.” Lingo said the best part of her job is interacting with students, both at the desk and in the classroom. “It’s really rewarding when you recognize a student has an understanding of something they didn’t have before.” For more information on the Bakersfield College Library, go to its website:

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In its 22nd year, the Westchester Fourth of July Parade is expected to attract 300 to 600 people.

Fourth of July celebrations Mark Independence Day with friends and family, food and fireworks By Miranda Whitworth


The quiet tree-lined streets of Westchester stand as a reminder of yesterday, when our city was much smaller and times seemed to be simpler. The neighborhood between 18th and 24th streets is still steeped in tradition with friendly neighbors and holiday gatherings. This Fourth of July will be a testament to days gone by as Westchester residents will gather for a decades-old celebration. The 22nd annual Fourth of July Parade will kick off at 9:30 a.m. on 20th and Elm streets before the heat arrives. It will wind through the neighborhood before ending back where it started, where participants and spectators are welcome to spend the afternoon. Organizer Jim Ryan has helped coordinate the event for the past three years. He and a handful of neighbors have kept the gathering going. As he said, it’s his gift to the neighborhood that was so welcoming to him and his wife 12 years ago. 26

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

“We moved here from the Bay Area and were very happy we did,” said Ryan. “The first month in Westchester, the neighbors held a barbecue to welcome us. We have loved living here ever since. I can't wait to retire here.” The parade is not your usual floats and giant helium balloons. It’s more of a-do-it-yourself and have-fun-while-doing-it sort of affair. “It’s a walk your dog, walk your kid, walk your mother in-law, bring your wagon and paint your face thing,” he said. According to Ryan, the best part of the parade is seeing the creativity in the participants. Everyone decorates their bikes, wagons and even their children. Painted faces are the norm, along with hats and lots of red, white and blue. After all of the neighbors have shown their American spirit, the parade winds down where chairs and shade have been set up for lounging. The cul-de-sac is closed to traffic and even the Bakersfield Fire Department will make a stop to say hello to neighbors while making their regular rounds. “We have a hot dog cook-off and lots of lemonade and water. There are no politics involved and no advertising. It’s just one of those events for the community to enjoy.” Ryan and his neighbors expect between 300 and 600 people to attend the parade and barbecue, and organizers insist anyone is welcome to come and take part in the fun. For many, the Fourth of July holiday would not be complete without a large fireworks display to end the evening. While public displays have all disappeared, several country clubs in Bakersfield are providing large fireworks shows for its members, lighting up the

night sky for miles around their manicured grounds. Stockdale Country Club hosts its annual Fourth of July celebration, and, according to manager Susan Greer, the event keeps getting bigger and bigger. “A couple of years ago, we decided to get out from under our tents and move things to the ninth hole on the golf course. We did it honestly because of the economy, but now we would never go back to the old way.” Greer said the environment out on the course is more picniclike and keeps the members coming back. Seven Oaks Country Club hosts a similar event for members only. Kicking off the event is a family-oriented carnival that includes a barbecue buffet, rock wall for the kids and a huge fireworks display. The fireworks are said to be so bright that it captivates the surrounding neighborhoods. “People in Grand Island, Seven Oaks and even over at Haggin Oaks can see them,” said Seven Oaks office manager Eryn Urban. “Between a two-to three-mile radius of the club, a lot of people use their backyards to see the show. I live way out

in the Northwest and can see the fireworks from my home.” If you are planning on spending your Fourth of July out near Hart Park, residents in the Rio Bravo area are in for a display as well. In fact, this is the first time in years Rio Bravo Country Club has been able to provide its neighbors and members with a show. According to office manager Sarah Campbell, everyone pitched in to make the event possible. “The club asked all of our participants to pitch in and sponsor the fireworks. The club then picked up the rest of the cost.” The event is $10 to get in, and $10 for an activities bracelet that will provide attendees with rides and games taking place at the carnival before the big light show. Like the other country clubs, Rio Bravo is limiting attendance to its members, neighborhood residents and their guests. While entry to these fireworks displays is exclusive, your view of the night sky is free and clear. Each show starts between 8:45 and 9 p.m. If you are near the grounds, be sure to look up and see the show.

July 4 celebrations Westchester Fourth of July Parade Starts at 9:30 a.m. at 20th and Elm streets Stockdale Country Club Show starts at 8:45 p.m. (members only), 7001 Stockdale Highway Seven Oaks Country Club Show starts at 9 p.m. (members only), 2000 Grand Lakes Ave. Rio Bravo Country Club Show starts at 9 p.m. (members only), 15200 Casa Club Drive Bakersfield Country Club Show starts when it’s dark (members only), 4200 Country Club Drive

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Concerts by the Fountain From country to blues to oldies, these outdoor concerts will make you groove


Summer evenings in Bakersfield — for the most part — are ideal for spending time outdoors, especially as the sun starts to set. If you’re looking for a pleasant escape after work or a couple of hours out of your air-conditioned home, head to The Marketplace on Thursday nights to catch a free concert with some of the city’s best musical talent. For more than 15 years, it’s been a summer staple that’s made people get up and dance. According to Karyn Newbern, the current event coordinator, “We’ve been doing this at The Marketplace, technically before it was The Marketplace. It was just land with a little building that was a design center for one of the builders.” Since its inception, the event has consistently drawn hundreds of people to each concert, where the audience is encouraged to bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on, and to show up early to get prime seating for the always-packed event. This season’s Concerts by the Fountain series kicked off in early June and wraps up on Aug. 25. Whether on a date or out with the family, those who attend will be

Photo by Felix Adamo

By Allie Castro

You are encouraged to bring your own chair.

treated to a different band performing every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. Newbern said that when making the band lineup, she “always tries to get a little something from each genre. I want to mix it up a little, so it’s not the same show week after week.” One of her goals is to mix in longtime crowd favorites with up-and-coming talent.

Photo Couresy of The Fat Daddy Blues Band

The Fat Daddy Blues Band


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Casey Christie

Thee Majestics

“There are bands we’ve had that have been here forever and I couldn’t imagine the series without them.� As for the new bands, Newbern sifts through demos she receives from local bands. “We get tons of demos and calls, and it’s heartbreaking because I don’t have enough time slots for all the talent that’s out there.�

One fan favorite that made its 15th appearance on June 16 is Chesterfield King and The Sultans of Swing. Ken Bausano of The Sultans said that though the band mostly does private and corporate events, they make it a point to perform at The Marketplace, one of their favorite venues, every year. The group brings to the stage a sound that Bausano said comes “out of the swing craze out of Hollywood and San Francisco� during the mid-’90s. He added that the community is what keeps them coming back each year. “This town is really huge in creating an energy and culture. PlacContinued on page 30

es like Burbank have a large summer music series very similar to this inside a big marketplace square and they’ve done that for quite a while. And I think that not only helps the musicians to be noticed, it helps the community realize that there is great live entertainment available,� Bausano said. New to the lineup this year is country group Good Question. The band’s manager Garret Tuckness said the group of Taft natives was lucky to be recommended to Newbern for the series. He also mentioned it was actually on his list of venues for the band to try and play at because of the family atmosphere. The band brings a unique sound and a singer that “people have said he sounds like the singer from Rascal Flatts, but better. If you had to classify the genre, you classify it as country, but there’s

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Continued from page 29

definitely a mix of blues and rock and country. It’s more of a modern sound,” Tuckness said. Another act to make a debut performance at this concert series is Soulajar. While the band has been making a name for itself both in and out of town for the last few years, Soulajar earned a spot as the season opener. Drummer Brian Boozer said the band likes to describe itself as having a “soulful funk and groove kind of sound.” “Growing up in Bakersfield, we had always known of The Marketplace concert series, and I was always interested in playing in it. We inquired about it the last couple of years, but I was always too late and the lineup had been made. But finally, I jumped on it this year and they gave us a green light. They seemed to be impressed with our music and wanted us to kind of do the kick-off concert,”

Boozer said. Other musical talents include rock and classic oldies with Triple Threat, pop rock with The Bird Channel, and of course, a little bit of everything from Thee Majestics and Mento Buru. “It’s a really beautiful environment. It’s a gorgeous shopping center, especially with the lights in all of the trees at night; it makes for a great evening. The music is fantastic,” Newbern said. “We have the best bands in Bakersfield that are out there and you see the ages range from little kids to grandparents.”

Concerts by the Fountain


When: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 25

July 21: Modern country, blues and rock with Good Question

Where: The Marketplace fountain, 9000 Ming Ave.

July 28: Americana rock with Joel Jacob & The Hungry Wolves

Cost: Free

Aug. 4: Bakersfield rockabilly with Fatt Katt & The Von Zippers

Concert lineup

Aug. 11: Pop rock and indie with The Bird Channel

June 30: Oldies, funk, Latin and country with Thee Majestics

Aug. 18: Top 40 hits with A.K.A.

July 7: Great blues with The Fat Daddy Blues Band

Aug. 25: Jamaican ska, rock, salsa and funk with Mento Buru

July 14: Rock and classic oldies with Triple Threat

Artists subject to change

Bakersfield Life

July 2011



Art exhibits 1. Adobe Krow Archves 2. Juliana’s Studio & Gallery 3. Bakersfield Museum of Art 4. Mill Creek Art Walk


Bars and restaurants 1. Mill Creek Bar and Grill 2. Too Fat Sandwiches 3. Mexicali Restaurant 4. Goose Loonies Tavern 5. Nines in the Marriott Hotel

At its new location in Central Park along Mill Creek, the event guarantees a fun night that will entertain the entire family. From barbecue, arts and crafts, to games, contests and a farmers market, everyone will have a blast. When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. third Thursday in July and August Where: Central Park at Mill Creek, 21 and R streets. Information: 325-5892

Shopping 1. Bargain Box Thrift Shop 2. Mill Creek Antiques 3. Log Cabin Florist 4. Emporium Western Store 5. All Tied Up Apparel 6. Mill Creek Florist 7. Farmers market

4 11

1/4 mi.


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

V St.


4 1

5 6






Truxtun Ave. Rabobank Arena

Friday A night when the Downtown Arts District comes to life with the sounds of live music and the enticing smells from local restaurants, as art galleries display new exhibits while boutiques and specialty stores stay open later. When: 5 to 9 p.m. first Friday of each month Where: Downtown Arts District Information: 634-9598

Mill Creek Park

Museum of Art

Q St.



N St.

Eye St.

3 2



17th St.


R St.

P St.

19th St.


Union Ave.



L St.



1 1412 8 5 11 9 10 9 10 8 11 7

Chester Ave.

18th St.

6 13

M St.

H St.

G St.

F St.

20th St.

O St.

21st St.


Beale Library

Train station

Art exhibits 5. Metro Galleries 6. Flying Moose Gallery 7. The Reiter Gallery 8. BAA Art Center 9. Farmacy at the Padre Hotel 10. Art Express 11. 19th and Eye Artwalk (Local artists set up to create and sell works) Bars and restaurants 6. Belvedere Room, Farmacy, Brimstone at the Padre Hotel 7. Mama Roomba 8. Fishlips

9. Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar 10. Uricchio’s 11. Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks 12. Guild House 13. Dagny’s Coffee Company Shopping 8. Ellie Jaye’s Children’s Boutique 9. Kuka’s Folk Art 10. House of Flowers 11. Biscuit Doggy Boutique & Day Spa 12. Jezabelle’s Unique Boutique 13. Girlfriends By Design 14. Curiosity Shop 15. In Your Wildest Dreams


Juicy Burger

The Food Dudes, from left: Kevin McCloskey, Bill Trivitt, Chris Hanson and David Luter.

A perfect 10 Juicy Burger lives up to its name Photos by Greg Nichols

Kevin McCloskey It’s not very difficult to find a hamburger in Bakersfield, and it’s not particularly hard to find a good burger. But if you want to find a great burger, the list is rather small. Ask any longtime resident about the best in town and you’ll be directed to this steakhouse or that drive-up, or even that one car wash. Guess what? The list just got a little bigger. Located in the middle of town, Juicy Burger lives up to its name and it should be next in line on your quest for the perfect hamburger. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, the first thing you’ll notice about Juicy Burger is the a la carte menu, where you pick everything 34

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

you want from the bun on down to the dressing. Since the perfect burger means many different things to different people, this gives them a leg up on their competition, especially when you’re trying to feed a picky family of five or you are reluctant to customize your order and potentially earn the wrath of the kitchen. Customization is the name of their game, but that being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few signature sandwiches on the menu starting with my own. The “McLuvin’” (after my surname, not the infamous fast food chain) begins with a fresh patty of Harris Ranch beef, cheddar cheese, turkey bacon and grilled mushrooms and onions. Top that with lettuce, tomato, Juicy Burger’s cilantro mayo and two nested onion rings (added from my very generous side order), and this Food Dude had just found Hamburger Heaven. For my side order, the onion rings were dangerously close to perfect, but on closer inspection I could tell they were made fresh and not fried-frozen. They were large, golden and delicious. I was ready to top off this perfect order with a chocolate shake when I glanced down at the register and noticed an additional flavor not yet on the menu: peanut butter. Now I come from a long line of peanut butter

Kevin’s “McLuvin’” burger

Chris’ all-beef hot dog

Bill’s “Tasty Trivitt”

shake lovers, and with this homemade, frosty delight, Juicy Burger just topped my best-burger list. I would have given them a standing ovation, but after a meal like that, stunned silence (and this review) was the best I could offer.

truly delicious. I had to practically unhinge my jaw to eat it. We dubbed this the “Tasty Trivitt,” and I am sure the name will catch on. Since I had the diet-conscious chick burger, I decided to splurge and order not only the French Fries but also an order of chili cheese fries. Make that two orders of chili fries because Chris ate the first one. The chili cheese fries are a specialty and I definitely recommend them. To round out my fabulous meal I ordered a peanut butter milkshake. This homemade shake is a creamy treat that is a perfect way to end a meal. This Food Dude will certainly be returning to Juicy Burger soon.

flatter, flat-top grill mate. They serve the 100 percent beef hot dog, fresh off the grill with a slightly crispy skin, providing the snap an outstanding hot dog should have. Oh, and don’t think this dog even comes close to representing the plastic-wrapped, store-bought wiener. There is definite beefy goodness in each bite, which isn’t hard in this quarterpound monster. Having so many condiment choices to dress my hot dog up was fun! I usually opt for a simple slathering of mustard but decided to go a step further and jazz it up a bit with some red onions, turkey bacon, jalapeños and relish. That many accoutrements could have been a sloppy mess, but the perfectly soft bun was the ideal size and kept the whole package together for easy consumption. I had to keep my elbows at a proper 5 and 7 o’clock position to ward off the other Food Dudes encroaching on my perfect Juicy Burger dog. With my hot dog, I somehow managed to scarf down a couple of sides. The chili cheese fries were delectable with homemade chili and twice-fried potatoes. The fries hold up well to the tomato-y chili even as you finish up the last bites. I was glad I had a few napkins as well to wipe up the chili and cheese strings that ended up on my chin. The strawberry shake was just as good and provided a nice sweetness to round out the savory yumminess.

Bill Trivitt One of my favorite pastimes in Bakersfield is hitting up a new restaurant. The newest burger joint in town, Juicy Burger, is a popular choice right now. Located in the heart of downtown, this place is sure to please, and the Food Dudes hit it like a whirlwind. None of us can resist a big burger, and as you can see from our pictures we can’t resist much of anything! I chose to go on the lighter side this time with a healthy chicken burger. They grill a huge chicken breast to perfection and remain true to their name because it is very juicy. I think I used about 50 napkins just trying not to look like a slob. I tried the chipotle barbecue sauce instead of mayonnaise, which had just the right amount of spice and complimented the chicken wonderfully. In addition to my usual favorites (tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce), I added on turkey bacon, grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, guacamole and topped it with a slice of Swiss cheese. So much for healthy but it was

Chris Hanson Hot diggity, dog diggity, boom whatcha doin’ Juicy Burger?! Well, besides providing one of the tastier links that has donned a paper basket, that is! There’s no need to be a kid to enjoy this all-American classic that JB treats just as compellingly as it does its rounder, David’s “DKG”

David Luter With all of the hubbub surrounding this burger joint, I was excited to see what everyone was talking about. Although, I was suffering from bronchitis, this was an opportunity not to be missed. When my friends and family heard where our next review would be, comments and suggestions poured in: Continued on page 36


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Continued from page 36

“Try this.” “You need to go with this combo.” “Chipotle mayo!” Needless to say, the level of anticipation was high. What to do, what to do. Being a confirmed carnivore it seemed easy, but right at the top of the menu sheet, I saw what appeared to be a misprint. I looked up and asked the young lady behind the counter, Michelle, if this was right: “Fried eggs?” She said, “Yes, sir,” and smiled. Instantly, I was taken back to being 8 years old and sitting with my big sister, Paula, at the kitchen table, waiting impatiently while Mom made us fried egg and bacon sandwiches. Let the other guys get beef, this Dude’s having egg, baby! Now that we have a solid base of over-easy goodness going, it’s time for some toppings. I asked Michelle if their garden was well-stocked, because I would be dragging that egg burger through there twice. The basic trio — lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles — had to be included along with some grilled onions and mushrooms. How about jalapenos and an Ortega chili? Oh yeah, bronchitis boy needs the heat. Swiss cheese was a given, as it’s my favorite, and for the sauces, smother it with mustard, chipotle mayo and Tabasco ketchup. For a burger without meat, this was by far one of the best I’ve ever had! If I were to name this beast, I’d call it “Dave’s Garden Killer” or simply “The DGK.” For my side order, it was a no-brainer; sweet potato fries, sliced and cooked to order. For dessert, all the basic milkshakes are covered, but I chose the cookies and creme. There is something about a burger and a milkshake. I truly think it’s hard-wired in us to want that pairing. My wife, Martha, tends to agree. If you find yourself near 24th and L streets, go in, get a burger, a shake, and enjoy life!

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Summertime nightlife Eat, drink and be entertained at these fine-dining restaurants By Allie Castro

Photos by Greg Nichols

Valentien’s lemon tart. 38

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Cafe Med’s patio is a longtime summer dining favorite.


If it’s light and delicious food, refreshing cocktails and an inviting ambiance you crave this summer, put these local eateries at the top of your list. Some of Bakersfield’s upscale restaurants are offering plenty of opportunities for summer fun with fine dining and entertainment.

visit five wineries and have a gourmet lunch at Tobin James.” The bus leaves Cafe Med at 9:30 a.m. with breakfast, champagne and beer served on the ride. For $95, this is a great trip for a Saturday getaway.

Cafe Med

If you’re looking for a fresh summer menu, Valentien has lots of options. “Our menu changes with the seasons, so people can expect fairly radical differences if they haven’t been in since December or January, said co-owner Jennifer Sanderson. “As hot as it gets in Bakersfield, we do really try to focus on refreshing and light items: grilled nectarine salad, peach sorbet, fennel tartlet with warm heirloom tomato compote, light seafood dishes and fruit salsas. (Co-owner) Jeramy Brown plans our wine and beverage list with all of this in mind. He typically features more rosé and white wines, summer ales and refreshing specialty drinks like our lavender lemonade.” Valentien likes to pair its menu with summer entertainment. On Friday and Saturday nights, Mauro Vizcarra plays gentle guitar music, while on Saturday nights, the restaurant screens free films on the outdoor patio.

Long-time Bakersfield hotspot Cafe Med, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in June, has plenty of regular events and special trips planned for the summer. For music lovers, there’s jazz by Richie Perez on Thursday nights, and a variety of live music every Friday and Saturday evening. Co-owner Kathy Brown said she likes to utilize the cool summer evenings to hold their concerts on the patio. She added that while the kitchen is open until 9 p.m. every night, the bar doesn’t close until 2 a.m. on most nights. Happy hour is offered seven days a week with half-priced appetizers and many drink specials. The restaurant has monthly events like wine tastings and appetizers for $25 on the last Friday of every month, and cooking classes (with appetizers and a full meal) for $50 on the second Thursday of every month. For those wanting to get out of the valley, Brown said, “We send a luxury bus over to the Central Coast once a month to

Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar

Continued on page 40


Cafe Med

Serves dinner: 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday Bar: Closes at 2 a.m. on most nights; hours vary Happy hour: 2:30 to 6 p.m. seven days a week

Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar

Serves dinner: 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday Bar: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday Drink specials: discounted wine and food pairings on Wednesday nights

Hourglass Kitchen & Bar

Serves dinner: 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday Bar: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday Happy hour: 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Belvedere Room at the Padre Hotel

Serves dinner: 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Brimstone Bar & Lounge

Serves dinner: 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday (hours may slightly vary each month) Bar: 11 a.m. to about 2 a.m. or close (daily) Happy hour: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Tacos with a Playboy Martini and Mai Tai at The Hourglass.

Continued from page 39

“However, our really huge entertainment event in the summer is our Bastille Day celebration. While Bastille Day always falls on July 14, we extend the celebration an entire week. The servers all dress in costume, we serve an all-French menu, Marie Antoinette makes a few appearances. In years past, we have had cancan dancers, accordion players and even fire jugglers,” Sanderson said. And for those wanting to stay out later on Friday and Saturday night, Valentien’s wine bar is available later into the night to offer wine, beer, cheese plates and desserts.

The Hourglass Kitchen & Bar If it’s dancing and deals you want, The Hourglass Kitchen & Bar is the place to be for a late night. Every Tuesday night is Taco Tuesday, featuring $1 carne asada and chicken tacos, $2 shrimp tacos and $2 Mexican beers from 4 to 9 p.m. 40

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July 2011

If you’re feeling brave, Thursday are karaoke night with DJ Ed Loverr. The restaurant also offers specials on its liquid courage, with $3 bottle beers and $4 shooters. Well drinks are half-off from 9 p.m. to midnight. On Friday and Saturday nights, don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes, as DJ Spoon and DJ C-Note are on the turn tables, with rotating drink specials from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Padre Hotel The restaurant’s kitchen provides summertime meal and snack options. Owner and chef Paul Hurd recommends the tuna tartare, which he said is one of their most popular dishes. The garlic-marinated tuna is topped with guacamole and served with a side of wonton chips. Also, be sure to taste the tuna tacos, which come highly recommended. For a heartier fare, Hurd suggested the fresh swordfish topped with grilled pineapple salsa, or the Caprese salad with fresh heirloom tomato slices, buffalo mozzarella, basil and the house dressing.

Braised pork belly from The Belvedere Room at The Padre.

The Padre Hotel’s restaurants have many events going on during the week to keep you entertained, including various theme nights. Executive chef Brad Wise said the hotel tries to focus on “diverse entertainment, ranging from jazz, rock and blues, and classic dance tunes through the week.” On Tuesdays, the hotel offers Jazz & Martinis, Wednesdays are Wine Wednesdays and on Thursdays the party moves to the top of the hotel for “On The Roof ” night. The Belvedere Room offers new menu choices for the season with entrees that include Pacific halibut, wild king salmon and rack of lamb. For lighter eating, try the grilled shrimp appetizer, summer vegetable risotto or the beef carpaccio. Top off the night with green tea pot de creme or the creme brulee trio. Wise’s favorite pick is “the halibut and the buffalo mozzarella prosciutto salad because I am big on seasonality, and this has summer written all over it to me.” He also recommended pairing a beautiful coconut mojito or gin cooler to complement the flavors Jennifer Sanderson of Valentien from the summer menu. And if you’re looking for deals, drop by the Brimstone daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for happy hour.

“… our really huge entertainment event in the summer is our Bastille Day celebration. The servers all dress in costume, we serve an allFrench menu, Marie Antoinette makes a few appearances.”



Camille BenjaminSchermerhorn Highland High graduate rose to the top of the tennis world at a young age

Parlaying her natural athletic ability and intelligence with hard work and dedication, Cami Benjamin rose to the top of the tennis world at a young age. Before she was old enough to get a driver’s license, Benjamin turned professional and was playing and beating some of the best players of her era. Armed with an infectious laugh and bubbly personality, the devoutly religious Benjamin always tried to represent her Christian faith in a positive light. Due to her immense success on the tennis court and friendly nature, Benjamin’s legacy is secure as one of the best and most well-liked athletes to ever hail from Bakersfield.

Camille BenjaminSchermerhorn facts Born June 22, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio Family moved to Bakersfield in 1968. Began playing tennis at age 6 under the tutelage of her father, Carl Benjamin, a former tennis player at Central State College in Xenia, Ohio. Played in her first tournament at age 9 and turned pro at 15. Won three spelling bees in junior high.

Photo by John Harte

By Stephen Lynch

Camille Benjamin with coach Andy Davidson at the Bakersfield Racquet Club in 1984. At age 17, she became the first African American woman to reach the semifinals of one of the four major tennis championships since Althea Gibson in 1958 when she made it to the semis of the 1984 French Open.

Seriously injured in a traffic accident in 2005 when a tractor ran a red light and plowed into her car. The incident left her with a concussion, torn shoulder ligament and six broken ribs.

Racked up one WTA Tour singles title, one WTA Tour doubles title and ITF Women’s Circuit singles title during a 14-year pro career in which she earned $663,698 in prize money.

Inducted into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame in 2006.

Finished pro career with won-loss records of 262-298 (singles) and 147-246 (doubles) against competition that included Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Billie Jean King, Steffi Graf and Helena Sukova.

Graduated from Highland High School in 1984 with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Played just one tennis match for the Scots.

After retiring from tennis, she received a full scholarship to attend UCLA where she graduated in 2001 summa cum laude with a degree in psychology and communications.

Was the Unites States’ top-ranked junior girl in the 16-and-under age group in 1981. Prior to that she was two different times ranked No. 6 in the national rankings among her age group.

She followed that up by receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to study sports psychology in Germany. Ended up earning a master’s degree in psychology from a German university.


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Speaks German fluently. Now lives in Veneta, Ore., with her husband, Aaron Schermerhorn, and three stepchildren. Currently holds two jobs: One as a family and child psychotherapist. The other as a tennis instructor at the Eugene (Ore.) Family YMCA. Her father was a longtime Bakersfield College math professor until retiring earlier this year. Her grandparents moved from Panama to Jamaica to work on the construction of the Panama Canal. Is featured in the book “Blacks at the Net: Black Achievement in the History of Tennis, Volume One” by Sundiata Djata.



Raising the bar ‘Adventure package’ Sierra crew cab sets a new standard

Y By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Greg Nichols

You can take the girl out of Bakersfield, but you can’t take Bakersfield out of the girl. That could probably explain why I was so jazzed about being able to test-drive an 2011 GMC Sierra 1⁄2 Ton Adventure Package. Like many true Bakersfield natives, we love our trucks. This is oil and farm country, after all, and trucks come in handy for those rugged, but important, jobs. We also like to style trucks for curb appeal. And such is the case with my test drive, a candy apple red Sierra truck, complete with an adventure package. That means this truck came with a new pair of shoes (and what gal doesn’t like that?). This Sierra went from the factory 17-inch wheel to 20-inch custom wheels with more aggressive, all-terrain tires. That’s not counting the 4-inch lift kit. That’s about seven inches of added ground clearance. My short self had no trouble jumping into the truck, thanks to the Nerf bar. A newer grill with better airflow was also installed as part of the adventure package, said Jean Moynier, a senior purchaser of The Design Group. Moynier upgrades trucks with adventure


Bakersfield Life

The GMC Sierra 1/2 Ton Adventure Package drew lots of attention in San Diego and Bakersfield. Here it’s spotted at the Stockdale Country Club.

July 2011

The option of dual-control air conditioning is a great feature for couples who prefer different temperature settings.

It’s all in the details: Five best features of the 2011 GMC Sierra ½ Ton Adventure Package?

Lift up the back seat and what do you got? Tons of extra space especially for transporting work gear or groceries for the family.

package accessories sold exclusively to the Motor City dealership in Bakersfield. The turnaround usually takes 24 hours. “Purchasing a vehicle with accessories already installed by your dealer allows you to bring your vehicle to the dealership for any warranty issues, and any future repairs would be available through the dealer,” said Moynier. A lot of effort was put into choosing the right upgrades. “Adding accessories to a vehicle has always been a concern, but due to the research done by Motor City and The Design Group, we feel that these accessories will perform to everyone’s expectations,” explained Lezley Pumphrey, Motor City Auto Center marketing manager. She was right. The truck lived up to its expectations when my family and I drove it to San Diego. (Had to put it to test in beach country). My boys were relieved they had some legroom space and a plug-in to play their iPod. My husband, being the law enforcement officer that he is, was happy to know the Sierra came with a hidden compartment with key lock and near the driver’s seat. The compartment can hold important valuables when traveling, and guess what? I was able to fit my Canon camera and lens in the compartment without a problem. I often

try to secure it on travels. Always a challenge because SLR cameras are huge! What impressed me more is that the truck was a hit among a few runners competing in the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon and Half Marathon — the main reason for our trip. Around 5 a.m., my husband and I headed out our hotel so he could drop me off at the event. I was running the half. Through the lobby, we met Christian, Melissa and Holly, three runners who had been waiting, a bit frustrated, for their shuttle for 45 minutes now. (Shuttles must have been busy since the event drew 35,000 runners). Anyhow they asked for a lift. Christian and Holly were Canadians, hailing from Calgary, Alberta, while Melissa was from Chicago. Off we went only to be caught up in traffic to an event that was supposed to be 15 minutes away! Luckily, the big truck wins. We were able to squeeze into lanes and get within good distance of the location and start in time. Over and over, the runners thanked my husband while complimenting and admiring the truck, which easily fit all of us. Not sure if they were truck lovers, but they are now, and that makes a Bakersfield girl pretty proud.

Only five!?! There are two fantastic Adventure packages to choose from: Package 1: – 20” wheels & custom tires; 4inch SST Lift; Custom B-Kool Billet Grill or Mesh Style Grill; Stainless Steel Nerf Bars; Chrome Exhaust Tip. Package 2: – 20” wheels & custom tires; 2-inch Leveling Kit; Custom B-Kool Billet Grill or Mesh Style Grill; Stainless Steel Nerf Bars; Chrome Exhaust Tip. To enhance your adventure package for a small additional cost, you can add Rear View Mirror Camera Display, Katzkin Leather Interior or Alpine Touch Screen Navigation System or all three! See sales consultant for complete details.

Mileage and price tag:

15 MPG city; 20 MPG hwy. Due to the customization of this truck, the price tag will vary depending on the model.

The GMC Sierra Adventure Package is perfect for … Any truck enthusiast who wants to look good behind the wheel. Choose a Sierra Adventure package and let your explorations begin.

What makes the GMC Sierra Adventure Package stand out?

We’ve done the work for you! By putting together this package of great accessories, you drive off the lot ready to go! Conquer any destination today while turning heads!

Target consumer for the GMC Sierra Adventure Package?

Any driver who desires adventure and wants to be noticed while driving down the road but doesn’t want to compromise on functionality of a truck.

Three words that define the GMC Sierra Adventure Package: Functional! Exciting! Personality!

Source: Lezley Pumphrey, marketing manager, Motor City Auto Center


Photo courtesy of Ashley Gonzales


Ashley Gonzales

greater, but that is part of the reason why I became a Corpsman to begin with. To use the medical skills the Navy has given me to help my fellow service members, and hopefully help bring some of them home to their families.

United States Navy

Even though I will be miles away, I will stay connected to my family by: E-mails, Facebook and Skype.

Age: 23 Rank: Hospital Corpsman Third Class (E-4) Assignment: Hospital Corpsman Stationed: Balboa Hospital in San Diego

My best military accomplishment or memory so far: My best

Favorite activity to do back home: Go to my little brother’s

sports team games — he plays for Stockdale High School. What I miss the most about my hometown: My wonderful

family. I have been in the military for: Four and a half years. Why I joined: I joined the military to serve my country, see the

world and get a great education. My grandfather’s both maternal and paternal served in the armed forces (one in the Army and one in the Coast Guard.) Their experiences inspired me to join the military and have my own experiences. It’s getting closer to deployment time, any anticipation or second thoughts about joining? No, I have no second thoughts

on joining. I knew when I joined that there was a good chance I would be going over to Afghanistan or somewhere like there. I definitely knew when I became a Corpsman my odds would be even 46

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

military accomplishment or memory so far would have to be making HM3 and going on this upcoming deployment. When I return to Bakersfield, the first thing I’m going to do is: Definitely go and eat at Luigi's. I absolutely love their food. Something I’d like to do this year: I would love to pick up HM2

and finish up my associate degree. Message to loved ones back home: I’d like to tell my mother

that she is my best friend and one of the most amazing women I have ever known. Without her, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. To my brother George, I love you kid. You are the best little brother anyone could ever ask for and I am so proud of you. And to my little sister Valerie, I love you little one. Be good while I am gone and to the rest of my family, I love you guys so much.

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

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Photo by Jessica Frey

Javier Reyes Jr., field representative for Assemblywoman Shannon Grove


Bakersfield Life

July 2011


People to

watch Locals making impact on Bakersfield By Lisa Kimble

One uses her pastry work to help tsunami victims; another is giving a booster shot to the city’s small business development. Yet another is aiming for sports’ greatest arenas, and a fourth is racing to help families with special needs. Mai Giffard, Brandon Martin, Anna Jelmini and Christy Porter are among Bakersfield’s standouts that have vaulted onto this year’s People to Watch list, and for good reason. They are keeping company with a legal eagle, a political sparkplug and the city’s only practicing pediatric nephrologist. Collectively, these local residents are leaving a lasting imprint on the community they call home, using their talents, passion and abilities to make Bakersfield truly beautiful. Whether by teaching teens about the perils of distracted driving, using unique ways to inspire children in the classroom, or tackling adult literacy, these men and women are deservedly on the community’s radar and worth watching in the coming months. Continued on page 50


Photo by Jessica Frey

Ida Tagliente

Ida Tagliente

Continued from page 49

Javier Reyes Jr. Javier Reyes Jr., field representative for Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, is local politics’ energizer bunny. The 29-yearold Austin, Texas native first came to Bakersfield a year ago to do volunteer work on Grove’s campaign. He had volunteered with the Texas Legislature, was impressed by Groves’ rising profile within California’s Republican party, and was eager to cut his political chops. Reyes spent last summer going to door-to-door. He returned to Austin to finish his studies at Texas State University while Grove went on to win the 32nd Assembly seat. By year’s end, Grove was assembling her staff and offered Reyes a job. “I moved here as fast as I could,” Reyes said. It is hard to miss his enthusiasm and positive outlook, which undoubtedly left a lasting impression on his boss. Although still a political novice, Reyes is a go-getter who represents a new breed of young Latinos. He is president of the Kern County Congress of Republicans and is a member of California Young Republicans. Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill are his political heroes, and he credits his father with planting the seeds of conservatism. “I learned my conservative values from my dad who taught me early on to always earn your keep,” he said. “From a young age, my parents taught me that public service is a part of engaging with the community.” 50

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July 2011

For Ida Tagliente, Bright House Networks Multicultural Marketing Manager here, reaching out to the community through diversification comes naturally. “Bright House Networks boasts a culturally diverse team,” she said. “Because Bakersfield and the surrounding areas are so diverse, we want to ensure we are not only showcasing the value of our products, but that we are involved in our multicultural communities in an impactful way.” Tagliente, who is a Bakersfield transplant, joined the company two years ago. “Bakersfield is a very family friendly town. I am able to both work in a multicultural space as well as raise a family in an area with diversity. My husband, our twin daughters and I love going places like Mercado Latino for great food and family friendly activities.” Among her community involvements is the Kern Adult Literacy Council. She represents Bright House as a member of its board of directors. “Our involvement with the Kern Adult Literacy Council spans over 14 years,” she said. “Education is a cornerstone to our community involvement and we believe support of local organizations like KALC is important.” Last year Tagliente was instrumental in organizing the Black History Month Forum. She has also been involved in the annual Latina Food Festival and Menudo Cook-Off and Philippine Weekends. “Sponsoring events like this really is representative of who we are at our heart. I am excited to use my own personal experience in multicultural marketing to take it to the next level.”

Photo courtesy of Cecilia Jelmini

Anna Jelmini 

Shafter native Anna Jelmini is arguably one of the greatest female athletes to hail from Kern County. The Arizona State University design studies and psychology major just wrapped up her sophomore academic year. She says she has finally adjusted to the challenge of living away from home. “I really like it here. It is a good school and I’m on a really good track team,” she said. She is also fresh off the National Championships in Des Moines where she placed second a couple weeks ago. Already the best discus thrower in the country, Jelmini has her sights set on this year’s track and field world championships in August. But first, she will need to hurdle the USA’s outdoor championship events this week to qualify. “I still have to get my ‘A’ standard. My coach says I am right there and it is really close,” she added of the meter requirement. With Anna’s record-breaking performances, which have earned her, such distinctions as 2009’s Gatorade’s national track and field female athlete, Olympic competition will likely come next. For now though, with three more years of eligibility left, Anna has settled comfortably into track and school work and has high hopes for the future. “I really love it and hope to do it after college as a career.”

Photo by Jessica Frey

Anna Jelmini

Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez His face and voice have become familiar presences to local morning television news viewers and radio listeners. California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Rodriguez has been delivering traffic updates on 17Sunrise for two-and-a-half years as public information officer for the Bakersfield office. He admits to having been a nervous wreck that first morning in January 2009. “When the opportunity came along I thought ‘how hard can that be?’ It was one of the hardest things I had ever done,” he said. “I couldn’t Continued on page 52


Photo by Jessica Frey

Laurie Kessler

Continued from page 51

put a sentence together.” Today, his smooth and calm demeanor alert morning commuters to areas of congestion and delay. “Now people recognize me. They will ask me how traffic is when I’m out like at Costco,” he added. “I laugh and tell them it is pretty congested at the check-out aisle.” Rodriguez is also involved in Chips for Kids, a program launched last Christmas to collect and distribute toys for needy children. In its first year, more than 2,000 toys were collected. “This is one of the most rewarding programs I have ever been involved with.” The smile of appreciation from a young girl last December at the end of the distribution tugged at his heartstrings, he recalled. “If you put your heart and soul into something, it is so rewarding.” Officer Rodriguez also speaks to teenagers through the CHP’s Start Smart and Impact Teen Drivers programs. “I’m happy to be able to go out and hopefully make an impact on their lives so they don’t become another statistic.”

Laurie Kessler Lucky are the Noble Elementary first-graders who will get Laurie Kessler when another school year begins. Their days in her class will feel like riding the pages of the Magic Tree House book series. After 11 years teaching fourth-graders at Noble, Kessler moved to first last year, and the creative wizard within was unleashed. Hands down, it was an A+ year she said. “This school year has been fantastic,” she said. “You can be very creative in first.” Kessler hit the ground running. She recreated a willow tree in the classroom, complete with twinkling lights, and constructed an artificial garden. And she’s just getting started. She has even bigger plans for the coming school year. “I want them to feel like they are learning in their backyard or at Disneyland,” she said. “When you pay attention to details the children respond.” They also respond, as Kessler has found, to feeling loved. 52

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

There is a wall in her classroom where she posts love notes from her students. “The key to good teaching is love. The students have to really feel that you love and care about them. That is how you get the high test scores.” Kessler’s unique classroom experiences are enhanced by the use of a microphone. “My academic coach was so impressed with how calm all the students were because my voice could be heard by everyone.” Laurie Kessler is also a writer, whose work will be published in an upcoming issue of the national magazine, Highlights for Children. “The great thing about teaching is that you are also a lifelong learner. Working with kids keeps you young.”

Mai Giffard If you’ve dined at the Padre and ordered dessert, chances are you’ve sampled the hotel’s assistant pastry chef Mai Giffard’s unique blend of artistry and cake décor. The 25-year-old’s magic in the oven is works of art, inspired by her classical French and international cuisine training. “You put so much love and care with the dough. I love the butter and their (French) use of seasonal fruits,” Giffard said. “I like the texture of their pastries, the classic French presentation is one of the most beautiful things to me.” Giffard, a graduate of the International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute in Orange County, moved to Bakersfield a year ago. In that time, her whimsical culinary creations have generated buzz around town. “I love how there is such a great establishment like the Padre downtown, such a fresh, fun place to work with an exciting night crowd.” From a Bill Lee’s Mai Tai birthday cake to a stacked wedding fondant trimmed in edible pearls, her confection art is turning heads. Giffard also collaborates with the online event planning company Ooh La Lux! Styling and Design, and freelances under her business name Noisette, which is French for hazelnut. “I love using hazelnut in my desserts and coffee,” she added. “It is promi-

Photo by Jessica Frey

Mai Giffard

nent in a lot of French goods.” She recently baked hundreds of cupcakes for an event with San Joaquin Hospital, and earlier this year donated creations for a fundraiser for Tsunami relief held at Cal State. “I do have my finger in a lot of pies,” she laughed. “At the end of the day it isn’t work for me. I love what I do.”

Brandon Martin

Continued on page 54

Photo by Jessica Frey

Experts agree that the creation of more small businesses is pivotal to the community’s economic recovery. Who better then than Brandon Martin, the son of the renown Bakersfield Business Conference founder, George Martin, to help breathe new life into the reincarnated small business development center at CSUB as its new director? It also helps that the younger Martin, also an attorney, has a wealth of marketing experience from having worked with his father. “My father has been a consistent supporter and I’m also influenced by his sense of humor and personality,” said 33-yearold Martin. While attending law school, he worked with a small business counseling clinic. “I saw where there was a gap between people’s dreams on one hand and their level of sophistication.” The Small Business Development Center at CSUB helps by offering high quality advice and assistance throughout Kern County. The program has put together an impressive list of business community heavy weights to help with one-on-one consulting. There is also a training and research team in place to guide people through the regulatory maze and simplify the complexities of starting up a small business. There are now 24 consultants at the center. “The growth has been spectacular,” he added.

Brandon Martin


Continued from page 53

At the top of Martin’s agenda is setting up a satellite office in the eastern part of the county. “A number of clients in Eastern Kern are trying to use our technology as much as possible, but at the same time, the one-on-one interaction can’t be duplicated 100 percent.” Martin hopes to do so within the year. “Right now my focus is on creating jobs and helping people start a small business.”

Christy Porter Christy Porter is a fairy godmother to local families of children with special needs. Three years ago, after the wife of NFL linebacker Joey Porter exhausted efforts to find care for their autistic daughter, she founded the Jasmine Nyree Educational Center downtown. “I did not realize how great a need there was,” Porter said. “At first we thought we could fix it. We couldn’t. This was God’s way of saying you are able (to help).” In just three years, the center has outgrown its current location. Last year, the program signed a contract with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. The partnership with the district’s special education department has the potential to help as many as 200 children a day. Already five new staff members have been added, and Porter is on the hunt for a larger facility or location suitable to build. And she’s getting anxious. “I’ve already purchased stuff for the new facility that is sitting in storage.” 54

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Jessica Frey

Photo by Jessica Frey

Christy Porter

Ryan Bright

As an advocate and champion for children and families who have nowhere to turn, Christy Porter can empathize with them as only someone can who has walked in their shoes. “As a parent, you don’t want your child to be a burden on someone else. You never realize how blessed you are until you see another family going through the same thing.” The year round center is one of only two local programs that takes children regardless of their disability. “We deal with every child from every walk of life. I’m hoping we can become a onestop center for families for the special needs world in Bakersfield.”

Ryan Bright Thirty-one-year-old Ryan Bright, a partner with Klein DeNatale Goldner, has been with the law firm since 2006. A graduate of BHS and California Western School of Law, Bright has spent most of his time the past four years traveling for work on the firm’s Quad lawsuits. “My focus is shifting back to more localized cases and away from mass tort,” Bright said. Observers note his eagerness to bring forth new, fresh ideas, and tout his effectiveness in just five short years with the law firm. When he isn’t helping clients affected by product defects, Bright is passionate about trying to save teen drivers through the non-profit program, A Life Interrupted. “I have had friends who lost their lives so the program’s message hits close to home.” The organization aims to heighten young people’s awareness to the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of safe driving practices. Eight years ago, a close friend of his was killed in an automobile accident. Today, a picture of the wreckage is on the Continued on page 56

Continued from page 54

side of the program’s trailer that is taken to area schools. “Growing up in Bakersfield you have a community that is unique in that there is a high amount of teens, but is still small enough that when something happens it impacts an entire community.”

Dr. Nimisha Amin has only been back in Bakersfield one year, but she is no stranger to the community. Amin, Bakersfield’s only practicing pediatric nephrologists, grew up here before heading to UC Irvine to attend college. She did her general pediatric residency and pediatric nephrology fellowship at UCLA where she treated many young patients from here. “It was a big endeavor, not just because I wanted to move back home,” Amin said. “I saw a number of families from Bakersfield who had to make the drive to UCLA, so I knew there was a need.” In her private practice, and in Bakersfield Memorial Hospital’s general pediatric and neonatal intensive care units where she spends much of her time, Dr. Amin cares for newborns and patients with congenital abnormalities. “I also see quite a variety of problems, especially with obesity in older kids and higher blood pressure.” The specialist is a welcome addition to Memorial as it expands its children’s services. “If I can offer some help, that is better than nothing.” Dr. Amin credits her peers within the medical community for making her move back to Bakersfield a smooth one. “I could not have established in a community other than this one where the other physicians help each other and showed me the way. We are all working together to make sure kids get the care they need.”

Photo by Jessica Frey

Dr. Nimisha Amin

Dr. Nimisha Amin

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Bakersfield Life

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Cheers to

Summer! Beat the heat with these refreshing drinks around town By Stefani Dias

Photos by Jeremy Gonzalez

After enjoying a lovely long spring, we’re now bracing for the next few months of sweltering summer. One way to keep the heat from bringing you down is a cool and refreshing cocktail. Always eager to please readers, Bakersfield Life has gathered a potent mix of beloved favorites and new contenders for you to order this summer at local establishments. Let’s raise a glass to these delicious drinks and to staying cool even as temperatures rise.

Summertime Sangria from Cafe Med


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

The Moscow Mule at Narducci’s Cafe

Narducci’s Cafe 622 E. 21st St. 324-2961. Moscow Mule 3 parts Smirnoff vodka 1 part Cock ‘n Bull ginger beer 2 squeezes of lime Combine and serve over ice in a copper cup.

Speaking of keeping things cool, Narducci’s Cafe will have you in your cups with its signature Moscow Mule. A mix of Smirnoff vodka, lime juice and Cock ‘n Bull ginger beer, the drink is best known for how it’s served — in a copper cup. The cup is the key to making the drink refreshing and summery, according to co-owner Julie Shine. “Once you put the alcohol in the cup, it gets super, super cold. The drink is one of our most popular. We have to take people’s IDs so they don’t steal the cups.” Customers were so eager to take the experience home with them that they were even resorting to giving up credit cards, which they would then cancel the next day. Shine said they only take photo IDs now as

collateral. For those looking to make an evening at Narducci’s with dinner, Shine said the Moscow Mule pairs well with the pastrami burger or any of the other hamburgers on the menu. If you’re in the mood for something else to drink, Shine recommended a chilled Rumplemintz shot or a drink with an interesting name — ask the bartenders, they’ll know — that combines sweet tea vodka and iced tea. Shine said summer business really kicks off when the teachers come in after the last day of school. It’s Moscow Mules in the afternoon and mimosas and Bloody Marys on Sundays. Those Bloody Marys and breakfast, which is served starting at 9, are another reason to stop in this summer. “People sleep late and come in and have a late breakfast. It’s all homemade: steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, chickenfried steak, breakfast burritos ... And with the Bloody Marys, we have homemade pickled green beans and pickles. “We’re constantly trying to do something to keep it interesting.” Sounds like they’re on the right track. Continued on page 60


Continued from page 59

Cafe Med 4809 Stockdale Highway. 834-4433. Summertime Sangria 1/2 part red or white wine 1/4 part soda water 1/4 part Sprite Splash of brandy Fresh fruit (your choice of pineapple, watermelon, honeydew melon or any berries available like strawberries, raspberries or boysenberries) Combine ingredients and pour over a glass of ice. Serve immediately.

If you’d like to make a splash with all the fresh fruit now available, Cafe Med has a drink for you. Its Summertime Sangria is a wine-based cocktail that makes use of the bounty of the season. “This is a perfect summertime drink. It’s very refreshing and filled with lots of delicious fruit,” said co-owner Kathy

Brown. With a flexible recipe that allows for red or white wine and your choice of fruit, it’s easy to see why this is something you’d be able to enjoy all summer long. Another of Brown’s seasonal selections is the Key Lime Martini, made with Ke Ke Beach Key Lime Cream Liqueur, pineapple juice and vanilla vodka. With its sweet taste, she recommends pairing it as a sweet and savory combo with bacon-wrapped shrimp or scallops. Because the martini is on the sweeter side, some people enjoy it as a last drink for its dessertlike quality. Along with the decadent drinks, the restaurant is known for its desserts. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Cafe Med is offering a dessert — chocolate decadence cake or New York cheesecake — with any lunch or dinner purchase from June 26 and July 3. That’s a sweet end to any night out.

The Prime Cut 9500 Brimhall Road #100. 831-1413. Mardi Gras Martini Mint leaves 1 1/2 oz. simple syrup 2 lemon wedges 2 oz. Stoli Razberi 2 oz. cranberry juice Take five to seven large mint leaves and put in a mixing glass with the simple syrup, using a muddler to break up the leaves. Squeeze the lemon wedges in with the mint and drop wedges in the mixing glass. Add enough ice to fill half of the mixing glass. Add vodka and cranberry juice, and let mixture sit. Crush eight to 10 cubes of ice in a blender and place in martini glass three-quarters full. Shake the contents in the mixing glass, then use a strainer to pour contents in martini glass. Garnish with mint leaf.

Let the good times roll over at The Prime Cut in northwest Bakersfield. The

is coming to Red Door Interiors


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Continued on page 62

The Prime Cut’s Mardi Gras Martini

Photo courtesy of The Prime Cut

restaurant, which celebrated 30 years in business this year, is known for its Cajun cuisine and potent potables. Combining those tastes is the Mardi Gras Martini, a cocktail that co-owner Michelle Crist said has been on the menu since the restaurant moved from Stockdale and Coffee to Brimhall in 2007. Much like the celebration it’s named for, the martini can pack quite a punch. For summer, “it is perfect and dangerous because it is very refreshing. I say dangerous because it is easy to drink three or four of them. Before you know it, you will have a bit of a buzz going on, so make sure you drink responsibly.” Another tempting summer option is a spin on a classic beverage, Crist said. “Arnold with a Twist is an alcoholic version of the drink named after golf legend Arnold Palmer. It is with sweet tea


Continued from page 61

vodka, pink lemonade, Bacardi Limon and a lemon.” With a weekly Songwriter’s Showcase, hosted by local guitarists Chuck Seaton and Billy Russell, and a rollicking karaoke night, The Prime Cut delivers on entertainment as well as drinks, so if you’re looking for some summer fun, head on down to Bakersfield’s Big Easy.

Goose Loonies Tavern and Grill 816 18th St. 631-1242. Lychee Martini 1 part Soho Lychee Liqueur 1 part Russian Standard vodka 1/2 part Malibu Passion Fruit 1 part white cranberry juice Grenadine Add ingredients into a blender with few ice cubes to froth. Swirl grenadine in chilled martini glass. Pour contents into glass. Garnish with fresh lychee fruit. Serve.

Keeping things interesting is a way of life at Goose Loonies Tavern and Grill, which has a unique cocktail perfect for summer: the Lychee Martini. This fruity and fun drink was inspired by a menu item. “We’ve long been fascinated with the lychee fruit,” said co-owner Becky Katsantonis. “It started with a recipe for an Asian fruit salad. It was just so popular.” The fruit is now the centerpiece of the martini, which Katsantonis described as a fantastic seasonal choice. “It’s perfect for summer because it’s a great mix of the fruit and the vodka without being syrupy sweet. Lychee is an undiscovered fruit. A lot of people don’t know about it. “It’s exciting to introduce someone to new fruit, to something they’ve never tried. And once they try it, they’re taken by it.” The drink sold well last year when it was introduced on the menu, although Katsantonis said there are always customers who prefer the sweeter drinks like the raspberry and pomegranate martinis. Regardless of the flavor, Goose Loonies’ martinis are known for the use of Russian Standard vodka, which Katsantonis said is the official vodka of Russia and will be featured in other specialty drinks this summer. Katsantonis recommends any of the restaurant’s Greek selections — like calamari, hummus and tzatziki — to pair with the Lychee Martini, but also points out the 62

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Goose Loonies’ Lychee Martini

return of “wing night Wednesday” as part of a retro summer promotion. “Our hot wings are some of the best in town. And the honey garlic wings have made a huge comeback.” With restaurant trivia, giveaways and promotions, Goose Loonies will keep the fun going all summer long.

Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks 1203 18th St, 324-9441. Mai Tai 1 1/2 oz. dark rum 1 1/2 oz. light rum

1 oz. sweet and sour 1 oz. mai tai mix 1 oz. orange juice ½ oz. grenadine 1 1/2 cups chopped ice Blend ingredients together. Serve in a mai tai (or 14 oz.) mug and top with fresh pineapple.

If you feel like an island getaway without leaving town, Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks has just the drink for you in its popular cocktail lounge. Served in a tiki mug, the restaurant’s signature Mai Tai has long been a local favorite, although its inspiration comes from another city, accordContinued on page 64

Continued from page 62

The Mai Tai served at Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks

ing to owner Sherman Lee. “We’ve served Mai Tais since we had a bar in 1966. They ended up on the menu after my dad (founder Bill Lee) went to Trader Vic’s, made famous in Los Angeles and Hawaii. We wanted something new and refreshing. Mexicali was famous for its margaritas, so we thought we’d do something with our Mai Tai.” And as Bill Lee’s No. 1 specialty drink — only outsold by beer and highballs — it has certainly been a standout, drawing the same customers back for years. “Ours is a local bar. We have very loyal customers who have been very good to us. It’s a relaxing bar, you can come in and have a good time.” Bill Lee’s “banner drink” is cool and easy to drink, Lee said, inviting some to refer to it as a Chinese Slurpee. Other drinks worth trying this summer include the Singapore Sling and the Flaming Zombie, which Lee said will “put you under” with a float of 151 rum. For those who can start their evening out a bit early, Bill Lee’s offers an early bird special from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday in the cocktail lounge with deals on drinks and food. The special applies to menu items such as potstickers, barbecue spare ribs and fried shrimp that Lee said pair well with the Mai Tai. Whether you’re new to town or a lifelong resident, put Bill Lee’s on your list of watering holes to visit this summer.


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Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Lengthwise’s Beer Sampler


offers you a taste of six of the brewery’s beers: Centennial Ale, Triple Hop Red Ale, Summer Fest (seasonal), Lengthwiser Golden Ale, Harvest Moon Wheat Ale and Double ZZ Razzberry Ale. The sampler “does very well with people giving our brewery a first try,” Williams said. And when temperatures climb near the century mark, beer is a refreshing option. “Beer is mainly water, so it helps keep you cool on long hot summer days.”

6720 Schirra Court. 836-2537. Beer Sampler “Sometimes you just can’t beat a fresh brewed beer.” Lengthwise Brewing Co. co-owner Jeff Williams tapped into the mindset of beer-loving Bakersfield with that statement. That’s why in a list of summer cocktails, Lengthwise’s beer sampler had to be included. The ultimate six pack, the sampler







To help narrow down your top choices, Williams recommends pairing the sampler with fish tacos and stinky fries (garlic fries with Gorgonzola cheese). Choosing your favorite beer may get more difficult when Lengthwise opens its second location on Calloway Drive. Slated to open July 15, the new location will serve its well-known handcrafted brews as well as 24 other beers. Continued on page 67






The margaritas at Casa Munoz

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July 2011

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Continued from page 65 ©2011. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation. All rights reserved.

Casa Munoz 1736 Union Ave. 861-1625. Margarita Equal parts: Gold tequila Grand Marnier Lime juice Combine ingredients and serve blended with ice or on the rocks.

Along with loving beer, Bakersfield residents value their margaritas. While you have your pick at any number of restaurants and bars around town, it’s the version at Casa Munoz that may be one of our town’s bestkept secrets — at least until now. Although the exact measurements are under wraps, the margarita’s ingredients were something co-owner Joe Munoz was willing to share. Most recipes call for a standard triple sec, but the Union Avenue restaurant swears by Grand Marnier. “We use Grand Marnier. It’s the best orange flavor you can get.” The drink also deviates from the usual recipe with equal parts tequila, Grand Marnier and lime juice. That’s the key to making a smooth drink, according to Munoz. “With a margarita, you should taste the sweetness of the drink. You shouldn’t taste the harshness of the tequila. The lime juice and triple sec bring the flavor to the margarita.” Customers must agree, as the margarita, which has been on the menu for 25 years, is “absolutely, hands down the most popular cocktail,” Munoz said. While Munoz will occasionally enjoy a cheeseburger with his margarita, he recommended ordering more traditional fare. “Our nachos are great. If they want to chow down, the chili verde or the carnitas are excellent.” Many people also order a summer enchilada, which is served on a bed of lettuce with a light green sauce instead of the standard red. From the drinks to the food, Munoz said that keeping things consistent is what keeps customers coming back. “We keep everything the same. People find comfort in consistency. We had customers who moved to Texas. They came back 10 years later and said, ‘Everything was just like I remember it.’ “So we don’t fix something that’s not broken.” Wise words as long as you keep the drinks coming.

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Helping parents become eco-friendly Lack of green baby products led to new business


By Melissa Peaker-Whitten

Photos by Jaclyn Borowski

For Stefanie Bye, running an environmentally friendly business isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life. The Bakersfield native said being eco-conscious has always been important to her, but she has taken her personal convictions one step further, by opening a business that not only provides eco-friendly products, but also educates consumers on how to use them. A junior high school teacher by day, she tries to lead by example, showing her students the choices that are healthy for their minds, bodies and the world they live in. She even went so far as to write a grant to start a recycling program at her school. When she became a mother three years ago, this philosophy naturally extended to her parenting. But she was forced to look online to find environmentally friendly baby products. This meant not being able to try the product before buying it. So when she started Planet Bambini earlier this year, the focus was to give parents the opportunity to find out firsthand which products work best for them, before making a big investment. Currently, her business is about 50 percent online sales and 50 percent consulting. Locally, she meets with prospective customers to show them her products and help them choose what will work best for their family. Although her primary focus at the moment is cloth diapers, she offers other products as well, including re-usable cloth sandwich bags and chemical free baby care products. She is currently putting together trial packages so customers can try a variety 68

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Stefanie Bye does about half of her business over the Internet.

of different diapering products and then exchange the items that don’t work for them. “I’m really passionate about their use,” said Bye of cloth diapers. “I like teaching people about them — helping them figure out something that will work. I enjoy the problem solving.” According to the Real Diaper Association, it is estimated that it takes 250 to 500 years for disposable diapers to decompose. Just as people are rejecting single-use plastic water bottles and grocery bags in favor of reusable versions, there are an increasing numbers of parents who are choosing reusable diapers. This literally cuts their household waste in half, according to the site. “A lot of people are willing to change things when they have kids,” said Bye. “(My children are) little people, I want to take care of them the best I can, so I am more strict about what goes on their bodies and in their bodies. And I don’t want them to grow up

Planet Bambini Find Planet Bambini online at And on Facebook at 145675125494706 For more information about the use of cloth diapers you can check out the following links:

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Some of the products available at Planet Bambini. having to deal with all the trash created by disposable diapers.” Bye said she has seen an increased awareness and openness toward eco-friendly living in Bakersfield, but feels that products need to be more accessible to residents. People want to go green but they don’t always have the tools or resources, said Bye. The benefits of the green parenting movement can be far reaching— small steps like buying organic produce and making your own baby food not only result in increased nutrients for babies, but it also helps the local farmer. “Bakersfield is an excellent community and I’d like to see it grow and prosper,” said Bye. She believes buying green products, shopping for locally grown produce and supporting local business all go hand in hand toward being eco-conscious.

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For these women, swimming is not just a warm weather hobby â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they enjoy taking a dip in the Bakersfield College pool all year long.

Photo by Jessica Frey

Allison Duran Biological surveyor for Quad Knopf

Tina Cummings

Alison Hamm

Aquatics director/ health and physical education instructor at Bakersfield College

Fifth-grade teacher at Bill Williams Elementary School

Virginia Cheney Retired secretary


Bakersfield Life

July 2011


How long have you been swimming?

Cummings: I learned how to swim when I was about 10 years old and I have never stopped. I started teaching swimming at Ventura College when I was 15 years old. A few years later I started coaching at Ventura High. I coached all the way through college and beyond. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky; I have lived my whole life around the pool. I open the door to my office at Bakersfield College and I am on the pool deck — I have the best view on campus. Cheney: I have been swimming at Bakersfield College for 20 years. Hamm: I began swimming competitively over 20 years ago when I was in high school. I injured my knee on a trampoline during a dry land diving practice. My physical therapist thought it would be good rehabilitation and strength training. Duran: 14 years.


What is your favorite memory swimming somewhere other than a pool?

Cummings: I grew up in Ventura, so I love to go back with my kids and watch them play at the beach. I get a really great feeling when I smell the sea air. I want them to have a love for the water like I do. Cheney: About 50 years ago, I took a trip to a resort in Mexico. At the resort, they had a beautiful pool that they filled with fresh camellias every day, and my friends and I swam around in the pool every day. Hamm: I went to college in Montana. Some of my best memories from those summers are of floating down the Gallatin River, searching for great swimming holes and jumping off of this fantastic bridge (feet first and in deep water, of course) that was on the Yellowstone River outside of Bozeman, Mont. Duran: A two-mile ocean swim, pier-topier, in Newport, Calif. only about nine months ago. It was one of the most miserable and challenging swims I have ever

experienced because it was the first time I had swam a long distance outside of a competition pool and the water was 60 degrees. But after I finished the swim, I had never felt more accomplished.


How many laps do you swim on average per week?

Cummings: We swim between 3,000 and 4,000 yards a day. Cheney: I try to get in 20 laps every day. Hamm: My goal is always to swim about 2,800 to 3,000 yards per workout, which translates to about 480 laps per week. Duran: An average of 1,520 laps per week.


What is your favorite swim stroke?

Cummings: Breaststroke is probably my best stroke, but I like swimming everything. Cheney: I really like the crawl, but it is the most difficult for me. Hamm: I love backstroke and distance freestyle. Duran: Backstroke.


Why do you enjoy swimming?

Cummings: It is the best exercise you can get. It is low impact and works every muscle in the body. I love to get into a long swim and let my mind wander. It is very relaxing for me. I feel so much better mentally and physically after I swim. With my busy schedule, it helps keep me sane. Cheney: I like the freedom of being in the water. It is the best exercise. It is so good for you and so much fun. Hamm: I love swimming for many reasons. It is something the entire family can do. Since Bakersfield Aquatic Club has a masters program, we can take our kids to swim practice and work out at the same time. I also love the social aspect of the sport.

Swimmers tend to be very unique, smart people — I think it’s the combination of the Speedos and chlorine. Everyone in my family, from my husband to my two-year-old, has made amazing friends through swimming. I appreciate that it is such an individualized sport. You can set your own personal goals and perform to your abilities. Everyone can achieve success. Through swimming, my children have learned that success comes from determination and perseverance. Swimming is the only sport I know of where my oldest daughter, as well as my middle daughter who has Down syndrome, can both be a part of the same team and both feel the same level of success. The final reason I love swimming is purely selfish: the only time I can completely clear my head and think about absolutely nothing is when I am in the water. Every mom needs that opportunity.

Duran: Growing up, I played a lot of different sports. Some sports I didn’t really care for and some I liked, but swimming was the one that stuck with me. Out of all the other sports I played, I had the most fun when I swam. I loved the swimming community and family-like atmosphere, and succeeded in swimming the most. I love it.


Do you swim competitively?

Cummings: I have not swam competitively since college. I keep saying I am going to break the masters 50 breaststroke record when I am 80, so I have to think about training hard at 79. That gives me 32 years to relax. Cheney: I come from the pre-workout era. There were not competitive swimming opportunities for girls that I knew of when I was young. Hamm: I used to swim competitively, and I held my own in the water. It’s funny though, that I can’t really remember specifically what I won. Now, I simply swim for myself. Duran: All through my swimming career, people have asked me if I won when I came back from a swim meet, but it was never about winning to me. In my mind I have won a lot throughout my swimming career.

Continued on page 72


Continued from page 71

Although I cannot say that I have ever won a swimming competition, I can say that I have always, through high school and college, been in the running with the best swimmers of my age for first place and that was always my goal. It was never my goal to win first place, but instead it was my goal to swim my race better than the last time. Some of my best swims were accomplished with a goal to just have fun swimming my race.


Have you coached swimming? If so, what was your most memorable moment as a swim coach?

Cummings: My best moments coaching and teaching are when I see how happy someone is when they have accomplished their goals in swimming. It doesn't matter if it is an adult finally putting their head under water despite their fear, or a high school swimmer winning their event at a championship meet. The rewards for me are the same. It reminds me of what it is all about. This is why we moved to Bakersfield.

a trouble maker. At one point I had to ask her to get out of the pool, so I could talk to her and tell her to stop pulling on another swimmer’s legs, and when I asked her why she was pulling on her, she attempted to give me excuse after excuse. I could tell that she was struggling to come up with reasonable excuses and after patiently listening to them all of them and saying no more to her than “That wasn’t very nice,” she eventually noticed my disappointed look and stopped abruptly in mid-excuse with a defeated look and said, “OK.” I remember this moment the most because my favorite swimmer couldn’t bear to see me disappointed with her even if it meant she had to accept that what she did was wrong. The fact that she wanted to please her coach made me feel special and made me feel like I was doing my job well. I could also relate to her because I always, since I began swimming when I was 8 years old, disliked it the most when I disappointed my coach.


Do you swim year-round?

Hamm: No.

Cummings: Year-round, rain or shine. I actually like swimming in the cold and the rain better than in the heat of summer. When the temperature in the water is 40 degrees warmer than the air, it is a real treat. The hard part is getting out and into the locker room.

Duran: Yes, my most memorable moment as a swim coach was with one of my favorite 8-year-old swimmers who was kind of

Cheney: I swim year-round whenever the pool is open. I love to swim in all kinds of weather.

Cheney: No.

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Bakersfield Life

July 2011

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Hamm: I swim year-round, but I definitely have the opportunity to swim more during the summer. Duran: Year-round.


Describe your typical swimming workout:

Cummings: We warm up about 1,000 yards, do a sprint set and then a main set, maybe 10 100s or something like that and then we do some kicking or pulling, and then a cool down. We get in some socializing in between. Each of us thinks up a set and we decide which one we want to do. Cheney: I get in and swim straight through till I reach my goal. Hamm: I really like to do workouts that work my core and help me to build endurance. One of the coaches at BAC has a saying, “If it’s fun for me to watch. It’s fun for you to do.” That usually means that he’s going to hand out something torturous for us to do, but it also usually means that I’m going to hurt in a good way later. I tend to like those sets. Duran: My swim workouts have certain sets and drills that are typical of everyday practices, but my workouts change all the time. I will swim the same sets as my teammates, but my coach will often make slight changes to each swimmers’ sets and workouts to cater to their events.

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I have lived in Bakersfield for: 28 years. After college I came back to Bakersfield because I missed my friends and family. I ended up finding a great job at Brown Armstrong, buying a house, and marrying my high school sweetheart. I live in: The northeast and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. Three words that describe my neighborhood: New, friendly, and quiet. Favorite Saturday activity: I always take any chance I get for lunch at Luigi’s on Saturday. There are always so many people having fun, and it’s such a great vibe. Plus, they don't serve the burger any other day. Favorite community event: There are so many great events in Bakersfield, but I enjoy Village Fest the most. I always run into old friends who I never get to see, and it supports a great cause. Favorite local restaurant: El Pueblo in Lamont. My family has been going there since I was young, and they know my order when I walk in the door. How I relax in Bakersfield: When I need to relieve stress (i.e. tax season), I workout at Thompson Fitness. If I really just want to relax, I love a day by the pool with friends. On staying cool during the summer: After all of these years, I still don’t handle the heat very well. I do my best 74

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

to stay inside or invite myself to a friend’s house for a pool day. Best place for a family outing: I love going to Wool Growers with family and friends for any celebration. The food is great and they make you feel like family. Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: Arizona Cafe (not sure if it's really a secret). Favorite funny story or memory about Bakersfield: My best memory so far would be my wedding day last year. All of my family and friends were there and it was everything I could’ve hoped for. What I like most about Bakersfield: I love the small-town feel of Bakersfield. Everyone seems to know everyone, and you always run into someone who’s happy to see you or wants to know how your family’s been. I don’t think you can get that just anywhere. Bakersfield ranks first in: I think we should rank No. 1 on the most loyal community list. People from Bakersfield are extremely loyal to Bakersfield and very proud of where they came from, no matter how much the outsiders try to shed Bakersfield in a negative light. As much as people try to leave, they can never stay away for long! The perfect place for date night in Bakersfield is: I love a good concert at the Crystal Palace. I’m a big country music fan and they bring some really great entertainment to a fun and intimate venue.

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Dee Slade stands next to paintings by David Silva Herrera currently on exhibit at Adobe Krow Archives in Bakersfield.

Dee Slade

T By Lisa Kimble

To know Dee Slade, community activist and one of the downtown arts and antiques district’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders, is to first know the late distinguished New York artist and educator Vivian E. Browne, whose affection for the Kern River inspired her to gift the Adobe Krow Archives to a city she didn’t know more than two decades ago and one that remains a sparkling local gem to this day. Browne, a native of Florida and resident of Manhattan was the first AfricanAmerican and only the second woman to


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

receive full-professorship in the Rutgers University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, where she paired abstraction with nature and taught contemporary black and Hispanic art, painting and other courses. In 1973, she founded SoHo 20, one of the first women’s art cooperatives. As a sought-after artist-in-residence, juror and panelist, her travels often took her to California and through Kern County on her way to Santa Cruz. Although her primary studio remained in New York City, in 1985 Browne established a second studio and little museum along the banks of the Kern. Within a few years, she’d establish a charming

Vivian E. Browne

Photo courtesy of Adobe Krow Archives

Steward of downtown cultural gem

building on 18th Street where she planned to house her works. But She’s as much mother hen as she is custodian of Adobe Krow’s the acclaimed painter and professor never got the chance to open its treasure-trove of African-American history entangled with art. She is doors. She lost her battle with cancer in the summer of 1993. She a quiet, powerful force in the community, preferring to work behind was 64. the scenes rather than under the spotlight, a self-described “little “Here was a lady who had no ties to Bakersfield but decided to worker” and someone who is more comfortable talking about the Afdo something about what she saw as a lack of art appreciation, esperican American Network of Kern County’s programs or the students cially within the African-American community,” who have been mentored at the Archives than Slade said. “She knew her gift of the Adobe talking about herself. Krow Archives would become a unique way of Dee Slade hails from the South, having coaching people into a state of peace.” grown up in Mississippi and Tennessee before Slade never met Vivian Browne, though moving to Chicago. Friends say she's never they’d spoken by phone. A year after Browne’s shed the experiences of discrimination that she's death, Adoke Krow opened with Slade as its faced, which undoubtedly fuel her passion for executive director. keeping Kern’s rich cultural history alive. “People often ask if I’m Vivian,” Slade “People talk about New York as the melting laughs. “What Vivian and I have in common pot of cultures, but Bakersfield has such history, is that we wanted to share history with people over 63 different cultures here,” she enthuses. through the arts.” Slade considers the 1996 visits by Rosa Browne, whose works hang in public and Parks and Harry Belafonte to the museum as private art collections across the country, ensome of her crowning achievements as direcjoyed a love affair with Kern’s iconic river that tor and curator. Like Browne, Slade considers bound her to Bakersfield. it a blessing to mentor future generations of all Dee Slade “The perseverance of a person wanting to backgrounds. share what is mainly a cocoon so artists could Thirty-one-year-old Sabrina Burris is one of come in and have an ambiance of creativity was inspiring to me,” those fortunate students. The Bakersfield native began working with Slade added. the African American Network of Kern County and the Adobe Krow Continued on page 78 There is maternal, almost matriarchal warmth about Dee Slade.

“People talk about New York as the melting pot of cultures, but Bakersfield has such history, over 63 different cultures here,”

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Archives in 1999 while a student at Hampton University, one of the nation’s best-known historically black colleges. “The organization believes in preparing the next generation of leaders. Their programs exposed us to opportunities to gain productive skills in public relations, museum administration and the arts,” said Burris, who currently works in development for the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. The term Adobe Krow was selected by Browne and refers to the noun’s definition of earthly clay that bricks are made of, which she interpreted to mean freedom of expression.Today, Adobe Krow Archives is supported by private and corporate philanthropists and provides public programs focusing on the arts, education and public service. “You really do get the feeling when you walk through the doors, it does something to you. Each room has its own personality,” Slade added. Slade has had a front-row seat to the educational and cultural hurdles the African-American community has faced. She views her work with the AANKC and as Adobe Krow's custodian as her life’s mission – empowering people by heightening awareness to the rich traditions, contributions and history of AfricanAmericans and polishing and showcasing a downtown gem for the community to enjoy.

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Bakersfield Life

July 2011


Nick Dunn Kern County Fire Chief Compiled by Gene Garaygordobil How has this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cooler, wet weather affected the potential for wildland fires this season? The predominant areas under the direct protection of Kern County Fire Department are mainly grasslands. Previous years have been affected by drought and grass has not been able to establish itself. With the rains received last year, the grass was able to re-grow and become established. The rains received this year have allowed the grass to become thicker and much taller. As the grass dries out, it has the potential to burn quickly, produce much more heat from taller flame lengths and spread to the larger fuel types such as bushes and trees. Therefore, the potential for a wildfire is very high.


What has been the worst wildland fire in your tenure as Kern County fire chief? Last year, Kern County had four of the largest wildfires in the western United States. The fires destroyed homes, out-buildings and personal property. It was the outstanding cooperation of the California Fire Service that allowed the Kern County Fire Department to successfully protect and defend our citizens from the ravages of those wildfires. Your fire department, assisted by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire and CalEMA, worked seamlessly to fight, control and financially manage those fires.

How can homeowners in the wildland fire zones protect their homes from being burned? Hazard reduction is the key to helping firefighters to protect your home. State Legislation dictates all homes in the Wildland Urban Interface must provide 100 feet of clearance around their structures, with the last 30 feet to be noncombustible. Advice on how to accomplish that can be found on our Web site at Do you have any tips for weekend park or forest visitors and campers? The No. 1 cause of wildfires is from open and unattended campfires. Before beginning your trip, contact the local 80

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo courtesy of Nick Dunn

If caught in a wildland fire, what can a person do to be safe? Preparation is the best advice. Pay attention to media alerts and stay informed on weather and fire conditions in your area. Should a fire start in your area, heed the evacuation advice from the local authorities, gather your emergency kit and evacuate to your predetermined family meeting point.

authority to ensure it is safe to have a campfire and you get the required permit. When building a campfire, make sure it conforms to the permit requirements, and it is contained within the fire ring and void of any combustible material in the vicinity. Never leave a campfire unattended and before leaving make sure the fire is completely extinguished and cold to the touch. How many more firefighters are added during this season? The number of seasonal firefighters depends on the available budget. This year we were able to hire 62 firefighters spread between our helicopters, hand crews and fire/heavy equipment (bulldozer) operators.

possible take breaks in the shade if there is any available. Firefighters carry a backpack with personal items including food, water and energy supplements. But our job is extremely hot and inherently dangerous and our firefighters are trained to constantly evaluate the risks. Do you have a personal story regarding a wildland fire? Last year after we had control of the West and Bull fires, it was my honor with my Deputy Fire Chief Mike Miller to take Congressman Kevin McCarthy on a staff ride through each of the fire burn areas. Congressman McCarthy always has a personal agenda to see what his office can do to assist federal, state and local fire departments to be better prepared for their next wildfire.

How else does the Kern County Fire Department prepare for this part of year? All personnel are involved with regular training activities including classroom lectures, tabletop exercises and real-fire exercises in the field as well as maintaining fitness levels. During the off season, the Wildland Division is busy completing fuels management programs whereby fuel breaks are completed to protect communities identified as areas at-risk to wildfire. Although the West and Bull Fires of 2010 were devastating, the fuel breaks provided proved invaluable by protecting escape routes and homes. How do firefighters stay cool when they are battling a wildland fire, and it's more than 100 degrees outside? Firefighters are highly skilled and trained individuals who work as a team. When working they are able to rotate arduous tasks, and when

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Get your motor runnin’ Bakersfield HOGs driven to support community

Members of the local HOG chapter, back row from left: Ralph Sanchez, Val Crawford, Chuck Alberti, Don Oldaker, Randy Coats, Gary Crawford, John “Doc” Mason and Craig Corder. Kneeling: Les Peters and Lance Ortega.

W By Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Holly Carlyle

Whether their mission is fun, community service or spreading the word of God, Bakersfield motorcycle groups get it done with style on their hogs. The Harley Owners Group-Chapter 1580 (HOG) is one of these groups. Led by director Donald Oldaker, a local attorney, the group’s mission is to provide its members with a variety of opportunities to ride their Harley-Davidsons with others who share their enthusiasm and to represent and promote a positive image for motorcycling and Harley-Davidson. Scott and Debbie Irvin through Bakersfield Harley-Davidson sponsor the local HOG Chapter. Oldaker, who mainly rides his 2006 Harley Davidson Street Glide, joined the group in 2001. “The motorcycle community generally supports a number of charities and events. Locally, we have several toy runs as Christmas gets near, including the Bakersfield Toy Run, which attracts over 5,000 motorcyclists,” Oldaker said. “Our group is instrumental in putting on the MDA ride, which supports the 82

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

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Ladies of Harley member Bert Pearce and her 2008 Ultra Classic.

Muscular Dystrophy Association.” In addition, the group supports not only returning servicemen and women, those wounded or killed on duty but also those who have recently enlisted. HOG was instrumental in organizing weekly “escort rides” from various recruiting stations and involves anywhere from 30 to 60 motorcyclists from numerous local groups, including HOG, the Armed Forces Support Ride, the Patriot Guard and American Legion Riders. These riders show up and provide a partial escort to departing recruits from all branches of the military. Another of these local motorcycle groups is Black Sheep, led by John “Doc” Mason, president. Mason joined the group in 2005 and drives a Harley Davidson 2006 Ultra Classic “Geezer Glide.” “Our group’s mission is to introduce Jesus Christ to the world of motorcycle riders,” Mason said. “We serve our local HOG chapter and Harley dealership by being members, fulfilling spiritual needs, and volunteering at events, such as the MDA

Continued on page 85

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run, local toy run, open house events, HOG BBQ, hospital visits, weddings, funerals and counseling.” Mason says it is their mission, which makes them unique, and the community benefits from the sharing of the love of Jesus Christ and all the volunteer time they spend with everyone. Ladies of Harley also supports local fundraisers and contribute to the community by making blankets for seniors during the holidays, doing rides to support a cure for breast cancer and preparing care packages for troops. Val Crawford, Ladies of Harley Officer rides a brand new Ultra Limited, a Christmas present from her husband, Gary, who is the assistant director of HOG. Bert Pearce, a member of Ladies of Harley, rides a 2008 Ultra Classic her husband, Dale, purchased for her on her 50th birthday. “Safety is one of our focuses and providing mentoring to other ladies who would like to ride their own motorcycle,” Pearce said. “We consider HOG a family who takes care of others and each other. I, for one, cherish my LOH sisters.” While all of these groups ride their bikes under a similar mission, their leaders all agree that their efforts to make life in Bakersfield better are an asset to the community. “I don’t think I could choose just one fond moment with my group,” Oldaker said. “Every ride and every event creates its own unique memories.”

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Riding for kids From left, McFarland Police Chief Dave Oberhoffer; Don Oldaker, director of the Harley-Davidson Owners’ local chapter and president of the Bakersfield Toy Run; Kern Community College District Chancellor Sandra Serrano and her husband, Judge Robert Tafoya.

O By Gabriel Ramirez

On July 9, a number of local residents will be making their way to Eagle Mountain Casino, but they won’t be hitting the slots. The trek is part of the first annual Delano-Bakersfield Bike Run fundraiser. The event will benefit the McFarland Police Activities League, Delano and Bakersfield Christmas toy distribution and the Delano Police Association Shop with a Cop Program. Riders and the public will make their way to Eagle Mountain Casino where they will enjoy raffles, prizes, food, beverages and music. “Our focus is to have Kern County motorcycle riders and other supporters collaborate to provide a child with a decent Christmas and in the community of McFarland, a resource to direct young kids in their formative years to engage in positive, character building activities,” said Robert Tafoya, Kern County Superior Court judge. Tafoya, who will be riding his 2001 Softail Heritage Classic with his wife, Sandra Serrano, chancellor of the Kern Community College District, said he recently heard that Toys for Tots would not be working with the community of Delano any longer and that is when the Delano Chamber of Commerce decided to strike out on its own and establish its own toy run. “For the past few years, Delano has worked with the Marines' 86

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Casey Christie

Local bikers to ride July 9 to Eagle Mountain Casino to raise money

Toys for Tots program to provide gifts to the children of north Kern during Christmas,” Tafoya said. The Delano chamber then contacted the Bakersfield Toy Run Inc., which was looking for an event to do this summer. “We do a toy run in December to benefit the Salvation Army, which is the entity that collects toys and canned foods and distributes them to families,” said Donald Oldaker, local attorney, president of the Harley-Davidson Owners’ Chapter of Bakersfield and also the current president of Bakersfield Toy Run Inc. “The Salvation Army has needs throughout the year, and summer is particularly hard, so we thought it would be worthwhile to contribute something additionally to the Salvation Army throughout the summer.” “Bakersfield Toy Run Inc. is an organization that is compromised of maybe 15 motorcycle groups and hundreds of riders who are the heart and soul of providing a decent Christmas for low income youth in Bakersfield,” Tafoya said. “They are a great group of people. They are compassionate, funny and truly care about their communities.” In the process of organizing the event, the committee also discussed focusing on crime prevention projects to steer children away from a life of crime and decided to lend assistance to the McFarland Police Department as it tried to establish a Police Activi-

ties League (PAL). “This PAL program is vital to the community of McFarland. We have so many issues we need to deal with, one in particular is reducing violence and gang affiliation,” said David Oberhoffer, McFarland city police chief, who will be out on the day of the event riding possibly a Harley-Davidson. “All of the agencies that have come together for this event are trying to make a positive impact on the community. To be able to get the money to reach out to people is vital.” Oberhoffer said that while the McFarland PAL program will have soccer, volleyball, baseball and other sports they also want to focus on vocational training like welding, cooking and computer skills. The PAL program will be open to the entire community as a whole and will build on the work already started by the city’s park and recreation department. “David has a lot of plans for the youth of McFarland and needs help. He has experience working with youth in the city of San Francisco,” Tafoya said. “Frankly, I am tired of sentencing young men from McFarland to lengthy prison terms when their lives could have taken a different direction if they had a PAL program and a mentor to show them alternatives to a life of crime.” Preregistration for the event is a $20 cash donation and on the day of the event $25. Riders will depart at 8:30 a.m., those from Bakersfield will meet at Bakersfield Harley Davidson at 8 a.m. and those from Delano will meet at the Delano Aviator Casino at 8 a.m. Donations can be made by check payable to the Delano Chamber of Commerce Toy Run and mail to 931 High St., Delano, CA 93215. Tax ID# 951408195.To become a volunteer contact Adriana Salinas at 203-3377 or Carla Lapaldua at 725-2518.

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Improving quality of life in Kern The Bakersfield Californian Foundation gives to bring about good Name: Tracey Cowenhoven Title: Vice president/foundation director Organization:The Bakersfield Californian Foundation

How has it grown over time? Initially a small, charitable outlet of The Bakersfield Californian, the foundation has grown into a more focused, results-oriented philanthropic venture, entirely separate from the newspaper. What are the goals of the foundation? The Bakersfield Californian Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Kern County. Who is eligible to apply for a grant? Any local nonprofit (or national nonprofit with a local chapter) that serves the Kern County area and is exempt from federal income tax as a 501(c)3 organization under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The foundation has a particular interest in assisting grassroots, self-help organizations that are addressing community concerns. We are also drawn to programs where a moderate amount of grant money can achieve a significant result. Since formed, how many grants or total amount have been awarded to local nonprofits? Since 1978, The Bakersfield Californian Foundation has given more than $1.2 million to charitable causes in Kern County. Last year â&#x20AC;&#x201D; my first year on the job â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the foundation donated $137,426 to a variety of local nonprofits, donating money to organizations involved in literacy/education, the arts, the environment, health care and social services. How often are grants awarded and how can people apply? Where can more information be found? The foundation has two grant-giving cycles. Usually, these cycles are in spring (awarded sometime in May) and fall (awarded in November). Each cycle has a specific focus. For instance, our most recent 88

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxx


How did the foundation get started? It began as a vehicle for the Harrell-Fritts family to donate money to Kern County. In 1978, it was formalized into a separate entity. Xxxxxxxx.

Photo by John Harte

The SPCA is one of the many Bakersfield Californian Foundation grant recipients. grants, awarded on May 17, were geared toward Tehachapiarea nonprofits working in the arts, historic preservation and the environment. On Nov. 16, 2010, we awarded grants to Kern County nonprofits that focused on early childhood literacy. Outside of these grant cycles, the foundation is also interested in donating to organizations that work in areas we believe help improve the community’s overall quality of life. I recommend anyone interested in applying for a grant from the foundation to first check out our website:

Explain the grant-decision process: Foundation staff does the initial vetting of the grant applications, then prepares the applications for the foundation board. The board members meet to discuss the grant applications and vote on the amount to donate to each applicant.

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Who are some recent foundation grant recipients? Our recent grant cycle awarded $61,693.02 to Tehachapiarea nonprofits. A few of the grant recipients and the monetary awards they received include: • The Arts, Science and Technology Education Corp. of Tehachapi: $2,300 for art and music supplies for Tehachapi public schools. • Have a Heart Humane Society: $3,000 for catteries, to aid in the adopting of cats and kittens. • Tehachapi Community Theater Association: $12,000 for the expansion of the theater’s backstage support area. • Tehachapi Mountain Foundation: $10,000 to sponsor a master weaver to help revive the lapsed art of Native American Kawaiisu basket making. • Tehachapi Wind Museum: $5,596 for signage of an Interpretive Trail to highlight the history, nature and science of local wind energy. The foundation is also planning on donating $5,000 to the Bakersfield SPCA and $5,000 to the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelter to sponsor one spay/neuter clinic for each organization. What do you like the most about your job? By far, the best thing about my job is discovering all the unique and interesting nonprofit organizations that reside in Kern County and meeting the people who work for them. I had no idea so many dedicated, passionate individuals are working to make our community a better place. It is very inspiring!

John Owens M.D.

Laura Valenzuela MSN, NP-C www.BakersfieldLife.com89


Central Coast a callin’ Get away to cool spots in Cayucos, Cambria and more

Beach view of Cayucos pier from just south of town as the sun rises over the coastal mountains to the east.


Story and photos by Lois Henry It’s been a crazy, unpredictable spring. But we know with certainty two things will happen this summer: It will get hot in Bakersfield and ‘fieldians will seek refuge at the Central Coast. I got a jump on the annual migration a few weeks ago and thought I’d share a couple of spots I’d never been before. Luckily, I had an able tour guide who used to live in the Cambria area and shared some of her fave places. Oh, quick safety tip: There’s construction on Highway 46 so give your self time and slooow down. The ocean ain’t goin’ nowhere! First things first. We stopped at the Moonstone Bar and Grill in Cambria for an early lunch. It was still a little chilly when we were there, but the patio with its wide open view of the Pacific is, of course, a must. 90

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

After our salmon tacos and shrimp crostini (yum!), we took off for the elephant seal beach. It’s only 10 minutes north of Cambria on Highway 1, just past the Hearst Castle entrance. On the way, tune into 94.9 FM, also known as Pig Radio. It’s a local thing, trust me. OK, the elephant seals are very cool, but it’s always windy on the cliff overlooking the hundreds and hundreds of seals lolling around on the beach below, and it is smelly. So prepare yourself! But, hey, it’s free. There’s a boardwalk that you can meander along as you look at these magnificent creatures. I was there in May when it was just females and babies. In July, the males show up and from what I hear their size and attitudes are quite impressive. After walking off a little of our lunch, we headed back to Cambria, the east vil-

lage to be precise, for a tour of Nitt Witt Ridge, which I highly recommend. Nitt Witt Ridge nearly defies description, but I’ll try. A guy named Art Beal bought several acres of Cambria hillside in the 1920s and by hand built his own poor man’s castle using stuff he found in the woods, on the beaches and during his many years as the town’s garbage man. Beal was quite a local character and his house still evokes strong feelings both pro and con from neighboring Cambrians. It was declared a state historical site in the 1990s and a local group keeps it up and conducts tours. You have to make reservations and they ask a $10 donation. Our tour guide, Mike, was a character himself and quite knowledgeable about Beal’s history and his questionable habits, such as his penchant for “coffee breaks” every 15 minutes. True, he carried a coffee

Atascadero has its own charm If you still haven’t made reservations on the coast this summer and fear everything is already booked, I have a suggestion – Atascadero. Seriously. It’s a quaint little town that’s 10 minutes from Paso Robles, 15 minutes from San Luis Obispo and 25 minutes from the coast. A perfect base of operations. Plus it has its own attractions. I had lunch at the revamped Carlton Hotel in the center of town and was impressed by what a great job was done on the interior and exterior. Rooms are about $160 a night for weekends. The burgeoning downtown has a bakery just up from the Carlton, called Hush-Harbor that you’ll definitely want to work into your visit. Two words: lemon scones. Around the corner is Figood food. It’s a tiny place but owner/chef Chris Dillow makes the most of the small space, whipping up original fresh fare such as the Frenchie sandwich with fig chutney and melted brie

mug, but it was apparently filled with beer. Beal also never let anything go to waste, including his many, many, many empty beer cans, which he cemented into retaining walls and other parts of the house. My favorite feature of Nitt Witt Ridge, was Beal’s use of toilet seats as picture frames. Hmmmm…who would you put in that frame? The tour lasts about an hour. Afterward, you’ll probably need some refreshment. Mozzi’s, formerly known as Kamozzi’s, is handily a short drive away. The bar has been cleaned up and remodeled from its former “dive” days. But, don’t fear, it still has more than enough “cowboy” in it. As we headed south to Cayucos, we had to stop at the picturesque town of Harmony to visit the Harmony Cellars and various

Atascadero’s historic rotunda administration building is under restoration. on focaccia bread. Mmmmm! And don’t get me started on the artichoke heart melt. They aren’t kidding about the “good food” part of their name. And this may sound weird for a “trip to the coast” but you have got to stop in at the new Galaxy Theater. Sure it has lots of screens, but even better, it has “D-Box” seats that jiggle and bounce around in concert with what’s happening on the screen to give you a true up close and personal movie experience. And the best part, the Galaxy has a VIP lounge that serves drinks, real. It’s comfortable and soothing, no screaming kids or angsty teens. Great for a night out with the adults! Speaking of nice evenings, we scooted over to Santa Margarita (also close by) for dinner at The Range restaurant, another locals-in-theknow kind of place. The salads are all unique and big enough to share by two and while all the food was great, I highly recommend the steak. And they have a really nice selection of interesting local wines that you won’t find in any chain restaurants. If that isn’t enough to entice you, Atascadero even has a little zoo next to a lake and park where they have barbeques and bands on summer evenings. And I haven’t even mentioned the nearby wineries and great cycling tours. Heck, there’s so much to do, you may not even make it to the coast! (OK, maybe one day.)

Continued on page 92


Continued from page 91

artist’s shops. It’s always fun and, besides we could all use a little more Harmony in our lives, right? On to Cayucos, which is fast becoming my favorite central coast town. After checking in to the aptly named On the Beach (it is right on the beach!) bed and breakfast and indulging in some of their scrumptious appetizers (the breakfast was lemon ricotta pancakes by the way…deee-lish), we headed out. Duckie’s Clam Chowder, right next to the pier, is great for a relaxed dinner whether you want just a salad or a full seafood fest, and the food is always good. I love the laidback vibe in Cayucos. Of course, the beach is wonderful, perfect for long walks and beach combing. There’s no carnival atmosphere, it’s not stuffy, and everyone makes you feel like you’re a welcome friend. Oh, and did I mention the Brown Butter Cookie Company is there? The cookies are all hand rolled and made right there. Owners and sisters Christa Hozi and Traci Nickson are on hand to make sure everything is up to their high standards. Whether you get the espresso, chocolate, whiskey or original (my personal weakness), you won’t soon forget the taste of these sweet, salty shortbread delights. Only one place in Bakersfield sells them, Imbibe, which is lucky for me or I’d need a crane to hoist me out of bed!

Nitt Witt Ridge tour guide Mike shows off one of the strange home’s more interesting features.

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Bakersfield Life

July 2011


Premier Realty Adoree Roberson

How and when did Premier Realty get started? At the time, we were in the construction business. I had my realtor’s license since 1978. My son Joe decided to get his broker’s license in 1989 when he turned 21. That was the beginning of Roberson Real Estate currently Premier Realty. hat sets your business apart from others in this industry? My son Joe and I own the company together. My mother and father were born here to French immigrants, so we represent three generations born in Bakersfield. We’ve never lived anywhere else. Our family values are based on faith, honor and integrity. We have a commitment to give back to the community that has been so generous to us. We have been blessed to attract realtors that share our values. Some have been with us for over 20 years. They represent specialists in all areas of real estate and they share our belief in providing outstanding service to their clients. As a company, we give a percentage of all commissions to local charities at Christmas. 94

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Paris Davis

Address: 3977 Coffee Road, Suite C Phone number: 588-6600 Website: E-mail:

Our office has been very supportive of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors and we volunteer on several committees. I’m also an active member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. What are some aspects about your job that you enjoy? I’ve always been proud to be a part of the real estate profession. It’s a privilege to live in a country where the right to own property is protected by our constitution. I look forward to coming to our office every day because of the people who are here that share our values. They truly care for their clients and work very hard to serve them. That includes our realtors and our support staff. They are our friends and a part of our extended family. Although I’m past the age of retirement, I pray that I can continue to

be a part of Premier Realty. You were instrumental in bringing the first St. Jude Dream Home to Bakersfield, what other community projects have you been involved in? I’m on the executive board of the Mendiburu Magic Foundation, which aids local families whose children are afflicted with catastrophic or life threatening illnesses. As a member of the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary, I’ve been involved in many community service projects. We also support the Active 20/30 club and the Women’s 20/30 Club with their community events. What are your future plans for Premier Realty? In the future, Joe and I hope to continue to build on our foundation of serving the people in Kern County, our home.

“Integrity isn’t Expensive, It’s Priceless”

Adoree Roberson – Owner/Manager

Kym Plivelich

Lea Bush

Terrie L. Brown

Kathy Keener

Eva Martinez

Marvin Bush

Sonia Sides

Debi Roberson

Lezlie Chaffin

Richard Rivera

Ronda Chaffin

Bob Levesque

Grant Armstrong

Leann Newfield

Beth Shanley

Penny Boeman

Joyce Hanson

Stacy Harrison

Louie Gregorio

Rhonda Lewis

Diana Aronson

Dottie Patterson

Kamri Roberson

Judy Smith

Cathie Paulovitz

Sang Dang

Gayle Hafenstein

Karen Vanderhurst

Tammy Gatson

Jeanie Gray

Jackie Putman

Amy Short

Joe Roberson – Owner/Broker

Dedication… “To our agents and our clients” Loyalty… “From our agents and our clients” Service… “Unparalleled”

“We’re Not National, We’re Your Neighbors” Not a franchise company

3977 Coffee Road, Ste. C • (Behind Chicago Title)


Rhonda Anderson

Lois Brehmer

Photo courtesy of Henley’s Photo


Henley’s staff, from left: David, Larissa, Brent, Sherrie, Morgan, Cathy and Jimmy.

Henley’s Photo Address: 2000 H St. Phone number: 324-9484 Website: E-mail: Henley’s is a longtime Bakersfield institution. When did it first open and how did you come into the business? Henley's has been a Bakersfield landmark for over 60 years. Formerly known as Dorman Photo, Henley’s has been serving Kern County since 1948. In October 2010, Craig Neville purchased Henley’s with the hopes of re-instituting photography as a Bakersfield passion. The photography business has gone though major changes recently. What is Henley’s doing to keep up with these changes? Henley's has gone through major changes in the last six months. While there has been a floor-to-ceiling remodel, we understand that this doesn't help our 96

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

customers take better pictures; it simply makes their shopping experience more pleasant. Having a completely new vibe, we have and are introducing new and exciting products to help serve our customers photographic needs. What does Henley’s offer that your competitors do not? At Henley's we pride ourselves on our ability to serve our customers. We like to say that “we want you to come back” and so we do our best to make that happen. We also offer a variety of photography classes, as well as a rentable studio, classroom and darkroom. What is your favorite part of your job? If I had to choose a favorite, I would have to say that it is seeing life breathed back into a passion that some say is dying. Photography is the ability to capture a moment in time, and I love being able to say that Henley's has aided in seizing that moment. What are your future plans for the store? At Henley’s we will continue to develop. We have big future plans for services that we will offer our customers. We are ever-changing, stop by and see us!


Address: 6600 District Blvd. Phone number: 617-6117 Website: E-mail: How did Proforma get started and why did you decide to enter the Bakersfield market? When I came across Proforma, I was a general manger/marketing director of a local company in charge of buying promo items, stationery, business forms, brochures and apparel. I used a different company for every product we needed, and I wasted so much time and energy trying to find a vendor to do each project. I fought to keep our brand consistent from job to job. I felt it would be beneficial for other marketing and human resource managers to have true one-stop shopping for their graphic communication needs, which wasn’t currently offered by any local companies. Having grown up in Bakersfield, I felt this community would embrace the concept of utilizing a single source supplier for anything their logo or brand would touch. Explain what services Proforma offers. Proforma Progressive Marketing offers marketing communications solutions through direct marketing services, commercial printing, promotional products, business documents and eCommerce solutions, such as online company stores and safety programs. We help companies stand apart from the competition by 98

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Christopher O’Brien

Proforma Progressive Marketing offering innovative marketing and branding solutions.

What sets you apart from your competitors? Proforma Progressive Marketing allows customers to utilize one supplier to fulfill all their graphic communication needs. As part of the Proforma Network of more than 700 independent offices throughout North America, Proforma Progressive Marketing has a plethora of resources and is backed by a proven system. We provide local service with nationwide price discounts for our clients due to the overall volume we produce. Proforma has received numerous awards and is recognized as one of the top five largest companies in our industry. Proforma Progressive Marketing has 2 locations to better serve businesses in the Bakersfield and San Diego areas. To keep up with the growing demands of customers in the Bakersfield market, we’ve recently moved into a new 15,000 square foot facility and now have over 2,400 square feet of showroom, which is one of the largest in the valley. What changes do you see for Proforma in the future? The marketing services industry is constantly evolving. Right now technology, social media and eCommerce are hot topics in the industry. We have to be constantly adapting to the changing environment to keep up with the current trends. I could also see the size of our business increasing over time. We’ve recently hired two additional sales representatives and as business continues to grow, we will also expand to fulfill our customers’ needs.


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Bakersfield Life

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Show her how much you love her. 1.14 carat in 14K white gold. Was $5,400, now $3,875. Custom-made by RobsonEilers at The Marketplace, 665-0411,

Robson-Eilers Jewelers

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$11 to $35. Visit Full Bloom for the finest in permanent botanicals! 4909 Stockdale Highway. 831-1751. Open Tuesday to Saturday.

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Sam Edelman cleverly combines a youthful outlook with a wordly sensibility. Available in three colors: black, gold or silver. Fashionista, Boutique at the Fox, 2007 H St. 327-4466.

Feather locks are all the rage with the ladies, they are now available for your dogs. Puppylocks are available at Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa. 1617 19th St. 321-9602.

Biscuits Boutique and Doggy Spa

Little Divaz

We now have a “Little Divaz” section. Through July 31, everything in the section is 15 percent to 30 percent off!  On the corner of Coffee and Hageman in the Vons center. 679-7278.

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St. Philip the Apostle Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon May 10 Held at Guild House Photos by Barbara Lomas View these photos and more online at

Monsignor Ronald Swett (center) and Pinky and Bill Holbrook

Tom and Bonne Steele


Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Gordon Fisher, Carole Hochstatter, and Father Ivan Hernandez Melchor

Sally McNally and Gloria Pina-Acuna

Rosa Gaspar-Stresino, Lynne Eid and Gerri and John Lynch

Mary Banducci and Barbara and Richard Mervau

Mary Bella and Jesse Salazar

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Boys & Girls Club 45th Anniversary Bash June 10 Held at Armstrong Youth Center Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Demani Witherspoon and Sydney Lee

Maria Olmos and Kerrianne Escobedo

Michael Martinez and Curtis Trofton

Zarryah Chapman and Breana Fregoso

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Bakersfield Life

July 2011

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CAPTURE KERN features the best of our county photos, and you are in control. These photos were submitted in Capture Kern County’s People categories, sponsored by Motor CIty Buick|GMC|Lexus. Start shaping the CAPTURE KERN contest by visiting to upload your own photos or to vote on others. It’s free, easy and fun.



Community Action Partnership of Kern Humanitarian Awards Banquet May 13 Held at Seven Oaks Country Club Photos by Martin Ramirez View these photos and more online at Charlie Rodriguez and Don Bynum

Corrine Coats, Jerry Meade and Abby Tomlinson

Deborah and Steven Steagall

Fuchsia Ward and Freddie Ward

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Bakersfield Life

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Proforma Progressive Marketing open house June 8 Held at Proforma Photos by Henry A. Barrios View these photos and more online at

Chris Bushby, Lynette Bushby and Jeff Aguilera

Christina Kennedy, Cat Rayhill and Shelley Juhl-O'Brien

Brandon Kennedy and Mike Dunn

Adam Brauer and Sasha Pirrie

Jenna Hale and Julie Doris

Kim Dixon and Andrea Beard

Isaac Hedgemon and Joel Davis

Tarot Card, Palm & Psychic Readings Available 327 S. CHESTER AVENUE *One person with this ad. 107

Kern County Veterans Memorial Grove of Honor Tree Planting May 21 Held at Hart Park Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at

Stefanaine Zaragoza and Gerardo Romo Jr.

Dave Gilman and Deb Johnson

Lester Asterburn, Richard Sheffield and Wilford Bummer

Tammy and Richard Sheffield

Dave Foley and Jose Cortes


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Bakersfield Life

July 2011

JERRY HERNANDEZ 661-331-5952 Hablo Espa単ol

Jose Gutierrez, Roberto Nunez and Ulises Aldrete

Fallen Heroes Night May 26 Held at Luigi’s Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at

Cpl. Gutierrez and Lance Cpl. Villa

Patrick and Robin Paggi

Paul Perez and Joe Serrano

Dorene Ruiz and Tish Risenhoover

Alissa Carlson and Wendy Armijo

Kids can now learn how to play golf the FUN and successful way! SNAG contains all the elements of golf but in a modified form. It allows for full shots, pitching, chipping, and putting.

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Music School Voted Best Music Lessons by 97.7 The Breeze Radio Station In The Mom’s Choice Awards! • Music & Movement Classes (Ages 16m-4) • Group Piano Classes (PreK-12 Years)

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Team Tigerfight Charity Night June 11 Held at Luigiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Tracie Glennon and Kristen Leonard

Kevin and Laura Fahey and John Wilson

Holly, Ryan and Chris Wilson

Garrett Brown and Beau Redstone

Jaelyn Cooper, Marlene Virrey, Lisa Cooper and Dawni Fauke

Egan Gost, Mike Van Boening, Marilyn Wilson and Mark Matsumoto

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July 2011






1 Robert Woods 2 Tim Chong 3 Tarah Condit 4 William Steck




CAPTURE KERN features the best of our county photos, and you are in control. These photos were submitted in Capture Kern County’s Artistic categories, sponsored by Klassen. Start shaping the CAPTURE KERN contest by visiting to upload your own photos or to vote on others. It’s free, easy and fun.



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HALT Rescue 5K Run June 4 Held at Yokuts Park Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at Aaron Perlman and Doug Ashurst

Tom and Patty Boles with Cupcake

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Scott, Kim, Jeremiah and Kira Haidze with Rocky, Tyler Bassett and Joshua Haidze

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mixer June 10 Held at Golden West Casino Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at Jeff Hentges and Art Duran

Gloria and Robert Flores

Andres Herrera and Candy Caceres

Marvela Pacheco and Dr. Ricardo Diaz-Canedo

Mike Broida, Lucas Maximiliano and Matthew Molina

Donna Hermann, Shirley Franco and Sylvia Picazo

Ray Mish, Twana Jones and Risto Rubio



Jay Tamsi President/CEO, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Biggest accomplishment Owning a small business. Best part of my job: As president/CEO of KCHCC, it would be the involvement with community, along with working with our members of the chamber to meet the challenges of owning a business. I am passionate about helping others prosper and meeting their goals. I also like working with other organizations in the community and maintaining a business relationship. My plans for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce include: Increase membership and business workshops. I would like to create innovative business classes and programs that will assist our members and boost economic development in Kern County. Best piece of advice someone has given me: Have faith in God; everything else will fall into place. Something few people know about me: When I get a chance, I enjoy sleeping all day. My favorite getaway: Cayucos Beach On my bookshelf you will find: The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson My favorite places to have lunch on the weekend: Arizona CafĂŠ, Agave or La Mina on Saturdays and my momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homemade cooking on Sundays. Most influential person in my life:

The one thing that defines Bakersfield to me: There are a lot of kind-hearted and generous people who care about the community. People here are willing to contribute their time and efforts to make Bakersfield a better place to live and raise a family. 114

Bakersfield Life

July 2011

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

God for blessing me each day. My parents for their unconditional love and support.


Price and participation may vary. ©2011 McDonald’s.

Sail away with the new McCafe mango-pineapple real fruit smoothie. Blended fresh at your locally owned and operated Bakersfield McDonald’s.

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FEATURED SPECIAL LEASE: Closed end lease for 2011 Odyssey 5 Speed Automatic LX (RL5H2BEW) available from 06/01/2011 through 07/05/2011, to wellqualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees wil qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $28,885.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title fees, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $28,612.95. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $12,600.00. Option to purchase at lease end $18,197.55. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by 07/05/2011. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/ tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.

Lease the New 2011 Pilot 2WD LX AT YF3H2BEW




FEATURED SPECIAL LEASE: Closed end lease for 2011 Pilot 5 Speed Automatic 2WD LX (YF3H2BEW) available from 06/01/2011 through 07/05/2011, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees wil qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $29,130.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title fees, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $27,390.91. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $12,250.00. Option to purchase at lease end $16,895.40. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by 07/05/2011. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/ tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, and 20¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more. See your Honda dealer for complete details.

4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to Bakersfield Automall

834-6632 Se Habla Español Offers valid from 6/1/2011 through 7/5/2011.

36 month lease


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Bakersfield Life Magazine July 2011