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June 2012

bakersfieldlife.com

Local high schools’ best and brightest ready to

Guide to

Central Coast Wine & Travel

move on Divas dine at Wool Growers

Four guys on the run East High grad finds fame


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Dining Divas

The Divas ventured to one of Bakersfield’s iconic eateries — Wool Growers — where you’re bound to see someone you know. Guest who they spotted?

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College-bound seniors

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

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13 28 30

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Up Front It Manners A Lot Kelly Damian

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

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June 2012 / Vol. 6 / Issue 9

What is your favorite wine? “Having grown up in the Santa Maria Valley, I have to be partial to a good Central Coast pinot noir, especially anything from the Santa Rita Hills area. My current favorite is Flying Goat Cellars out of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto.” — John Wells, senior vice president revenue and marketing “Bottle or box, low rent or high-end, I always enjoy a nice glass of sauvignon blanc. Among my favorites — 2006 Bernardus Monterey County sauvignon blanc. It’s affordable, comes from the Carmel Valley region and is a crisp, delicious pour.” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer “My favorite bottle of wine comes from a batch of Proper Toad petite syrah my wife and I made to commemorate the birth of our son, Dylan. We passed them out to friends and family in place of cigars. Dylan brings us a great deal of joy, and he has aged even better than the wine.” — Kevin McCloskey, contributing writer “Whether I’m in the mood for red or white, I love a smooth glass of pinot noir or a chilled, buttery chardonnay with friends and good conversation.” — Hillary Haenes, specialty publications coordinator “As a recent college grad, I’m a big fan of cheap wine. Barefoot moscato

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Bakersfield Life

TM

June 2012

is a hit with myself and tons of friends. — Myriam Valdez, intern “My favorite wine is Mirassou pinot noir because it was the first wine I ever tasted and actually liked. It has a sweet aftertaste, which makes it delicious!” — Paola Becerra, intern “While I’m not a wine fanatic, I do love ice wine. A lot of people have never heard of it, and neither had I. I first learned of it while in Tri-Cities, Wash. The wine is made when the grape freezes on the vine and is picked frozen. It’s a sweet wine, which is what I love. Because it depends on the weather, it is not all too common. But it is hands-down my favorite.” — Vicki Adame, contributing writer “My 9-to-5 job for the past 23 years has been with the Gallo Wine Company, so my option would be biased.” — Stephen Lynch, contributing writer “My favorite wine is Baileyana’s La Entrada pinot noir made in San Luis. My girlfriend and I went wine tasting together and it was an afternoon to remember.” — Patrick Wells, distribution and marketing representative “My favorite wine is Cakebread chardonnay — I love a good oaky, buttery chardonnay!” — Jessica Frey, contributing photographer

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 Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Director of Display Advertising Roger Fessler Interactive Advertising Director Sally Ellis Interactive Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Marketing Manager Mira Patel Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Kynsley Akens, Sally Baker, Henry A. Barrios, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Michael Fagans, Jessica Frey, Chris Hansen, Alex Horvath, Tanya X. Leonzo, Greg Nichols, Mark Nessia, Jan St. Pierre, Douglas C. Pizac Carla Rivas, Rodney Thornburg, Ron Veiner, Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Vicki Adame, Sally Baker, Gregory D. Cook, Kelly Damian, Lois Henry, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, David Luter, Stephen Lynch, Mateo M. Melero, Dana Martin, Don Martin, Kevin McCloskey, Jeff Nickell, Gabriel Ramirez, Mike Russo, Chris Thornburgh, Brian N. Willhite Interns Paola Becerra Breanna Fields Myriam Valdez Advertising Lupe Carabajal lcarabajal@bakersfield.com, 395-7563 On the cover 2012’s outstanding seniors. For more details, see page 12. Photo by Henry A. Barrios


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Outstanding Seniors: A look back

Editor’s Note

2011

2010

This month marks a special time for many, and it couldn’t be more true than for the class of 2012 high school graduates, who have reflected on the past year and now look to their future where college or jobs await. Bakersfield Life is proud to devote a special feature on high school graduates. Intern Paola Becerra reached out to our local high schools for graduate nominees for the wonderful article written by Dana Martin. This special reporting project, which the magazine publishes annually, means a great deal to us. Months of prep work go into it, but the result is priceless. I encourage you to take the time to read every one of these graduate stories. Prepare to be

Cover photo

2009

2008

2012 Outstanding Seniors Outer circle, clockwise from upper right: Travis Holloway, Jacob Braun, Alex Alvarado, Daniel Ibarra, Leah Moore, Amanda Borst, Laura Alba, Cynthia Cervantes, Wendi Wu, Sandeep Badesha, Jordan Abel, Edward Loera. Inner circle from right: Lauren Wright, Elena Del Castillo, Eric Lopez, Lizeth Del Castillo, Annie Berry, Molly Chandler, Mandeep Badesha. Center: Enoch Chang. Photo by Henry A. Barrios

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

inspired by this stellar sampling of successful local high school seniors. Aside from the graduates, we also showcase a guide to Central Coast wine and travel. I had the opportunity to finally meet Martin and Patti Croad, the lovely local couple behind Croad Vineyards in Paso Robles. Along with the Croads, there are other local connections to wineries along the Central Coast. Read about them as well as a number of other excellent wineries that make the location so spectacular. We also want to wish a happy Father’s Day to our readers who are dads. With graduation here, many of you will probably have double the reasons to celebrate this month.

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

June marks a time for celebrations

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487 ogarcia@bakersfield.com


Up Front Word on the Street Compiled by Brian N. Willhite

What’s the one thing you won’t forget about your graduation? “All the friends I’ve met, all the college experiences and all the support my family gave me.”

“Walking across the stage and seeing everyone, and that moment when they hand me my diploma.”

— Jonathan Chandler

— Characin Whaley

“Looking out into the crowd and seeing all my family and friends there — that would be an unforgettable, breathtaking moment.”

“Looking around and seeing all the friends I’ve grown up with and seeing how the time has passed us by so fast.”

— Daniel Ayora

— Kayla Olivas

“That I’ve set a good example for my children, that they can do it, too.”

“My friends and family seeing me graduate, and my time in the M.E.Ch.A. club.”

“Leaving behind my legacy at Kappa Sigma and how much my brothers have meant to me throughout my college experience.”

— Jennifer Bush

— Pablo Zavala

­— Jacob Gonzalez

“That moment when you know you’ve achieved your degree.” — Brittany Camirand

“The feeling of accomplishment and that I finished what I started.” ­— Carmen Gallardo

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Up Front It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Bernice Harrell Chipman, after whom Chipman Junior High School in northeast Bakersfield is named, is regarded as the first lady of local newspaper publishing. She wasn’t the first woman to Chipman assume the reins of The Californian, but her dedication to the family business in a male-dominated industry made her a role model for many. Often described as a sophisticated woman with a strong sensibility for doing the right thing at the right time, Bernice, the only child of Kern County Superintendent of Schools Alfred Harrell and his wife, Virginia McKamy, was born in Bakersfield in 1887. She attended one of the city’s first elementary schools, Bryan School. In 1897, when she was 10-years-old, her father purchased what was known then as The Daily Californian, a direct descendent of Kern County’s first newspaper, The Weekly Courier first published in Havilah, the original county seat. Bernice attended Kern County Union High School and graduated with the class

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Chipman Junior High School

of 1905. The following year, her education at Miss Murison’s School for girls in San Francisco was interrupted by the great quake of 1906. Undeterred, she remained in the Bay Area. Bernice was a redhead with a personality to match, her family recalls. She married businessman William Chipman in 1911 and became quite active in civic affairs. She served on the boards of the city’s major arts organizations and was president of the League of Women Voters and the Family Welfare Agency. Then-Gov. Earl Warren appointed Bernice to a two-year term on the state Welfare Board. The couple had two children, Berenice and William (Willy).

Despite her busy schedule, she maintained strong ties to her hometown and developed an active interest in the newspaper. Her father, who had served as publisher for nearly a half-century, died in 1946. Her mother took over leadership of the paper until her death eight years later in 1954 when Bernice Harrell Chipman became president and began to make her imprint on the family legacy. In 1966, Bernice was named honorary chairman of the Kern County Centennial celebration. She had been instrumental in the creation of a replica of the Havilah Courier office at Pioneer Village. She remained active in the management of the newspaper and community affairs until her death in 1967.

Short Take

Assisteens will celebrate 50th anniversary in 2013 The Assisteens of Bakersfield will celebrate a major milestone in 2013 and wants past members and newcomers to help commemorate 50 years. The ladies of Assisteens want to hear your “When I was an Assisteen” stories for the big event. This nonprofit group is an auxiliary of the Assistance League that consists of ladies in high school who help others in the community. One of those ways is by running the Bargain Box Thrift Store on Q Street where proceeds go toward Operation School Bell, a program that purchases school clothes, school supplies 14

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

and gift cards for students in need, so that they can regularly attend school. Assisteens members meet once a month to plan fundraisers and work on year-round projects. If you have been involved with Assisteens, keep updated on the 50th anniversary celebration by visiting facebook.com/ AssisteensBakersfieldCA. For those interested in volunteering or for more information, email Marianne Keathley at mtkeathley@hotmail.com. — Paola Becerra


Short Take

Annual menudo cook-off heats things up The Kern Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 14th annual Latino Food Festival and Menudo Cook-off will heat things up June 3 at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Last year, the event drew more than 10,000 attendees and Jay Tamsi, president/ CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, expects just as many, if not more, attendees for this year’s cook-off. In addition to a menudo cook-off, there will be plenty of other great food, family and children activities, and entertainment, Tamsi including headliner band War. Mento Buru, Southern California-based HindSite and Mariachi San Marcos will also be performing. Bakersfield resident Veronica Allen will be attending the event and entering the cook-off for the eighth year. “It’s so much fun, you have to come back every year,� Allen said. “It’s a time for family and friends to come together as well as for

other cultures to come out and enjoy our festival and what we have to offer,� Tamsi said. “It’s kind of like a big reunion for a lot of the families as well. We have families that come from all over California to this event.� Contestants will be let into the fairgrounds early in the morning with the menudo judging beginning at 3:15 p.m. The top three dishes will receive monetary prizes and trophies. However, there’s more on the line than money. “We give a $500 prize for the first-place winner and a big trophy, but the bragging rights are the most important thing,� Tamsi said. “Families really take a lot of pride in their menudo. In fact, I know some people come out with their recipes and their ingredients under lock and key.� The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $8 at the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s office, 231 H St. or at any La Mina Cantina restaurant. Tickets will be $10 at the door. Children 5 and under will get in free. For more information, visit kchcc.org or call 633-5495. — Michael Wafford

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Up Front Short Take

The real thing: Honoring true local heroes It was night for 1940s nostalgia and everyday hero reverence as the Kern Red Cross paid tribute to local citizens for exhibiting daring, selfless acts at the Bakersfield Jet Center Saturday April 14. The Real Heroes Dinner honored local people for going above and beyond the call of duty. Kern County citizens like Anthony Balaity and Eric Fuller, who rescued a woman from an assault by her boyfriend, and Ellen Eggert, for her work as suicide prevention specialist, were commemorated for their actions. “I was much honored to be in their company,” said Ray Dezember, recipient of the Lifetime Service award for his work with the Bakersfield Homeless shelter and additional organizations. For the past 10 years, the KRC has been honoring local citizens for exhibiting extraordinary deeds and conduct. The heroes are nominated by community members in January of every year. Honorees are finalized by panels consisting of participants from the community, with the exception of Life of Service award being chosen by KRC affiliates. This year’s celebration differed from the prior years, with the dinner being themed and taking place underneath an airplane hanger. “It’s always been about the heroes but this year we added the 1940

• Arrive and Drive • Birthday Parties • Company Parties • VIP Lounge

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Bakersfield Life

2309 E. BRUNDAGE LANE

661-859-1294 June 2012

vintage theme, which was awesome,” said KRC Public Support Officer Jennifer Perfect. Winners of the Categories for 2012 included Ray Dezember for Life of Service; Anthony Balaity and Eric Fuller shared the Youth Hero category. Thomas Rockwell, owner of Trout’s, was nominated for Adult Role Model. Scott Boardman was nominated for the Heroic Act Award and Rick McPheeters for the Emergency Service nominations. Educator Hero went to Independence High School special education teacher Kevin Crosby. Law Enforcement Hero was awarded to Andrew Ferguson and Nathan Anderberg for saving a 12-year-old-girl from drowning, and the Bakersfield Fire Department took Community Partner Hero for their fundraising ventures. Zach Skow was honored for his work in rescuing stray dogs, and Health Care Hero went to Ellen Eggert. Fallen Kern County service men and women were also honored. U.S. Naval LTJG David Reis and Karen Reis, U.S. Marine Sergeant Adan Gonzales, and U.S. Army Sergeant Christoper Muniz, were commended for their sacrifice. — Mateo M. Melero


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Up Front

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012


The Big Picture

Front row seats Photo by Gregory D. Cook A crowd of thousands of fans gathered along Panorama Drive to encourage and cheer riders, like Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez Gil as he nears the finish line of the fifth stage of the Amgen Tour of California cycling race. American David Zabriskie covered the 18.4-mile course from Bakersfield College to Ming Lake and back in 35 minutes and 59 seconds to win the stage.

bakersfieldlife.com

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Up Front

Facebook contest

Tell us about the best dad in your life

“My husband, Jeff, truly is Bakersfield’s greatest dad. For the past four and a half years, he has juggled being a husband, father, full-time employee and college student, and he has succeeded in all areas. This June, he will walk across the stage at the CSUB commencement ceremony as our son and myself proudly watch on. He is the sole provider for our family of four and still makes time to volunteer at our son’s co-op preschool (and be the dad all the kids in the class want to chase around and play with at the end of the day). He is handsome, smart, funny and kind. In

Photo courtesy of John W. Farrand Photography.

To honor all the special dads out there, Bakersfield Life wanted to find out who the best dad is in your life. Boy, was this a tough decision! Our lucky Facebook contest winner is Leah Lenk, who won a $40 gift card to The Sequoia Sandwich Co. Congratulations to Leah and her husband, Jeff. Happy Father’s Day! The following is a sampling of our contest submissions:

short, Jeff is an amazing man who is loved by everyone he meets, and I am proud to call him my husband and the father of my children.” — Leah Lenk “My father sold his house and moved four

hours away from his hometown and moved in with us to be close to his grandchildren. What makes my father the greatest is his true love for me and my babies. When I was little and I would get sick, he would take off work and just hold me and cater to my every whim. Now when my own children are sick, he holds them all day and caters to them the same way. He truly has healing powers. He does everything with love, from cleaning off a chocolate face to bringing home goodies for the kids when he does his weekly grocery shopping. We cannot live without him!” — Liz Rasa “My biological father has been out of my life since I was a baby, but the person I call my dad is Kevin Vernon. He and my mom dated for a while and he helped take care of me and my sister. He took us fishing and we spent holidays with his family. A real dad is someone who wants to be in your life and is constantly looking out for you. That’s exactly what my dad does and that is what makes him special.” — Nichole Bridgewater

Russo’s Read

‘A Bad Day’s Work’

by Nora McFarland

Every aspiring author has a dream of being pursued by a major publishing house. For Nora McFarland, this dream came true when publisher Simon & Schuster came knocking shortly after she moved from Bakersfield to Georgia. A former bookseller herself, “A Bad Day’s Work” is the first in McFarland’s Lilly Hawkins mystery series. Readers will enjoy the comic misadventures of Lilly, a TV camerawoman who stumbles from one clue to the next. Kern County readers, however, have an extra bonus … the series is set in Bakersfield! From Lilly being hit on at the Crystal Palace to her enjoying a happy-face cookie from Smith’s

Mike Russo 20

Bakersfield Life

Bakeries, the local references only add to the fun. A reading group guide and author interview at the end of the book makes this an engaging summer read for discussion groups. “A Bad Day’s Work” was released in 2010, with Lilly’s adventures continuing in last summer’s “Hot, Shot, and Bothered.” Her third book, “Going to the Bad,” goes on sale in August. Nora McFarland has hit the big time and she is taking all of Bakersfield along for the ride! — Mike Russo, co-owner of Russo’s Books at The Marketplace

“A Bad Day’s Work” and “Hot, Shot, and Bothered” are both available for $14.99 each at Russo’s Books at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.

June 2012


25 random things you didn’t know about …

Ruscel Reader Compiled by Breanna Fields After 40 years in educational, Ruscel Reader, 61, will retire June 8 from her position as principal at Cesar E. Chavez Science Magnet School. Apart from her career, she enjoys reading, shopping and assisting with local youth-related activities. After retirement, Reader plans to spend time traveling with her husband, Robert, and will continue to serve as a community volunteer.

1

I was born and raised in east Bakersfield, attended East High School and currently reside with my husband in east Bakersfield.

14 I am a clothes and shoe

2

My grandparents, who were instrumental in getting water, lights and curbing in the city’s Mayflower Sunset District, and my parents instilled in me a strong sense of community and a desire to give back to others.

15 I love sports but have no

This year, I participated in several nonprofit events, including Relay for Life, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Walk, African-American Read-In and the Great American Cleanup (hosted by Keep Bakersfield Beautiful.)

4

I am a middle child (with older sister Irma and younger brother Russell III).

5

I am a 34-year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

6

In sixth grade at McKinley Elementary School, I served as the school’s president, concert mistress of the orchestra and glee club president.

7

I was a majorette in the Emerson Junior High School marching band. In eighth grade, the drama teacher selected me as outstanding thespian of the year.

8

At East High, I was busy serving as president of the interracial club and student body rally chairwoman.

9

In 1969, I was selected as a homecoming princess at Bakersfield College. Robert, my soon-to-be husband, was my escort.

10 I have a son, Robert Jr.; a daughter-inlaw, Yvette; and two grandchildren, Belle Marie, 6, and Gabriel Ellis, 4, whom I dearly love.

11 As a child, I attended Pentecostal

Holiness Church. As a teenager, I became a Black Muslim and studied Islam. As an adult, I became an active member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church.

12 Pink and green are my favorite colors. 13 My friends call me “Rascal” because I am one.

athletic ability; though, my cousin, Mike Garrett, is a Heisman trophy winner.

16 I graduated from BC, Oregon

State University and Cal State Bakersfield where I was a president’s scholar.

17 I have been blessed to work with

the most amazing students, parents and staff at Bakersfield and Highland high schools, Bakersfield Adult School, Fruitvale Junior High School and Cesar Chavez Elementary.

18 I have taken pictures with Muham-

mad Ali, Rosa Parks, Willie Brown, Dorothy Height, Danny Glover, George Bush and Kevin McCarthy, my former high school student.

19 My grandchildren call me “Grandma

Train” because I travel by train to visit them in Oakland.

20 My favorite expression is “stretch and grow.”

21 I received the Association of Califor-

nia School Administrators West Kern 2011 Educational Leadership Award and the ACSA Region 11 2012 Administrator of the Year Award.

22 Chavez Elementary has won the

California Distinguished School Award, 2010 and 2011 Title 1 Academic Achievement Award, California Golden Bell Award and California Business Leaders Award.

23 I love sweets, especially See’s Bor-

deaux chocolates. Dewar’s chews are another favorite.

Photo by Alex Horvath

3

horse. I believe that you can never have too many St. John Knits and Prada shoes.

24 If you select a page in the Bakersfield phone book, I can find someone on the page that I know or have conversed with.

25 When I am writing school or sorority newsletters, I do not use my name but refer to myself as “Yours truly.”

bakersfieldlife.com

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Up Front Money Matters

Protect yourself from identity theft If one out of four of us will be a victim of identity theft, why do we think it won’t happen to us? We do a lot of things that put us at risk, but here are 10 ways to stay vigilant.

1 Smartphone users are targets. Keep your phone passwordprotected and updated. Do not store account login information in your phone.

2 Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In users have higher rates of identity theft. Posting birthdates, phone numbers and

the names of your high school and pets are all answers to security questions used by financial institutions. Your out-of-town announcements are a warm welcome to thieves.

3 Pay by cash or credit card and avoid carrying a checkbook.

4 Don’t give out financial information to anyone unless you initiate the call. Don’t trust Caller ID, which can be manipulated to say anything.

5 Analyze monthly account statements and immediately report discrepancies.

6 Check your credit at annualcreditreport.com for suspi-

7 Set bank and credit card alerts. Receive texts or emails when withdrawals hit thresholds.

8 Remove yourself from credit marketing lists by calling 888-567-8688. These are a goldmine for thieves who apply for credit in your name. Removal from this list does not hurt your chances of applying for or getting credit.

9 Make online purchases from trusted sites. Look for the padlock icon on the bottom of your browser to verify security.

10 Shred anything with personally identifiable information.

For more tips and information, visit bacpas.com. — Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@bacpas.com or by phone at 324-4971.

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Short Take

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Local grad becomes 2012 FFA secretary of state

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Recent high school graduate Kelcie Jones became the first student ever from Frontier High School to be elected as a state officer for Future Farmers of America (FFA). Jones was recently elected as the secretary of state at the Selland Arena in Fresno for the 2012 California State FFA Convention. Jones heads to nationals this fall and will compete as FFA California state champion in prepared speech for the national title in Indianapolis, Ind. Jones will present a brief speech on world hunger in front of a panel of judges. As California State FFA secretary, Jones will spend the year traveling to FFA chapters all across America. She will teach FFA curriculum, facilitate leadership conferences, and advocate for the agriculture industry —

all while motivating others to accomplish their FFA goals. “We are so incredibly proud of this accomplishment. It is quite a process and has taken a lot of work to be elected as one of six state officers in California,” said her mom, Jennifer Jones. Jones wasn’t the only Frontier High School student to earn honors at the conference. Hannah Capetillo received Regional Star Reporter, and their agriculture sales team placed second in the state. Equally noteworthy was Julie Beechinor, Frontier High agriculture teacher. who was awarded state star advisor and state star agriscience teacher of the year. — Myriam Valdez


Finding Fame

Celeigh Chapman Early life Discovering her interest in music as a child, budding vocalist Celeigh Chapman took the stage to perform “Home, Home on the Range” during a third-grade production of “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” at Thorner Elementary School. “The stage felt more like a classroom to me. That’s where I could really try things out and perfect my craft,” Chapman said. Upon hearing the performance, family and friends acknowledged her talent and continued to show support as she began her musical career. Although she did not come from a “musical” family of sorts, she continued to train and grow as an artist with the support of her parents and the knowledge she gained from studying classical and jazz music. “I have so many great memories of them driving me to gigs and helping me call the newspaper about my next performance,” she said. As a graduate of East High School, she decided to take her talents to the next level and attend USC where she received her bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in jazz voice. Career The decision to move to Los Angeles was one Chapman would not regret. She currently works in creative licensing for Columbia Records where her job consists of pitching Columbia recording artist’s music to outside clients. Chapman decides which artists and songs will be best for specific films and other forms of media. “I really try to tailor a licensing plan and strategy for each artist depending on their genre and their audience. I really enjoy the challenge of it, and I’m still learning every day,” she said. She’s working on a number of projects including film, commercials, video games and movie trailers. “For me, it feels like a family … a bunch of really smart and inspiring people all interconnected and hustling to make their dreams come true,” Chapman said about her Columbia Records co-workers.

Photo by Kynsley Akens

East High grad hitting her stride in the music industry

Bakersfield connection When she’s back in town, Chapman enjoys catching up with friends at one of the local bars in downtown Bakersfield. She’s also a fan of karaoke night at Trout’s in Oildale and has fond memories of singing there during high school, as well a performing at the Kern County Fair. Her favorite local dining spot is Wool Growers with their popular lamb entrees. During visits she will occasionally indulge in a small vanilla sundae with caramel and walnuts from Dewar’s or a signature happy-face cookie from Smith’s Bakeries. “My family celebrates a lot of holidays, birthdays and milestones,” said Chapman. “We’re pretty big on get-togethers, so there’s always something going on that brings me back home.”

Chapman is the vocalist for Southwestern folk rock group COYOL. The band consists of Chapman and two colleagues, John Isaac Watters and William Gamling. In 2006, the trio formed a band called Still Watters Run Deep, which was made up of 12 musicians/writers who would rotate and play shows in the L.A. area. Due to conflicting schedules, members left the band and formed their own groups; COYOL was created as a result of this. So far, the band has released a self-titled EP and filmed a video in Bakersfield for a track off of their album. “We filmed COYOL’s song ‘Pharmacist’ in Pumpkin Center on my grandparents farm. The crew who shot the video was led by director George Valos, who is also from Bakersfield,” she said.

Musician The allure of the L.A. music industry has drawn hopefuls to the area in search of success as artists or industry professionals. “The music scene in L.A. is unlike anywhere else. I feel very lucky to be a part of the community here,” said Chapman. “There are so many talented people from all over the U.S. and the world who make L.A. their home.”

Upcoming performance Chapman will return to Bakersfield to do a solo performance with Steve Sharp at American Sound Recording Studios June 29. Her set with four to five songs will be followed by a number of Nashville recording artists who will also perform. — Breanna Fields bakersfieldlife.com

23


Up Front My Mobile Life

Jim Luff He’s a man who wears many hats. Not only is Jim Luff the general manager at The Limousine Scene, but he’s president of two local nonprofits — Kern Partnership for Children and Families

and Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment. Luff is one busy man, working on charity events and managing the largest and oldest limo company in Kern County, but he still finds a way to keep organized, which his iPhone 3 helps him achieve.

Photos by Henry A. Barrios

Compiled by Paola Becerra

Text messaging I am an avid text messenger. I keep in contact with our chauffeurs and their status through text messaging. Facebook I use Facebook daily to keep connected with friends. Weather The weather is very important to my job. Hot weather can mean that limos overheat and conditions on the Grapevine can affect travel for our limos and the use of alternate routes. I use the standard iPhone weather app along with the CHP Incident app for the most up-to-date weather information from patrol car reports. Photo Gallery I take photos all the time and upload them on Facebook or save them. I have more than 350 photos on my phone. I use Flash for Free to edit my photos. This is my favorite photo of my granddaughter, Paris Lynn Luff. Calendar My daily life plans, birthdays, anniversaries and reminders are kept here. LogMeIn Ignition I used to access my business and home computers while using my computer at home or work as if I was physically sitting in front of it. I was in Lake Tahoe visiting my parents when the office called to remind me that I forgot to do payroll before leaving town. My father commented earlier that I could run a small country from my iPhone. That triggered a lightbulb in my head that I could use my LogMeIn application. I printed paychecks in my office from the hotel room in Tahoe. Dragon Dictation As you speak, Dragon Dictation records what you say and turns it into a text, email or document that can immediately be sent.

24

Bakersfield Life

June 2012


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Up Front

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

Happenings: Can’t-miss events in June Fri. 1

Sat. 2

Sat. 2

Sat. 2

Wine & Beer Tasting, enjoy wine and beer tasting along with appetizers, 5 to 7 p.m., Steak & Grape Restaurant, 4420 Coffee Road, $20. 588-9463.

Art Laboe Freestyle Explosion, with Stevie B., Lisa Lisa, Debbie Deb, Shannon, Trinere and others, 8 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $36.80 to $48.50. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

“An Evening in Paris” Concert, with dinner, auction, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Hodel’s Country Dining, 5917 Knudsen Drive. $50. 324-8847.

“Brains of Bakersfield,” cocktails 6 p.m., quiz starts 6:30 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $350 per team, dinner included. Email stobin@ csub.edu or 654-2428

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Banquet, with reception at 5 p.m., dinner banquet 6 p.m., televised awards 7 p.m., DoubleTree Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. $40. 327-4421.

Tue. 5

Thur. 7

Sat. 9

Sat. 9

Music Fest 2012, with Mento Buru, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Silver Creek Park, 7011 Harris Road. Free. 326-FUNN.

Concerts by The Fountain, American music with Chesterfield Kings, 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.

Farmyard Blugrass Festival, 1 to 5 p.m., Murray Family Farms, 6700 General Beale Road. $15 advance, $20 at the door. Visit murrayfamilyfarms. com or 330-0100.

Second annual Fit for Business Run/ Walk, 5K/10K, 8 a.m., The Park at River Walk, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $40. kedf.org or 862-5163.

Wed. 13

Fri. 15

Fri. 15

Sat. 16

25th annual Wet & Wild Whitewater, two trips offered, “Lickety Split” or “Sequoia Splash,” trips begin at 9 a.m., and run throughout the day, Kern River, Kernville. $30-$55. 760-376-2629.

Satisfaction/The International Rolling Stone Experience, 8 p.m., Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $10. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Boy Scouts of America 36th annual Golf Tournament, 10 a.m. registration, shotgun begins at noon, Bakersfield Country Club, 4200 Country Club Drive. $150. 325-9036.

Taste of the Sizzling South, food tasting, jazz musicians cobbler contest, arts and crafts, 5 to 9 p.m., Central Park at Mill Creek. $10 KCBC members; $15 nonmembers; $5 children under 12. 326-1529.

Tue. 19

Tue. 19

Kris Kristofferson, with Los Lobos, 8 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $30 to $105. vallitix.com or foxtheateronline.com.

Music Fest 2012, with Banshee in the Kitchen, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Silver Creek Park, 7011 Harris Road. Free. 326FUNN.

Tue. 26

Thur. 28

Music Fest 2012, with Bunky Spurling, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Silver Creek Park, 7011 Harris Road. Free. 326-FUNN.

Trace Adkins, 8 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $41.35 to $62.25. ticketmaster. com or 800745-3000.

WEEK 5

WEEK 4

WEEK 3

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

Fri. 1

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012


By the Numbers

Wine Division of Giumarra Vineyard Corp. 1947

Year Giumarra Vineyards’ winery was built

15

Acres of winery and the packaging plant

350

Wine grape acreage

7

Number of different varieties of wine grapes

900,000

Approximate pounds of grapes picked in a week

2.28

Pounds of grapes needed to produce a standard bottle of wine

72.9

Number of cases one ton of grapes will make

875

Number of wine bottles one ton of grapes will make

60 to 90

Number of days a grape harvest lasts

450 to 520

Approximate vines per acre (depending on spacing) Source: Barry P. Douglas, general manager/winemaker

thinkstock.com

Compiled By Paola Becerra


It Manners a Lot

Celebrations of wine and commencements By Lisa Kimble

I

n the coming weeks, thousands of students will walk across a stage to receive their diploma, signaling the end of a very important chapter in their life. Graduations are momentous occasions and, as such, deserve the respect and courtesy of their proud family and friends watching from the audience. This milestone is about the graduate and a celebration of their hard work and academic achievement. It shouldn’t be ruined or overshadowed by someone else’s inappropriate behavior, blow horns and whistles. Honoring grads the right way More and more schools these days are printing a dress code on the announcement. Garces Memorial High School has done it for years, and others have followed suit. Adhere to it and show some class! This is one of life’s most special events. Be on time. It is just plain rude to arrive late, creating a distraction as you crouch and attempt to find seating up front (you won’t). Remember, too, that silence is golden at events like these. Turn off the cellphone, don’t text, and if your children make it impossible for those next to you to hear, politely take your youngsters to the lobby. You may not want to miss a minute, but if your little one needs a diaper change, do so in the privacy of the restroom, not before onlookers in your seat, as was the case earlier this year at a confirmation ceremony. When the announcer requests that all applause be held until the very end, do what is asked. The family of the graduate next to yours will appreciate being able to hear their loved one’s name. Graduation ceremonies, as special as they are, can be lengthy, so even though it is tempting to bolt once your child has received the diploma, stay put. It would be discourteous to all the remaining students to do otherwise. Wine etiquette We’ve uncorked some do’s and don’ts when planning a wine tasting excursion. The experience should be about the Lisa Kimble

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

palate, not the buzz. Keeping in mind some basic rules will make the trip enjoyable for everyone. For starters, wineries don’t want to get “zinned!” Plan ahead. Many are small, boutique, family operations with limited capacity tasting rooms. If you are in a large group, call ahead, or consider a weekday stop to avoid the congestion of weekends. Even if you are charged to sample their offerings, consider yourself the guest of the winery. Don’t be a wine snob. Let those doing the pouring talking and explain. Don’t be loud, do engage with other tasters, and by all means, don’t help yourself to a second or third pour. The biggest concern for vintners is maintaining civility among those who arrive juiced. It is wine tasting, remember — not a beer garden or outdoor festival. Don’t be part of the unruly group asked to leave the premises. It is unpleasant for the owners and other visitors. “Limit your self to three or four wineries,” advised Graveyard Vineyards owner Rob Campbell-Taylor. After that, it will be difficult to taste or feel anything if you aren’t sipping and spitting. Winemakers also recommend taking a break in between tastings for lunch or a snack and hydration. If you’re not into reds, simply place your hand over the glass. There is no need to announce to everyone in the room that you dislike what was poured. It is also perfectly acceptable to spit the remainder of the pour into a cup, then into the bucket, or pour what is left directly into the bucket. You won’t hurt their feelings. “We try to get people to taste in order with the sweetest last,” said Steve Smith, Eberle Winery’s tasting room supervisor. Swirl the wine to release the aromas. Don’t soak others as if it is holy water. You are not obligated to buy a bottle or join a wine club. But you shouldn’t monopolize the bar to the exclusion of other visitors or inhale every cracker either. But most of all, winemakers say, have fun and learn something new. Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to itmannersalot@bakersfield.com or visit itmannersalot.blogspot.com.

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Hitting the road

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acations are tiki torches, a full moon over palm trees, an open bottle of wine. The kids run wild out on the dark lawn, little patches of sand behind their earlobes, bedtimes are ignored. The sound of surf becomes hypnotic background music. Traveling is something else entirely. Traveling is falling asleep on a train and waking up in Gibraltar to buy tickets for the boat crossing to Africa. It is drinking mint tea and bargaining with an old man in a Moroccan souk. Traveling is walking quietly on a forest trail, keeping an eye out for Toucans and fluorescent frogs. When you vacation, you construct a bubble in a beautiful place — whether it is the beach or the desert, cruise ship or resort — and you bob around pleasantly in that environment. When you travel, you cannonball into a place and find out what floats to the surface. It is exhilarating for sure, but it can also be lonely, chaotic, difficult and scary. Why do it then? Why submit yourself to the potential risks and intestinal discomfort of traveling when you could vacation instead? We live in a remarkably well-functioning society, and it is possible to pass through the day in a sort of half-sleep: work, errands, dinner, sleep, work, errands, dinner, sleep. In a foreign place, even if it is modern and well-developed, you are no longer part of the machine. You don’t fit. Autopilot is not an option and so daily life is sharpened and intensified. Churches turn into cathedrals. The view from your window morphs from that of the neighbor’s house across the cul-de-sac into a tangle of terra-cotta roofs and bell towers. A shopping mall transforms into a market selling produce, baby shoes, snacks and haircuts. The people you brush past every day are potential friends or pickpockets. As a result, you become alert and observant. People often encourage others to travel as a way to “find” yourself. I never really understood what that meant. Far from putting you more in touch with yourself, traveling forces you to acknowledge the extent to which we rely on other people. You find that you trust complete strangers to tell you when to get off the bus, translate for you and tell you which neighborhoods are best to be avoided at night. Relationships with other travelers, too, take on a new level of inti-

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

macy. Whereas normally our only reaction to other Californians is annoyance that there are just so many of them, when you meet a fellow Golden Stater in a foreign country, it is delightful. “Oh, you’re from California?” “Me, too!” When you are away from home, friendships run their course quickly and intensely. First, there is the comfort of meeting a like-minded soul, then hours are spent in close proximity on a bus or on excursions, followed by the sorrow of parting and the promise to stay in touch. Somehow amid all the distraction, these friendships can make a lasting impression. The newly graduated, much like the newlywed, are subjected to all sorts of unsolicited advice. Far be it from me to stay out of the fray. So here it goes: Don’t float in the bubble, go for the cannonball. If what lies ahead after the toss of the mortar board fills you with more dread than elation, then maybe you should pause before making that first move toward further schooling or launching a career. Responsibilities and obligations have a way of snowballing, each rolling into the other; a good job, once found is something to hold on to, and a university education, once begun, is best to finish. Bits of in-between time are rare in life and there are small windows of opportunity when you can catch a train to other countries without breaking someone’s heart. So, get out a map, pack lightly, and launch yourself into a foreign place. You will return home humbled and exhilarated by the vastness of the world around us. And you will find out that there are innumerable ways to flush a toilet.

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Dining Divas

Wool Growers Landmark restaurant serves up some surprises Photos by Greg Nichols

A

sk anyone who’s lived in Bakersfield for a reasonable amount of time and they’ve surely been to Wool Growers Restaurant in Old Town Kern. To say it’s a landmark is an understatement. Mayie Maitia and her husband, J.B., opened Wool Growers Cafe at its original location on Sumner Street in 1954. Today, Mayie is still the owner, along with daughter Jenny, who is in charge of the day-to-day operation. The staff does an outstanding job of creating a homey and fun atmosphere for any occasion. Most of the Divas remember going to Wool Growers as very young children, and they continue to go now with their own children. Folks who dine at Wool Growers enjoy the fried chicken, spaghetti, tangy pickled tongue and awesome garlic fries. However, on the night we were there, we felt really special because we were treated to many “off menu” delights!

Location: 620 E. 19th St. Phone: 327-9584 Website: woolgrowers.net Hours: Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner 6 to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Heel ratings (out of five)

Atmosphere Food

32

Bakersfield Life

Price

Service

June 2012

Tammara, Lisa, Katie, Molly and Amanda outside of Wool Growers.


Rack of lamb

Starting off right Tammara: I was able to try something other than the traditional Basque vegetable soup, which I love. The vermicelli soup, with its thin short noodles in a light broth, makes a super tasty dish. This is a perfect alternative to the traditional soup for the kids. There are no vegetables or meat, so a picky kid like mine should have no problem eating a nice big bowl. I even added a scoop or two of the beans to my soup and it made it even better. The spinach salad was one of my favorite items on the menu. Yum! This salad had all my favorites — grated hard boiled egg, sliced mushrooms, a dressing on the sweeter side than the normal balsamic (I was told there is a secret ingredient that I’m not allowed to tell) and, of course, bacon. Lisa: My crab salad consisted of crab, egg, lettuce and a light vinaigrette dressing. I loved the large chunks of crab — it had a

French onion soup

light summer taste. Katie: I had the pleasure of sampling the French onion soup, Monsignor Craig personally serves which appears on the Tammara his signature dish. lunch menu. I’d never had it before at Wool Growers, but I have had to us. I had the chance to ask him about his it at several other places. None of my previdish, and he explained that it all came about ous French onion soup encounters comes when he was looking for an alternative to close to this. And, no, I’m not just saying that their traditional spaghetti. The dish consists of because we were treated like royalty by Jenny spaghetti noodles, grilled red and green bell and her staff. It was really the best I’ve ever peppers, mushrooms and celery, all mixed in had because it was so hot and cheesy. And a light butter sauce. Sounds simple but it was they weren’t stingy with their onions. There delicious. Monsignor Craig said that after were tons! The broth was super-flavorful — we try the pasta a la padre, our first thoughts not watery like some I’ve had in the past. The will be “Praise the Lord” — and that I did! mix of garlic, salt and pepper was perfect. Our server Kim later explained to me that the pasta is a popular dish to order for lunch. For Not the usual setup those of you looking to add a little flair, I hear Amanda: After dining at Wool Growthat the shrimp scampi on top makes for an ers for more than 30 years, I was in for a real unbelievable dish. Another trick to know when treat. Little did I know that Wool Growers had ordering your basic setup at Wool Growers is so many specials that are not listed on their that you can ask for fresh green beans. These traditional nightly dinner menu. We scrumptious veggies come alive once they are were told that we were going to be sauteed with onions, garlic and bacon. Did I served pasta a la padre, better mention bacon … yes, it makes everything known as Father Craig pasta. taste better. Monsignor Craig Harrison Main dishes of St. Francis Church, Molly: One of our main course dishes who eats at Wool Growers was the rack of lamb. This dish is not on the once a week, helped come menu, but you can call ahead and order it. I up with his now famous must say it was the best I’ve ever had. I’ve vegetarian pasta dish as part been eating lamb my entire life, so when I of his mission to eat healthier. say it’s the best I’ve had — it’s really great. To my surprise, during our It was served rare with a brown mushroom dining experience, Monsignor Continued on page 34 Craig was seated at the table next bakersfieldlife.com

33


Shrimp scampi Continued from page 33

gravy. The gravy was made with the house Burgundy wine, which gave it a very rich flavor. I also had red potatoes with garlic. If you’ve been to a Basque restaurant, you know garlic is a must on most everything. It just makes everything taste better. The potatoes, which are also a special order item, were very moist in the middle, but crunchy on the outside. The chef deep-fries them for five minutes, then puts the seasonings — salt, pepper, parsley — on and then butter and garlic and bakes them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Anyone who has tried roasting red potatoes at home knows it’s tricky business to get them just right and not overdone. These

were absolutely perfect. Katie: For my main dish, I got the privilege of trying the lobster. I absolutely love lobster but am usually too cheap (or poor) to actually order it in a restaurant. And lobster at home just isn’t the same. I was super excited when Kim served it with medium rare steak. The lobster was fluffy and fresh and smelled so garlicky and yummy. Each time I dipped a forkful into the hot melted butter, I said a silent “Praise the Lord!” and I wasn’t even eating the Father Craig pasta. I also sampled the cottage cheese. I’d never had it at Wool Growers before, but I was quite impressed. Now I know that lots of folks don’t like cottage cheese — it’s sort of an acquired taste. But being the German that I am, we ate it while I was growing up. Anyway, it was delicious because they mixed it with mayonnaise, chives, salt and pepper. The combination was awesome. Tammara: When the oxtail stew came out, I was very apprehensive. It looks just like a pot roast (not my favorite), and the name made me a little squeamish. I mean, why would I want to eat the “tail or backbone” of a cow? I tried it for the first time, and it was very good. This is the most traditional Basque item on the menu. The stew had a slightly sweet Burgundy wine sauce with a medley of cooked carrots, celery and the most tender, fall-off-the-bone meat I have had in a long time. The carrots and celery were cooked perfectly for me, not mushy and not crunchy, just right! Amanda: Those who know me well know I don’t typically eat anything fried. But Wool Growers fried chicken goes so far above and beyond most, I can’t resist ordering it. Even though this was not on our menu for the evening, after politely requesting it, Kim gra-

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June 2012

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ciously obliged. The trick is to make sure you order it smothered with garlic. It is so crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside that it melts in your mouth. The garlic on top adds just the right amount of kick. This is a dish that you can never go wrong with, or get sick of. Lisa: The shrimp scampi was wonderful. So yummy. This shrimp scampi is actually better than just butter and garlic — it is also made with heavy whipping cream, which is even better … It is a definite winner!

Dessert Lisa: I had the bananas Foster. I love this dessert! The Wool Growers’ version was served Baked Alaska in a cup with ice cream, brown sugar, caramel, nuts and banana liqueur. This was a variation of how it’s usually served, but it was still a very sweet treat to end the evening. Molly: To round out my meal, I had baked Alaska. Wow! It is like an igloo of ice cream cake covered with meringue and brought to the table on fire! Repeat — it’s on fire! For those of you who have never had baked Alaska, it is pound cake, topped with vanilla ice cream, then meringue doused with Grand Marnier and fire! It is a very tasty treat to end a wonderful Basque dinner.

The perfect Wool Growers experience We decided that this time we couldn’t pick just a single “perfect

meal” because everything was so delicious. And when you eat Basque food, you need to try everything and share it among your group. We would, however, request Kim as our waitress because she was extremely attentive and, since she’s worked at Wool Growers for 11 years, she is knowledgeable about the restaurant’s history and food. And is it possible to coordinate things so that Monsignor Craig personally serves us again? That was a nice touch. We highly recommend Wool Growers’ “off menu” items (especially the scampi, lobster and lamb). But how do we pass up that fried chicken, fries, spaghetti and the other familiar dishes of a good traditional Basque meal? What a pleasant dilemma. Sometimes it’s pure hell being a Diva.

bakersfieldlife.com

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Food and Wine

Chef Leonard Gentieu Cooking for the summer partier

Chef Leonard Gentieu shares a story with the audience during a cooking class held at Urner’s.

By Myriam Valdez

S

Photos by Michael Fagans

omewhere along the cool coast of Morro Bay floats the majestic Papagallo II, Chef Leonard Gentieu’s famed party yacht. A transplanted East Coast veteran, Gentieu moved to Kern County in the ’70s. At one point, he owned and operated three restaurants in Taft and Bakersfield. Now, Gentieu spends his days aboard his yacht in Morro Bay, hosting parties and weddings, but never feels like cooking is his job. “Luckily, I still got it,” said Gentieu, “I know other chefs who say, ‘Well that’s enough,’ but I’m fortunate to have a job that I love.” Part of the allure of Gentieu’s cooking is the feeling that meals should be hassle-free, delicious, but most of all, entertaining. On May 8, Gentieu returned to Bakersfield to host his third cooking class in Urner’s state-of-the-art model kitchen, where he provided his audience with laughs and good conversation as he prepared a Tuscan dinner. He held a glass of red wine in one hand, as he stirred a thickening tomato sauce with the other. Gentieu grabbed a clean spoon for a taste test and let out a cathartic, “Mmm, that’s good.” “Cooking is a very passionate pastime. You get a lot out of it if you really get into it. There is a fellowship you get out of cooking and sharing that meal together,” Gentieu said. Bakersfield Life attended Urner’s “A Taste of Italy” cooking class where we got a few minutes to chat with Chef Gentieu, as well as copies of his Tuscan recipes. 36

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? I was 14. Very young! What is your favorite dish? I have a friend at Bakersfield Country Club who cooks a mean chile verde. I also enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. What is your favorite comfort food A good hot dog with mustard with an icy cold Coke. What did you cook in your home last night? My wife cooked last night — stuffed pork chops. I don’t cook at home much. What would you rate your wife as a cook? She’s fairly good! She’s a solid B. (She’s gonna kill me.) Are there any foods you won’t eat or even try? I’m pretty adventurous. I don’t eat crickets or chocolate-covered ants. But I will eat almost any food. Is there a particular dish that has been a hit with the Bakersfield community? Racks of lamb and stuffed lobster with Alaskan crab. Also, citrusmarinated chicken — very good dishes. What is a favorite recipe of yours that you love to cook in the summer? Actually, it’s Tuscan dinner (see recipes on pages 36 and 37). Deli-


cious and easy. What is Mad Spice and how did you come up with the idea? Mad Spice came about through a partner in Bakersfield who is a chemist. He came up with an excellent blend: Madagascar spice. I just love the concept of the country as our brand, taking us back to the Humphrey Bogart-era, back to the ’30s. The label has a great Clipper Ship airplane. Later, it was shortened to Mad Spice. It’s an incredible product, mostly sold online. Available through madspice. com and morrobayboat.com. This issue of Bakersfield Life, features a Central Coast wine and travel package. Do you have a favorite Central Coast winery? Yes, Denner Wines. It’s a top winery. My favorite is their new red wine, Mother of Exile. The name is taken directly from the Statue of Liberty.

Gentieu demonstrates his knife skills while slicing cabbage for a uniquely flavored cole slaw.

See recipes on page 38

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Continued from page 37

Steak tagliata spring salad with balsamic sauce 250 grams (9 ounce) sirloin steak 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Spring salad mix or your favorite salad mix Salt and freshly ground black pepper 20 grams parmesan, freshly shaved if possible Sauce 1 to 2 cups balsamic vinegar, to drizzle over salad

Gentieu measures out a spice for his pancetta-accented sauce during a cooking class held at Urner’s.

38

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Directions Make small cuts along sides of steak to prevent from shrinking. Salt and pepper the steak on both sides. Heat the olive oil on a large griddle or frying skillet until very hot. Cook steak for two to four minutes on each side, according to how you like the rareness. Pour balsamic vinegar into small pan, let the water evaporate until a syrupy texture. Set aside for later. Arrange salad on serving plate. Cut steak into thin slices. Lay the steak on top of the spring salad. Do not toss. Serves four.


Eggplant parmesan Sauce 3 tablespoons olive oil 4 ounces chopped pancetta (or bacon) Fresh pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 small carrot ½ white onion, minced ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes (undrained and crushed) ¼ cup sugar Salt, to taste Eggplant 1 eggplant 1 cup flour 1 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs ¼ pound provolone 1 cup parmesan

Directions Heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet, over medium heat. Add pancetta; cook, stirring lightly until golden brown (six to eight minutes). Add pepper, cook two minutes. Increase heat. Add garlic, carrots and onions. Cook until soft for six minutes. Add chili flakes; cook for one minute. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and flavors meld (20 to 25 minutes). Season with salt. Keep warm. While sauce simmers, cut eggplant horizontally into half-inch-thick circle patties. Lightly beat eggs, and dip into egg and then flour after, making sure to pat flour into the egg firmly. Add oil to the skillet and wait until it is very hot. Fry parmesan patties until they are golden brown on each side. Remove from skillet and place on an oven rack. Pour sauce over patties, sprinkle parmesan all over patties, top with provolone cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted, broil for two minutes or until golden brown. Serves four.

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Foodie

Guinness brownies with salted caramel ice cream, garnished with fresh Maine sea salt.

Lindsey Prentice Fun fine dining among friends By Hillary Haenes

F

Photos by Jessica Frey

or Lindsey Prentice, having her girlfriends over for a meal at least once a month is a must, no matter how busy she may be. Working at Braun Electric as a behavioral-based safety facilitator, along with riding and showing her horse, taking up golf with husband Dan, and spending quality couch time with dogs Dixie and Tarja, she still finds time to host fun dinner parties. “When they come over, they make me feel like I’m on my own cooking show, asking all kinds of questions while sipping their wine. It’s really quite fun,” Prentice said. As a foodie, Prentice, 27, not only enjoys cooking and creating her own culinary and cocktail concoctions, but being in the kitchen is important because it brings family and friends together. “Food may feed us nutritionally, but cooking for the ones you love and care about makes food so much more. I love feeding my husband anything that doesn’t come out of a carton or paper bag, which he was quite fond of prior to meeting me,” she said. Prentice also loves watching her friends’ facial expressions when she tells them what they’re about to eat. After a meal, they often say, “I don’t know what that was, but it was delicious!” This brings joy to Prentice who especially likes getting her friends to be more adventurous with food.

40

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Cooking I first developed an interest in food and cooking when I was about 12 years old. I baked my first apple pie from scratch with my mother and grandmother. It was Thanksgiving and I remember it clearly because my mother insisted I use more cinnamon, even though I disagreed. The pie tasted purely of cinnamon and barely of any apple flavor. It’s a memory we always laugh about every Thanksgiving. My favorite piece of cooking equipment is my All-Clad grill from Olcotts! I love making salmon for a simple healthy dinner. This grill gets perfectly hot to sear in flavor, but not dry out the fish. It’s easy to clean and fits nicely on my stovetop. I’m also a fan of my little Weber charcoal grill. It sees a lot of action during the summer. A summer meal I enjoy is grilled red pepper and spicy sausage pizzas, artichokes with


Lindsey Prentice ready to serve her pineapple jalapeno martini, made with jalapeno and cilantro simple syrup, pineapple juice and white tequila.

garlic aioli, roasted garlic on toast points, and stone fruit with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar (all done on the grill). Add a fresh fruit margarita and you have the perfect patio meal! Must-have kitchen tools are sharp knives, a blender and tongs. Everything goes better with friends, family and wine. Cheese is always a good addition to a meal as well. In my fridge, you will find lots and lots of condiments. And farm fresh eggs. Eggs are delicious any time of day. I always mess up omelets. I get so close every time, but they always break open when I flip. I guarantee it’s because I’m not patient enough. I rock at making creme brulee. One ingredient that I love to use in my recipes is balsamic vinegar. It can make strawberries taste even sweeter and steak sauces more savory. It’s especially delicious on top of baconwrapped dates.

Lindsey’s Goat cheese, plum, and prosciutto pizza.

Continued on page 42 bakersfieldlife.com

41


From left, Nikki Hebert, Heather Macaulay, Lindsey Prentice, Stephanie Bolin and Hali Gunter sip Prentice’s pineapple jalapeno martinis before dinner.

Continued from page 41

I can never find a good fish seasoning like the one I had from Maine. I just bought one from a winery in Paso. It’s not the same. One of my cooking secrets is I rarely measure. I go by taste! If I could spend a day with a fellow foodie, it would be Anthony Bourdain. I saw him once in New York and didn’t have the courage to say hello (I mean, how touristy). He has the dream job of a foodie, and I would love to see and taste just a few things he’s enjoyed. I would ask Mr. Bourdain how he makes the perfect medium-rare steak, and how many frequent flier miles he’s obtained by now.

Eating My favorite local restaurant and my order is a tough question for a foodie. Bakersfield has an awesome selection of food choices that have grown considerably over the years. There are so many of the “standards” that I recommend, however, I’m a sucker for Taj Mahal and its lamb tikka masala with naan and mango chutney. My best food memory is a three-way tie: picking my own fresh lobster right out of the ocean in St. Thomas for lunch, buffalo shrimp from Savannah, Ga., (seriously, travel worthy) and fresh queso de vaca with Serrano ham and delicious sangria with my best friend when we spent a summer Spain. Most surprising food I’m not crazy about is canned tuna. I love fresh ahi, but canned tuna was a childhood aversion that has just stuck. 42

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Creme brulee


Weirdest food I like is pickled okra and my husband’s duck chili. Favorite summer sip for a good Friday night refreshment is silver tequila, pineapple juice and club soda with splash of lime. On the nonalcoholic side, I make a blackberry and basil lemonade that isn’t too sweet and is quite refreshing.

Authentic Flavors, Affordable Elegant Dining

Favorite ice cream is any brand of salted caramel (I enjoy my own but it’s a lot of work). I’m addicted to jalapeno kettle chips. (Hello gym!) My favorite comfort food is a tie between my mom’s ribs and twice-baked potatoes and my mother-in-law’s shrimp fried rice. My splurge at the grocery store consists of cheese and specialty meats. My favorite midnight snack is saltwater taffy. We came home from Carmel with about five pounds of it this February … that might have been a bad idea. The best sweet and salty combination is caramel, salt and chocolate. The single tastiest thing I’ve eaten this month is salted caramel cake from the Padre Hotel. I see a theme here…

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Front row, left to right: Alex Daneke, Mitchell Huxhold and Peter Bardessono. Back row, left to right: Dan Wickensheimer, Mark Silviusa and Mitch Wurm.

Olympic opportunity CSUB men’s swimmers prepare for U.S. Olympic Team Trials By Stephen Lynch

C

hris Pipes is the definition of a late bloomer. He didn’t start swimming until his freshman year at Fresno High School. And when he graduated from the school three years later, there wasn’t a long list of colleges clamoring for his services. But following four years of continuous improvement in the pool at Merced College and then Cal State Bakersfield, Pipes is at a point in his swimming career he thought he would never reach. Pipes is part of a CSUB contingent numbering be-

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Photo by Chris Hansen

Our Town

tween two and six men’s swimmers that will compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb. As of the middle of May, Pipes and CSUB junior Mitch Wurm had already qualified for the Olympic trials. However, four of their teammates ­— Alex Daneke, Peter Bardessono, Dan Wickensheimer and Mitchell Huxhold — all have the credentials to do the same by the time the meet is held. “It’s pretty much a culmination of my entire swimming career,” Pipes said. “I started off really bad at swimming. But I’ve been lucky enough to consistently drop time every year. That’s really helped me keep going and it’s just been so encouraging because some people, they don’t drop time every year. And to train and train and not drop time, that would be really depressing. I’m blessed.” The 6-foot, 5-inch, 175-pound Pipes, who recently completed his college eligibility, owns 10 CSUB all-time top 5 times. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle. He currently ranks 30th


out of the 172 swimmers that have qualified for the 50 freestyle. “He’s got an opportunity to go out there and show who he is,” CSUB swimming director Chris Hansen said. “He’s got some pressure on him. We’ll see how he handles it.” Wurm, a native of Mesa, Ariz., is also a freestyle sprinter. He didn’t make the Roadrunners’ conference team until this past year but now owns three CSUB all-time top 5 times and helped set a school record in 200yard freestyle relay. “We took a huge gamble on him coming out of high school CSUB swiming director Chris Hansen because he wasn’t that on Chris Pipes good,“ Hansen said. “But since he’s been here, he has gotten faster and faster and faster. He’s a huge success story.” Hansen is confident that all or most of the four CSUB men’s

Continued on page 46

Chris Pipes

Photo by Chris Hansen

“He’s got an opportunity to go out there and show who he is. He’s got some pressure on him. We’ll see how he handles it.”

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“We took a huge gamble on him coming out of high school because he wasn’t that good. But since he’s been here he has gotten faster and faster and faster.”

this (U.S. Olympic trials) cut.” Qualifying for the trials is of swimmers attempting to make the utmost importance to Bardessono, who U.S. Olympic trials will be able to served as one of the Roadrunners trido it. captains this past year. Wickensheimer, a graduate of “It would mean everything,” Stockdale High School, is the only Bardessono said. “As an athlete one of the group of six with local especially as a swimmer, it’s one of ties prior to their time at CSUB. your biggest goals. The Olympic triHe holds the school record in the als is one of the biggest meets in the 100-yard butterfly with a 48.12. U.S. and it would mean a lot to this “There’s been a lot of great program and a lot to Bakersfield, my swimmers who have come from family and friends and everything that Bakersfield, like Gabe Woodward, I’ve worked for to make something Randy Aakhus, Larson Jensen, and like that.” Andy Castilleja,” Wickensheimer CSUB swimming director Chris Hansen To Hansen’s knowledge Pipes and said. “It would be really cool to on Mitch Wurm Wurm are the first two CSUB swimrepresent not only the town itself mers to ever qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials. but also Roadrunner aquatics, my high school coach Adam The odds are long that any of the CSUB swimmers will Bledsoe and all the people who have influenced me and actually make the U.S. Olympic team. helped me get to this level of swimming.” “It’s not an easy feat,” Hansen said. “The U.S. Olympic Bardessono, a senior from Elverta, in Sacramento trials is actually usually faster than the Olympics. It’s usuCounty, holds the school record in the 100-yard backstroke ally the fastest meet in the world that year.” (48.77). At the trials, the top 16 finishers during the preliminary “I was really young in the sport when I got here,” round of each event make it to the semifinals. Then the top Bardessono said. “Chris (Hansen) has helped me a lot to eight from that go on to the finals. get where I am. Without CSUB, I wouldn’t be going for Continued from page 45

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June 2012

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Pipes’ goal is to get a second swim. “If I can get top 16, that would be encouragement enough to keep swimming for 2016 perhaps,” Pipes said. While going to the U.S. Olympic trials will be a new experience for all the swimmers, Hansen will be attending the once-every-four-years meet for a sixth time. In 1996, he was at the event, coaching Whitney Phelps, older sister of 14-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps. Hansen admits that it was a nerve-wracking experience, watching one of his swimmers attempt to make the Olympics. That was a long time ago though and the veteran coach thinks he’ll be much calmer this time around. “I think I was probably about to lose everything as she was walking up the block,” Hansen said. “Now the longer I’ve done this, it’s more you get nervous for them. I don’t think they know how exciting this is going to be. I think they’re excited they’re going but I don’t think they have any idea of the magnitude of this yet.” Pipes, who Hansen calls a born swimmer, is hoping to stay on an even keel and not let the stress of swimming in the biggest meet of his life get to him. “I’m trying not to think about it too much because swimming is a very stressful sport,” Pipes said. “You kind of have to take it lightly and have some fun with it. I’ve found that the more relaxed I am, the better I swim. When

Mitchell Huxhold wins the men’s mile race at the Mountain Pacific Swimming Championships in February.

I step up on the blocks I’m just going to have fun and rely on the years of training I’ve had with Chris. Basically that’s what you have to do. You practice hours in the pool every day all for that moment and you can’t over think it or get stressed out about it all.” Hansen is wishing for the best for Pipes and his other swimmers as they compete at the U.S. Olympic trials. “This is an experience of a lifetime so I just want them to go there enjoy themselves and swim fast,” Hansen said.

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Photo by Ron Veiner

For a Cause

The staff of the Independent Living Center of Kern County gathered together in front of their new location on Office Park Drive.

Independent Living Center of Kern County A path to living independently By Brian N. Willhite

L

iving independently is something that many people take for granted. That quick trip to the grocery store or night out at the movies is often done so with ease, but for some Kern County residents, such activities require more specialized assistance. At the Independent Living Center of Kern County, people with disabilities are given an opportunity to regain their independence through one-on-one assistance programs, technologies and job placement services, according to Executive Director Jimmie Soto, who said that one of the goals of the ILC is “to empower (consumers) and help them get control of their own life and just live independently as possible in the community.” 48

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Bridging the gap For more than 30 years, the Independent Living Center has been bridging the gap between dependency and independence for many residents. The center specializes in educational and assistive programs and services, such as Re-Use and Repair, a recycling program that allows consumers to borrow essential items like power chairs, crutches or wheelchairs until they are able to furnish their own. The Independent Living Center also provides a resource computer lab onsite that is equipped with speech recognition, audio, and zoom tech software, as well as large-print and Braille keypads. “If they have physical limitations we have all kinds of tools we can connect them with,” said Christine Lollar, community resource specialist for the Independent Living Center. Lollar added that another goal is to work more with youth so they’ll be more successful in college. Recently, the Independent Living Center partnered with Medi-Cal to assist clients in the California Community Transitions program, which helps disabled individuals, who are ready to live on their own and eligible for Medi-Cal, to transition from nursing home care to independent living. “Part of the philosophy of independent living is giving them the tools and resources — empowering them — and let them make decisions as to how they want to live,” Soto said.


to the county library to use the computer, I wouldn’t be able to use it because it doesn’t have the software,” Soto said, noting that specialized equipment is costly but essential for someone with similar disabilities.

Executive Director Jimmie Soto, who is legally blind, displays specialized equipment in his office.

One of more than 400 There are more than 400 Independent Living Centers across the U.S. and 28 throughout California, according to Soto. And, in addition to serving the community, many staff members are also disabled, too. Each center must have at least 50

Photo by Brian N. Willhite

Life skills

percent of their staff be disabled persons, which includes Soto who is legally blind. Soto utilizes the same technologies available to their clients to meet the needs of his job and understands the difficulties others face when trying to be self-reliant. “For someone like myself, if I went

The center also offers classes in independent living skills such as money management and health and wellness and provides peer-to-peer group sessions that encourage individuals to share their experiences with each other. The core services are available to anyone physically disabled and focus on peer support, independent living skills, advocacy, job placement, personal assistant services and housing and resources. The center generally does not provide programs for persons with developmental disabilities. To learn more about any of the Independent Living Center programs, please call 661-325-1063 or visit them on the web at ilcofkerncounty.org.

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All-Star Athlete

Donald Lutz

Photo courtesy of Bakersfield Blaze

Donald Lutz has come a long way, both literally and figuratively, to become a rising become a rising star in the Cincinnati Reds organization and one of the best players on the 2012 Bakersfield Blaze team. Lutz, who grew up in Germany and still calls that country home, didn’t start playing baseball competitively until he was 16 years old. Now a few short years later and half a world away, the 6-foot, 3-inch, 234-pound slugger is tearing up California League pitching. Through the first month of the season, Lutz ranked second in the league in home runs (6), RBIs (19), total bases (56), and slugging percentage (.629). His early season success at the plate helped Bakersfield win 11 in a row in April and take over first place in the Cal League North Standings. Lutz’s father, Donald Sr., a member of the U.S. military met his mother, Marlen, a German citizen, while stationed in Germany. Lutz was born in the United States but was back in Germany by the time he was 8 months old when his parents got divorced. Raised by his mother, Lutz grew up in Friedberg, Germany, 20 miles outside of Frankfurt, playing ice hockey and European handball. Lutz’s older brother, Sascha, played baseball. Lutz took to the sport almost immediately, and he quickly hooked up with a German baseball academy before trying out and making the Major League Baseball European Academy in Italy. That’s where the Reds discovered him. “I just loved (baseball from the moment) I picked up that bat, swung and hit some balls hard,” Lutz said. “It was a lot of fun. And I didn’t even know about professional baseball 50

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Photo by Michael Fagans

By Stephen Lynch

Donald Lutz takes a swing during a game against Visalia in April.

until a couple of months before I actually signed. I didn’t even know there was a chance to like come over here and play in the minor leagues, get to big leagues and all that.” Despite racking up big numbers during his four-year minor league career, the transition to pro ball provided a tough challenge for the left-handed hitting leftfielder. “For me (the toughest part) was just getting adjusted, obviously, to the game-speed,” Lutz said “The game speed is so much quicker. And then the mental part of the game is pretty hard. The hassle. You’re out here every day. The travel and everything. So you got to be ready for it.” Lutz has enjoyed his brief time so far with the Blaze though he hopes that his stay in Bakersfield isn’t too long. His hot start to the season is something he hopes to continue throughout the summer. “I just want to stay consistent, keep my average up there,” Lutz said. “Be consistent driving in runs and playing solid (defense) and get to Double-A as quick as I can.” Like just about every minor leaguer, Lutz’s ultimate goal is to play in the big leagues. That could easily become a reality in the not-to-distant future based on his talent and determination to succeed. “It’s got to be a goal. Otherwise you don’t even have to come here,” Lutz said. “You have to love (baseball). Most people only get one shot so you really have to be ready and give 100 percent all the time.”

Donald Lutz facts Born: February 6, 1989, at Fort Drum in Watertown, NY. Played just two 25-game seasons before he was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Reds’ former director of global scouting Jim Stoeckel on July 15, 2007. Reds’ Minor League Player of the Month for August 2011. This spring, he played in the Reds vs. Futures game, an exhibition contest between the organization’s major leaguers and 20 of its top prospects. Is a dual citizen of Germany and the United States. First language is German. Learned English in third grade. For the past four years has been a member of the German national team. During that time, he has played in two European Championships, an Olympic qualifier (2008 in Taiwan), and World Cup (2011 in Panama). Has hit for the cycle twice during his professional career: July 10, 2009, as a member of the GCL Reds and July 21, 2011, for Dayton-A. Overall, batted .301 with 20 home runs and 75 RBI for Dayton last season. Had never been to California before becoming a member of the Blaze in April. One of just two Blaze players on the Reds 40-man roster. Following 2010 season, played winter ball in Australia. Has two brothers, Sascha and Chondi, and one sister, Vicky. Resides in Regensburg, Germany. Mother also still lives in Germany.


On the Road

The Genesis of power 2013 coupe packs performance, reliability and design

The 2013 Genesis Coupe comes in six models and has a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Greg Nichols

M

uch has changed with Hyundai models — and it’s been for the better. As an undergrad at Fresno State in the early ’90s, I owned a Hyundai Excel, which was not what you could call sexy-looking but was reliable and safe. I spent many weekends traveling Highway 99 to visit family back home in Bakersfield, and it never failed me. But imagine my surprise when I showed up at the Bakersfield Hyundai dealership recently to test-drive the two-door 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. As I looked at other models, I could see the major modernization of the Hyundai brand. Smooth, sleek models, including the Genesis, which boasts a combined sport and luxury look, had replaced the boxy, plain-looking cars of the past. General manager Patrick Beck explained that the Genesis, having been around for four years as a replacement to the Tiburon, has undergone a new redesign that offers a much more aggressive style. And a kick, if I do say so myself. While the Genesis is quite the gas saver and offered in 2.0 four-cylinder turbo or 3.8 six-cylinder engines, it packs

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June 2012

The Genesis Coupe offers plenty of head and shoulder room for passengers.


Never assume coupes don’t have space. This car brings 10 cubic feet of cargo space for plenty of room. power. With 274 horsepower, the Genesis easily picks up speed without no delay for it to kick in. (Right now, I’m thinking of my SUV). Offered in bold colors, the Genesis I test-drove was a shoreline drive blue model that garnered a lot of attention, even with my twentysomething oil-field-working nephew, Cesar, and my picky but very stylish twin nieces (high school juniors), who wanted a test ride. The Genesis does offer a nice five-year, 60,000-mile basic or a 10year, 100,000 power train warranty, which Beck said has the upper hand when compared to its competitors. Beck says the less expensive Genesis is the alternative choice to the Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro or the Infiniti G37. Speaking with Beck, I learned about the dealership’s plans to grow and establish a stronger commitment to the local community. Bakersfield Hyundai bought the franchise at the Auto Mall location in August 2010, and Beck said he hopes for the dealership to expand in new creative ways. For one, the dealership is giving away a 2012 Hyundai Veloster to a graduating senior from a local high school. The winning grad will be announced at a graduation giveaway event in June. Its sister dealership in Temecula is running a similar program. Customer service is also important to Beck as he noted that the 55-employee Bakersfield Hyundai earned the No. 1 spot for sales CSI (customer satisfaction index, as rated

by J.D. Power and Associates) in its district and No. 8 in sales CSI in its five-state region. “We train incessantly,” Beck said. “Our management is the perfect match for a market that is very diverse.” He noted that of his eight managers, three are women. And then there’s family. Beck referred to one of his top salesmen, Chuy Herrera, whose son, Chuy Jr., is working as a Bakersfield Hyundai sales consultant while attending college in Taft. I met with the polished Chuy Jr., who explained that his father has been in the auto sales business for 24 years and he looks up to him. Herrera spent some time with me going over details that make the Genesis stand out. Pop the hood, and you will see a stabilizer bar for better handling and performance, Herrera said. Also the Genesis, available in six models, comes with rear-wheel drive for added performance. As for cool features, the Genesis offers SiriusXM radio and auxiliary input jacks, so you can listen to music from your iPod or iPhone (my son did just that), and a seven-inch touch screen. You also have a choice of upgrading to a 360-watt Infinity audio system that includes HD radio and 10 speakers. Its Blue Link technology also allows motorists access with helpful systems for automatic collision notification and assistance, SOS emergency assistance, points of interest Web search and voice-text messaging.

Blue Link technology provides voice text messaging and automatic collision notification and assistance.

It’s all in the details: Five best features of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe: Best warranty — five-year, 60,000-mile basic or a 10-year, 100,000-mile power train; guaranteed trade-in value; best mileage; less expensive than equally equipped competitors; and more standard features, with JD Power and Associates claiming it is more reliable than direct competitors.

Mileage and price tag: 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway; starting at $24,250

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is perfect for: A fun driving experience filled with the power and performance of a sports car.

What makes the Genesis Coupe stand out? The aggressive body style. Not only does it have a sporty appeal with aggressive new grill but it also has a strong luxury appeal.

Target customer: A driver who is young at heart. The Genesis Coupe appeals to any person who wants to enjoy a sporty feel, luxury and performance with the reliability, economy and warranty of a Hyundai.

Three words that define the Genesis Coupe: Performance, design and reliability. (Economy is No. 4.)

What you like the most about the Genesis Coupe: How well it sells! This car is in the segment with the Chevrolet Camaro (No. 1), Dodge Challenger (No. 2) and the Genesis Coupe is No. 3. This car is an excellent choice. Source: Patrick Beck, Bakersfield Hyundai general manager

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Hometown Hero

Chris Erwin United States Navy

Photo courtesy of Chris Irwin

Assignment: I am currently in Afghanistan assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force Paladin, a counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) groups. This is a temporary reassignment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 55 (VR-55), which is a C-130 air squadron. I will return to VR-55 minutemen after my tour here is done.

Photo courtesy of Chris Irwin

Age: 30

Stationed: Point Mugu, Calif. I was previously stationed in Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and San Diego. I have been in the military for: 10 years. Sep. 19 is my

anniversary in the Navy. Why I joined: My 19-year-old existence didn’t have much

meaning, and I felt like was going nowhere fast in Bakersfield. Enlisting meant I would get an education, training and a larger sense of purpose. I didn’t know it then, but I happened to enlist just months before the Sept. 11 attack. Suddenly, my enlistment had a lot more meaning. There were also other perks like the Montgomery GI Bill and a promise to see the world. Why I continue to serve: Pride in country, pride in ser-

vice and job security. I have been deployed for: Sea duty 2002 on the USS

George Philip FFG-12 located in San Deigo and 48 different countries throughout the Indonesian Ocean including Singapore, Australia and Philippines. For sea duty 2010, I was on the VR-55 located in Port Hueneme and traveled to Bahrain, Japan, Guam and Sigonella, Italy. What I learned while being deployed: Spend your

time wisely. There is more than enough time for personal and professional development while you are away from the distractions of friends and family. Develop new routines and break old habits. Pick up a book, don’t just play video games and watch movies. What I missed most about Bakersfield while being deployed: My beautiful children, simple routines and play-

ing music with the talented people from my hometown. My favorite activity to do in Bakersfield is: Sing karaoke, barbecue and socialize with new and old friends. How I stay connected to family and friends back home: Google+, Gmail and Google Voice. What I like most about my job: Working in supply is 54

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June 2012

a unique experience of indoor and outdoor work. I have a truck and a desk, and my mission can lead me anywhere. My tasks take me all over the base and I meet new people all the time. More often than not, most people never leave their office for anything other than the gym or the chow hall and never see anything outside their bubble. I am fortunate that I get to go out and get around. My best military accomplishment or memory so far is: Traveling through the Indonesian Ocean on the FFG,

climbing Mount Fuji in Japan and running the Boston Marathon in Afghanistan. Something I’d like to accomplish this year is: My as-

sociate degree. When I return to Bakersfield, the first thing I’m going to do is: Smother my two beautiful daughters with hugs and

kisses. And eat pizza and drink a beer. If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: An information security specialist or a

“Googler” (a Google employee). After my time in the U.S. Navy, I would like to: Con-

tinue my education pursuing my MBA in information technology management, spoil my children and find my place in the civilian world as an IT specialist. I’d also like to tour the country and assemble a cover band to play the best rock ’n’ roll songs from the late ’90s, early 2000s. — Know a Kern County resident who has or is currently serving in the military? Email us at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com with the message subject line: Hometown Hero. Please include an email, phone number and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.


Bruce Barnhard 661.444.5196

Jessie Contreras 661.213.7947

Kevin Palla

661.932.3600

Belinda Capilla 661.303.8270

David Gay

661.333.3940

Frank Simon

661.301.1643

Richard Clasen 661.201.6086

Laura Gieger

661.623.3014

Pat Skrable

661.706.7243

661-654-1601 1620 Mill Rock Way Ste. 100 Bakersfield, CA. 93311 DRE Lic. # 00577493

www.PrudentialTobias.com 601-2145 Š2011 Prudential Financial. Prudential Real Estate brokerage services are offered through the independently owned and operated network of broker member franchisees of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. and Prudential are registered service marks of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and are used herein under license. Equal Housing Opportunity.


Martin and Patti Croad support each other by helping run both businesses, Croad’s Winery in Paso Robles and Croad Electric in Bakersfield. 56

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June 2012


Central Coast WINE

&

TRAVEL

F

Photo by Michael Fagans

or all you wine connoisseurs, June is a great time of year to escape to the Central Coast to wine taste in the Paso Robles and Edna Valley regions. With so many vineyards on the map, it can be difficult to decide where to go. Lucky for you, Bakersfield Life highlighted 18 wineries with different atmospheres, wine selections and stunning scenery — several even have local Bakersfield connections. Hire a limo service to escort your friends on an unforgettable day trip or make it a romantic weekend getaway with your significant other. Whatever you choose, make sure to pay a visit to some of the places on our list. Continued on page 58

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unique things

Croad Vineyards

Photo by Michael Fagans

10

our Central Coast offers Continued from page 57

By David Luter

Paso Robles area

The Central Coast is full of great opportunities that are often overlooked by the myriad wine tasting options that sit at almost every corner. Here is a list (that is in no way complete), of things to try if you just want to get out of town for the day.

1

Are you looking for entertainment? Mid-July means one thing for Paso Robles — it’s time for

the California Mid-State Fair. Just like our great Kern

Croad Vineyards

What do you get when you cross a New Zealander who has an electric personality and a distressed piece of Central Coast property in desperate need of some TLC? Croad Vineyards! Martin Croad, a household name in the Bakersfield construction business, and his wife, Patti, had no idea when they purchased a distressed piece of property in the heart of the Willow Creek area of Paso Robles eight years ago that they would soon become one of the region’s acclaimed wineries. “I didn’t know anything about winemaking,” Martin Croad laughed. Today, his lifestyle investment produces 50 tons of wine grapes with 80 percent of the wine produced off the

estate vineyard. “Vines in Paso, Roots in Bakersfield,” is one of Croad’s catchy slogans. The classic California mission-style architecture offers visitors spectacular views of the ocean. The winery’s lower level features a fountain and arbor, with room to accommodate wedding parties. The tasting room provides guests with unparalleled vistas while admiring traditional New Zealand jewelry and artifacts. No kitschy wine gift shop here, just an elegant homage to Croad’s homeland and the couple’s passion for winemaking. Their 2008 Zinfandel Pure is a Central Coast wine competition Best of Class winner. For Martin and Patti Croad, each pouring is infused with heapings of hospitality, especially for travelers from Bakersfield. And where else can you get a Kiwi tattoo? croadvineyards.com — Lisa Kimble

Eberle Winery

Eberle, one of the highest award-winning wineries in the United States, produces 25,000 cases of wine a year from its estate vineyard. But it’s what’s going on beneath the surface that is truly amazing. Constructed in 1993, Eberle’s caves, accessible through weekend tours every half-hour, offer a unique winery experience. One immediately notices the change in temperature when you are a few steps inside. The caves cover more than 16,000 square feet, specifically designed to store and age wine.

County Fair, this venue always packs plenty of fun. From a cattle drive to a winemaking demonstration, livestock shows to pie-making contests, there is always something to see. Another similarity to our fair is in the entertainment. There’s an outstanding lineup of performers set this year with acts like Brad Paisley, Journey, Pat Benatar, Earth, Wind & Fire;,Alabama and Eric Church on the less and Los Lonely Boys on the Fort Frontier Stage. For concert dates, visit midstatefair.com.

Inside the caves at Eberle Winery. 58

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June 2012

Photo by Greg Nichols

Main Grandstand, and acts like Kut-


2

Plenty of festivals happen along the Central Coast. In its ninth year, the Paso Pinot

& Paella Festival that’s focused on the local pinot noir producers and

Photo by Greg Nichols

exceptional chefs around the Paso

Graveyard Vineyards

Robles area, get together and create a wonderful experience of great wine and even better paella. Act

There are also a few private rooms that are used for tastings and special events. Founded by Gary Eberle in 1983, this Paso Robles winery sits in a spectacular countryside location. Eberle’s winery and tasting room are housed in a beautiful redwood building that almost blends into the surrounding landscape. At the tasting room’s entrance, you’ll notice a bronze boar statue (the name Eberle translates to “small boar” in German). It’s considered good luck to rub the boar’s nose and toss a coin into the water when you arrive. One must try the 2010 chardonnay — a rich blend of pear, apple and pineapple with a buttery aftertaste. For red, try the 2007 estate cabernet sauvignon that has intriguing flavors of cherry, currant and mocha. Along with exceptional wines, the tasting room staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. eberlewinery.com — Don Martin

Graveyard Vineyards

Although some take their wine too seriously, Graveyard Vineyards knows the value of a lighthearted touch. Named for its proximity to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in San Miguel, the winery embraces the fun side with its wine names — Tombstone White and Mortal Zin, among others — as well as its gift packaging (a Drink in Peace coffin box). But Rob Campbell-Taylor, a Bakersfield native who owns Graveyard with wife Paula, said they have their priorities. “We wanted to be about the wine first,” he said of the winery they started in 2004. With the expertise of winemaker Jason Bushong, the couple put forth a panoply of popular reds, such as the award-winning Tombstone Red. “This put us on the map,” said Campbell-Taylor, as he also touted the bold

2006 Power Corruption and Lies, a premium blend of petite sirah and cabernet sauvignon that’s on the winery’s tasting menu. Be sure to say hi to Cooper, a black Lab who enjoys greeting guests and taking dips in the scenic pond — “She’s a swimmer. She’s in the pond regardless of temperature,” CampbellTaylor said — but she barks at limos. graveyardvineyards.com — Stefani Dias

quickly if you

Bianchi Winery

four days. Visit slowine.com for more

For a relaxing afternoon with a hint of Italy, head to Bianchi Winery. Its scenic property remains on full view in the mostly glass tasting room, which features a variety of 20 wines daily. Adrianna Santiago, tasting room manager, said many visitors from the Central Valley enjoy taking in the waterfall-fed koi pond and estate vineyards while sampling popular wines such as the 2010 pinot grigio and the 2009 zinfandel. “Zin is our flagship wine,” Santiago said. “It comes 100 percent off of our estate.” Bianchi also focuses strongly on Italian varietals, which goes all the way back to when co-founder Joseph Bianchi began innovating with Italy’s famed Lambrusco grapes in the 1970s. Enjoy a picnic with wine and a selection of gourmet cheeses, olives and more available in the tasting room, and make friends with boxer mix Cole, faithful companion of Bianchi office manager and compliance officer Liz Robasciotti. “He’s got the good life,” Santiago said. If you’re inspired to extend your stay, the winery offers its vineyard house, which sleeps up to six adults and offers a full kitchen and barbecue, starting with two-night stays. bianchiwine.com — Stefani Dias Continued on page 60

want to go — this happens June 3 — so get your tickets on pinotandpaella.com. San Luis Obispo’s 22nd annual Roll Out the Barrels summer kick-off is from June 21 to 24. This festival has more than 25 wineries participating this year, and a multitude of activities that span the county for those information.

3

Experience the outdoors. For those in love with the game of golf, the Central Coast boasts

some of the world’s finest courses. Morro Bay Golf Course is often referred to as “the poor man’s Pebble Beach.” This course offers stunning ocean views from just about every hole. Located between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, Dairy Creek Golf Course is a “links style” course with elevation changes, rolling hills and rocky arroyos. Pay a visit to these SLO County courses — they’re worth it, slocountyparks.com. The gem of the Central Coast is Hunter Ranch Golf Course. With 18 holes of rolling hills and unobstructed views of the surrounding wine country, it’s a treat for any golfer, (hunterranchgolf.com).

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Continued from page 59

ing ride. Pedal past ancient oak trees and sun-drenched

wineries. If this appeals to you, take a journey with Central Coast Outdoors, a tour company based out of San Luis Obispo that offers halffull- or multi-day tour packages that will have you biking all over the Central Coast. Keep in mind that your mileage may vary; trips range from 10 to 40 miles for the half- and full-day tours, respectively, and multi-day trips have tours that can take you from San Francisco to Los Angeles. To find the right tour for you, check out californiabicycletour.com.

5

Hot spots for food and drinks. With an abundance of great food and fine wine avail-

able to chefs, it’s no wonder that the Central Coast has so many excep-

Le Vigne Winery

The Italian heritage of the Filippini family is quite evident at Le Vigne Winery. From the tasting room design to the grapes in the vineyard, the history and feel of this winery are quite Old World Italiano. The Filippini family has been in the Paso Robles region since the early 1960s. They converted their land from raising hay and cattle to growing wine grapes in 1982. Le Vigne (the vineyard in Italian) began producing wine several years later, and opened a state-of-the-art winery in 1995. Winemaker Jac Jacobs is a Southern California native who has 30 years of experience in California wines. He has been working for the Filippini family since 2003 and is passionate about making high-quality wines in the Paso region. The winery produces a wide variety of wines including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and blends. Wine isn’t the only thing that owners Walter and Sylvia Filippini produce. They own Peacock Cheese, one of Californian’s first importers of fine foods that distributes gourmet cheeses from around the world. Le Vigne has a wine club that not only offers deals on wine but also on private parties, cheese and chocolate pairings and free shipping on member’s birthdays. They have a beautiful setting for weddings for up to 400 people. levignewinery.com — Don Martin

tional restaurants. Novo Restaurant and Lounge in San Luis Obispo is one of these places. Utilizing locally sourced and globally inspired food, the chefs make culinary magic on a daily basis. The downtown restaurant’s creekside patio seating makes for an intimate setting. Peruse the menu at novorestaurant.com. Another SLO standout is Cafe Roma, where authentic Italian cuisine reigns supreme. With its signature family-style recipes and a mixture of Roman, Tuscan and Lombard specialties, the dishes are fresh, crisp and make you want to eat more. Find out why Cafe Roma has been around for more than 30 years at caferomaslo.com.

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Cass Vineyards and Winery

Off the beaten path on the east side of Highway 101 sits Cass Vineyards and Winery, a fun and quirky boutique winery, in the loosest sense of the word. Tucked among the rolling, centuries-old, oak-studded hills between Paso Robles and Creston, just east of the Templeton Gap, there’s a warm, casual and rustic feel here. All of the wines are estate grown in the vineyard that surrounds the contemporary Cass tasting room inside the mission-style winery. Their Rhone grapes are grown ENTAV certified, which is based on L’Etablissement National Technique pour l’Amelioration de la Viticulture, the French agency responsible for the quality of wine grape varieties. The tasting room offers picnic fare to enjoy with pairings either inside or outside beneath the oak trees for a complete wine country experience. The tasting list is not extensive, but make sure to sample the 2011 viognier or roussanne, or the 2010 Rockin’ One blanc, for a bit of the flavor from this unique winery. casswines.com — Lisa Kimble

Terry Hoage Vineyards

Terry Hoage Vineyards

Photo courtesy of Terry Hoage

4

Hop on a bicycle for a relax-

This 100 percent organically farmed estate is home to Terry Hoage Vineyards, located just off Highway 46 in Paso Robles. Former NFL football player Terry Hoage (whose career spanned 13 seasons and a 1992 Super Bowl win) and wife Jennifer, an interior designer, purchased the property in 2002 and took a few years to build their winery. “Terry literally built the winery, put in the irrigation, built our winery equipment (press, shaker tables) and worked every aspect of the vineyards and winemaking,” Jennifer said. She describes the winery and tasting room as an old country barn — the sides are made of 150-year-old barn wood that came from three Iowa barns that were being torn down. While the down-to-earth couple used to do everything themselves, they now have help running their winery, which makes their lives a little easier since they still do all the winemaking. Terry Hoage Vineyards is most known for its syrah, which Jennifer said is probably because it’s the wine they’ve produced the longest. The Hoages use a minimalist approach in their winemaking using only French oak to make their wines. No packing, fining or filtering is involved. Pay a visit to this hilltop property that offers spectacular views and Rhone-style varietals that include Grenache, picpoul blanc and roussanne. terryhoagevineyards.com — Hillary Haenes


6

Beer versus wine. If wine tasting is not for you, maybe a craft beer or distillery will be

more to your liking. The Central Coast has a few small breweries that have been around

First Crush

Photo by Greg Nichols

for awhile. SLO Brew Co. (formerly SLO Brewing Co.) has been around since 1988, making good beer and creating a fun environ-

First Crush Winemaking Experience

If the hilarity of Lucy and Ethel grapestomping in the popular episode of “I Love Lucy� leaves you aching to get in on the action, look no further than First Crush in Paso Robles. Becky Zelinski, owner of First Crush Winemaking Experience, attended Cal State

Bakersfield and worked as a news correspondent for The Bakersfield Californian before opening the winery with her husband, Lowell. The Zelinskis offer a winemaking experience unlike any other. Visitors are able to take part in every aspect of winemaking, from picking the grapes, to crushing them, and even bottling and labeling their own wine. Once the wines are ready for consumption, Continued on page 62

ment for its patrons at its restaurant on Garden Street. slobrewingco.com. RE:find, a newly formed distillery by the people at Villicana Winery, has succeeded in creating handcrafted vodka and gin from its saignee, a juice which is the by-product of winemak-

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ing, is removed in the early stages of fermentation to improve and enhance wine quality. Currently specializing in small batches, they have future plans to expand their line and include Bourbon-style whiskeys. See the distillery’s website for more info refinddistillery.com.

7

Discover the historic side of the Central Coast. San Simeon is home to a unique museum

unlike any other in the world. The Hearst Castle, designed as a retreat Photo by Jessica Frey

for American newspaper publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, features art treasures from around the world. The Hearst Castle is more than art. It boasts tapestries, mosaic tile work, sculptures

Clautiere Vineyard

(some of which date back thousands of years) and unobstructed views of the beautiful countryside, the likes of which we never see here in the valley. Multiple tours run day and night, look at the castle’s website for more details, hearstcastle.org.

8

Visit missions. Another bit of history at the Central Coast is our California missions. Mission

San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded in 1772, by Father Junipero Serra in what is now downtown SLO. Named for Saint Luis, bishop of Toulouse, France, this functioning Catholic Church still celebrates Mass. The mission is open yearround with a museum and gift shop, but no tours. The museum features a timeline of the area that starts with the American

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Continued from page 61

visitors can also take part in First Crush’s most popular class, art of blending wine. Students are carefully taken through the blending process, step-by-step. With graduated cylinders and long beakers, wine-goers might think they’re in a laboratory. However, as Zelinski explained, careful measurements of wine varietals reflect the beauty in the science of winemaking. First Crush specializes in private wineblending classes and custom labels. Visitors can register with First Crush to receive updates regarding their wine. When its ready, First Crush delivers the sweet treat to members. firstcrushwinemaking.com — Myriam Valdez

Clautiere Vineyard

From the moment you step foot on the beautifully landscaped grounds of Clautiere Vineyard, you can anticipate a magical experience. That feeling follows guests into the vibrantly painted tasting room where whimsical art lines the walls. You’ve entered a winery like no other. Clautiere Vineyard describes itself as “Edward Scissorhands meets the Mad Hatter at the Moulin Rouge,” and that’s just how the atmosphere in this funhouse feels. Since 2003, Clautiere has consistently strived to provide visitors with serious fun. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will take tasters through several wine and gourmet cheese pairings where assistant tasting room

manager Kirsten Helgeson said the 2009 estate syrah is among the winery’s best sellers and is served with a parmesan-style cheese soaked in merlot. Other wines Clautiere specializes in are Bordeaux, ports and Rhone blends such as the fabulous Mon Rouge with flavors of red raspberry, pomegranate and plum along with finishing hints of cocoa and spice. Because this winery’s ambiance is all about having a good time, tasters are invited to visit the Clautiere Playroom where wacky wigs and brightly colorful hats are kept for consumers to find their inner child and make memorable moments among friends. Recently, the winery opened the new red barn doors of Clautiere Too, a larger and private tasting room for groups of 15 or more to celebrate birthdays and bachelorette parties. It’s easy to see why this Paso Robles winery stands out among the rest. clautiere.com — Hillary Haenes

Epoch Wines

Kristen Carrillo, director of sales and marketing, lauds Epoch Wine’s Paderewski Vineyard and York Mountain Winery as a historical treat. Started by famed pianist-turned-awardwinning-vintner Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the York Mountain Winery produced wines “more coveted than his music” during the Roaring 1920s, according to Epoch Wines. Bill and Liz Armstrong, current owners and vintners, who are also geologists, scoured locations to find the perfect terroir setting in west Paso Robles.


Founded in 2004, Epoch Wines set some pretty serious goals in the winemaking business, striving to make wines that are “among the best in the world. All of our wines are superstars,” Carrillo said. This careful planning produced a winery promising top-notch wine. With worldrenowned winemakers like Justin Smith, who received Wine Spectator’s 2010 award for No. 1 wine in the world for his ’07 Saxum, James Berry Vineyard wine, Epoch has carved a place for itself among the best wineries of the Central Coast. epochwines.com — Myriam Valdez

Broken Earth Winery

Although the land it sits upon has been farmed since before 1900, Broken Earth Winery is one of the newest wineries in Paso Robles. The 520-acre vineyard, which resides on the former Rancho Tierra Rajeda (“land of worked earth”), has a long history and winemaker Chris Cameron is passionate about his wines. Broken Earth strives to produce wine that accurately represents the Paso region. The property has a long history of sustainable farm-

ing techniques and is considered a model for producing first quality wine grapes of the Paso Robles region in an eco-friendly manner. The vineyards are planted in cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and chardonnay among other varietals. Cameron, who has won 70 major awards and 600 medals domestically and internationally, said he is intrigued by what this region can do viticulturally in being able to ripen both Rhone and Bordeaux varietals. Broken Earth produces viognier, chardonnay, pinot gris, merlot and other wines of the region. It’s a treat to discover one of Paso Robles’ newest wineries. brokenearthwinery.com — Don Martin

Seeking a decadent Italian experience with 360-degree picturesque views of Old Paso Robles? Look no further than Pear Valley. Owners Tom Maas, a retired road contractor from Orange County, and his wife, Kathleen, want to ensure their winery lasts through generations by offering a stunning setting for

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various paintings on their way of life and other Indian art. From there, the timeline moves forward and shows the different stages of the mission as it was built. While most early artifacts of the mission have been lost to time, some are still present and worth taking a look. The mission is open to the public, and encourages people to explore the area. missionsanluisbispo.org.

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Charming lodging landmark. The Central Coast has lodgings all over the place; none of them

Pear Valley

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Indian Chumash tribes; displaying

Continued on page 64

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Continued from page 63

venture; this quaint inn is more than the sum of its parts. The Madonna Inn also offers fine dining, entertainment, banquet rooms for weddings and receptions and the largest convention center on the Central Coast. See the inn’s website for more information, and be sure to take a peek at the pictures of those rooms. madonnainn. com.

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Shop for local goodies. Farmers markets have been a staple of small

communities for as long as farmers have toiled the earth, and purveyors have had wares to sell. With its fertile farmland and Mediterranean climate, the Central Coast is no exception. It has multiple markets dotting the landscape, all boasting the freshest produce is in season be it citrus, fruits or vegetables. Specialty foods like cheeses, jams and jellies, freshly pressed olive oil and baked goods are always in abundance. With locations in Atascadero, Baywood, Paso Robles, Templeton, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande and Morro Bay, wherever you are, one will be close. Check out these websites as they have all the dates, times and even some of the farms where you’ll find all of this good stuff. slocountyfarmers.org and northcountyfarmersmarkets.com.

wine-tasters to enjoy their day. In 2008, the couple opened the 14,000-square-foot winery along with a 5,000-square-foot tasting room. Featuring an Old World Italian theme, wine lovers experience tastes of Europe from French, Italian and German grape varietals. Their most popular wine, Distraction, is a Bordeaux cabernet franc and petite Bordeaux blend that is featured as part of Pear Valley’s wine-tasting experience. Pear Valley also offers full facility tours, including a look at their crush pad, tank room and barrel storage facilities, all on the estate. pearvalley.com — Myriam Valdez

Vina Robles

Food and wine make for a perfect combination, but not every winery offers these tastings. Vina Robles has introduced two special pairings: a wine and cheese experience, five artisanal cheeses each paired with a special release; and the petite sirah and chocolate experience, showcasing the winery’s flagship wine with handmade truffles. Showcasing the petite sirah has put the winery on the map, according to Simone Michel, director of customer relations and marketing. “We feel that petite sirah will become more popular in the coming years and that more producers will be inspired to tap into the grape’s potential. Also, the wine drinker’s palate is becoming more mature and broadened, therefore the consumers will more and more ask for more variety and unusual wines.” Other ways Vina Robles keeps things interesting is its art center, which will feature the timely exhibit “From Shore to Vine ... Summer on the Central Coast” starting June 9, and a new guesthouse, resplendent with four bedrooms and full views of the vineyard. Stop in this summer for the free Saturday Live series, featuring local musicians; Signature Event, a progressive Spanish-themed dinner event on Aug. 4; and the fourth annual British Invasion, including a car show, auctions and fish and chips. vinarobles.com — Stefani Dias

Justin Vineyards & Winery

Prepare for a windy trek to Justin Winery on the western side of Paso Robles, but the journey past the oak trees is well worth the distance to a place where Old World meets New World. In 1981, when Justin took root, there were less than a dozen wineries in the 64

Bakersfield Life

June 2012

Justin Vineyards

justinwine.com

rooms that can lead a couple to ad-

Paso region. Today, the Justin label offers a large number of estate grown and produced wines. It is one of California’s oldest wine clubs and the only winery in the Central Coast region to have a full-time chef who creates culinary delights daily to pair with Justin wines. The luxurious four-room bed and breakfast, Just Inn, invites guests to relax in European elegance with tapestry-covered furnishings, a wood-burning fireplace and marble bath. While the intimate gourmet restaurant, the Restaurant at Justin, offers nightly dinners of seasonal fresh ingredients. Its Isosceles label is Justin’s flagship wine, a Bordeaux-style wine done in the left bank tradition of concentrating more heavily on the cabernet sauvignon than merlot. A year and a half ago, the family-operated winery was acquired by Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick, whose empire of holdings includes Kern Countybased Paramount Farms. Reservations are requested for groups of eight or more. The tasting room is open daily. While you’re there, tour the fabulous winemaking facility, caves and the dramatic Isosceles library located 120 feet underground. justinwine.com — Lisa Kimble Continued on page 66


Continued from page 64

Edna Valley Paso Robles has long been a favorite destination for Kern County wine lovers due to its close proximity and large variety of quality vineyards, but those who don’t venture past Highway 46 West are missing a great tasting opportunity just 30 minutes south. The Edna Valley appellation that sits right outside San Luis Obispo is a treasure trove of incredible wineries and vineyards. This region is only five miles from the ocean and the mild climate makes for a long growing season, not to mention a typically beautiful day for wine tasting adventures. Housed in a 104-year-old building that has served as a saloon, general store and several restaurants, Sextant Wines is the pride of proprietors Craig and Nancy Stoller, both born and raised in Bakersfield. In 2004, the Stollers began producing Sextant wines from the product of their successful rootstalk business (Craig is the CEO of Sunridge Nurseries, also in Bakersfield). A

Photo by Jessica Frey

Sextant Wines

Nancy Stoller, along with her husband, Craig, owns Sextant Wines.

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Bakersfield Life

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year later, they created the 10 Knots label to showcase their excellent Rhone-style varietals of syrah and viognier, as well as a Burgundian pinot noir. From their minimally oaked and buttery chardonnays to their fantastic zinfandels, Sextant has amassed an impressive array of awards in their short history. Combined with a gourmet deli for sandwiches and cheeses, Sextant Wines is a requirement for a complete Edna Valley tasting trip. And luckily for those who are reluctant to venture past 46 West, the new Sextant Estate Winery and Hospitality Center in Paso is scheduled to open its doors in June. sextantwines.com — Kevin McCloskey

Baileyana Winery

Inside the one-room Independence schoolhouse built in 1909, which sits on the northern end of Edna Valley, is the charming Baileyana Winery tasting room. The historical building was restored in 1998, using as many original elements as possible — the windows, siding and floorboards were left to leave character and make it the ideal visitor destination for wine lovers. Baileyana Winery was founded in the mid-’80s by Catharine Niven, whose husband pioneered wine grape planting in the Edna Valley during the early 1970s. Now operated by the family’s second and third generations, Baileyana focuses on its Grand Firepeak cuvee chardonnay, which has refreshing tropical flavors of pineapple, coconut and lemon zest and a smooth hint of vanilla and graham cracker. There’s also the Grand Peak cuvee pinot noir that’s a popular pick with its black cherry and dark raspberry notes along with a dash of nutmeg and hazelnut, as French winemaker Christian Roguenant describes these wines. During the last six years, Baileyana has launched four wine brands that can all be tasted in the schoolhouse tasting room: Tangent (food-friendly white wines), Trenza (blends of wine grapes from SLO), Cadre (a tribute to south Central Coast pinot noirs) and Zocker (Austrian varietals). Stop in for a nice afternoon where the people are friendly and the views of the vineyards are breathtakingly beautiful. baileyana.com — Hillary Haenes

Chamisal Vineyards

The big, red barn along Orcutt Road, one of the two main highways through Edna Valley, is home to Chamisal Vineyards. This

(Sustainability in Practice) SIP-certified farm was first planted in 1973, and is the valley’s oldest vineyard, which was named after chamise, a shrub of white flowers that covered the property. Harvest time on this farm is all done by hand, and that attention to the grapes is reflected in their excellent wines. With 38 acres and 10 different clones of pinot noir grapes, winemaker Fintan du Fresne has quite a variety to work with in crafting his exceptional pinots. His highly rated chardonnays and pinot gris will delight those who prefer the lighter side of the wine list, while several syrah selections and a Grenache round-out their reds. Chamisal’s Califa line showcases their best and brightest vintages, and comes from a Modoc Indian word that means “prettiest one.” chamisalvineyards.com — Kevin McCloskey

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Situated right behind the San Luis Obispo Airport, Tolosa Winery is the gateway to Edna Valley. Another SIP-certified vineyard, Tolosa is the perfect beginning or ending to a well-planned afternoon of tasting. The winery is named after the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and their natural style of grape farming is a reflection of the first California winemakers, the missionaries. With five separate vineyards throughout the valley to take advantage of the soil, slopes and microclimates of each, Tolosa winemaker Larry Brooks has developed a unique palette of grapes from which to produce his art. As you approach the tasting room, the beautiful landscaping sets the stage for the tasting pleasures that await. The elegant tasting room with its view of the winemaking operation will provide plenty of things to talk about while sampling their impressive pinot noirs and chardonnays. With Rhone varietals, along with a sauvignon blanc and even a grenache rose, the wine list at Tolosa has something for everyone. For those who want to learn more about the process, a selfguided tour is available. If this is the last stop, Tolosa’s shaded patio is a perfect place to wind down and enjoy one of their wine pairing selections of cheese or chocolate truffles. tolosawinery.com — Kevin McCloskey Explore Paso Robles and Edna Valley’s wineries with a limousine tour courtesy of The Limousine Scene. Book a trip with them at 831-7955 or reservations@limousinescene. com.

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KC Steakhouse bartender Katie Campbell holds a rib-eye steak paired with a glass of Wild Horse pinot noir.

Local wine

locally Compiled by Kevin McCloskey

W

Photos by Mark Nessia

ine tasting at the source is an experience that wine lovers find hard to beat, and our close proximity to the Central Coast wine region is certainly one of the benefits of living in Bakersfield. We have easy access to several distinct appellations within a short 90 minutes, and many of our local restaurants and shops have made it even easier by bringing the Central Coast to us. Here are a few of their favorites:

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Hungry Hunter Steakhouse

Geena Vizcarra, bar manager, suggests: Wild Coyote El Valiente merlot Paso Robles $39/bottle; $10/glass

A big proponent of local wines, Hungry Hunter Steakhouse features selections from a new winery every six to eight weeks along with an initial food-pairing dinner and suggestions from their menu. Wild Coyote Estate Winery of Paso Robles is their current offering, and bar manager Geena Vizcarra highly recommends their El Valiente merlot upon your next visit. This “bold wine has a lot of complexity and flavors, not typical of merlot, and drinks more like a cabernet.� Paired with their Cajon-spiced rib-eye topped with blue cheese, this merlot will surprise fans of the varietal, and may even convert a few cab lovers. 3580 Rosedale Highway; 328-0580; hungryhuntersteakhouse.com.


Country Club Liquors & Delicatessen

Jack Waters, owner, suggests: Tobin James Radiance chardonnay Paso Robles $15/bottle

Jack Waters at Country Club Liquors has been in the business for more than 52 years, including 45 years dealing with fine wine. It’s pretty safe to say he’s seen it all. “Tobin James Cellars is our No. 1 best-seller from the Central Coast.” Jack considers Tobin James Radiance, a “great cocktail chardonnay” for its popularity as a party wine, and said that it pairs nicely with fish or shrimp dishes and almost anything with a cream sauce. 3737 Columbus St.; 871-2561.

KC Steakhouse

Katie Campbell, bartender, suggests: Wild Horse pinot noir Central Coast $36/bottle; $8/glass

While studying to complete her degree in business marketing at Cal State Bakersfield, KC Steakhouse bartender Katie Campbell is also a student of wine. “We are completely changing our wine list over the next month and bringing in more Central Coast offerings such as Justin Vineyards of Paso Robles. We’re hoping to deviate from the grocery store options and bring in unique selections, with a focus on California wines.” From their current list, Campbell suggests the always excellent Wild Horse pinot noir, out of Templeton, combined with their rib-eye steak or the chicken marsala. 2515 F St.; 322-9910; kcsteakhouse.net.

Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant David Dobbs, owner, suggests: Alban Vineyards Patrina syrah Edna Valley $47.99/bottle

David Dobbs, proprietor of Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant, has been in the wine business in one capacity or another for more than 27 years. Raised in Bakersfield, he returned in 2007, and launched Imbibe Wine with his wife, Tamera. One of Dobbs’ absolute favorite Central Coast selections comes from Alban Vineyards at the south end of Edna Valley. “John Alban was instrumental in bringing Rhone-style varietals to the valley, and helped put the Central Coast appellation on the map. There is no one more committed to detail, sense of place and remaining true to the varietal than Alban.” With a history of only selling to their turn-based customer mailing list with a long wait, the Alban Patrina syrah is a rare find and won’t stay long on the shelf. 4140 Truxtun Ave.; 633-9463; imbibewine.com.

Cafe Med Restaurant

Karen Bennett, wine director and sommelier, suggests: Liquid Farm White Hill chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills $35.99/bottle

The extensive wine list at Cafe Med Restaurant is full of choices from our neighbors to the west. Wine director Karen Bennett suggests the Liquid Farm White Hill chardonnay, one of their recent additions, to complement the shrimp scampi or delicious saffron seafood risotto. This low-alcohol, Old Worldstyle chardonnay comes from the Sta. Rita Hills appellation just west of Buellton. Cafe Med also hosts a monthly wine tasting event on the last Friday showcasing 15 to 20 different wines. They frequently invite a Central Coast winemaker to share their products and meet their future Bakersfield clientele. At $25 per person, this event helps to fill the void between wine country tasting trips. 4809 Stockdale Highway; 8344433; cafemedrestaurant.com.

Trader Joe’s

Ray Ramon, wine specialist, suggests: Familia Nueva Liberte cabernet sauvignon Paso Robles $9.99/bottle

The next time you shop at Trader Joe’s, look for Ray in the wine department to get his Central Coast recommendations. His current favorite is Liberte, a cab from Familia Nueva, made exclusively for Trader Joe’s by Ancient Peaks Winery and their Visalia-born winemaker, Mike Sinor. This hearty cabernet is an excellent value wine and a perfect complement for your outdoor endeavors as we enter the grilling season. At $10 a bottle, Liberte could easily become your new favorite everyday or table wine. 8200 Stockdale Highway; 837-8863; traderjoes.com. bakersfieldlife.com

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Wine Finds

3

The perfect accessories

2

Cute accoutrement for enthusiasts who want the latest and greatest finds for fine wine Compiled by Paola Becerra

1 Whimsical wine stemwear

These trendy, hand-painted Lolita wine glasses come in many fun designs to fit any occasion. $26.99. Find your perfect glass at Anna’s Cards & Gifts, 9000 Ming Ave., Suite D-1; 664-0228; annasgifts.biz.

2 Go bananas over this monkey!

Dress up your bottle of wine with this knit wine monkey! Inspired by the iconic sock monkey, this sleeve fits over any standard wine bottle. $9.99. Available at Cost Plus World Market, 9240 Rosedale Highway; 587-1620; worldmarket.com.

1

3 Let the wine breathe

No need for excessive swirling! The sophisticated Vinturi wine aerator incorporates oxygen into the wine for enhanced aromas and flavors that will provide a smoother finish. $35.99. Found at Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant, 4140 Truxtun Ave.; 633-9463; imbibewine.com.

4 Shoe stopper

This adorable wine stopper is a must-have for any diva wine connoisseur. $18.50. For this style and others, visit Bobbi’s Hallmark at 8200 Stockdale Highway; 834-7467; hallmark.com.

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5 Carry it in style

Not only are they cute, they also come in handy! Carry your wine bottles in these stylish purses that also protect the glass. Cases come with a bottle opener. $38.99. Find these and other colors and prints at The Gourmet Shoppe next to Cafe Med, 4801 Stockdale Highway; 834-5522; cafemedrestaurant.com.

6

No more worries when opening wine

The Metrokane Original Rabbit Corkscrew quickly pulls the cork within a few seconds. It makes struggling to open wine bottles a thing of the past and is definitely a must-have! $49.99. Look for it at Cost Plus World Market, 9240 Rosedale Highway; 587-1620; worldmarket.com.

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6


Training

for success By Dana Martin

Photos by Henry A. Barrios

E

ach year, Bakersfield Life profiles local area high school students who have worked hard enough to garner entrance into some of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

Much like athletes training for the professional ranks, the youth among these pages have spent grueling hours studying, applying, and juggling numerous activities to prepare themselves for their big opportunity to attend the college of their dreams so they can achieve singular success in their chosen careers. The following 20 profiles exhibit some of our city’s finest young people, who have sacrificed their free time and filled every other minute with extracurricular activities to position themselves to be the best of the best. Just like every year, there will be similarities among the following scholars. Of the 20, seven students want to go into engineering, while nine plan to focus on the medical field. We have three Trojans, seven Bruins, and one amazing Roadrunner. A few of them are first generation college students. We’re also presenting two sets of twins along with a Gate’s Scholar, a Dell Scholar, and one student who gave up admission to UC Santa Barbara in order to stay home and help his family. Yes, they are a sampling of the best of the best. Let us collectively congratulate them on this incredible ride. Alex Alvarado

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Alex Alvarado East High School College: University of Southern California Proposed major: Bioengineering Grade point average: 4.5

If most of one’s life is spent at work, then Alex Alvarado wants to ensure he will enjoy it. Alvarado chose bioengineering for his major because the science represents the possibility of discovery.


“I wanted to do something new without a concern for earning money,” said Alvarado. “I wanted a new science or frontier, something that’s never been done before.” Specifically, Alvarado has interest in genetic testing. Learning about a recent discovery of woolly mammoth DNA and the strong possibility of scientists cloning the species by 2016, his interest intensified. “I’d love to work on fossilized specimens, fossilized dinosaurs

and stuff,” he said. Alvarado gets a head start with a full scholarship through Questbridge National College Match. He is on East High School’s ASB, in the Forensics Club and Environment Club, on Mock Trial, and is part of the CSF. When asked to tell us something about himself that very few people know about him, he said, “I like to play music. I can play three different instruments: flute, trumpet and bass.” Continued on page 74 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 73

Jacob Braun Bakersfield Christian High School College: USC Proposed major: Physics Grade point average: 4.5

Bakersfield Christian High School’s ASB vice president is a world traveler. By his senior year, Jacob Braun has already been to India, Germany, Austria and Switzerland — to name a few — and in the fall, he will head to the University of Southern California to pursue a degree in physics. Younger students just beginning the college search process may wonder how to get into a college as prestigious as USC. “I think No. 1 was my Travel Club experience,” said Braun. “UniJacob Braun versities look for people who bring in different viewpoints and various experiences. I’m involved in a variety of activities. I play soccer, and I’m active in ASB and clubs. They like to see people who are well rounded like that.” Braun is also the president of his school’s Philosophy Club and in Key Club and National Honor Society. Braun says his dad, Craig Braun, has been the most influential adult in his life. Braun also reveals that most people don’t know it, but he is really into Star Wars.

Edward Loera Golden Valley High School College: USC Proposed (double) major: Political science and economics Grade point average: 4.5

Being a member of Golden Valley’s Mock Trial team piqued Edward Loera’s interest in law. Specifically, he wants to learn more about how the political system affects people. “I don’t think people realize how much it affects them,” he said. Loera said his Mock Trial coach, Craig Braun (who is also mentioned by our featured student from Bakersfield Christian High School), guided him and gave him insight in the field. Loera, a first-generation college student, said the application process is competitive. Edward Loera “The big thing that differentiated me from the other candidates was that I concentrated on the entrance essays and tried to make the most of the opportunity,” he said. “I wanted to be as sincere as possible on my 74

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June 2012

application.” Loera is also in the Science and Medicine Club, Interact Club, Breast Friends (for breast cancer awareness) and NHS. Loera says his mom is the biggest influence in his life, and when asked to tell us something unique about himself, he said, “I watch the Food Network, and I’m not a bad cook!”

Wendi Wu Independence High School College: University of California, Berkeley Proposed major: Molecular and cellular biology Grade point average: 4.5

How does it feel to have the best of all worlds? Ask Wendi Wu, who has been accepted to UC Berkeley but is patiently waiting for Stanford University to select her from their waiting list. The college she will attend in the fall may not be clear, but her tuition surely is: zero. Wu is the recipient Wendi Wu of the highly coveted Gates Millennium Scholarship, a program that selects only 1,000 students each year to receive a full scholarship to any university of their choice. Wu said she wants to be a pediatric oncologist. “I want to be a doctor in a field that needs advances in technology and research.” Wu is a first-generation college student. “College is very important to me. I’ve seen how my parents worked shifts they didn’t want to take because of their lack of education.” Wu is the ASB secretary, in Link Crew, Medical Club, and Asian Student Union and has been on varsity tennis four years, She also plays violin. As for her hidden talent, Wu said this: “I like to bake red velvet cupcakes.”

Eric Lopez Highland High School College: California State University, Bakersfield Proposed major: Engineering Grade point average: 4.2

A first-generation college student, Eric Lopez was thrilled when he received his acceptance to the University of California at Santa Barbara. Lopez was excited to head to the coast in the fall, but that was before his grandfather became ill. Now, plans have changed. “In the fall, my mom has to go to Mexico to take care of my grandfather,” said Lopez, a move that would leave his younger siblings at home with just their oldest brother (who is also in college) to take care of them on a regular basis.


Eric Lopez

For Lopez, leaving town for college was no longer an option. “As a favor, my mom said, ‘Go to Santa Barbara.’ She wanted me to go. But I decided to stay here and take care of the little ones and help out my parents as much as possible,” said Lopez. So, in August, CSUB will welcome this fine young man, who is in CSF and the Spanish Honor Society, and

volunteers at the homeless shelter. Lopez credits his father for being his biggest influence. When asked to reveal something most people don’t know about him, Lopez shrugged off his tough exterior and admitted, “I like to watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”

Molly Chandler Frontier High School College: United States Naval Academy Proposed major: Chemistry Grade point average: 4.5

Molly Chandler

Molly Chandler knew from the seventh grade what she wanted to do for a living, and in the fall, she embarks on the path to Annapolis to make it happen. “I chose chemistry for my major because I hope to go to medical school to be a Navy doctor. I grew up in Washington State and lived in a community surrounded by naval officers. I want to serve my country and travel

around helping people.” To capture the attention of one of the nation’s prestigious military schools, Chandler achieved a perfect score (36) on her ACT exam. She is a National Merit Scholar and one of Frontier’s valedictorians. Chandler is a Ford Dream Builder, on the ASB board, and in Interact club, Link Crew and CSF. She sings in the choir and plays varsity tennis. She says that while she realizes it may be cliche, she admits that her parents are her mentors because of the solid foundation they gave her. Finally, when asked to reveal something about herself that hardly anyone knows, she said, “I was born three months premature. I weighed just two pounds, 12 ounces.”

Annie Berry Garces Memorial High School College: University of Georgia Proposed major: Dietetics Grade point average: 4.3

Annie Berry’s enthusiasm is contagious. Perhaps, it’s the reason she’s the Garces ASB commissioner of entertainment. She also plays varsity tennis and is the captain of the varsity swim team. With all her enthusiasm, though, she couldn’t seem to rally the troops for one new club: the Garces Glee Club. “It’s a work in progress,” she said, laughing. “I don’t have very many musical talents.” Acceptance at the University of Georgia took hard work, many honAnnie Berry ors and AP classes, and help from her mom, who showed Berry how to organize the college application process. Berry plans to study dietetics, with good reason. “I was born with a genetic metabolic disorder, so I’m on a strict diet,” Berry said. “I can’t have protein. I’ve dealt with diet all my life, and I’ve always wanted to work in a field and work with kids who have this genetic disorder so I can help them.” Berry is a Ford Dream Builder and Link Crew president and credits her maternal grandmother for sharing her amazing outlook on life. Annie shares a little known fact: “I am obsessed with teeth!”

Lauren Wright Stockdale High School College: MIT Proposed major: Mechanical engineering Grade point average: 4.5

Getting into a university as challenging as MIT isn’t easy, but for Lauren Wright, it was a snap. She said the guidelines are clear: they want “human beings,” not stereotypical nerdy (but brilliant) people who can’t connect. They were looking for a person with a voice, and they got one with Lauren. “MIT was my first choice,” said Wright. “I subscribe to Popular Science magazine, and I geek out over the articles, and MIT is mentioned in almost every article. When I visited the campus, I felt like I belonged; I felt like I was home.”

Lauren Wright Continued on page 76 bakersfieldlife.com

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Once at MIT, Wright will study mechanical engineering with a focus in the biomedical field for a good reason. “I want to build smart prosthetics. I grew up in Colorado Springs surrounded by military activities. Living there, we had people who came home (from Iraq and Afghanistan) missing parts, and they became my inspiration.” Wright prides herself in being on Stockdale’s academic decathlon team, NHS, CSF and Link Crew. When asked to reveal something unique about herself, she said, “I taught myself how to play the ukulele by watching YouTube videos.”

Jordan Abel South High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Bioengineering Grade point average: 4.5

South High School is doing something right, and Jordan Abel will be the first to say it. Through their Engineering and Industrial Technology Academy (known as MS³), South High informs its students about summer enrichment programs and research mentorships (lasting up to six weeks during summers) that Abel feels propelled him toward his future area of study, bioengineering. “During the COSMOS program, I was introduced to different biomedical careers. I got to see a robot that helped stroke victims Jordan Abel make use of their arms and realized I could impact people’s lives. I was fortunate that the academy told us about these programs and helped fund them for us.” He also said he chose UCLA not only for its beautiful campus but also because of the friendly leaders willing to help him get good grades, which is important to him. Abel is on South’s We the People team, was a scholar athlete, in Links Leadership Academy, and CSF and NHS. He took second place with his We the People unit at the district level — an amazing accomplishment itself, but especially for him. “I have overcome a stuttering problem.”

Cynthia Cervantes Foothill High School College: UCLA Proposed majors: Health Care and art Grade point average: 4.5

UCLA has been Cynthia Cervantes’ dream college for as long as she can remember because it is close to home and is one of the top college universities in California. Plus, she said, “I want to be enrolled in rigorous classes to keep me motivated.” Cervantes is the vice president of Foothill’s math club, the senior class treasurer, on the Academic Decathlon team and in French club, AVID CSF. She also plays tennis. Importantly, she is also a Dell Scholar, meaning that she receives 76

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a $20,000 scholarship and new Dell laptop for college. Besides her good grades, Cervantes believes she knows why she got into UCLA. “I spent hours on my personal statement. I was honest and discussed that I had to push myself to end up where I am. I come from a low-income Cynthia Cervantes family and didn’t let that stop me. I haven’t shown any signs that I’m going to give up.” Cervantes plans to double major in health care and art, a passion since she was a small girl. “I’d like to be an occupational therapist and use art therapy,” she said. When asked to reveal a secret about herself, she laughed. “I like to collect rocks.”

Daniel Ibarra Ridgeview High School College: Stanford Proposed major: Mechanical engineering Grade point average: 4.5

Daniel Ibarra’s story is a good one. Born into a migrant farmworker family, Ibarra is called a “migrant student,” a young man who changed schools roughly every three months as his family moved around in the fields. The shortest time he spent at one school was three days. “When I was in second grade, we moved back to Mexico because my parents couldn’t find Daniel Ibarra work,” he said. By the sixth grade, they finally found steady work and a home to buy. Ibarra’s is a success story, as both Yale and Stanford accepted his application. Although he is well-rounded and has earned high scores, Ibarra believes the prestigious colleges accepted him for other reasons, too. “It relates to math and the migrant story,” Ibarra said. “I want to study mechanical engineering because I’m good in math. Math is math in Spanish or English. Many of my classmates have the same migrant experience but didn’t make it.” Ibarra is in Ridgeview’s Math and Mesa clubs, Interact club and Link Crew. He also is CSF and played soccer all four years. The secret hardly anyone knows about him? “I


still watch cartoons on Saturday mornings.”

Leah Moore Centennial High School College: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Proposed major: Civil engineering Grade point average: 4.5

If you’ve ever been to The Marketplace during the Via Arte Festival, you may have seen Centennial’s Leah Moore’s artwork. Although she didn’t decide to pursue her love of art in college, Cal Poly was happy to admit her as a civil engineering student. “I chose Cal Poly because of the hands-on teaching and the availability of jobs after graduation. I’m interested in the 4+1 graduate program,” she said, explaining that it Leah Moore allows students to simultaneously earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She believes Cal Poly considered her well-rounded with a creative side and liked her speaking ability. Moore participated in forensics and is part of Centennial’s successful We the People team, qualifying for the state tournament the past three years. She broke to the semifinals in duo for two of those years and broke to the top 14 this year in debate. Moore is also into church and in Ford Dimension and CSF. She played varsity tennis and swam. Leah admits to one thing most people don’t know about her: “I can build a campfire!”

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Amanda Borst, our first Tehachapi student to be included in our college list, said being well-rounded tipped the scales in her favor with Penn. “I wrote to them about having balance in my life — a high GPA, sports, extracurricular activities. I’m not just focused on academics. I also have over 400 community service hours.” Borst is the president of her school’s CHOSA club, vice president of Key Club, Amanda Borst

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Continued from page 77

in NHS, CSF, and Youth Alive, plays the clarinet in the school band and is on the varsity volleyball and swim teams. For her next amazing accomplishment, she has enrolled in Penn’s nursing science program. “I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field but recently decided on nursing when my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. I watched the nurses care for him and learned how great it is relating with a patient. You don’t get that as a doctor.” Borst said that getting to know her patients on a deeper level is what she wants. She plans to become a pediatric oncology nurse, then pursue a master’s degree as a nurse practitioner. For her least-known fact, Borst said, “I’ve ridden in a hot air balloon.”

Travis Holloway North High School College: Whitworth University Proposed major: Chemical engineering Grade point average: 4.5

The day Brown University denied Travis Holloway’s admission was a good day, he said, because going to Whitworth is a much better opportunity. “Whitworth does a partnership with Columbia University in New York City. You go for two years and then transfer to

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Columbia. This school fits better and offers me more than Brown could offer.” Holloway plans to work in the pharmaceutical field (eventually earning his PhD). He chose chemical engineering, he said, because he is “interested in taking things apart at the molecular level. You can form something Travis Holloway revolutionary and new. In my four years of high school, I have found something that challenges me.” Holloway is the president of North High’s Interact Club, in the Photo Club, Wildlife Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, and Maya Club and is also in CSF and the Spanish Honor Society. Holloway will be a firstgeneration college student and said that he looks up to both of his parents for supporting him and challenging him to go to greater heights. When asked to reveal something unique about himself, Holloway confessed, “I really like Nat King Cole.”

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Enoch Chang Bakersfield High School College: Yale Proposed major: Science Grade point average: 4.5

Enoch Chang is still a bit undecided on his major but very clear in his decision to go to Yale. “What stuck out to me is that everyone was so friendly at Yale, building each other up and encouraging each other to be the best at what you do. Yale has always been a dream — having an enjoyable college experience and Enoch Chang getting a good education. It’s humbling to go to school with kids who are so good at so many things.” Count Chang as one of them: A four-time state returner for Academic Decathlon, Chang’s team took the Valley Championship in debate this year, and, for his role, he earned the Valley Champion title individually in Lincoln Douglas. Chang credits his family for preparing him for college. “My family taught me that excellence is important — the idea of learning for learning’s sake. Whether it was for school or for myself, I like the process of learning.” Specifically, he credits his older sister for teaching him a passion for learning new things and pushing him to excellence. A little-known fact about Chang? “I barbecue pizza on the grill instead of baking it in the oven!”

Laura Alba Mira Monte High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Business and neuroscience Grade point average: 4.5

Laura Alba

As a first-generation college student, Laura Alba entered Mira Monte High School with no clear vision of what she wanted to do with her education. But that changed quickly. “At the beginning of ninth grade, the AVID class taught me what college is and what is required. It appealed to me when I learned about getting a full ride and the opportunity to go to

another place and live on campus — live with other students who want to be something.” For her part, Alba wants to give back. She wants to use her degree to help her family economically, but she also yearns to start a nonprofit organization to help students pay for their education and give them the opportunity to visit college campuses. Alba started Mira Monte’s math club when the school opened in 2008, is in the Knitting Club and Spanish Club, and she is the vice president of CSF. Alba credits her AP calculus teacher Jaspel Pannu for his encouragement and helping his students during lunch and outside of normal school hours. “He’s a dedicated teacher,” she said. A little-known fact about Alba is that she loves to read manga (Japanese comics).

Lizeth Del Castillo West High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Neuroscience Grade point average: 4.3

Lizeth Del Castillo and her twin sister, Elena, will be first-generation college students. Although they have the same major, they arrived at it for different reasons. “I started researching majors last year because the brain/mind and how it works has always interested me. Family members have had problems, and if I study in this field, I could probably help them,” said Lizeth. She looks forward to getting a higher education so she can help her family, but she’s also excited about the journey. Lizeth Del Castillo “I’m looking forward to being able to say, ‘Yes, I am a student at UCLA!’” she said. Lizeth said that her sister has the same study habits, and they will share a dorm and take some of the same classes. “We want to be independent, but it’s always nice to have someone to study with.” Lizeth is the president of the French Honor Society, in Math Honor society, English Honor Society, Interact Club, Roots and Shoots, Link Crew, NHS and CSF. When asked to reveal a unique experience with her twin, Lizeth said, “Sometimes when my twin gets hurt, I feel it.”

Elena Del Castillo West High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Neuroscience Grade point average: 4.3

Elena Del Castillo said that attending UCLA with her sister will ease some of the fear in leaving home. “I’d be scared to Continued on page 80 bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 79

go to college by myself. If it weren’t for my sister, none of my friends would be going to UCLA. It will be nice sharing the experience of being first to go to college.” About choosing neuroscience as her major, Elena knows exactly what motivated her. “My mom takes care of a child with autism, and I’m interested in learning about schizophrenia. I am lucky I am healthy, but I want to help children by studying mental disorders.” Elena looks forward to attending Elena Del Castillo UCLA because “learning will have a whole new definition. We will study subjects we are interested in and not just ones we have to take. We’ll be learning from teachers who have studied that subject and have experiences.” Elena is in French Honor Society, Math Honor society, English Honor Society, Interact Club, Roots and Shoots, Link Crew, NHS and CSF. Elena reports that she and her twin share the same thoughts.

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“We sometimes stop and ask each other what song is in your head — and we always discover that it’s the same song.”

Sandeep Badesha Liberty High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Psychobiology Grade point average: 4.5

Liberty High School sent us a set of accomplished twins, who had their choice in prestigious universities. Sandeep Badesha reported that he applied to five elite California universities and gained admission to them all. He said he chose UCLA because it was the best school for his major. “I picked a broad science major so I could go into anything in the medical field. As Sandeep Badesha of now, it’s a doctor, but


it could change.” Sandeep credits his upbringing for the success he had in school. “My parents always pushed us hard to do well. Our mom made us do extra work during the summer and kept us brushed up on skills. We wanted to do as well as our sister. Our dad is a successful person and a good role model.” He said being in Westwood is what he looks forward to about college life, and that he and twin Mandeep will live in separate dorms. “It’s by choice. If we stay in the same dorm, we’d hang out together. This way, we will be more independent and make a name for ourselves.” Sandeep is in Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Link Crew and played basketball for Liberty all four years.

Mandeep Badesha Liberty High School College: UCLA Proposed major: Biology Grade point average: 4.5

Mandeep Badesha has some words of wisdom for active high school students wanting to get into a college as amazing as UCLA.

“Through high school, you have to concentrate on priorities. We like to have fun, but we set aside time for homework, take every extra credit opportunity, and complete our school work on or before time.” Mandeep and twin Sandeep will attend UCLA together in the fall, where Mandeep will focus on biology. “I chose a broader major so after UCLA, I can branch out. I’d like to do arthroscopic surgery and deal with sports injuries,” he said, noting it was an interest sparked after suffering a chipped bone in his ankle at basketball practice. Mandeep said attending UCLA is Mandeep Badesha a dream come true, and that he looks forward to being independent, leading his own life, making his parents happy, and being successful. He is a math tutor, in the Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Link Crew, and Key Club, and played on the basketball team all four years. As a funny twin experience, Mandeep said this: “In second grade, we switched places and no one noticed. We are fraternal twins, but nobody believes us.”

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Photo by Michael Fagans

Home and Garden

Clark Goehring holds a bottle of Dom Perignon in his wine cellar in his home in Shafter.

Wine connoisseurs A look inside fine wine cellars By Hillary Haenes

E

veryone has a pastime or a hobby, and for these men, theirs includes housing collections of fine wines. Bakersfield Life found three local guys gracious enough to let us inside their homes to tour their wine collection. A couple of them converted rooms in their house to store wine bottles, while another purchased a beautiful piece of furniture and rents lockers at Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant to chill for long-term storage.

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Cave-like cellar Shafter cherry and almond farmer Clark Goehring and his wife, Nancy, put their wine cellar in when they built their house almost four years ago. They live out in the country, and wanted to have good wine readily accessible, so they turned a spare bedroom and walk-in closet into a cave and the refrigerated wine cellar. This heavily insulated room has a separate air conditioner (that’s set at a cool 57 degrees) and humidifier. The cellar’s decorative stonework and polished cement floor perfectly suits their Tuscany-style home. “We custom-designed the shelving to the specific dimensions of the room and assembled it ourselves along with special lighting to enhance the mood of the area,” said Clark Goehring, who used to be a winemaker himself. While the couple is still accumulating wine, they admit to having slowed on purchases considerably as their cellar holds about 1,000 bottles and they are about 95 percent full. Staying organized is key to finding the right bottle, which is why the Goehrings’ cellar is arranged by style, color and varieties of the wines. There are areas for sparkling wine, dessert wine, white wine, cabernet sauvignon, blends, other reds. They even have certain places for special wines like winery owner-signed bottles from Fess Parker and a few $100 bottles saved for particular occasions.


the extra refrigerated area to store food.

Clark Goehring has a signed bottle of Fess Parker pinot noir in his home’s wine cellar.

Photo by Michael Fagans

Stand alone units and lockers

“Our favorite bottles are the ones we share with family and friends. The cellar is mainly composed of California wines, reason being, California does a great job and we believe in supporting the local growers and winemakers. We like all the wines we have purchased and each has a time and a place to be enjoyed,” he said. With three grown sons who also enjoy the wine cellar immensely, it’s a place to spend time with family and friends. Goehring said his cellar has proved to be very convenient, especially on special occasions when he hosts large social events and needs

For Michael Moore, insurance broker and California regional vice president for Walter Mortensen Insurance/INSURICA, it has taken 15 years to build and accumulate almost 1,200 bottles of wine. Moore has two stand-alone units in his home: One is his 620-bottle cellar that’s a mix of ready to drink and long-term storage, while the other unit in his game room chills 180 bottles and are ready to drink. He also rents several lockers at Imbibe for the longterm space. Having a few different storage places and keeping his wine sorted by type, by winery and then by the year has his friends and family a little concerned. “They think I have lost my mind, but they do enjoy helping me drink the wine,” Moore said. “Good wine needs proper storage, and I like to keep it close!” His favorite bottles include verticals of 10 to 20 plus years such as Turley petite syrah and Ridge Vineyard’s Monte Bello estate cabernets.

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Michael Garcia in his spacious wine cellar. Continued from page 83

Spare bedroom turned wine cellar It took Michael Garcia, commercial roofing contractor, about four months to turn a spare bedroom into a spacious 400-square-foot wine cellar. Garcia currently has about 1,600 bottles, and with his bottles neatly organized, it isn’t too over-powering. Garcia said, as you walk in, there are cases and cases of fine French bottles stacked to the right, the back wall are lined with

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whites and wine opener collections. On the left side of the room, he has American bottles. “The importance of having a cellar is that I have had almost all my wine since release and have stored them in perfect cellar conditions,” Garcia said. Among his favorites are the Alban collection, 1982 Petrus Bordeaux (100 percent merlot), 1989 Haut Brion and a 1990 La Tache. One of Garcia’s prized bottles is a six-liter of 1985 Lafite.

June 2012

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Pastimes

Antiquing Hunting for lost treasures

By Breanna Fields

C

Photos by Alex Horvath

hances are, if you’ve driven in downtown Bakersfield near Central Park at Mill Creek, you may have noticed that stores have one thing in common: most have “antique” in the name. These stores house a variety of treasures from collectors. Rick Freels, owner of Mill Creek Antique Mall at 805 19th St., opened his doors two years ago as part of the local scene of antique stores that provides antique collectors a platform to turn their hobby into a career. This particular building is spacious and hosts antique vendors with fascinating collections from different eras. “We’ve got everything from furniture to collectable figurines; anything you can think of here,” said Freels, “from metal cans to bird cages to records.” Immersed in the culture of antique collecting at a young age, Freels would accompany his parents on hunts for interesting and rare items up and down the state. “I was around it all those years and my dad left a lot when he passed away. He left me with quite a bit of his antiques, so I’ve just been collecting.” His personal collection consists of what he refers to as “mantiques,” a term used to describe mechanical items like cars, trains, clocks and scales. 86

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Everything from furniture to figurines can be found at Mill Creek Antique Mall.


Gary Prendez is serious about collecting. He and his partner have a spot to sell at the Mill Creek Antique Mall.

“Personally, I love researching a piece that I know little about; I learn something new every time.”

“Personally, I love researching a piece Others who have set up shop at the Mill that I know little about; I learn something Creek Antique Mall include Gary Prendez, new every time. It is also gratifying when who has worked as a custom full-service someone appreciates and buys one of your interior designer for 30 years in addition to pieces,” she said. selling antiques. His space includes furniReluctant to reveal their hunting ture, decorative accessories, lamp-lightings, grounds for antique items, the partners have rugs, glass, art deco, mid-century jewelry both decided to keep it a “trade secret,” and and childhood items. concluded that they have many town haunts. “My mother has a real good eye for findChris Parker, another antique seller at ing good ol’ nice things. She actually bought Mill Creek, said that she typically shops at a forest green glass vase that got me started,” Antique enthusiast Susan Pishinsky flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops, yard Prendez said. sales, online sites like Etsy and eBay, as With 25 years of collecting experience well as through private sellers. under his belt, he is also a fan of the “friendly atmosphere and caRock art is a new concept that Parker has integrated into her maraderie” shared by antique collectors, sellers and people walking space. It is created by gluing river rock to a wood board or floor around, taking in the sights at Mill Creek Antique Mall. mat, then hand-painting colors and design on alternating rocks with Prendez shares his space at the mall with fellow antique enthuwords such as “family, friends, love, believe and faith.” siast Susan Pishinsky, who collects Florentine, pewter, primitive “The boards can be used above a collection of family photos in kitschy and pop culture-related items. “My collections could be classified as things that have character, your home, above an entry door frame or hallway. Many have been used outdoors because the rocks are sealed after they are painted,” charm, or are just plain funky or weird,” said Pishinsky. “I have also Parker said. recently started collecting vintage children’s books.” There are a number of reasons why collectors choose to sell. The inspirational words inscribed on these rocks have sparked an Pishinsky admitted that it’s more about the knowledge and time interest in custom designs and Parker is more than happy to oblige. spent hunting for pieces. “My customers can personalize them with their own words or bakersfieldlife.com

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whomever they are going to gift it to.” Rock art can be found at her space along with a collection of other items including 100-year-old Ethiopian crosses and artifacts. “I primarily have a vintage offering in my space. I like selling the things I love such as restaurant ware; almost any metal and rustic, silver plate/aluminum ware; ceramics; primitive/distressed furniture and religious items,” Parker said. For some collectors, selling items can be difficult, especially after putting time and effort into the hunt. “Sometimes it’s very hard to part with them,” Parker said. For those just getting into buying or collecting antiques, Pishinsky had a few words of advice: “If you are collecting for your own personal pleasure, look for those things that strike your fancy. You should try to educate yourself about antiques and collectibles, so when you are out and about, you will have an idea if something is a good find or not. Otherwise, it can be a gamble. Make friends with other collectors. It is a great way to network.”

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East High AVID program coordinator Marciano Flores, center, with his students at East High.

Marciano Flores East Bakersfield High School AVID program coordinator Compiled by Vicki Adame Age: 42 My family: My wife is Stephanie Muñoz-Flores, and we have been married since 1992. Our children are Briana, 21, Marciano IV, 19; MathewPaul, 18; and Micah, 16 I wasn’t born in Bakersfield, but this is home: I was born in Fresno County in a small town called San Joaquin, which is smaller than Lamont. My father moved us here (mother, three sisters and me) for a better job and better opportunities for us. I was about 3. I left Bakersfield and came back: I returned to Bakersfield after attending UC Santa Barbara to raise my kids in a town I was comfortable in and that my wife and I could provide a style of living 90

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Photo by Felix Adamo

Why I Live Here

that afforded academic, musical, athletic, and social activities for my four kids. I have lived on only one side of Bakersfield: the east side. I love east Bakersfield — the family sense it brings, the comfortableness, the resources, but most of all, the people. All of my children are or will be East Bakersfield High School grads. All my siblings and I are EBHS grads. Favorite Saturday activity: In the morning, I will walk to a local spot for some coffee and the newspaper, then return home and sit on my porch with my wife and my teen children (if they are awake). In the afternoon or evening, especially in the fall, I enjoy barbecuing while we watch college football on TV. Favorite community event: It’s either the annual St. Joseph Church picnic or the EBHS Blade Blast-Off, our spring open house for incoming freshmen. Both of these events allow me to see old friends and make new ones while enjoying good music and food. Both events also serve the local community and that is a large reason why I enjoy attending and participating in them every year. Favorite local restaurant: This question is the most difficult. I have been visiting Lam’s Chinese Restaurant since 1987 and I still


REPLACEMENT WINDOWS enjoy going. Rosa’s is the best for Italian food. The Arizona Cafe and Los Tucanes on Baker Street and La Colonia on Potomac are my hot spots for authentic Mexican food. I could go on and on. Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: Truthfully, the best-kept secret in Bakersfield is that east Bakersfield is safe. Some of the best families and most sincere people live on this side of town, and they keep their neighborhoods as wonderful places to live and raise families. We must recognize that what is shared on the news does not always accurately portray all parts of the city of Bakersfield. When I want to get out of town I always go to: Either the beach at Santa Barbara or we will go to UCLA to visit our daughter who attends school there. Favorite funny story or memory about Bakersfield: The funniest stories/ memories I have of Bakersfield have mostly to do with my childhood bicycle. I would ride everywhere and I was always working on my bike. With every change I made, I thought I was making it better and faster. However, most of my modifications ended up with me on the ground somewhere on some street near my house due to a loose bolt or popped tire or bad brakes. Still, I got up (after I stopped crying) walked home, cleaned up, then went at it again. My friends were always near me for support. Many times I wished they had stopped me, but nevertheless they were there. What I like most about Bakersfield: In two words: The People. Bakersfield often gets negatively ranked on lists, the positive list I think we should rank near the top on is: A great place to raise children with affordable activities for kids of all ages. The perfect place for date night in Bakersfield is: Anywhere any of our homegrown musicians — Mento Buru, Blonde Faith, Elevation 406, Thee Majestics, Prisoners of Love and Feliz — I grew up listening to these local bands. They all play different music but are local and remind us of the talents of our neighbors.

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Community

Louis Kerker, left, poses with Sgt. Ken Smith of the Volunteer Services Section after being honored for his 20 years of volunteer work with the Kern County Sheriff’s Citizen Service Unit.

Unsung heroes Kern's citizen patrol volunteers Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook

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patrol unit in Wasco needs to come to Bakersfield for service. Meanwhile, a set of tires for another patrol unit need to be taken from the sheriff’s garage to the substation in Rosamond and in Tehachapi, a bundle of paperwork needs to be delivered to the Ridgecrest Jail. That’s when the 121 volunteers of the Kern County Sheriff's Citizen Service Unit spring into action, and they were recently honored for taking care of a lot of the behind-the-scenes tasks that are required in the daily operations of the sheriff's office. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood explained that CSU volunteers donated more than 33,000 hours of work

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last year, delivering paperwork, shuffling cars around for servicing and helping with other jobs crucial to keeping the department up and running. “They’re doing things that deputies used to have to do,’ said Youngblood. “And that really impacts us, because those hours weren’t being spent where they should have been spent, out on patrol, protecting the public.” Sgt. Ken Smith of the department’s Volunteer Services Section oversees the CSU, and said he appreciates the work they do. According to Smith, that work saved the sheriff’s office about $700,000 last year, and that savings translates into more deputies protecting the public. “It’s all work that has to be done for us to complete our mission,” he said. “Having them is a huge benefit to the department.” Members of the CSU were recently honored based on both length of service and the number of hours they had donated during 2011. Several members have volunteered for more than 1,000 hours. Linda MacLeod was recognized as the year’s top contributor, having volunteered 1,807 hours, while Louis Kerker was honored for his 20 years of volunteer work with the sheriff’s office.


Citizen Service Unit volunteers donated more than 33,000 hours of work last year.

The 101-year-old Bakersfield resident retired after 37 years in the oil industry in 1976 and then worked as a school crossing guard before joining the CSU in 1992. He was 81-years-old.

“I did it just to keep busy,” Kerker said. “Back then, there was just the Metro Unit, none of the outlaying areas had one, something like 28 members.” He described his early days with the CSU. “I started out on patrol,” remembered Kerker. “Of course, we didn't have authority to do anything, but we would sit around in a car with a radio, and if something happened, they would send out a couple of deputies.” When other CSU groups began forming around the county, Kerker began ferrying mail and documents between various sheriff's substations, a job he did twice a week, until retiring from CSU work last year. CSU Chief Ken Stachowicz encourages people to become a part of the CSU program. “We are always looking for volunteers to add to our force,” he said. “We have openings all across the county.” Applicants need to be Kern County residents, U.S. citizens, over 21 years of age, and must pass a background check. They must also then complete training covering various basic law enforcement topics before being accepted into the program. “These guys are the unsung heroes; they don’t really get recognized a lot,” Stachowicz said. “They spend a lot of time and energy doing stuff that needs to get done. They are a wonderful group of people.’ For more information about how to volunteer with the Citizen Service Unit, call the volunteer services section of the sheriff's office at 391-7659.

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It’s a Guy Thing

Running

David A. Torres 50, attorney at the Law Offices of David A. Torres

Michael Banducci

55, dentist at Michael A. Banducci, DDS

Compiled by Hillary Haenes

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Photos by Jessica Frey

t’s a hobby enjoyed by many in Bakersfield, especially during the cooler months before the temperatures soar past a sweltering 100 degrees. Discover how these four prominent men train for races, where they run around town and their personal goals.

Q How did you get into running? Brian: I got back into running when I was turning 40. My weight began to rise, along with my blood pressure. I knew I needed to make a change. I began running on the treadmill and elliptical 94

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June 2012

Daniel Rodriguez

58, trial lawyer, president and owner of Rodriguez & Associates

trainer for one full year, losing more than 40 pounds. I then started jogging on the bike path losing another 20 pounds. I was convinced by my brother, Brent, to enter the Elephant Bar 5K in 2006. That’s when I ran a humbling 25:50 time. At that time, I became hooked and running became my new passion.

David: I started running when I was a freshman in college to stay in shape and to relieve stress. Since then, I have always included running as an exercise regimen because of my bi-yearly requirements to take and pass an Army Physical Fitness Test. Michael: Initially, I needed some form of cardiovascular exercise. I was feeling very sluggish, lacking energy. I seldom ran when I was younger, but was recently reintroduced to it during a boot camp class almost four years ago. I found that I really enjoyed the days we would run and started running on my own outside of boot camp. It quickly became an addiction, especially the longer runs. I felt great afterwards and I wanted more.


otherwise about 20 miles a week.

Daniel: It usually varies between 15 and 50 miles per week; depending on where I’m at in my training schedule for a marathon.

Q Why do you enjoy running?

Brian: Probably topping the list are the health benefits. It helps me keep my weight under control, and keeps my blood pressure down. I also like the way I feel during a run; it allows my mind to wander and think. Running helps me to relax and unwind from any stresses. After the run I really feel like I’ve accomplished something. David: I enjoy the peace, quiet and solitude of getting out early in the morning and just getting away from it all. During a run, I have time to think about my personal and business life and also think through and strategize my cases. Michael: Without question, I enjoy running because of the runner’s high associated with the runs, especially during the longer distances. It doesn’t occur on every run, nor at the same mile, but when it happens, it is nirvana! The intense euphoria is an out-of-body experience and for myself, very spiritual. Daniel: It’s the best way I know to relieve stress. Phone calls, texts, emails and all the other stuff that intrude into our lives are put on hold. I solve a lot of world problems and issues in my cases while I’m running! I’ve come up with some of my best arguments while in the middle of a long run.

Brian Lee

48, restaurant owner and manager of Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks

Daniel: A good friend of mine at UCLA Law School had been a scholarship cross-country runner in college. He was a terrific runner and he talked me into running a 10K. I ran my first 10K in 1977, almost 35 years ago, on a hilly course. I ran it in 33:15 minutes and placed third overall. That was many moons ago, and I have never come close to beating that time again.

Q How many miles do you average

per week?

Brian: I average around 35 miles per week. But when training for a specific marathon, my mileage will peak closer to 60 miles a week. David: Right now, I am averaging 20 to 30 miles a week as I am training for the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Otherwise, I run between 12 to 16 miles weekly. Michael: I run 40 to 50 miles per week when training for an event,

Q Where is your favorite place to run

in town?

Brian: My favorite place to run in Bakersfield is the bike path between Beach Park and Allen Road. This is a fairly scenic route and you can take advantage of the drinking fountains and bathrooms along the way. Here you don’t have to deal with car traffic — only an occasional cyclist and other runners. But my most favorite run in town is called the Country Club Loop, that’s also the initiation run made up by the Donut Shop running group about 30 years ago. This 11-mile loop is a great course that deals with many challenging hills, but leaves your body very drained. David: I have several mapped routes around the area I reside, which allow me to run anywhere from four- to 16-mile loops, mostly offroad dirt trails. Michael: My favorite place to run in town is in the foothills around Hart Park. Daniel: I almost always run on the bike path because there’s no car traffic to worry about. Not only that, but early in the morning (while it’s still dark), I see and hear all kinds of wildlife at play.

Q What has been your most

memorable run?

Brian: My most memorable run has got to be the Maui Marathon. It’s a great scenic point-to-point course that starts in Kahului and ends at The Westin Resort in Kaanapali by Whalers Village. The race

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Continued from page 95

Brian Lee

David Torres

started at 5:30 a.m. in darkness with the cool morning air. As the gun went off, I began my run down the highway, passing sugarcane fields along the way. The course hugs the beautiful coastline with great views of Lanai and Molokai islands for about 17 miles. The course is lined with great volunteers who pass out fresh pineapple, Gatorade and cool sponges along the way. This race will most likely not net you a PR (personal record), but for being such a beautiful scenic course and having a tough climate, this ranks as my most memorable run.

David: I enjoy running races with my daughters who are also long- distance runners. We once decided to run up Diamond Head in Hawaii, take in the view, then race down. I won that race only because I pushed them out of the way before crossing our imaginary finish line.

Michael Banducci

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Daniel Rodriguez

June 2012

Michael: My most memorable run has to be the Boston Marathon. Along with the prestige and tradition of the race, the course is spectacular starting with the rolling hills in a heavily wooded area, running through various small towns to ultimately finish in downtown Boston. The event is very well organized, and they make it a festive weekend event with the expo, pre-race dinner and after-race party. However, the best thing about the race is the spectators who come out to support the runners. Their enthusiasm, assistance and cheering are infectious.


Daniel: It has to be 2,500th anniversary of the original marathon from the plains of Marathon to the Olympic Stadium in the heart of Athens, Greece. My wife and I ran it together in 2010, and it was a rush to know that we were running the same route that Pheidippides ran 2,500 years ago. Oh, did I mention that my wife beat me by a good two miles?

Q What specific goals have you set

for yourself?

Brian: At age 48, my goal is to try to keep a healthy and balanced injury-free life. I’d like to be able to continue running well into my 50s and 60s as long as my body will allow me. Currently, as far as races are concerned, I’d like to break 1:30 in the half marathon and 3:15 for the full marathon. I feel like they are attainable goals with my current PR of 1:34 for the half, and a 3:27 for the full. David: My daughter’s boyfriend, Tyler, just registered for a 30mile trail run. I would love to compete in, and most importantly, complete an ultra-marathon trail run. Let’s see how my body holds up for that goal. Michael: To keep running and try to race one marathon per year as long as my body will allow it. Daniel: I would like to continue to run marathons until I’m 70. I would really like to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Given my work schedule and travel, it’s going to take a lot for me to do it. But, hey, if it was easy, everyone could do it!

Q What advice do you have for

beginning runners?

Brian: A great way to get started is to meet up with a coworker, friend or neighbor. I would try building mileage slowly, mixing it up with some elliptical or treadmill training. Go for short jogs along with walking breaks if necessary. Also, getting fitted with a proper pair of running shoes is very important. This can save you a lot of pain and injury. I have been with the Donut Shop running group for over a year. The group has given me tremendous support and motivation in my training runs and races. David: Years ago, Daniel Rodriguez suggested I read a book written by Jeff Galloway. Since then, I have followed the Galloway method religiously. It is simply the best method to use for beginners. Also, keep with your program. There will be some good running days, but there will be more bad days in the first several months. Remember, you don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running. Michael: Read Bob Glover’s “The Competitive Runner’s Handbook.” In my opinion, it’s the bible of running. Daniel: Almost anyone can do it. All it takes is recognizing that you’re not going to set a world record your first time out, but rather that you’re embarking on a journey that will become a lifelong lifestyle that will bring you health and discipline. And you start this journey, like you start all journeys, by taking the first step!

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History

Bakersfield Community Theatre History in the Making By Jeff Nickell, coordinator Kern County Superintendent of Schools Photos courtesy of Kern County Museum

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hen first asked to do a piece on Bakersfield Community Theatre and its history and plans for the future, what comes immediately to mind is a place where people may write, produce, rehearse, and act out plays for a crowd. And that is not an incorrect summation. But, when you start to think about it, there is much more to it than that. This may sound odd, but type in “community theater” on the Internet and one of the first things that comes up is a definition by Wikipedia. It gives a long definition, which is not included here, with the exception of this one sentence, “Community theatre is understood to contribute to the social capital of a community, insofar as it develops the skills, community spirit, and artistic sensibilities of those who participate, whether as producers or audience-members.”

‘A real community project’ Bakersfield Community Theatre is said to be California’s oldest continuing community theater, having operated since 1927. According to the theatre’s website (bakers98

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June 2012

“The Fantasticks,” directed by Alan Light and featuring Darrell D. Cates, Tom Daly, Jere Hough, Mel Khachigian, Frank McClure, Dyanne McKay, Lou Taylor, Bill Waggoner, and Bruce D. Wolfe ran from Oct. 7 through 24 in 1965. fieldcommunitytheatre.webs.com), it all began when Gilmore Brown of the Pasadena Community Playhouse gave a speech to the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield in Novem-

ber 1926. In his speech, he spoke about the possibilities of a community theater in town. “Sincere workers and promising talent will be found in unexpected places if the


proposition is presented as a real community project,” he said. Brown’s words were taken to heart, and the Bakersfield Community Theatre was created in early May 1927. To be the oldest continuously running community theater in California is one thing, but it is also believed that the local theater is the second-oldest this side of the Mississippi River. The oldest is the Tacoma Little Theatre in Washington State. But, the theme of this column is “history in the making,” and, that is just what the Bakersfield Community Theatre has been doing for the past 80-plus years.

Looking for a new home In 1961, the nonprofit purchased the building at 2400 S. Chester Ave., where they have operated with both youth and adult performances ever since. The building has undergone some renovations over the years, but there are several factors that are making it difficult to continue in the building. Board member Bruce Tilser said BCT hopes to move into a new facility to better

Mayor R.V. Karlen, center, officially launched Bakersfield Community Theatre’s 39th season by proclaiming BCT Week. Pictured from left are James Graham, president; Alan Light, director; Karlen; Miss Vera K. Gibson, secretary; and George Barnett Jr., season ticket chairman.

Continued on page 100

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serve Bakersfield. It is currently looking at several downtown locations that may suit its needs.

Familiar faces The organization keeps a scrapbook, which details the theater’s history of plays. Flip through the pages and familiar faces pop out, including Mel Khachigian, who used to work out at Jack LaLanne’s Health Club. (Actually, he is in a few pages.) Having worked there in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I recognized many faces, and learning something new about them is always nice. There are so many people who have had a hand in the plays held at the theater; there is no way to mention all of them. Looking at BCT’s website, another familiar name pops out – Thomas G. Robinson. My first meeting with Robinson was several years ago as a committee member on the One Book, One Bakersfield community read-

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ing project. As it so happened, Robinson’s connection to BCT went far beyond being a board member, as noted on the website. He was also an actor, director and set builder, to name a few. One of the plays he directed was “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow in Enuf.” The play, written by Ntozake Shange, is about the struggles and triumphs of seven African-American women throughout their lives. According to Robinson, the show was a huge success, playing nine times with each ending in a standing ovation. (Incidentially, the first play to be performed by BCT was Frank Craven’s “The First Year.” It was held at Bakersfield High School on Oct. 31, 1927 before more than 400 people.) There are plenty of great memories, but board members are hoping for an even better future. Added BCT’s executive director Ed French, “I have chosen to stay with this theaer in hopes that in 2027, when we reach our 100th birthday, I can say I helped achieve that.”


Personality

Homecoming CSUB admissions director happy to be back ‘home’ By Lisa Kimble

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Min Myo, director of admissions at Cal State Bakersfield.

Photo by Felix Adamo

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ho says you can never go home again? Certainly not Min Thu Myo, Cal State Bakersfield’s new director of admissions and records. Myo, 42, moved back to Bakersfield last fall from Maryland. It had been 15 long years. “It is great to be back home and (to serve) my community through my work with CSUB,” he said. And he has a score to settle with this community, a debt he has intended to erase since 1993, when what he calls his “American story” began to unfold. But his narrative actually began well before then in the Southeast Asian country of Burma (Myanmar) where Myo was born. He was just 18 when a political uprising in 1988 forced his family to flee to Thailand. There were no good memories left behind. Five years later, Myo, his parents and three sisters came to the United States as part of the Refugee Resettlement program. They settled in Bakersfield, sponsored by Westchester Baptist Church. For a year and a half, the family of six crammed into a two-bedroom apartment while adjusting to their brave new world. “At the very beginning, life was extremely difficult. The community wasn’t familiar with the program. We did not have anyone here who had come before us that we knew of.” His family is believed to be the first to resettle here from Burma. Without transportation, a command of the language or familiarity with the area, the cultural and systematic adjustments were great and he said for their first year, he felt “very lost.” Coupled with financial difficulties, their new life in America was quite a struggle. “But the churches and community helped us a lot,” he said, adding that his now-retired parents were able to find work. And Myo found a lifeline in higher education. The experience, he said, was life-changing. “In my country I went to college for a year when I had to leave. I never thought I would graduate or get a degree,” he said. “I came here and didn’t know a thing about higher education.” Here he learned English, attended his first computer class, enrolled at Bakersfield College and established a new chapter in his life. Myo earned a degree in international relations at San Francisco State and attended


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graduate school at Williams College in Massachusetts where he studied economics. He has remained indebted to the community that embraced him then, and now he said he believes it is time for him to give back to Bakersfield. “Cal State offers a lot to this community. It is great to be working at an institution whose main purpose is educating people to serve their community,” Myo said. “We are the only four-year institution within a 100-mile radius. Cal State plays a very important role in providing higher education.” He sees his own journey as testimony to that. “Many of our students need remediation in English and math. Some are the first generation from their family to attend college,” he added. “When I see them, I see myself and the situation I was in 19 years ago.” Myo says he always wanted to work at the college level. He was at the University of Maryland, serving as the associate director of undergraduate admissions and overseeing responsibility for international and transfer recruitment and reviewing applications, before he returned to Kern County. The gift of an education and now the opportunity to work within the very system that gave him a chance are meaningful and rewarding. “This is way beyond the title and profession for me now,” he said. “This is the place where I settled, the town that embraced me, the college (BC) that started me, and the broader community that prepped me,” Myo said. “Now it is all on me to work here. “I can think of no greater opportunity than this to pursue a profession and career and to be able to serve students like me and give back at the same time.”

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Real People

For Brennan Newberry, racing is a family sport.

The fast and adventurous Bakersfield resident living dream, following dad’s footsteps By Gabriel Ramirez

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Photos by Tanya X. Leonzo

ife moves fast when you are going at 130 miles per hour, but according to local NASCAR racer Brennan Newberry, those are the moments you are trying to slow down. “When you are in the car racing, you are focused on the task,” Newberry said. “You are moving fast and trying to slow everything down and you are trying to control the uncontrollable while trying to make it all look easy.” Newberry, 22, has been racing since he was 9 years old when he told his father, Bob Newberry, that he wanted to race. “My dad was also a racer, and I grew up around it,” Newberry said. “I thought it was something really cool

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and something I could share with my dad, who is my best friend. Two weeks after I told him, I got my first go-kart.” Newberry’s dedication, focus, hard work and commitment has led him from go-kart racing to one of 36 people worldwide who get the chance to race in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series. Described as a family sport by Newberry, racing for NASCAR is an extremely expensive sport that requires the commitment of not only the racer but also family. “Racing to me is a family sport because it is something that we do as a family. Since I began racing at a young age, everyone in our family, immediate and extended, has been involved. Not only is my family a part of racing, but the crew who works on our team is really like our immediate family as well,” Newberry said. “We are with the team nine to 10 months (out of the) year. Also the individual team member’s families are all involved and support our racing efforts. When we are at the track, we are one big family working toward the same goal of winning races and performing. Having the support of my family and crew members is the best feeling in the world.” When he is not racing, Newberry is working on his NASCAR Camping World Truck, watching movies, hanging with his family and his girlfriend or preparing for his next off-the-track challenge like a triathlon or a marathon. Bakersfield Life sat down with Newberry and asked him questions about his life on and off the track.


How do you prepare for racing professionally? You have to be physically fit. I do a lot of physical training. You also have to be mentally fit. You have to be able to put yourself in the situations and visualize yourself on the track surrounded by all the cars. How many races have you done? I have competed in about 150 races since I was 9 years old. I have raced in go-karts, USAC Midgets, SRL Super Late Models, NASCAR K&N Pro Series cars and in a NASCAR Camping World Truck. I learn something new about the cars, racing and myself, as a racer, every time I compete in a race. I can apply things that I have learned from the previous race to help me perform better in an upcoming race and races to come. Racing is a sport where cars, technology and drivers are continuously evolving and getting better, so there really isn’t any way that one single driver can have it all figured out. What is your goal at the end of this racing car tunnel? My goal is to make it to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, be a multi-time champion of the series and win a lot of races. Most of all, I want to enjoy and remember every step that I have taken in order make my dream a reality. I want to look back on all of the memories of my racing career and have no regrets. At the same time, I don’t want my life to end after my racing career has reached its end. I would like for racing to catapult me into something that I might have never gotten the opportunity to do unless it was for my racing career. Throughout my career, like many other racers and teams, I would like to start a foundation to help others less fortunate than myself. With all the dangers associated with racing, what keeps you driven? The challenge is what keeps me going back. In this sport, you have to always work like there is someone better than you. This sport is about never giving up. What is the scariest moment you experienced while racing? When I’m racing, things happen so fast that I really don’t have a chance to get scared because by the time I should be scared, the accident is already done and over with. Getting into an accident or crash can happen in a blink of an eye when traveling at the speeds we are on the track. There was this one race that I was running seventh place with about 10 laps to go and all of a sudden, my right front tire went flat, which made me lose control of the steering. I was doing well over 110 mph when the car went slamming into the turn four wall, which was exactly where my parents were sitting for the race. It got really bad when traveling down the front straightaway after the initial hit; I had shattered my brakes, which left me without a chance to slow the car down. After I got into turn one, the fast-moving car, which I no longer had control of, hit the wall head on yet again. It is instances like this one that really put the danger of racing in perspective for me. But as a racer, I cannot let the fear of being in an accident keep me from doing what I love to do.

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Fit and Fresh

Health benefits of wine, beetroot By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann Photos by Sally Baker

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n tribute to Bakersfield Life’s special coverage on wine, we decided to look into wine advantages for the healthy and fit person in mind. Did you know that the benefits of having a nice glass of wine include reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers and a slowing of the progression of neurological degenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease? Moderate amounts of alcohol have been shown to raise your good cholesterol. In addition, nonalcoholic phytochemicals in wine, such as resveratrol, act as antioxidants, which prevent free radicals from causing harm in our body. Red wine provides more resveratrol than whites, especially reds grown in cooler climates. Ray Ramon, wine manager at Trader Joe’s, a local store that carries modestly priced wines from cooler climates recommended the 2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle merlot, the 2009 Red Diamond cabernet sauvignon and the 2009 Red Diamond merlot. All hail from the mild Columbia Valley in Washington. “Moderate” consumption is the key here. For men, your limit is two small glasses of wine per day, and for women, just one fiveounce glass. One five-ounce glass of wine contains approximately 120 calories, which is another reason to consume conservatively And if wine just isn’t your drink of choice, you can still reap all its benefits. Try a resveratrol dietary supplement, although Sally would rather drink a glass than take a pill. For the beer lovers, you may have two 12-ounce beers. If you prefer not to drink alcohol, you can still celebrate with this refreshing nonalcoholic alternative. This is our favorite cocktail substitute. It’s delicious and low in calorie. Plus, your glass will look like a libation.

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Pomegranate Lime Sparkler ½ cup sparkling water ½ cup pomegranate juice ¼ cup apple juice 2 tablespoons lime juice Mix it up. Two servings. Approximately 60 calories per serving.

Bakersfield Track Club summer series If you are a part of our local running community, no doubt you will have heard of our wonderful summertime tradition of the BTC summer series. This consists of a series of six races, all on the same course, all 5K distance, starting on June 5 and running every other Tuesday through Aug. 14. Even in the heat of the Bakersfield summer, you will be amazed to find hundreds of folks out there running and walking. The route starts at CALM on Alfred Harrell Highway, makes a loop down toward the river, past the campgrounds and it’s back up to the zoo. This is a handicap event, so runners cannot wear a watch and will start at different times, depending on their initial race. In theory, everyone should end at the same time. This is a really fun event. Expect lots of company and warm running! For more information, visit bakersfieldtrackclub.com or email Sally at sallybk@sbcglobal.net.


Beetroot can improve your health Research has shown there is a possible connection between running performance and the consumption of baked beetroot. The runners in the study demonstrated a measurable improvement in their 5K times after eating one serving of Roast B eets Thr baked beets 75 minutes ee mediu m-sized prior to race time. beets Preheat Regardless of your oven to 4 00. Scrub an race performance, beets If eating d clean b as a eet s kins. Cut sider inclu meal, concertainly offer woninto two-i din nch slices. or fish wit g chicken derful health benefits h large be Drizzle w d of salad or s ith o including providing pin nutritious ach. Highly season w live oil, . Ideally, ith salt an pigment antioxidants d serving is pepper. one beet (present in both root per person. Roast un til tender and top greens), w h Y e ou can a n pricked w lso ith a knife , which may promote beets. Le steam approxim ately 45 to t cool and slice into 60 mins. cardiovascular health, julienne s trip to put on lower cholesterol top of sala s d. and possess antiaging benefits.

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Photo by Greg Nichols

Talk of the Town

Leticia Perez talks to a resident of the Fifth district as she campaigns door to door.

Hot politics Fifth supervisorial district heats up

District supervisorial race as the race to watch. While their platforms may vary, the candidates have one thing in common: All three are concerned about jobs. Bakersfield Life spent some time with these candidates to share their views with readers:

By Myriam Valdez

P

Karen Goh

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At ease inside her downtown office in her signature suit and scarf, Karen Goh appears the consummate politician. However, as she launches into her platform for the Fifth District, it’s clear her political aspirations stem from a history of giving back. “I want to serve. I grew up from childhood knowing the call to service. This is the community where I grew up and I want to be able to give back to this community,” Goh said. After six years with Garden Pathways, Goh said it inspired her to give back. Growing up in the Fifth District, Goh says it was easy to get back into the beat of her community after a successful career in New York City because she considers Bakersfield her home. For Goh, one focus will be to champion crime and substance abuse prevention efforts. Goh remembers a particular moment when she visited a family, and the police admonished Goh, warning her about the dangers of being in that neighborhood. Goh, however, Photo by Henry A. Barrios

erhaps no local race is more fascinating than the race for Fifth District County Supervisor. Leticia Perez seeks to become the first Latina to be elected to the Kern County Board of Supervisors and unseat the only woman on the Board of Supervisors Karen Goh, who was appointed in December 2010, by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. After serving two terms as mayor of Arvin, Tim Tarver also threw his name into the running, increasing the chances that the race will continue to November. Under the current system, the two candidates with the most votes collected from the June 5 primary will face off in November — unless one of them receives more than 50 percent of the vote, according to the county clerk’s office. Under the latter scenario, the race would be decided this month. The candidates have been busy promoting their campaigns and rallying voter support and endorsements. Each of the three believe they carry a personal connection to the Fifth District, which makes up parts of east Bakersfield, Lamont and Arvin. The diverse make-up of the district, along with the rigorous campaigning, and surge in youth involvement, is setting up the Fifth


wasn’t afraid. “I’m so thankful that people have given me opportunities in my youth, and that’s what I hope to continue to do for those in our community, and to give people who maybe have not had the opportunity, the opportunity to serve our community.”

“Because it’s one thing to say we’re excited about recruiting jobs here, but if we don’t have people qualified to take those jobs and hit the ground running, then we’re not going to be providing the proper incentives to businesses to move here,” Perez said.

Leticia Perez

You could say that Tim Tarver is the underdog of the Fifth District Supervisorial race. Tim faces a formidable grassroots campaign and well-funded organization from Goh and Perez. The Arvin mayor strives to separate himself from the traditional aspects of a political campaign. “For me, it’s not about how much money you raise, how many signs you have out there, or who is backing who. It is about people. Money and signs don't vote, people do,” Tarver said. Having served as Arvin mayor for the past eight years, Tarver feels he is uniquely qualified to address the specific needs of the Fifth District. “(I would like to) improve the streets, actually put in curbs and gutters, deal with and resolve water and sewer issues. It’s a shame that today there are so many areas within the Fifth District, (which are missing) these standards for most neighborhoods in Kern County,” Tarver said. “If elected I will hold this position with integrity. I will stand for what is moral, ethical and in the best interest of the community,” Tarver added. Photo courtesy of Tim Tarver

Photo by Greg Nichols

Outside her home in east Bakersfield, Leticia Perez sits in a parked car talking on the phone, ensuring she obtains some public records for someone. Her car is filled with street maps of her district, canvassing materials and yard signs – a living, breathing, mobile campaign headquarters of sorts. Perez talked about her roots in the district. Along with her parents, they have a combined half-century of community work in east Bakersfield; Perez’s parents were avid community organizers, and she hopes to continue that legacy. “My husband, family, and I live and work in this community. We believe in bringing strong businesses to the area. Our heart is with the people and their families,” Perez said. It may be for this reason that some voters feel like they know Perez, often recognizing her name through her work for state senator Michael Rubio, D-Shafter. If elected, Perez has two broad goals,: She’d like to recruit businesses and expand educational opportunity.

Tim Tarver

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The views at Snow Summit are spectacular.

Brave the ride Ski resorts offer plenty of great trails, views for the unforgettable mountain bike ride By Lois Henry

O

K, so it was a really weird ski season this year. If you were like me, you had your skis waxed and ready to go in December — and waited. Then, by the time March rolled around and the snow finally made an appearance, the skis were put away and you were on to other things. Bummer. But you can still enjoy our fabulous ski resorts without the snow. Two words: mountain biking! I’d always wanted to bike the slopes; I finally took a trip last summer. It was way more fun that I’d imagined. I went to Snow Summit in Big Bear, so just a four hour drive south of here. You can also bike at China Peak, just a three-hour drive from Bakersfield, or Mammoth Mountain, 110

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June 2012

thinkstock.com

Trip Planner

of course, also four hours away. (I’m already planning my China Peak trip to see how they compare.) I’d always thought that biking down the slopes would mean, well, biking down the actual slopes that you skied on earlier that year. I pictured a quick ride up, quick down, back up, back down and so on. But at Snow Summit you don’t bike down the ski slopes. Instead you take a much longer route around on the fire roads. That was actually good for me because it had been a long time since I was an avid mountain biker, and I admit I was a bit shaky even on only a slightly downhill pitch. But after a while, I got the hang of things and wasn’t hitting the breaks every time I saw a rock in the road. I stuck to the main roads, mostly, but did a small bit of “single track.” They had lots of single track off-shoots from the main road, but after trying that one snippet, I decided single track was above my skill level. The views at Snow Summit were just spectacular. As you start out, you stay along the top of the ridgeline and there are spots marked along the way where you can park and hike up a short ways for unbelievable views (one is actually named Grandview Point, and they’re not kidding) of the San Bernardino National Forest, including Mount San Gorgonio. In fact, the lodge at the top of the chairlift, where you


Mountain biking at ski resorts Snow Summit bigbearmountainresorts.com/summer/rateshours/xc-mt-biking-rates China Peak skichinapeak.com/biking.aspx

Snow Summit offers trails for all skill levels.

thinkstock.com

Mammoth Mountain mammothmountain.com/MountainActivities/ SummerActivities/BikePark

can get a good meal to fuel your ride, is called the View Haus for that very reason. Even after you leave the ridgeline and start curving down toward Big Bear, the views are great with each new opening giving a different glimpse of Bear Lake. The logistics at Snow Summit could not have been simpler for a novice, like me. There are several bike rental shops in Big Bear, so you have your choice of price and bike brands. I went to one that’s at the base of the mountain called Chains Required. Everyone there was very helpful and gave lots

Continued on page 112

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of tips on which trails to take for your skill level and how to avoid getting lost. I got a great bike, with helmet (Always wear a helmet!) at a really reasonable rate of about $40 for the full day. You can also bring your own bike, but check with the resort first as some types of bikes are restricted. A one-day ticket on Snow Summit’s Sky Chair was only $12. You can get an all-day pass for $25 if you have that kind of stamina, but having not ridden in a while, I thought one trip would be plenty. And it was. Luckily, Big Bear has lots of great bars where you can ease the pain somewhat! I swore, after last year, I would get on the bike more so I’d be ready for a longer ride this summer. But, oh well. I’ll just have to be stiff and sore again. It’s worth it! Oh, I should also note that the biking “season” varies. Last year biking at most resorts seemed to start in late May/early June and ended around Labor Day. But with the strange snow season we’ve had, you should call ahead to make sure conditions are OK for biking before you set out.

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June 2012

Bike rentals in the Big Bear area run about $40 for a full day.

Photo courtesy of Lois Henry

Continued from page 111


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Business

Young entrepreneurs Making their dreams come true By Gabriel Ramirez

W

hen we are young, the future seems filled with endless possibilities. But sometimes, unexpected circumstances, such as a tough economy, can force young adults to be creative and take charge of their destiny. Here, we introduce you to four young people who did just that by starting their own businesses.

John Abarca and Kimberly Abarca-Cruz Say cheese: We are a brother-sister team that specializes in portrait and event photography. We bring a family sensibility to photography. You can visit our website at johnabarca.com or call 661-281-5578. Family inspiration: My sister inspired me. She was the one who saw there was a market for our photography and convinced me to go forward with it. We all need motivation: Making new pictures is always a great motivator. Every new project is an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and hone your craft. If you have a quality product and great service people we still come around regardless of how the economy is doing.

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June 2012

Siblings John Abarca and Kimberly Abarca-Cruz

Photo by Alex Horvath

32/25, John Abarca Photo Co.


Planning before doing: We sat down and started to think about what kind of services and products we would want to buy, how we could be different and incorporated those ideas into a practical business model. Next, we did a bit of research into the logistics of our particular business and met with photo labs, box makers and other distributors to make sure that we could supply our customers with the things they need. Learning from others:

We kind of just took the plunge and hoped we were doing things correctly. We learned quickly from other business people we met and changed things that we were doing wrong, and we continued to do things we were doing right. Nagging fears:

I think letting people down was a big fear that I had. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough and we wouldn’t get any customers. Happy customers:

Since day one, we’ve always looked forward to making the customer happy. I remember I was extremely nervous the first time I ever showed a client a finished product and their reaction was leaps and bounds above whatever I was expecting. It makes you feel like a million bucks when you exceed someone’s expectations.

Damond Curry “Speedy” 33, Ophicial Clothing Company Then and now: I’ve been creating and selling clothing, mainly for extreme sports since June 2008. Before that I worked for three years as a sales associate at a motorcycle shop. Shop till you drop: My clothing is available at Impact Street Wear in the Valley Plaza Mall or online at ophicialwear.com. Others are doing it, so why not me?

Other big clothing companies out there constantly put out good artwork for the world to see and so can I. Challenges galore:

Finding a good artist is always a challenge. The hardest part is getting a no-name brand to go main-stream. Faith in one’s self: Knowing that I have what it takes to make my brand the next big name keeps me motivated. Giving 110 percent: If you want to start a business, you need to put both feet in the game or stay on the sideline. Three steps to success:

Continued on page 116

Photo by Michael Fagans

First I started off with trying to find shops that are able to do what I envisioned. Next was finding an artist that can take you to the next level. And, lastly, you need to be prepared and know it’s not going to happen over night. Trial and error: I had no one to teach me the do’s and don’ts. I just had to learn on my own. I'm still learning, but it makes me a more rounded person knowing all the levels that it takes to get where it has to be. No regrets: Everything happens for a reason. Changing my troubles could take away the knowledge that I have learned over the past three years. Damond Curry bakersfieldlife.com

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Continued from page 115

Lindsey Walker Student and teacher: Before and during the three years I have been cultivating my business, I have been a student primarily. I have since earned my teaching credential, and my day job is as a music teacher. One-of-a-kind pieces: I make jewelry using crystal, glass and vintage Lucite beads that feature hand-casted resin pendants and focal pieces. Making resin pieces entails mixing resin into a hardening agent and pouring this mixture into a bezel where a picture has been secured. I mostly do pin-up girls and vintage advertising in the focal pieces. People do request costume orders such as their grandchildren and pets amongst other random things. Off the beaten path: People can buy my jewelry at art shows, street fairs and craft bazaars. Occasionally I will sell on Etsy.com, which is a site where people sell handmade and vintage items. Filling a niche: I was inspired because I couldn't see very many lines of jewelry that complimented the rockabilly culture. So I tried to create the jewelry I wanted to wear. It was an invention of necessity so to speak. Finding inspiration: I think making jewelry for gifts and at charity events keeps me going. I realize that it is difficult to make sales, especially when not everyone likes vintage images, but making pieces for my family and friends keeps me inspired to try new things and current materials.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

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Business Profile

Bruce Jay

Photo by Felix Adamo

President and CEO of Valley Republic Bank

Address: 5000 California Ave., Suite 110 Email: b.jay@vrbank.com Website: valleyrepublicbank.com

As Valley Republic Bank enters its fourth year of operation, it is becoming Bakersfield’s premier community bank. Bruce Jay, president and CEO, credits “the right people, coming together at the right time in the right place” for the success of the bank. Valley Republic became profitable after 18 months and is approaching $300 million in assets after just three years of operation. Jay said, “We couldn’t be more pleased with our progress and performance to date.” What makes business banking at Valley Republic Bank different from the nationals? “Our entire team lives here and have raised our families here. Our board, under the leadership of Gene Voiland, is made up of successful local business people who have a pulse on the community and know what Kern County customers need,” Jay said. “We’re here to provide service, and we do that very well,” he continued. Jay also mentioned that bank customers appreciate the local “flavor” of the bank… no 800 numbers, etc. “When a customer comes into our branch, we know them by name.” What is your proudest accomplishment at Valley Republic Bank? “It’s definitely the quality of the team we have assembled. It is second to none. We have consciously picked Bakersfield’s best with every new hire. As a result, we have an experienced, focused team of professionals providing ‘uncommon’ service every day,” Jay 118

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June 2012

commented. He believes banking remains a “people” business, and Bakersfield remains a community that values relationships. Does the bank have plans to expand? “We have recently launched an agribusiness department under the leadership of John Etchison, to provide a local banking choice for our ag community. John’s childhood roots are in farming, and he has over 25 years of ag lending experience locally. His reputation and relationships have allowed a smooth and successful entry into a new market for us.” “Secondly, we are planning to open a new branch in the Grand Island Village at the corner of Ming Avenue and Buena Vista Road,” according to the president and CEO. Tenant improvements are under way. This new neighborhood center in the southwest serves as home to new Sully’s Chevron station and the Dewar’s Express drive-thru. Valley Republic will open this summer with a full staff and drive-up services. “Our goal was to provide added convenience for our customers who live nearby and easier access for our southwest business owners.” How important is giving back to the community to Valley Republic Bank? “It has been a part of our mission since the day we opened. Our business is critical to the economic fabric of this community. We believe we have a responsibility to do what we can to make our community a better place to live and work. As an organization, we financially support numerous community organizations, and our staff is involved in various nonprofit organizations. We are committed to Bakersfield and Kern County. It is our home.


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BHS Football Hall of Fame Ceremony April 20 Held at Bakersfield Marriott Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com Paul Golla and Tim Hartnett

Buzz Caffee, David Reese and Rick Van Horne

Nicole and Jacob Stuebbe

Becky and Julio Mercado

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April 21 Held at Hodel’s Restaurant Photos by Gregory D. Cook View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

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Read for Life Gala April 20 Held at the home of Dallas and Mary Grider Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com Errol Shaw and Pat De Mond

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Bakersfield Life

June 2012


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April 20 Held at the home of Dr. Ravi Patel Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

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125


West Bakersfield Rotary Cioppino Feed April 21 Held at Garces Memorial High School Photos by Rodney Thornburg View these photos and more online at bakersfieldlife.com

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June 2012


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June 2012

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Inside Story

Snider’s Cyclery Currently run by James L. Snider (third

generation owner), whose father, Lloyd, and grandfather, George L., owned it before him. Snider’s was Bakersfield’s first Harley Davidson dealer.

Snider’s has sold sporting goods from 1940s

until the 1970s. There was a big boom for bicycles in the early ‘70s.

James Snider, current owner of Snider’s.

Photo by Gregory D. Cook

Couldn’t keep bikes in stock. Practically being sold off the freight trucks. Harley Davidson Motorcycles started being sold in 1912 by Snider’s (the first dealership in Bakersfield). A bicycle the Wright Brothers made before getting into aviation is on display at the Union Ave. Snider’s Cyclery. (Graciously on loan from the Stinson family.) On May 27, 1939 in Taft, Lloyd Snider participated in the first bicycle tournament in Franklin Field. Lloyd raced Charles Faulkner, a senator from West Virginia, on a highwheeled bicycle that included riding through a wall of fire.

S

nider’s Cyclery first opened in 1904 when there were around 10 existing bicycle shops at the time.

The store once has previously sold these items through the years: phonographs, guns, motorcycles,

sporting goods, model hobby kits, mopeds, photography supplies and hunting and fishing licenses.

Snider’s in 1906 130

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June 2012

Snider’s helped and promoted the establishment of The Kern Wheelmen. Snider’s wanted to help establish

a group that advocated riding that stood as a separate entity, having no obligated connections to any bike shops. With the help of several Snider’s employees, The Kern Wheelmen won the Race Across America twice. It is an event that is said to be more difficult than climbing Mt. Everest and more demanding than it is to compete in the Tour de France. The Snider’s on New Stine is managed by John Panick. He was the first American to work as a mechanic at the Tour de France. Panick also worked for Mavic Wheels as a neutral support team, assisting all who need it. James was also one of the founding members of Kern Wheelman, along with other Snider's employees, including Original Kern Wheelman President John Panick. James has participated in 32-graffiti cleanups. Snider's has supported bicycle racing since the 1930s before the "new era" of racing began. Snider's has always helped with sponsorships in many different types of races and safety clinics at schools throughout the years. Snider’s prides itself on providing the best customer service and serving beginners to experts within the bike field. Snider’s now sells Pedego electric bikes that travel 20 miles per hour and can go 20 to 30 miles on a single charge. Snider’s is among the oldest bike shops in America. — Gabriel Ramirez


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3 colors to choose from *

*Call for details

TRAVERTINE STARTING AT $3.49 SQ. FT.

STARTING AT

$1.59 SQ. FT.

STARTING AT

99¢ SQ. FT.

AR TY YE AN 20 RR A W

AR TY YE AN 35 RR A W

8 COLORS TO CHOOSE FROM ONLY 99¢ SQ.FT.

HAND SCRAPED LAMINATE 12mm thickness $1.89 SQ. FT.

LAMINATE

DID YOU KNOW? Design, inspiration, and product information are at your fingertips. For the latest in fresh flooring ideas for your home, visit our HGTV Design Center.

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12 MONTH S Equal Paymen ts

YOUR DESTINATION FOR SELECTION AND SAVINGS! 6500 District Blvd. (Corner of District & Ashe Rd.)Bakersfield, CA • Total Flooring Solution LIC# 874947

WWW.MICHAELFLOORINGUSA.COM • 661.833-2444


r e L m o v m i n’ u S @V\SS-HSS0U3V]L^P[O[OLZL0UJYLKPISL +LHSZVU[OL4VZ[7VW\SHY/VUKHZ

2012 Accord EX -L Lease

$0 due at lease signing, $0 down payment,$0 first months payment*

CP2F8CJNW 4-cyl 5Spd AT







Closed end lease for 2012 Accord Sedan 5 Speed Automatic EX-L  (CP2F8CJNW) available from   May 1, 2012 through July 9,    2012, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $28445.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $23336.49. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $8604.00. Option to purchase at lease end $15644.75. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by July 9, 2012. 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.

OR





Closed end lease for 2012 Accord Sedan 5 Speed Automatic EX-L (CP2F8CJNW) available from May 1, 2012 through July 9, 2012, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $28445.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $25980.87. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $11160.00. Option to purchase at lease end $15644.75. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by July 9, 2012. 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.

2012 Civic LX Lease





Closed end lease for 2012 Civic Sedan 5 Speed Automatic LX  (FB2F5CEW) available from May  1, 2012 through July 9, 2012, to    well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $19,595.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $17,227.89. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $6,084.00. Option to purchase at lease end $11,952.95. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by July 9, 2012. 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.

OR

 

$0 due at lease signing, $0 down payment,$0 first months payment*

FB2F5CEW 5Spd AT











FEATURED SPECIAL LEASE: Closed end lease for 2012 Civic Sedan 5 Speed Automatic LX (FB2F5CEW) available from May 1, 2012 through July 9, 2012, to well-qualified lessees approved by Honda Financial Services. Not all lessees will qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $19,595.00 (includes destination, excludes tax, license, title fees, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Actual net capitalized cost $19,123.31. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Total monthly payments $7,700.00. Option to purchase at lease end $11,952.95. Must take new retail delivery on vehicle from dealer stock by July 9, 2012. 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.

 

Your Best Deal on Hondas at Kern County’s Award-Winning Honda Dealer 4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to the 

www.barberhonda.com

834-6632



Years of Serving Kern County

Se Habla EspaĂąol

*$0 Down Payment excludes tax, title, license & dealer fees.


Bakersfield Life Magazine June 2012