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March 2010


A celebration of 11 ladies supporting their community

SPRING BREAK Follow the fun not far from home

Sunny side up Best breakfast spots in town


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Extraordinary Pizza and No Compromise

Photo by Jessica Frey

Visit Our New Location

“Tony’s Pizza really piles it on!” -Pete Tittl


4750 Coffee Road (661) 588-4700


Heart of the community

Bakersfield is known as a generous community, and there are many women who have helped put the city on the philanthropic map. We celebrate 11 local women who are making a positive impact.


4130 California Ave (661) 325-4717


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Good morning, Bakersfield

When the sun comes up, it’s time to eat, but where to go? We have some ideas on local spots sure to start your day off right. Get some inside dish from four “Food Dudes” who know their local breakfast spots.


Health & Wellness

Even as New Year’s resolutions fade, stay on track with stories of success, like that of Neal and Shelia Lyday, who turned a corner from their unhealthy lifestyles to grace the pages of a fitness magazine. Also in our special section, learn more about Houchin Community Blood Bank’s plans for a facility to consolidate services and better serve the community.


Striving for excellence in Arvin

After retiring 11 years ago, Jim Young could have relaxed just like any other retiree. Instead, he stuck close to his hometown of Arvin and continued his passion for teaching by coaching "We the People" students and helping guide them to success.

ôôôôôôôôôôôTHE LATTE





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D E PA R T M E N T S 12 Happenings

From a Cioppino Feed to "Cherry Blossoms," there's a lot going on in March.

15 So You Want To ...

Plan an exciting "getaway" with the girls without leaving town.

16 Real People

Jeff Hedberg talks about life on the court at Bakersfield Racquet Club.

18 History

Local pioneers in their field take center stage as we look at noted women of Kern.

21 Our Town

Some fun facts about the Padre Hotel, then and now.

22 Food and Wine

Diminish the dregs of winter with a glass of petite sirah.

24 Dining Divas

The Divas enjoy Mexican favorites with a side of local history at Sinaloa.

28 Going Green

Even unwieldy products can be recycled at local sites.

30 On the Red Couch

A quintet of young pageant winners share what they love about our community.

48 Entertainment

Peek behind the curtain at shows hitting local theaters this spring.

50 Pastimes

Get out and see Kern County wildflowers in bloom.

52 Home & Garden

Vintage looks, cool colors find a spring renewal in home décor.

54 Guys On The Green

Rotary club leaders share how they’re giving back to their community. 

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

58 Community

Boys & Girls Club provides fun, fellowship for local youth.

62 Trip Planner

You don’t have to travel far to have a good spring break.

67 Why I Live Here

Christine Scott shares why she loves her Mayfaire neighborhood.

70 SNAP!

Bakersfield Life’s cameras were at some of the city’s top events. Check out who was snapped there.

78 Last Word

Chief Deputy Shelly Castaneda shares her favorite weekend lunch spot and more.

For the record: The February issue of Bakersfield Life magazine incorrectly identified Zack Scrivner as a supervisor. He is a currently a Bakersfield city councilman and county supervisorial candidate.



Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Vice President Sales, Marketing, Circulation & Operations John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Vice President of Content Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Art Direction Glenn Hammett Photography Henry A. Barrios Casey Christie Michael Fagans Michael Duffy Jessica Frey John Harte Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Jan St. Pierre Carla Rivas Rodney Thornburg Tracy Walker-Kiser Contributing Writers Teresa Adamo Jenny Bachman J.W. Burch IV Greg Gallion Gabriel Ramirez Annis Cassells Lisa Kimble Chelley Kitzmiller Dana Martin Jeff Nickell Advertising Lupe Carabajal 395-7563 Reader Inquiries Bakersfield Life magazine P.O. Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440 395-7492 On the cover Among her many accomplishments, Mary K. Shell has been a flier since 1947, the year she got her private pilot's license and paid for flying time by working at a flying school at La Cresta Air Field. Photo by Jessica Frey


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Inspiring our community If you have a little daughter or granddaughter, and you want to point her to the right role model, then you’ve found the right place. Inside this issue, you will get to know 11 inspiring local women who have drawn on their strengths and passions to build a better community for all of us. On the cover is the lovely Mary K. Shell, a trailblazer in local politics and a shining example of what women can do in civic involvement. Then there’s plenty of other amazing talent inside: Sheryl Barbich and her never-ending crusade to make this city a better place; Ginger Moorhouse and her love of a newspaper, the local arts and education, and nature; Diane Hopkins, improving the lives of adults and children through the M.A.R.E. therapeutic riding program; and Judi McCarthy with her strong vision as chair of the Kern Community Foundation. Also, make sure you read about Barbara Smith, Cathy Abernathy, Mikie Hay, Rosa Corona and Mary Christenson, all dedicated women improving this city and inspiring others along the way. Female empowerment starts at a young age in the local pageant circuit. Our Red Couch section features a group of girls between the ages of 4 to 17 who are local pageant title holders and asks them their goals and dreams and what they love about Bakersfield. We also reached out to our local Rotarians and featured four them in our Guys on the Green section. If you want to know what drives them to community giving, then read up on what they — Tom Burch, East Rotary; Mike

Rubiy, West Rotary; Duane Keathley, Downtown Rotary; and Roger Allred, South Rotary — have to say. If you’re like me, breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, especially on the weekend when my husband prepares a nice breakfast or we take the family out to a cool place. A group of new writers for Bakersfield Life — we’re calling them the “Food Dudes” — ventured out in town to give us a review of a couple of nice breakfast spots. Be sure to check out the list of other popular local breakfast spots. Just thinking about it is making me hungry. But of course I need to make up for those big breakfasts through fitness, and inside this issue, we have a special edition on health and wellness. The wonderful Greg Gallion of Houchin Community Blood Bank kicks off the section by sharing the great work by this group. Catch up on what he has to say, and don’t forget to donate blood. And if you want further inspiration, then get ready for a motivating story. Writer Lisa Kimble chats with an inspiring local couple, Neal and Shelia Lyday, who grew tired of their weight and appearance and decided to reclaim their lives through fitness and eating right. Seeing the before and after pictures will blow your mind, but also motivate you to work harder at living healthier ever after. Enjoy. Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

March 2010 / Vol. 4 / Issue 6

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Fri. 5

Fri. 5

Sat. 6

FLICS presents “Wendy and Lucy,” 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater. $5. 325-4815 or

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

Bakersfield West Rotary Cioppino Feed, silent auction at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., Garces Memorial High School, Monsignor Leddy Hall. $75. 747-5380.

Sat. 13

Sat. 13

Sat. 13

Sat. 13

Sat. 13

Condors vs. Las Vegas Wranglers, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $7 to $25. 324-7825 or bakersfieldcondors. com.

Garces Gala Formal Night, doors open at 5 p.m. Monsignor Leddy Hall. $125, reservations required. 327-2578.

Relay for Life wine-tasting fundraiser, 4 to 7 p.m., Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield. $50, at Imbibe Wine and Spirits or Coldwell Banker, 9100 Ming Ave., Suite 100.

Beethoven — Ode to Joy, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m., Rabobank Theater. $32 to $48. 323-7928 or bakersfield

Bakersfield Jam vs. Springfield Armor, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $5 to $10. ticketmaster. com.

An Evening with Joe Bonamassa, 8 p.m., Fox Theater. $42.50 to $58.50. 324-1369 or vallitix. com.

Thur. 18

Thur. 18

Fri. 19

Fri. 19

Fri. 19

Sat. 20

Christopher Cross with Karla Bonoff, 8 p.m., Fox Theater. $23.50 to $43.50. 324-1369 or vallitix. com.

“Cabaret,” 7 p.m., Rabobank Theater. 852-7308 or

FLICS presents “Cherry Blossoms,” 7:30 p.m., Fox Theater. $5. 3254815 or

Garces Gala Casual Night, doors open at 6 p.m., Monsignor Leddy Hall. $15. 3272578.

Fourth annual Pink & Black Party, 9 p.m, The Nile Bar. $15; reserve tables, $40. 858-9389.

Daniel Tosh, 8 p.m., Fox Theater. $40.50; $44 day of show. 324-1369 or vallitix. com.


Tue. 30


Find more community events at or






Can’t-miss events in March

Condors vs. Stockton Thunder, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $7 to $25. 324-7825 or bakersfieldcondors. com.

Bakersfield Life

March 2010


It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

There are few families in the annals of Kern County that can match the entrepreneurial spirit and high drama of the pioneering Tevis family. Lloyd Tevis and brother-in-law James Ben Ali Haggin left Kentucky and eventually made a fortune in gold mining before heading west. They settled in San Francisco where Tevis became the first president of Wells Fargo Bank in 1872. The two began acquiring land, including 160-acre parcels around Bakersfield. After facing a legal battle over Kern River water rights in 1881, the men resolved the issue and formed what would become California’s largest landholder at the time, the Kern County Land Company. In 1896, William Tevis, the son of Lloyd and wife Susan, purchased a 300-acre parcel from the company and built a 9,000-square-foot, 2.5-story Victorian mansion. In 1920, the mansion was moved and demolished. William and wife Mabel constructed another estate in its place where Stockdale Country Club’s clubhouse is now located. William later lost his fortune and returned to San Francisco, sending his son Lloyd P. Tevis, back years later to see what he could do with the abandoned ranch. The younger Tevis decided to develop a golf course, and after completing renovations on the mansion, he re-landscaped the grounds to construct a nine-hole golf course. Stockdale Country Club, named after Sir Edmund Stockdale (who married a Tevis relative), opened for play on Feb. 18, 1923. A year later, the mansion/clubhouse was destroyed by fire, and

Photo by Casey Christie

Tevis Drive and Tevis Jr. High School

Lloyd P. Tevis sold the land to a local group of businessmen, who formed Stockdale Holding Company. The clubhouse was destroyed again by fire in 1940, but the imposing wrought-iron gate from 1900 survived both blazes and still stands at the club’s grand entrance. Tevis Junior High, located on Pin Oak Boulevard on property owned and ranched by the Tevis family, opened its doors in 1988. Stockdale Country Club, started by the Tevis clan, is celebrating 85 years of golf, gatherings and camaraderie.

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



Community floodgates open

CSUB sports cuts

Thousands of petitions and letters have swayed the state water board, leaving open the possibility that water may again run the length of the Kern River.

Mild weather Although we may be wearing light jackets in the evening, our 68-degree days are a breeze compared to those on the East Coast, which has been blanketed in snow.

Local skateboarder lands deal West High grad Devine Calloway develops a clothing line and shoe, which is flying off local shelves.

Changes at The Marketplace Joining longtime residents Russo’s Books and Olcotts, Coldwater Creek and Kaur Boutique will add more retail options to the popular shopping center.

Budget shortage means the end for men’s and women’s golf, wrestling and women’s tennis.

High unemployment The economy is improving, but you can barely tell with a local jobless rate of 15.8 percent at the end of 2009.

Mean streets of Bakersfield One man was stabbed while trying to give another man some money and an effort to break up a house party proved fatal in surprising acts of violence.

State budget woes With the lowest credit rating of any state, California is facing another fiscal disaster this year.



Short Takes

It’s time to party for a cure OVERHEARD

Get back in black (and pink) and “party for a cure” at the Fourth annual Pink & Black Party on March 19. The fundraiser, being held at The Nile Bar, is put on by the Relay for Life “Dream Team” in memory of Melissa Flores, who lost her battle with breast cancer at 27. The event honors survivors as well as those currently fighting cancer. Since its inception in 2007, the party has raised a total of $23,000 for Relay for Life. Guests — 21 and over only — are encouraged to dress to impress in their finest pink and black cocktail attire and can dance to the music of DJ Rhythm Nation at this lively event

Driving ‘Fore’ a difference

Watching students grow to adults, and feeling that energy on a high school campus — I’m going to miss that.

— Pat Preston, who's retiring at the end of this school year after serving the Kern High School District for 38 years as a football coach, teacher and administrator. The 62-year-old plans to play some golf and visit his granddaughter more in Sacramento. 14

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Celebrate a good cause on the green at Valley Achievement Center's Driving “Fore” A Difference Golf Tournament on March 15 at Stockdale Country Club. Each golfer will be given the opportunity to earn fabulous prizes — including a $25,000 Hole-in-One — as well as raise funds for the center, a nonprofit that provides quality education and life skills for children and young adults with autism. There are varying reward levels for money raised with a variety of custom-fit TaylorMade products. Registration is $175 per golfer or $650 for a team of four, which covers green fees, cart fees, breakfast, lunch, water and snacks while out on the course, and an exciting participant gift. The day kicks off at 9:20 a.m. with breakfast followed by the shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. At 3 p.m., there will be lunch and an awards ceremony, which non-golfers can attend for $25. To register, visit

that starts at 9 p.m. Last year’s party sold out quickly, so be sure to buy tickets early. Presale tickets are $15; reMelissa Flores serve tables are available for $40 and limited VIP areas may be purchased. Purchase tickets at The Nile Bar, Senor Pepe’s Restaurant in Rosedale or by e-mailing the Dream Team at

BY THE NUMBERS: Kern wOmen’s milestones


9,000 9



Number of years the first city councilwoman, Kathryn Balfanz, held the office (1957-1967)

Altitude, in feet, of the flight over Kern County by the first female pilot to do so, Katherine Stinson, on Dec. 6, 1917

Number of charter members who established the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield in 1896

Number of women who first registered to vote in Kern County in 1911

Number of elections Judge Sharon Mettler was unopposed in during her 27-year career on the bench. Mettler was the first woman to be appointed municipal court judge in Kern County.

Sharon Mettler

Source: First Women of Kern

So You Want To ...

Have a staycation with the girls Book a spa day Gather up the girls and head to a local spa — like Essentiels or Urban Oasis Spa — for a day of pampering. Ask for a group package.

Party at the Padre The new boutique hotel would be a great spot to celebrate with friends. Book a suite for First Friday and soak up the culture and cuisine downtown before retiring for the night.

Shop locally for spring Hit up local boutiques like Bella, House of Talula’s and Miss Holiday to start planning your spring looks. And who will be more honest about what looks good on you than your (objective) friends?

Make it a movie night The Oscars are March 7, so gather your girls before the big event and watch some

of the nominated films, including “A Serious Man,” “Coco Before Chanel” and “Bright Star.”

Put together a project If you’ve been meaning to paint a room

or redecorate a space, enlist your friends for some brainstorming or hard labor. Many hands make light work, and you can always volunteer to do the same for them. The goal is spending time with friends, no matter what the activity is.


Photo by Henry A. Barrios


Jeff Hedberg at the Bakersfield Racquet Club.

Courting success Though often on his feet, Jeff Hedberg wouldn’t have it any other way By Jenny Bachman


or the assistant manager, owner of the Pro Shop and director of junior activities at the Racquet Club, a simple 40-hour workweek is out of the question. Jeff Hedberg, the man who wears these many different hats, starts his day at 3:30 a.m. When he first started at the club 17 years ago, he spent most of the day on the court, probably around 50-plus hours a week, with lessons and drills. “I loved every minute of 16

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

it,” explained Hedberg. Now, he spends about 30 hours a week on the court. Most lessons are given on the weekend, or after 5 p.m., when everyone else gets off work. However, for Hedberg working seven days a week is normal and he truly feels it is the only way to be a successful teaching tennis pro. He gives private lessons to players that range in age and skill level. “Skill range is all over the map from the neophyte to the tournament player,” said Hedberg. Over the years, he has had

the privilege of teaching or being involved in teaching many, if not most, of the top juniors in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Racquet Club has a rich history of developing great tennis players from its large membership. “We have had 150 National Titles come out of the club and it started with Lake Lovelace, Andy Davidson and Alan Hodges, I think the rest of us that have followed have been fortunate to carry on the work they started,” said Hedberg. Other then being on the court, Hedberg is very busy running the day-to-day business of the club. “It is amazing how many e-mails I get and how many tennis products there are to sell and how many people need donations,” said Hedberg. He returns calls and works on club projects or Kern Community Tennis Association projects with which he is involved. Nike has sponsored Hedberg for more than 15 years and they have given the club Nike tennis camps. When he opened the Pro Shop, Nike picked his shop over 200 retailers nationwide to be a Nike “concept store,” meaning that a portion of the store is specifically designated to sell Nike merchandise. “Though I had the contract, I explained the history and they were more than willing to jump on board” to promote the club, explained Hedberg. “So I hope someday the

Bakersfield Racquet Club can be recognized for the rich history it has produced.” Hedberg loves the club’s legacy. Founded in 1948, it has fostered many nationally ranked tennis players who grew up on the courts: Jack Lynch, Louise Snow, Sally Moore Huss, Dennis Ralston, Marianne Werdel Witmeyer, Hank Pfister and numerous junior players, like U.S. Girls Super National 16s Champion Danon Beatty, now at Fresno State. The club has also hosted some of the biggest names in U.S. tennis. “I don’t know if the current Bakersfield community knows the historical significance of the club. Rod Laver, Jack Kramer, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as well as the Bryan brothers and Sam Querrey and many others that have gone on to professional careers have all played here,” said Hedberg. As far as the business goes, Hedberg explains that each day is different and surprises are always around the corner. “Anyone that owns their own business will understand this. So my day consists of putting out fires, from one-alarm to five-alarm.” He credits his incredible staff with helping him keep most issues manageable and knocking out the big problems. “God bless them,” Hedberg said.

“I don’t know if the current Bakersfield community knows the historical significance of the club. Rod Laver, Jack Kramer, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras… and many others that have gone on to professional careers have all played here.” — Jeff Hedberg

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of Kern County’s History By Jeff Nickell, Director, Kern County Museum Photos courtesy of the Kern County Museum


omen are an important piece of Kern County history, so let’s take a look at some of the ladies who have really made a difference in our community. With one exception, these were “first women of Kern County,” as they were the first to do something that no other woman had done before — at least not locally.

Dr. Rose Burcham Noted for a strange pairing of professions, Rose Burcham who was the first female doctor and mine operator in Kern County. She began practicing medicine in 1885 but it wasn’t until about 1895, that she arrived in Kern County. She came to

Dr. Rose Burcham


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Grace Van Dyke Bird Upon graduation from Berkeley, Grace Van Dyke Bird began teaching at Bakersfield Junior College in 1917. By 1921, she was promoted to the position of dean, which at the time was equivalent to today’s college presidents, thus making her the first woman to be a president of a California community college. (In 1976, the Kern Community College District board of trustees conferred upon her the title president emeritus.) The term “community college” is key to Bird’s history because she was one of the first to use that terminology. It was due to her firm belief in community colleges that she was hired by the University of California system to work in its Office of Relations with Schools, heading the community college affairs section. The library at Bakersfield College bears her name.

Mary Holman Dodge

Grace Van Dyke Bird, left, seen here in 1938. Kern because her husband, Charles, was one of the men who discovered the Yellow Aster Mine in Randsburg. Dr. Burcham soon became the brains behind the operation, serving as the company’s secretary.

Agnes Millen Wright Agnes Millen was the daughter of an oil field contractor who worked in West Virginia and Marietta, Ohio. Upon graduation from Holy Angels’ Academy in Buffalo, N.Y., she enrolled in the nursing training school that was associated with Johns Hopkins University. She graduated in the class of 1902 and began working as a nurse immediately in Jamestown and then Buffalo. Later on, she worked as a private nurse in Bradford, Penn., which is where she met Walter Wright. Following a brief courtship, Agnes and Walter were married in New York; after marrying, Agnes continued to pursue her career. In 1912, she came to Taft where her husband found work as a surveyor in the Midway Oilfields. Upon the opening of the General Hospital of Taft on May 2, 1913, Agnes became the superintendent and general manager of the hospital — one of the first women to attain such a position in Kern County (possibly only second to Margaret Quinn, who you will read about later).

Mary Holman was the first woman to be a Bakersfield police officer. According to the First Women of Kern Web site, Holman graduated from Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, but was unable to find a math job in the Bay Area. She began teaching and had a contract lined up to teach in Pleasanton. In 1941, fate intervened wuth she headed back home to Bakersfield to visit her parents for the summer. One day she read an article in The Bakersfield Californian that the City Council had voted to hire a woman to work as a police officer for the Bakersfield Police Department. She applied for the job, scored 100 percent on her exam and was hired on July 3, 1941. Holman married Charlie Dodge on May 11, 1963. She retired from the Police Department in 1965 after attaining the rank of lieutenant (which is thought to be the first time a woman had achieved that rank in California).

Pauline Larwood A graduate of Fresno State, Pauline Larwood became the first woman elected to the Kern County Board of Supervisors in 1983, paving the way for others like Mary K. Shell and Barbara Patrick. She served three terms as supervisor. Currently, she serves on the Kern Community College board of trustees and sits on the Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges.

Mary K. Shell Mary Katherine Jaynes Shell is Continued on page 20


San Joaquin Community Hospital in 1935.

Mary K. Shell with then-Gov. George Deukmejian, left, and departing Bakersfield Mayor Don Hart at her mayoral inauguration in 1981. Continued from page 19

a native of Bakersfield who graduated from East Bakersfield High School (I have to give props to EB as I also graduated from there). She worked as a reporter for The Bakersfield Californian, a flight dispatcher at the La Cresta Airfield, editor of the News Bulletin, and journalist covering state politics before becoming the first woman to be elected mayor of Bakersfield. After her stint as mayor, she was elected to the Kern County Board of Supervisors

(just the second woman elected to that office), where she served three consecutive terms.

Margaret Quinn and Mary O’Donnell According to Wallace Morgan’s “History of Kern County,” Margaret Quinn and Mary O’Donnell spent $30,000 to build and open San Joaquin Community Hospital. The pair, originally from Richmond, Ind., and Philadelphia, opened the hospital for business on Oct. 6, 1910. Quinn was the executive and business manager of the hospital while O’Donnell was in charge of the surgical department. According to Morgan, “the owners appreciate the incomparable importance of perfection of detail in every matter relative to surgical operations.”

I need to lose 15lbs. in 60 days for my best friend’s wedding. I would like to try the Cookie Diet. Will it work? Ask our doctors anything, any time. Or, read to find out what others are asking. connects you with the local healthcare community. Log in today for valuable health news & information.

ƒ”–‘ˆ–Š‡ƒ‡”•Ƥ‡Ž†Ǥ…‘‡–™‘”• 20

Bakersfield Life

March 2010


Padre Hotel By Teresa Adamo

Mondo mural The blinged-out, purdy cowgirl mural hanging behind the Padre Hotel’s front desk was specially commissioned. It is a photo taken by John Schultz and the design is by Hollis Brand Culture. The model is wearing a genuine creation from famed rodeo tailor Jamie Nudie. The saying on the mural: “That dog’ll hunt” is a candid reference to a Texan phrase that essentially means, “No problem — we’ll get it done,” which Padre representatives said speaks well for the hospitality industry.

So you have to wonder if fate played a part in two different Padre owners — the most famous (or infamous) one and the most recent one (the new guy) — each with the surname of “Miller.” First, there was Milton “Spartacus” Miller, and now, Brett Miller, the new coowner of the hotel. No relation. Derived from the occupation, Miller is considered to have primarily Scottish, English and Irish origins. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Miller ranked the fifth most common surname in the nation, with 1,127,801 other Americans sharing the same moniker as the Padre ownership’s Miller duo.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

What’s in a name?

Nick Soberano mans the front desk in front of the cowgirl mural.

Slick slogan The Cheers bar in Boston was famous for its slogan, “Where everybody knows your name …” But do you know the motto used by the old Padre’s former watering hole, The Town Casino? As far as we know, there wasn’t a song to go along with it, but the little joint with Ernie on the piano and a lady mannequin on a swing did have its own, rather ambitious, saying: “Friendliest place in the world.”

roots, there are little touches in the posh new Padre that pay homage to Bakersfield. The coffee shop, Farmacy, is indeed named in honor of our connection to agriculture. One look up at the ceiling and you’ll see images of cheery livestock looking back. Then there’s the ornate printed wallpaper that lines the hallways of the room floors. At first, you see a lovely damask pattern done black on white. Take a few more steps closer and then you’ll see small icons of cowboy hats, boots with spurs, a lady’s leg in fishnet stockings and even an oil derrick.

Tip o’ the hat

During the massive renovations at the Padre, workers came across a couple of

In a definite nod to our western-ag

Mysterious message and good ol’ gum

items that must have slipped through a crack in the stairwell. Underneath one of the steps was an old telephone message — year not known — taken for a hotel guest, and a chewing gum wrapper. The brand? Dentyne, of course, as recommended by four out of five dentists!



Que sirah, sirah! Wile away what’s left of winter with a glass of petite sirah By Paul Ulrich, wine columnist


etite sirah — a dark, inky wine that has loads of pepper and a taste of dark berries and plums — is one of my favorites. Its full-bodied, velvety texture is a perfect match for the foods we enjoy during the cold winter months: grilled steaks, lamb, stews and hearty soups. Petite sirah has been grown in California for more than a century. Once used primarily as a blending grape, it is still blended in many zinfandel wines produced today. Its popularity has increased in the last decade, as more wineries are growing the grape and producing the wine as a varietal on its own. Many consumers have discovered that this grape produces a fabulous wine, versatile enough to complement a variety of dishes. Petite sirah should not be confused with syrah; syrah is actually one of its parents, but the two grapes are different. Petite sirah can also be called durif, and is sometimes labeled petite syrah, which


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

has contributed to the confusion about this wine. This grape was a result of a cross between syrah and peloursin that was produced in France in the 1870s. Ironically, the grape is predisposed to gray rot (mold) in the Southern Rhone, where it was developed, but has flourished in the drier climate of California and Australia. It has small berries — thus the name petite — which produce a wine with lots of tannins and high acidity. Because of these characteristics, it has the potential to age and is a great “food wine.” This wine is often not easy to find in the store. It is usually stocked on the shelf mixed in with the syrah, so you have to look for it. One of the good things about petite sirah is that many producers have it priced under $20. Look for producers such as Concannon (one of the first producers of this varietal in California), Bogle and Foppiano. They are a good starting point in your discovery and appreciation of the wine. There are also many wineries in the Paso Robles area, such as Grey Wolf, J. Lohr and Tobin

out and find a bottle of this delicious wine, and try it with your favorite winter meal. Hopefully, you will find a new wine to add to your collection.

Take a sip

James that produce excellent examples of this wine. Not surprisingly, some of the more expensive bottles of petite sirah are made in the Napa Valley by top producers such as David Fulton, Madrigal and Stags’ Leap Winery. Petite sirah also has its own Web site: This site contains a wealth of information regarding this wine, its history, and producers of this varietal. It has a very special appeal to wine nerds, such as me! So, my advice for this month is to go

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For those looking to imbibe for a good cause, head out to the Second annual Relay for Life wine tasting and auction, put on by the Coldwell Banker — Bringing Home The Cure team. The March 13 event from 4 to 7 p.m. will again be held at Motor City Lexus, 5101 Gasoline Alley Drive, at the auto mall. Team captain Greg Holland says they will have an outstanding lineup of wineries from the Central Coast as well as tasty treats from some of Bakersfield’s finest food purveyors. Last year’s event was a huge success, raising more than $37,000 for the Relay for Life and American Cancer Society. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 the day of the event, but act quickly because only 550 tickets will be sold. Tickets are available at Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant and all Coldwell Banker offices, or by calling 747-6208.

Bogle Vineyards has been producing petite sirah since 1978.

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Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant

The Divas — from left, Wendy Horack, Lori Ritchie, Whitney Rector and Aimee Williamson — sit down at local favorite Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant.


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Back to tradition Family-run Sinaloa dishes up Mexican favorites with a side of local history

Chile verde quesadilla

Photos by Greg Nichols

Rich history

Aimee: I have eaten at Sinaloa many times over the past few years, but have never taken the time to read about the rich history behind this family-owned restaurant. It has stayed in the family for all of these years and the Divas were honored to meet Tom and Lydia Munoz, the brother and sister team who made our experience great! Lori: Tom and Lydia seem to make a great team and they take great pride in keeping the tradition of Sinaloa alive. So if you have never eaten at Sinaloa ,you are missing out on some Bakersfield tradition. Whitney: Sinaloa is old Bakersfield dining. A restaurant that has stood the test of time and has that nostalgic feel like Luigi’s, Wool Growers and Narducci’s. The Munoz family started Sinaloa in 1948, where Wool Growers is now. They eventually moved to their downtown location, where children Tom and Lydia Munoz continue the family tradition. I have been going to Sinaloa for years and it’s like returning to your roots when you walk in the door. Memories of my family and I dining

with friends in the dining room come flooding back to me. Wendy: I’m no stranger to Sinaloa. Having been a dispatcher for Hall Ambulance (located across the street) for years, Sinaloa was a regular lunch spot for us. Sinaloa has been a Bakersfield landmark for over 50 years. Located at 20th and P streets, it’s what I would call the “diamond in the rough.” The weathered neon sign takes you back in time to “ol’ time Bakersfield.”


Whitney: Mexican food and margaritas go hand in hand and it just seems wrong to not follow tradition. I ordered two and Wendy ordered a vodka margarita. I just stared at her in disbelief. Then I stared at Lori. Aimee ordered an iced tea and I wanted to sit somewhere else. Sinaloa plays big band music, instead of Mexican music, and we loved it. I can’t think of one restaurant that offers big band background music, and it was great fun listening to it while sipping the cocktails. Aimee: Wendy had to have hers made with vodka! Is it a real margarita when it is made that way? Wendy: I switched it up and had a vodka margarita (Jose and I don’t get along). The other mean Diva — I won’t mention

Chicken fajitas

Combination burrito

Continued on page 26

The chiquito taco platter was a hit with the Divas.

Chicken enchilada and chile relleno


Enjoy the sounds of big band music while dining at Sinaloa. Continued from page 25

any names, but she’s a principal — made fun of my drink order. Tom looked a little perplexed with my drink order, too. If I’m the only one who likes vodka margaritas, then I think it should be called a “Wendy margarita.” Lori: If anyone is particular about their ice, the ice served with their beverages is the best, the little pellet flaky ice, my favorite.


Lori: Fresh tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole, which was served in a tortillatype basket, were waiting for us as we arrived. What Sinaloa is known for is that they serve fresh sourdough bread with their salsa. We all looked forward to that since we all love bread. Whitney: The fresh bread with the homemade salsa is outstanding. It’s generally a Basque tradition to serve bread, butter and salsa, but Sinaloa has always served it, and I’m pretty sure there would be a riot if they decided to stop. Tom suggested we try the platter of chiquito tacos as our first appetizer. We were served six chicken and beef mini tacos. The taco shells were light and flaky and my favorite was the beef taco. We also had the chile verde quesadilla. The shredded beef was very tender with no fatty meat and had a wonderful flavor. I have always liked Sinaloa chile verde and I believe it’s one of their signature dishes. 26

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March 2010

Aimee: The chiquito taco platter came with six small tacos made with beef and chicken, served with guacamole and sour cream. OK, I know what you’re thinking — a taco is a taco — but the shells on these were fantastic. They are perfectly fried, light and not at all greasy. It is a must-order. Wendy: Tom wanted us to try the chiquito taco appetizer; I think those are a secret because I’d never had them. Smaller than the standard taco, they were hot, crunchy and beefy! Just like I like them.


Aimee: Sinaloa’s offers a variety of traditional Mexican food items. I had the Sinaloa combination No. 2, which consisted of a taco, enchilada, rice and beans. I also decided I wanted to try everyone else’s meals too. Whitney and Lori were sitting close, so I just forked some of their tasty items! I love the chicken at Sinaloa. No matter which way I had it — in a taco (mine), fajitas (Whitney), or an enchilada (Lori) — it was light and super flavorful! Too bad Wendy was sitting too far away from me to snatch some food off her plate! Lori: I chose as my main course a chile relleno and a chicken enchilada served with rice and beans. Both were, as I would have expected, delicious. My absolute favorite of the whole meal was the chicken chiquito tacos and the chicken enchilada. I must have been on a

chicken kick that day, all of their chicken tasted amazing. Great job, Sinaloa! Whitney: I ordered the small chicken fajitas and am glad I did. The small is big so the large must be huge. There are some Mexican restaurants in town that are a little stingy on their meat in fajitas and try to hide that fact with three whole onions and 14 bell peppers. Not at Sinaloa; I had more chicken that I knew what to do with. The chicken was so juicy and tender that Aimee and Wendy kept forking my food until I had to tell them to knock it off. Wendy: Tacos, rice and beans is what I always used to order, however, I decided to step outside of the box this time and order the taco, enchilada and tamale combo with rice and beans. My taco was just as I remembered it to be. Sinaloa has all the right ingredients to create a fabulous taco. Made with seasoned ground beef stuffed into a piping hot shell with the usual toppings. It really is a perfect beef taco. My beef enchilada was meaty and cheesy; you just can’t mess this up. I really enjoyed my tamale. It had sweetness about it.

Keeping up the tradition

Whitney: I bet you didn’t know that you can order a quart of salsa from Sinaloa for $10. Neither did I. It comes in a Mason jar, so we got two. Two seemed to be my magic number. The Mason jar reminded me of my grandmother and the way things used to be. Simple, traditional and homemade. The Munoz family keeps it simple and you know what to expect walking in the door. Tradition is what Bakersfield is all about. No wonder Sinaloa has been in business since 1948.

Keep the Sinaloa experience alive at home by picking up some salsa to go.

Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant 910 20th St., 327-5231. Open 11:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Sunday; open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday.

Tradition and homemade Mexican favorites keep everyone, including the Divas, coming back to Sinaloa.


Photo by John Harte


A portion of the approximately 115,000 pounds of waste that was dropped off at CSUB in late February.

Do your part Variety of local organizations make recycling even unwieldy products easier


By Gabriel Ramirez

e all know that newspapers go in the paper bin, soda cans go in the aluminum bin and water bottles go in the plastic bin, but where do oil, batteries and paint products go? While many of us know that batteries should be recycled, we don’t know how to recycle them or where to take them to be recycled. According to Jaimy Gentry, waste management specialist for the Kern County Waste Management Department, it is our responsibility to dispose of these items properly. “Hazardous waste is not only illegal to dispose in a landfill, but throwing it in your trash or dumping it down storm drains can be dangerous to your health, the health of others and the environment,” Gentry said. “Dumped into the ground or street, these types of hazardous waste materials can enter storm drains and potentially contaminate our ground water supply.”


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

While the Bakersfield Association for Retarded Citizens does not handle hazardous waste, with the exception of electronics, its vice president of public relations and community affairs, Lisa Plank, feels that minimizing adverse effects on the environment should be people’s concern when disposing of hazardous waste. “The damage done to the environment by improper and irresponsible disposal is often irreparable and, in many cases, dangerous,” Plank said. According to Plank, every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water and 60 pounds of air pollution. “Recycling accounts for more than 2.35 million tons of glass bottles, 54 billion aluminum cans and billions more plastic and paper items that are kept out of the landfills every year,” Plank said. “That is based on the relatively small percentage of people that recycle. Imagine how much more we could keep out of the landfills if everyone did their part and recycled.” Other locations for recycling include the Goodwill Industries

of South Central California. Goodwill has eight donation centers in Bakersfield, one in Taft, one in Delano and one in Ridgecrest. Goodwill receives many different types of items as donations, which include clothes, cars, furniture and electronics. “If donations are in good condition, they are sold in our retail stores and if they are not in good condition, they go to one of our two Clearance Centers to be sold in auctions. If they don’t sell then they are recycled in a more traditional way,� said Ken Beurmann, vice president of business development. “As you can see, Goodwill has essentially a three-step process to try and prevent donations from winding up in local landfills.� There is no cost for dropping off materials at Goodwill, and in some instances, Goodwill will even come out to your residence or work and pick up any donations free of charge. Beurmann said he has seen an increase in recycling competition, which is a good thing for the planet. “Goodwill has been in business for over 100 years and again, the very nature of the business design is to recycle items rather than throw them away,� Beurmann said. “In fact, Goodwill recently partnered with Levi’s and the initiative is called 'A Care Tag for Our Planet.' From now on all Levi jeans will have a message printed on the tag that encourages customers to donate the jeans to Goodwill after they are done with them rather than throw them away.�

If you are ever in doubt where items should be taken for disposal, you can contact the Kern County Waste Management Department. “The Kern County Waste Management Department provides environmentally safe management of liquid and solid waste. We are responsible for operating seven landfills, five transfer stations and four transfer bin sites,� Gentry said. “We also operate three special waste facilities and provide information to the residents of Kern County regarding recycling and ways to reduce waste. In addition, the Department oversees the operation of several wastewater treatment facilities.� If you are looking to take materials to one of the seven landfills, you should be aware that the landfills only accept non-hazardous solid waste such as household trash, appliances, scrap metal, bulky items such as sofas, chairs and mattresses, electronic waste, greenwaste, tires and construction and demolition waste. “Most Kern County landfills and transfer stations operate diversion programs to recycle materials. We encourage the public to separate these materials from other household waste so that they can be recycled,� Gentry said. “Reducing, reusing and recycling are important because they save natural resources and reduce the amount of waste buried in landfills. Recycling reduces green house gas emissions that contribute to global warming, saves energy and improves air quality. Every person in Kern County can make a difference and improve the quality of life by recycling.�

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Reigning beauties These girls know a thing or two about poise as well as helping others. As current Kern title holders, ages 4 to 17, they say there is a lot to celebrate about our community.

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your favorite thing about being in pageants? Elizabeth: Being able to have my crown work for my community. Being a positive role model for the youth of Kern County, showing them how to have a healthy lifestyle. Dakotah: My favorite thing about being in pageants is giving back to our community, helping others and being a good role model. Madison: I have been able to do a lot more community service and I have also made a lot of great new friends. Destanee: Making new friends and getting all dressed up. Savana: Making new friends.

Young Miss Kern Elizabeth Schull, 17

Junior Miss Kern County Dakotah Skinner, 15

How far do you want to go in the pageant world? Elizabeth: I will be going on to represent Kern County at the California state finals in August and dream of being crowned Young Miss California. Dakotah: Winning the Junior Miss Kern County has been a wonderful experience and at the end of my reign, I will go on to compete at the California state finals and then I will focus on my college opportunities. Madison: I am going to go as far as I possibly can, and hopefully that means one day I will meet Donald Trump at Miss USA. Destanee: I want to make it to the California state finals. Savana: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to be Miss America.


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Little Miss Kern County Destanee Sanchez, 7

Photos by Michael Fagans

What is your favorite thing (person/ place/etc.) about Bakersfield and why? Elizabeth: My favorite thing is my school, Stockdale High, and all of that Mustang pride. All of the people that support me in my dreams and life goals are my favorite. For places, I love downtown, Mill Creek Park, Father Garces at the circle, the Fox Theater, the clock tower at Pioneer Village, dinner at Wool Growers and dessert at Dewarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Dakotah: My favorite person is my dad for providing me the opportunities to succeed. And my favorite place in Bakersfield is Dewarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. I love their peppermint ice cream. It always brings a smile to my face. Madison: Right now, my favorite place to go in Bakersfield is Rollerama. I like to go there because my friends and I have a lot of fun there and I have met a lot of new people. Destanee: My favorite person is my sister in Christ, Kelly Houghtaling, and my favorite place is Church Inc. Savana: My favorite person is Mrs. Pam Schull, my pageant director. Favorite place is Chuck E. Cheese.

Pre Teen Miss Kern County Madison Swaim, 12

Grand Supreme Miss Kern County Savana Granados, 4

What would you like to do when you grow up? Elizabeth: I will be pursuing a career in criminal justice in the USMC and college. Dakotah: I am very passionate about animals; after completing college I will seek a career in the veterinarian field. Madison: I would like to be a doctor when I grow up so that I can help young children with any type of cancer or sickness. Destanee: A baby doctor. Savana: A princess. Continued on page 32


Continued from page 31

If there were one thing you could change about Bakersfield, what would it be? Elizabeth: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to have more positive activities for teens. Dakotah: The only thing that I would change in Bakersfield is our poor air quality.

Destanee Sanchez

Madison: I would like to reduce the amount of homeless people that we have on our streets. I would like to start a nonprofit organization to help these people here in Bakersfield. Destanee: No more hungry or homeless people, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like everyone to have love for each other. Savana: I would like it if Disneyland was in Bakersfield.

Miss Kern County Beauty Pageants & Scholarship Association was established to promote mental and moral character building and advocate a healthy lifestyle, including community service that helps girls become positive outstanding citizens. For more information on the pageants or help with a community event, contact pageant director Pam Schull at 331-2113.

Savana Granados

Dakotah Skinner 32

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Madison Swaim

Elizabeth Schull












R Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; C H O I C E

CAST YOUR VOTE! Go online to to vote for your favorite places, people and businesses in a variety of categories.

HURRY! Voting ends on March 19th! Best of Kern County 2010 results will publish in the May 29 issue of Bakersfield Life.


Heart THE


Diane Hopkins 34

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

A celebration of 11 women making a positive impact By Dana Martin


Photos by Jessica Frey

akersfield is a community known for its heart; in times of need, disaster, or raising money for charitable organizations, Bakersfield stands toe-to-toe with larger cities in terms of donations and volunteers. In this generous community, many women have made their mark. Some have seen it all, lived everywhere, and have come a long way (both literally and figuratively). The common denominator, though, is the positive impression they made and continue to make in Kern County. We’re celebrating 11 local women of substance who, through devoting much time and energy to their community and their professions, have become role models to other women and girls and are making Bakersfield a better place.

Diane Hopkins Some people believe in providence. Diane Hopkins falls into that lot, ever since the day she walked into her Florida home and found a brand-new saddle — a gift from her husband. Without that saddle, Hopkins says, the M.A.R.E. program may never have existed because she thought her riding days were behind her. Hopkins, born just outside of Philadelphia, didn’t discover her passion for riding until she was married to Rick, a pilot, and had two sons in New York. “I fell in love with horses in my 30s and started taking riding lessons,” she said. “I took lessons at night when the kids were home with their dad, and I have been riding ever since.” When the family moved to Florida, Hopkins didn’t see riding in her future, but Rick did. That’s when the saddle showed up. So, the couple purchased a mare in Florida and later shipped her to their next home in Texas. There, Hopkins decided to volunteer for the parks and recreation department and create a riding program for disabled children. “I started with two kids and my own horse in a friend’s backyard,” said Hopkins. And with encouragement from a therapist, her first therapeutic riding program was born. Today, the Mastering Abilities Riding Equines facility Hop-

kins helped create in Kern County celebrates 20 years of success providing equine-assisted programs to children and adults with physical, cognitive or emotional challenges. “The horse is used as a tool to help therapists,” said Hopkins. “There’s no other way that they can facilitate the same movements in a doctor’s office.” Like other nonprofits, though, the economy affected M.A.R.E., and now Hopkins dedicates upwards of 60 hours a month to finding money. “We were at 100 riders per week, but now because of budget cuts, our funding from the regional center is down to 70 riders. We’d like to get back up to where we were. We’d also like to expand,” said Hopkins. Along with fundraising, Hopkins works with the horses and remains on the board of directors. The facility has vaulting, sports riding programs, and a new carriage-driving program, but Hopkins wants a program for veterans, too. And she loves that Bakersfield’s generous community continues to support M.A.R.E. “In May, we have our annual ‘Evening at the Races,’ and in October, we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary out at the facility,” she said. Continued on page 36


Sheryl Barbich Continued from page 35

Sheryl Barbich The phrase “Times have changed” usually implies that modern life has somehow deteriorated from the good ol’ days. When Sheryl Barbich uses the phrase, however, she says it with relief, because she remembers that as a UC Davis college graduate in the 1960s, good job opportunities were not as prevalent for women as they are today. “All they wanted to know was, ‘Honey, can you type?’” Barbich remembers from her first job interviews at Sears & Roebuck and Security Pacific Bank. Her decision to choose Security Pacific Bank — “I didn’t want to sell bras and underwear” — would prove fateful, launching her on a career path that would span 40 years in banking and financial consultation. Today, Barbich is married to her husband of 40 years, Lou, is a leader in the community, and provides mentoring for young women so that they may benefit from the type of role model that wasn’t available to her decades ago. Then she had to prove herself the hard way, with elbow grease and a will to succeed. She started in operations, moved to supervisor, and bucked the odds by relocating to Bakersfield in 1971 to follow a job opportunity when the safer bet would have been to stay put. Barbich was never easily satisfied with the status quo. On a short list, Barbich has been the president of the American Association of University Women and became the first female president of the Downtown Rotary Club. She has been the chair of the board for the Bakersfield Museum of Art, the Bakersfield Racquet Club and the Memorial Hospital Foundation (to name a few), and was on the founding board of the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. The project closest to her heart, however, is Vision 2020, a 2036

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March 2010

Barbara Smith year project to change Bakersfield’s social and business landscape to reflect what’s important to the community by collaborating with a broad base of individuals and organizations. Barbich was pivotal in the project’s inception and remains its driving force today, which is no surprise considering a lifetime spent trying to make everything she touches better. “If you can help somebody, why not? It’s up to each person to do a good job,” said Barbich. Feeling a personal responsibility to her community and to other women means that times, as they say, haven’t changed that much after all.

Barbara Smith Huron, S.D., native Barbara Smith grew up on a construction job site. As the daughter of homebuilders, young Barbara watched her parents work as a team while she filled nail holes and did other small jobs. Along with a strong work ethic, an inherent pride in women budded, too, as she watched her mother work alongside the rest of

Mary K. Shell the men. “She was an anomaly in this male-dominated industry,” said Smith. “She didn’t hang sheetrock or frame, but she did everything else. She never saw any difference in what a woman would do and what a man should do.” Neither has Smith. For the last 16 years, she has owned and operated Barbara Smith Homes, a custom homebuilding company. Smith didn’t always build houses. After earning her bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Montana, she worked with various builders in sales and marketing and discovered what she liked — and didn’t like — about running a business. “The turning point for me when I left corporate life was that I didn’t want to put people in a position where they have to lie,” she said. So, Smith decided to start her own company, where she could run it using the same principles she was learning in her faith: Do the right thing. “My faith has really been my sustaining force in this really tough industry for years. I can’t imagine not having my God.” Everyone who works with Smith shares in her beliefs — from her husband of 11 years, Bob, to her “teammates” at Barbara Smith Homes. “It’s very simple around here. Sometimes things come up that need to be redone or fixed. We want to be perfect, but we can’t always be. Even if it costs us money to repair or replace — or even start over,” she said. “A lot of years of doing the right thing keep you in business.

Bakersfield is a small town and what you do in business matters,” Smith said. What you do outside of business matters, too, and as the mother of five children, she finds herself being the role model her mother was for her. Now past the days when a woman in construction wasn’t as widely accepted as it is today, Smith is still a standout in her field as the only female homebuilder in Kern County currently.

Mary K. Shell Writing a story about Mary K. (“You can call me Miki”) Shell that hasn’t already appeared in print is a tall order. With a long history of accomplishments from her years of public service, this celebrated citizen of Kern County has been around longer and remembers more about Kern County’s history than almost anyone else in her beloved city. Besides being the first female mayor of Bakersfield and becoming only the second woman elected to the Kern County Board of Supervisors in 1984, Shell led a full and intriguing life prior to stepping into the city’s limelight as a public servant. The news always intrigued her, she says, and she enjoyed listening to people discuss business and politics. “I was always into current events. Family friends would come for Sunday dinner, and afterwards the men would sit and talk business and politics,” she said, and she would listen. “Someone once asked us girls what radio show we liked. (The girls) said Jack Armstrong or Little Orphan Annie, and I said the news!” Continued on page 38


Continued from page 37

Shell is sharp. She remembers names and details of people and events that existed before many of Bakersfield’s denizens were born. For example, when she started flying airplanes in 1945, she worked at a little airport not then known as Meadows Field — “because Cecil Meadows was still alive!” Yes, she was a flier. In 1947, she got her private pilot’s license and worked at a flying school at La Cresta Air Field to pay for her flying time. In those days, there were few women fliers, and Shell’s family accepted her hobby with hesitation. In 1968, she met and married the love of her life, Joe Shell, a love affair that lasted until his death in 2008. Shell has worked as a journalist, helped found the Kern County Press Club, and managed her husband’s gubernatorial campaign. She initiated the Beautiful Bakersfield Awards, the Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast, and the Historical Preservation Committee “to save more buildings from the wrecking ball.” She still plays tennis at least twice a week with the carefree abandon of a woman half her age. “What am I, 82? I’m almost 83, I think!” she says with a laugh. To Shell, age is only a number and but a brief blip on the radar of a well-lived life. She was a forerunner; she did it before anyone said she couldn’t.

Cathy Abernathy Cathy Abernathy has a deep love for her country. She grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong she learned from her parents. But unlike others in politics, whose family trees are rooted deeply in generations of Americans, Abernathy is the daughter of Armenian parents. “Ethnic Armenians love this country more than anything else,” said Abernathy, whose immigrant father peeled potatoes at Berkeley to earn money to work his way through college. “He never asked for a handout.” He also gave back to his new country by serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His efforts to serve his new country impressed his daughter. “I believe our nation was designed 230-plus years ago so everyone would have the tools to succeed. What you do with your God-given rights is your choice — you can loaf or you can make something of yourself,” she said. After high school in Indio, Abernathy attended UCLA. One of her first professors was Angela Davis, whose radical beliefs clashed with those of young Abernathy. “I stood up to her in class and said, ‘I only get to go to college once in my life, and I’d like to learn something other than your daily views on the Vietnam War. I quit your class!’” Her tenacity would serve her well in a primarily male-dominated profession. Today, Abernathy operates a political, marketing and legislative consulting business — after serving as chief of staff to Rep. Bill Thomas and as a House committee staff director for more than 20 years. She is also a political commentator for KGETTV 17. In Abernathy’s opinion, women are ideal candidates for the 38

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March 2010

Cathy Abernathy political arena. “I always encourage women to go into politics because there is lots of detail work, balancing of 15 to 20 activities at once, and I’ve found women are especially great at it,” she said. Abernathy, who’s married to Mark and has two daughters, spent her adult life encouraging women, from advocating speech training, to helping elect women, to her biggest professional pride, providing student internships in congressional offices in Bakersfield and Washington, D.C. Abernathy says that she got a lifetime education in politics from those she watched and worked with such as Thomas, Gerald Ford, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. But perhaps her greatest education came earlier, in patriotism, taught by her immigrant family who provided living examples of working hard and honoring your country.

Mikie Hay The only child of Jim and Bebe Burke, Michele Burke Hay came into the world and created a brief controversy between her parents. Continued on page 40

“It’s evolved,” said Hay of the 36-year program. “Originally it began because there was a major disconnect between high school students and businesses.” Companies underestimated the buying power of youth. “Today, the program is still a business youth program, but it has shifted its emphasis to service over self,” said Hay, who also directs Dream Builders, a unique leadership program for 22 college-bound high school seniors. Each year, students in the two groups split into four teams guided by corporate and community advisers to develop an idea that will make a difference in their town. Hay is right beside them, guiding and giving encouragement. Hay has also been involved in Junior League, the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, Mercy Hospital, and the Kern High School and CSUB Foundation. Her children call her über-mom; her community calls her special. Hay feels like she has only just begun.

Judi McCarthy

Mikie Hay Continued from page 38

“My mother wrote ‘Michele’ on the birth certificate,” said Mikie Hay, “and I’m told my father agreed, as long as he could call me Mike.” Her nickname stuck, and today the name Mikie Hay represents a lifetime of service, hard work and a dedication to the community and its youth. Although the family name was synonymous with the Ford business, the West High grad remembers that she never had her own car growing up. “Luckily, I had friends down the street (the Cormiers) who owned the Chevrolet dealership, and they’d pick me up for school every day.” That tradition continued with her own four children as they drove the family hand-me-down ranch trucks to school. Hay attended USC, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education and then moved north to Stanford (her father’s alma mater), where she received her master’s degree. When Hay returned to Bakersfield, she found two things: a job teaching junior high in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District and her husband, Dan Hay. The teaching was temporary, but Dan has been by her side for 33 years. The Hays have raised four children, run their ranch, worked at the Ford dealership (alongside Jim Burke until his death in 2006), and found new ways to improve their community. One of the opportunities came through a program called The Ford Dimension. 40

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Judi McCarthy has had the equivalent of several high-level, lucrative careers. She has dedicated thousands of hours to each “employer” to ensure success at every level and implemented new ideas that would propel each organization forward. What separates McCarthy from other flashy up and comers are her paychecks, because for the most part — there haven’t been any. She has logged thousands of hours and dedicated most of her adult life to organizations for no compensation. McCarthy’s role in Kern County has been that of supreme philanthropist. Born in Los Angeles, McCarthy was raised in a Marine Corps family. By the time she earned her degree at Occidental College in Los Angeles, her family had moved 17 times. But in 1982, she found her 20th home, in Bakersfield with husband Rob, and never looked back. Staying home to raise two children could be a full-time job, but McCarthy discovered that she wanted to give back to her community, so she volunteered at the Lori Brock Children’s Museum and joined the Junior League of Bakersfield in 1986. “I have to credit them for teaching me the community, for teaching me how to be a good volunteer,” said McCarthy. McCarthy’s next stops were organizations where she could spend time with her children and volunteer. She worked as a den leader for the Boy Scouts of America, served several years in PTA clubs, and she chaired the Garces Memorial High School Gala. But perhaps one of her greatest accomplishments is her work as director of the Kern Community Foundation. McCarthy joined the Kern Community Foundation’s board in 2004. Her job was to determine the feasibility of a women’s fund within the foundation. She convened a committee, which launched the Women’s & Girls’ Fund of Kern County in 2005. To date, the Women’s & Girls’ Fund exceeds $400,000 and they have distributed grants of $40,000, including 2009 grants of $4,000 to Kern High School District Foundation and $7,000 to Garden Pathways. It’s all good news to McCarthy, because the Fund means helping more people.

Judi McCarthy

“Our ability to impact girls and women in Kern County will grow as our endowment grows,” she said. In all, McCarthy has worked 28 years almost exclusively as a volunteer, and does it, she says, because she must. “Everyone has to contribute something meaningful to the world. I don’t contribute a paycheck to my family, so I contribute to my community.”

Rosa Corona Rosa Corona may not be a well-known name in Bakersfield philanthropy yet, but give her some time — she’s just getting started. At 27, Corona works her way through college, holds a job, and donates hundreds of hours to several nonprofits across Bakersfield. A Ridgeview High School graduate, Corona says she mostly played sports as a teenager but first gained an inclination for charity work when she participated in internship programs provided through the Job Training Partnership Act, where she spent one summer at Ricky’s Retreat. Ricky’s Retreat is a Bakersfield-run AIDS Project, a nonprofit organization established in 1992 offering compassionate support services out of a rented house. At one time, the retreat’s future was uncertain when the house they were using went into foreclosure. Corona's duties at Ricky’s Retreat were making fliers, scheduling and data entry. She remembers how hard everyone worked that summer to ensure the project’s survival by amassing the funds to

Rosa Corona purchase the house and save it from foreclosure. The experience made an impression on Corona, who decided to continue her education at the University of Phoenix, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in human services. She also has a dream of starting her own nonprofit someday. “I’d like to start a program after school, an academic-based after-school program with enrichment lessons — a place for kids to go so they aren’t roaming the streets until their parents get home,” she said. Currently, Corona works at Sylvan Learning Center and takes classes toward her master’s in education, hoping to gain experience as a teacher and a principal before opening a facility to mentor local youth, such as Garden Pathways. Garden Pathways is a local nonprofit that aims to change lives through hope and relationship. It offers mentoring, training and education. Corona completed mentor training to learn the basics, such as knowing her boundaries and learning how to handle sensitive information often shared by mentees. She received her first mentee, age 13. “She is still shy, but we’re just getting started building a relationship,” Corona said. Corona thinks building relationships and helping people should be part of everyone’s plan. “Everyone is quick to point out what’s wrong in the community. You need to volunteer your time,” she said, adding that time is just as important, in some cases, as money. “Even if you think you’re only helping in a small way — it’s not small. You can make a difference and change a life.” Continued on page 42


Continued from page 41

Mary Christenson On the road to the American Dream, each life experience acts as a stepping-stone to success, and it’s fair to say that some people navigate the path better than others do. Mary Christenson’s name in Bakersfield is synonymous with expertise in real estate and the cutting edge in marketing of luxury

homes. For 28 years, she has dedicated herself to serving her clients and her community. Fundamentally, her name means hard work — and she learned that from a very young age. Christenson grew up in Shafter an only child and helped her dad, a farm laborer, by working in the cotton fields and grape vineyards during school vacations. “My mom and dad never knew the dream of homeownership. I grew up without many things we take for granted. As a young girl, I spent many hours in the nearby

The strength of a woman often derives from learned experiences, seizing on life’s opportunities and holding onto passions that keep us grounded. Ginger Moorhouse has discovered that time and again. As publisher of The Bakersfield Californian – one of the few family-owned newspaper institutions in the country – for 21 years, Moorhouse has guided the company into one that holds true to its journalistic roots, while embracing the changing times. “First, I have the sense, as Joseph Campbell says, of being guided here by unseen hands,” Moorhouse says, being reminded of his quote when you find “the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.” “I’m incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to make our corner of the world a better place. And that is my motivation for being here. I also believe that a community that is connected with itself can improve the quality of life in the place we call home.” When she learned of the number of local second-graders struggling to read, Moorhouse planted the seeds of the Community Reading Project, an initiative that would send local professionals into schools as volunteer readers. She enlisted the help of then-Superintendent Larry Reider 10 years ago and the program was born. Today, countless volunteers have been able to improve the reading level of thousands of second-graders. A loyal volunteer herself, Moorhouse's reward is a quiet one. They sit in her office and come in the shape of letters and progress reports of second-graders that have become better readers. That initiative was one of the reasons she was noted as top publisher of the year in 2003, by Editor & Publisher, a respected newspaper trade journal. “You’re here for the people, you’re here for the community, and you want them to succeed,” Moorhouse told E&P. “I’m always telling people, ‘Bakersfield is our middle name.'” Nature could be close second nickname for Moorhouse. One of her greatest memories as a child was her love of horses. That special connection eventually translated into a family tradition — spending time in the outdoors, riding horses, camping, hiking — as well as a volunteer endeavor. With a few loving horses to call her own, Moorhouse has been a strong supporter of groups such as the MARE therapeutic riding center and the Tree Foundation. Her favorite book is William Least Heat-Moon’s “Blue Highways,” in which he travels throughout the country on back roads and finds that everyone has a story. “That was something I discovered, too, when working at the weekly newspaper in New Hampshire,” Moorhouse says. 42

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Ginger Moorhouse makes a call at the summit of Mount Whitney — the best spot for cell phone reception — during a hiking trip with Californian employees.

Photo courtesy of Ginger Moorhouse

Ginger Moorhouse

Discoveries have a lasting impact. About a year ago, Ginger and her husband, John, faced a new journey: She donated a kidney to her husband, and they prepared for the road to recovery. But instead of keeping it private, she shared her experience with readers everywhere in her 10-part “Kidney Chronicles” on In one excerpt: “Things did not go as planned with our kidney transplant. Although the surgery itself was successful, the kidney graft failed. Though the outcome for John wasn’t what I’d hoped, I don’t regret my decision to give him a kidney. I’ve met so many brave, inspirational people and still believe in the life-giving opportunities organ transplants offer. My most humbling lesson has come from watching John meet his new physical struggles with grace and resilience. So this Kidney Chronicle installment, my last, is about endings and beginnings.” Much like Moorhouse's approach to life. She closes the chapter on past challenges, taking notes on lessons learned, and then opens new windows of innovation and change, ready to move forward with the same grace and resilience that John has shown her so well. — By Olivia Garcia

library, reading everything I could get my hands on. My dreams started there,” she said. Christenson’s first real job started in high school at the Shafter Press. “While attending Bakersfield College, a classmate urged me to apply at The Bakersfield Californian, where I got a job in display advertising,” said Christenson, who added that as she moved up the ladder, she still dreamed of more challenges. After eight years in the newspaper industry, she embarked on a two-and-a-half-year Construction Management Training Program that gave her a solid base for her real estate career. While spending the required six months in new home subdivision sales, she decided this was her true calling — working with people, not building houses — so she accepted a tract sales position with Coleman Homes. “Upon completion of selling the 227 homes in Coleman's The Vineyards’ subdivision, I started a new subdivision and my heart just wasn’t in it. I had just married Tom, and felt I needed a break from working every weekend so we could have a life,” Christenson said. “But I still work weekends, and I love it!” Christenson takes nothing for granted and finds ways to give back to the community that supports her, through commitments to the Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault, the Women’s & Girls’ Fund, CASA, and other local women’s charities. She was 2007 president of the local chapter of Women’s Council of Realtors and now is a WCR state governor, mentoring other chapters. She’s also active in and publishes a monthly newsletter for the Association of Petroleum Wives, a local support/network-

Mary Christenson

Continued on page 44


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Continued from page 43

ing group that donated $25,000 to the Homeless Shelter last year. Christenson says she is blessed to be where she is today. She’s the mother of two daughters, a grandmother, and has been married to husband Tom since 1991. “My life has been about working, making daily commitments to serve my clients, and giving back. I have a beautiful family and home, and great friendships.” For Christenson, attaining her dream turned out to be by helping others find their own. And for this seller of the American Dream, there really is no place like home.

Sheryl Chalupa For Sheryl Chalupa, a lifetime of service to local nonprofits began by chance. “One day, my kindergarten daughter came home and showed me a paper from the Girl Scouts,” said Chalupa. “She really wanted me to help out.” Chalupa, a CSUB graduate with a master’s degree in public administration, still had two young daughters at home but agreed to help. Chalupa discovered she really enjoyed the program and worked her way into membership development. Before she knew it, she was there 17 years, the last seven as the executive director of the Joshua Tree Council. “I absolutely loved it,” said Chalupa. “There is nothing better than working in an agency that helps build up young women.” But then one day, a friend notified Chalupa of an opening at Goodwill Industries, another nonprofit. At first, Chalupa wasn’t interested, but then she started researching Goodwill and learned what they were doing in work-force development. “I was fascinated by the services they provide. I knew I could bring my expertise, in terms of running a nonprofit, to Goodwill. So I came (to Goodwill) and haven’t looked back,” the company CEO said. “Really, I’m two-for-two in having jobs in my adult life that I’ve absolutely loved.” Among other boards, Chalupa also serves on the board of directors for Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce; WESTEC, a vocational training arm of Taft College and the Kern Community College District; and the League of Dreams, a Terrio TherapyFitness program that provides disabled children an opportunity to play on sports teams. She is also a past president of CSUB’s alumni board and is a Rotarian. With so many activities, it would be unsurprising if Chalupa refused more work. She has, after all, a husband, three daughters

Sheryl Chalupa

and two granddaughters also keeping her busy. But that’s not Chalupa, who seems happiest without one free minute on her day planner. In June 2007, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Chalupa to the State Compensation Insurance Fund board of directors. Not only was she flattered, she was intrigued. “It was an interesting department for me — learning about the need to be transparent and accountable, learning about governance models.” Chalupa realizes she’s in a position to help. And she’s more than willing to share what she feels is one secret to success. “Being a leader presents you with hurdles. Don’t recognize the hurdles as anything but an opportunity. Find something you’re passionate about, go after it full force. If there is a hurdle, don’t focus on it. Focus on your goal.”

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Bakersfield Life

March 2010

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What started as long-held desire for a butler’s pantry ended in a complete kitchen renovation at the home of Gus and Donna Cazacus of Bakersfield. Referred to Stockdale Cabinetry by a local appliance distributor, Gus and Donna are pleased to find that certified kitchen designer Rick Sorci charges no consultation fee for his design work and makes himself available as often as necessary to satisfactorily complete the job. Rick provided the technical expertise to make Gus’s idea, the butler’s pantry a reality. He

also handled the permitting process and met the building inspector during each step of construction. In the kitchen, a “dead” corner was eliminated and extra counter space was created. The existing stove vent bump-out and a show piece hood was designed. One condition for the renovation was that no wallpaper be destroyed. Happily, this was accomplished. Gus and Donna are extremely pleased with the renovations made to their home. When not puttering in the kitchen, they both teach in Kern County schools and are members of the local Greek Community.

When the sun comes up, it’s time to eat, but where to go? We have some ideas on local spots sure to start your day off right.



Photos by Greg Nichols

411 from the Food Dudes Made up of two Bakersfield natives and two longtime residents, the Food Dudes are four friends with a simple mission: to find the best food and drink the Central Valley has to offer. The idea evolved from a desire to take a step beyond the typical water-cooler discussions of who has the best burger in town, or where to get outstanding sushi. The Food Dudes were formed to discover those secret spots and local favorites in order to try and answer those questions. Kern County has a long history of great food and great places to eat, and our mission is to find them. This month they headed to 24th Street Cafe and Milt’s Coffee Shop to weigh in on breakfast.

Milt’s taco omelet with hash browns. 46

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

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

David: The Dudes’ recent travels consisted of stops at two landmark diners, 24th Street Cafe and Milt’s. Where to begin? Well, if you are in the mood for a good old-fashioned country-style breakfast, then Milt’s is the place. The staff greets you at the door with a friendly smile and is conscientious of everyone’s needs. On the other hand, 24th Street Cafe has that unique “city” vibe. Once you’re seated, the staff works hard to make customers feel like family. Frankly, these two cafes are good places for anybody to come, eat, and enjoy great meals. Kevin: While it may seem difficult for a coffee shop to stand out in a town full of great breakfast spots, the good folks at Milt’s and 24th Street Cafe make it appear effortless. Not only does their standard fare stand out, you just can’t order wrong from the specials menu. The shrimp scramble at Milt’s with mushrooms and jack cheese would be my new favorite, if not for the delicious cream-filled apple crepes and at least six other specials I can’t wait to try. The portabella mushroom omelet at 24th Street was a mouth-watering, well-balanced dish, great for breakfast or lunch. Chris: We were fortunate enough to review two well-known Bakersfield restaurants. The Dudes, avoiding breakfast overload, split it into two weekends. Good call on our part! Milt’s and 24th Street Cafe both offer essentially the same base menu. Staples such as trout and eggs, chicken fried steak and eggs Benedict are great. Specials such as the linguica sausage omelet and portabello mushroom omelet are standouts at 24th Street while the Tasso ham omelet, fresh apple crepes and carrot cake pancakes were scrumptious at Milt’s. Kudos to go to Milt and Delores Huggs for establishing “a happy place for hungry people” and to son Mark, who has kept the tradition alive while keeping things fresh.

Bill: We visited two of Bakersfield’s iconic breakfast locations, 24th Street Cafe and Milt's Coffee Shop. Both restaurants have been owned and operated by the Huggs family for decades. The 24th Street Cafe has a relaxed atmosphere and the wide selection of specials that will please everyone. I had an old standard, chicken fried steak and eggs, my favorite. This is a breaded tender, beef steak covered with country gravy, served with two eggs, hash browns and biscuits and gravy. Milt’s Coffee Shop is always one of my favorites. This is one of the last truck stopstyle coffee shops around. Here I tried several items and all of them were fantastic. One of their best would be the Tasso ham omelet. This omelet is made with Cajun hot and spicy ham, sautéed mushrooms, green onion, wine and Jarlsberg cheese. You won’t go away disappointed by any selection from these two Bakersfield dining treasures.

Milt’s carrot cake pancakes.

Continued on page 48

Milt’s eggs Benedict.

Milt’s fresh apple crepes.

Who are the Food Dudes? Bill Trivitt was born and raised in Bakersfield. He has been married for 18 years to his college sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two children, William and Morgan. He has been in the information technology industry for more than 20 years and is currently a senior consultant with Quantum Data Systems. In his free time he likes cycling, winemaking and spending time with his family and friends. Kevin McCloskey is a Southern California native who moved to Bakersfield in 1983 to attend Cal State and has lived here ever since. He entered the computer industry after CSUB and is currently an IT consultant for Quantum Data Systems. To support himself while attending college, he worked at several local steak and seafood restaurants, and eventually opened a downtown bar in 1999 with two fellow classmates. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, live music, winemaking and spending time with his family. Chris Hanson grew up in Fargo, N.D. (He, nor his family, has ever owned a wood chipper). At 24, he struck out to “find himself” and landed in Bakersfield as a primary school teacher. Here he found the love of his life, Amy, and they have a son, Luke, whom they treasure. Chris is currently an information technology professional who enjoys cooking, rooting for the Minnesota Vikings and gathering with friends and family. David Luter is a native of Bakersfield who loves living here. He has been happily married to wife Martha long enough to give him two beautiful daughters, Erika and Alexis. He has worked in many different fields but primarily in information technology, where currently he is a consultant with Quantum Data Systems. He spends time with various ministries at his church and is a member of the Writers Of Kern. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, cooking, reading and hanging out with his family.

Milt’s shrimp scramble.


Continued from page 47

24th Street Cafe 1415 24th St., 323-8801 Milt’s Coffee Shop 6112 Knudsen Drive, 399-4975 Zingo’s 3201 Buck Owens Blvd., 321-0627 Knotty Pine Cafe 1530 Norris Road, 399-0120 Crystal Palace (Sunday brunch) 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., 328-7560 Donna Kaye’s Café 212 Oak St., 322-1875 Bakersfield Racquet Club 1660 Pine St., 325-8652 Village Grill 2805 F St., 325-1219 Spencer’s 7800 McNair Lane, 832-3313 Hodel’s Country Dining 5917 Knudsen Drive, 399-3341 Molly J’s 3150 Panama Lane, 834-7372 Lorene’s 1531 23rd St., 322-6887 Pedal Car Cafe 1300 Coffee Road, 587-2430 Westchester Bowl 1819 30th St., 324-4966 JM’s Rosedale Cafe 10801 Rosedale Highway, 589-3042 Rocket Shop Cafe 2000 S. Union Ave., 832-4800 T-Bones Ranch House 8020 District Blvd., 398-1300 Clay’s Restaurant 1530 California Ave., 323-1197 RJ’s 9440 Hageman Road, 587-4723 Mimi’s Cafe 4025 California Ave., 326-1722 Marie Callendar’s 3801 California Ave., 327-0477 2631 Oswell St., 872-1051 Carrows Restaurant 1300 Easton Drive, 322-4644 922 Oak St., 322-8541 2673 Mount Vernon Ave., 872-3948 IHOP 3252 Riverside Drive, 323-3048 9220 Rosedale Highway, 587-7090


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

According to Pete This is what Californian food critic Pete Tittl had to say when he ranked breakfast spots in town:

Country breakfast Donna Kaye’s Cafe


Hodel’s, Milt’s Coffee Shop, Molly J’s, Pedal Car Cafe My definition of country breakfast is a lot of starch (biscuits and gravy anyone?) and maybe some cholesterol-rich bacon and sausage. Donna Kaye's has all that plus great omelets, in a low-profile location on Oak Street. Hodel's has a great breakfast buffet, and the quality at Milt's is on par with 24th Street Cafe. Molly J's has the best bacon in town, and Pedal Car Cafe; does just about everything well.

Breakfast is served at the 24th Street Cafe.

Breakfast 24th Street Cafe


Lorene’s, Mimi's Cafe, Village Grill, Westchester Bowl The 24th Street Cafe is a civic treasure, with so many great things on the menu from omelets to stuffed French toast that it gives any day a great start. Lorene's is not as inventive, but it's dependable. Mimi's has a lot of personality for a chain, and the Village Grill and Westchester Bowl are so close to each other you can walk over to one if the other is too crowded. Great biscuits and gravy at Westchester Bowl.

Photo by Casey Christie

Breakfast hot spots


Catch a show Cal State Bakersfield

9001 Stockdale Highway, 654-3150 “The Arkansaw Bear” CSUB Theatre for Young Audiences, Dore Theatre March 13 and 14 The play blends realism and fantasy, pathos and humor as young girl Tish learns the meaning of both life and death with the help of the World’s Greatest Dancing Bear.

Bakersfield Community Theatre

Photo by John Harte


rom “Cabaret” to children’s shows, there are plenty of reasons to support local theater this month. In April’s Bakersfield Life, we’ll have a blowout on spring theater, but catch these while they’re still on stage.

Dallas White rehearses for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at the Stars Dinner Theatre.

The compelling stage adaptation of “The Diary of a Young Girl.”

Stars Dinner Theatre

2400 S. Chester Ave., 831-8114 “Class Action” March 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 Twenty-five short scenes and monologues on issues close to the hearts of teens: prom night, homework, alcoholism, pregnancy, detention, teen idols, peer pressure and class elections.

1931 Chester Ave., 325-6100 “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Now through March 20 The humorous musical about overachievers’ angst chronicles the experiences of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

Bakersfield College

Gaslight Melodrama Theatre and Music Hall

1801 Panorama Drive, 395-4326 “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” March 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 Originally a one-woman show, this “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” has 16-plus actors covering 40 characters using the real words of people discussing the L.A. riots, Rodney King beating and more.

12748 Jomani Drive, 587-3377 “I Hate Shakespeare” Now through April 3 With zombies, talking cows and an appearance by Jerry Springer, “I Hate Shakespeare” is a hilarious and fast-paced rundown of all things Shakespeare with a modern twist.

Spotlight Theatre

Rabobank Theater

1622 19th St., 634-0692 “Parade: A New Musical” Opens March 13 In 1913, Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jew living in Georgia, is put on trial for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory worker under his employ.

1001 Truxtun Ave., 852-7777 “Cabaret” March 18 Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, “Cabaret” follows nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and the relationship of performer Sally Bowles and writer Cliff Bradshaw.

The Empty Space

NOR Junior Theatre

706 Oak St., 327-PLAY “The Vagina Monologues” 8 p.m. March 5 to 13 Monologues by a varying number of women reflect on female empowerment and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. “The Diary of Anne Frank” March 26-April 11

392-2000 “Godspell” March 5 and 6 East Bakersfield High School Auditorium, 2200 Quincy St. Drawing from various decades, “Godspell” is a groundbreaking and unique reflection on the life of Jesus, with a message of kindness, tolerance and love.



Awesome blossoms A rancher drives down a dusty road, through fields of fiddleneck and other wildflowers, near Highway 58, west of the Arvin turnoff.

It’s about that time to hit the road, check out Kern County wildflowers in bloom By J. W. Burch, IV Photos by Casey Christie


nyone who has lived in Kern County long enough is sure to have driven past hillsides and mountains resplendent with yellow, blue and white blooms. Much like birdwatchers, wildflower observers have much to look forward to as the weather grows warm, the earth turns green and hillsides turn into a palette for nature. “The timing is the thing. It is different every year, depending on the rains,” Lucy Clark, former president of the California Native Plant Society, said. The 2010 wildflower season may be have started blooming as early as mid-February, but things are never set in stone when it comes to observing nature. “The very nature of wildflower observation is a gamble, you’ll always have Vegas odds,” said Alison Sheehey of the Audubon


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Kern River Preserve and “We have over 2,000 species of plants in Kern County; we’re one of the most diverse counties in the nation.” The reason for Kern County’s diversity in foliage is due to the fact that within our boundaries we have numerous habitats that bring forth different plant life — from foothills and mid-elevation mountains to the valley floor and high-elevation mountains. Many things determine what type of season will be seen between the months of January and November, the typical wildflower season in Kern County, the amount of rainfall being the obvious key factor. The ground needs a soaking rain, not one that floods, every couple of weeks as well as temperature and winds that are not too high. If temperatures get too hot, the flowers will bloom fast and wilt as fast as they arrived. Some flowers that one can expect to see throughout Kern

A bug goes for the nectar in this small group of wildflowers.

Close-up of a fiddleneck on Highway 178 in the Kern River Canyon.

County as the season progresses are fiddlenecks, blue dicks and wild hyacinths, to only name a few flower specimens that will present themselves when the time and conditions are right. “The Kern Valley is generally first to bloom,” Sheehey said. “We should start seeing blooming fairly soon. A lot of people are usually looking for sunflower relatives, poppies, lupines and other colorful plants.” Woody Road, from Famoso Road up to Woody, is usually the first in the foothills to bloom in March sometime. Another area is Mill Creek off of Old Kern Canyon Road, which peaks its bloom sometime in April. “Highway 155 from Highway 64 all the way to the Sierra Vista and on over to Lake Isabella is a great road to see a changing bloom,” Clark said. “Granite Road by Highway 65 is also good, because you can drive it from Famoso Road to Highway 155 and up to Alta Sierra from March to July, and see different flowers blooming in succession.” It is important to remember that safety should be one’s first concern, as many of the locations that wildflowers can be observed are along freeways and highways – where it would be unwise, to use a cliché, to stop and smell the roses. “Be sure to take an exit and not just park on the side of the road,” Sheehey warned. “It’s better safe than sorry.” So if you find yourself looking for something to do, for the

price of a tank of gas, you can take part in the natural splendor of our surroundings. Pack a lunch, take your special someone and simply drive. As Sheehey put it: “As long as you don’t have blinders on, you are sure to see a lot of beauty.” “We are so lucky here in Kern County,” Clark said. “You just drive as far as the flowers are blooming, then the next time you go out just drive higher.” “Much like any sport, it is a personal competition for some people,” Sheehey said. “Then there are those who just toodle around and just want to walk and hike.”


Photo by Henry A. Barrios


Matt Smith sets out water glasses for lunch at the Padre Hotel's Belvedere Room, which is styled in a popular contemporary look.

Spring renewal at home Vintage looks, cool colors among trends in decor By Lisa Kimble


he arrival of spring in a few weeks brings with it more than just the hope for blossoms and better weather. It also signals a renewal of home and hearth at a time of economic fragility. Experts say the biggest trend in spring home decor is the fading popularity of the ornate, gilded, heavy opulence of the Tuscan style that has been so prevalent in interior design in recent years. “Because the economy is playing such an important role, we are using what we have and re-inventing,” said Denise Haddock of Denise Haddock Interior Designs. “Fashion and design go with what is going on in our world. The shift to


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

lighter tones is an attempt to cheer ourselves through color.” Designers also see a resurgence of vintage, and the use of traditional styles with a more modern flair. “Part of why vintage is popular again is the reintroduction of the old with the new,” said Beladagio’s Melissa Hutton. The eclectic of old is the recycled and repurposed of today, she said. Cleaner, simpler lines give a more organic style synchronized with the “less is more” philosophy. “There is a definite shift to a more contemporary look now and it is hotter than ever,” said Judy Hampton of Hampton Place Interiors. Perhaps the best example of the new mix is the chic Belvedere Room inside the newly reopened Padre Hotel downtown.

Not only will the Belvedereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s style inspire, but so too will its colors, coolly illustrative of the seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new hues of pastel blues, periwinkle and vivid neutrals. Paint is also the best and most inexpensive way to get a new look quickly, designers say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a lightness weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing with neutrals that is re-energizing and that has a safe feeling,â&#x20AC;? Hutton added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A neutral base allows you the opportunity to introduce more bold, impactful colors elsewhere.â&#x20AC;? Grey is also re-emerging as another hot neutral color, which paired with yellow or terra cotta inspires a sense of confidence. Wallpapered ceilings are also back in vogue, with their textured look, whether embossed or faux. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The copper effect that was popular in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s is back with a twist,â&#x20AC;? said Hutton. Furnishings and fabrics are following suit with the contemporary flair. Linens and fabrics are lighter and brighter, featuring more stylized geometric and playful prints. Sofas are tufted, just a little more relaxed, and upholstered with modern patterns. The classic Queen Anne chair, for example, is bigger and overstated in a minimalist sort of way. Low chairs and pharmacy lamps amplify the clean, lean style. These newer styles are also eco-chic, experts say. Environmentally friendly fabrics such as bamboo, or â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? breathable fabrics, are making their way from the design studio into more homes this spring. Thermal window treatments are available in a variety of styles and colors and add a layer of insulation to windows and patio doors, helping to save on heating bills in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. Design experts add that playing off natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s palate doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to mean sticking with the subdued. Add a splash of orange or rich, jewel-toned accent pillows for some pop. Highlight a special piece of furniture or high ceilings with a tall vase filled with teal, royal blue and celadon fronds. In the bathroom, enhance the feeling of a getaway space with an indoor fountain to relax with the soothing sounds of flowing water, or bring in candles to create a spa-like atmosphere. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Use something that has more impact. It is the little touches that make the environment extra special,â&#x20AC;? Haddock said. Experts say the same goes for the outdoors. When the economy takes a downturn like this, people tend to stay home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are wanting to create an atmosphere outside as well where they can enjoy their home,â&#x20AC;? Haddock said. Creating a retreat in your own backyard will afford you the feeling of getting away without the expense of leaving home. Outdoor rugs that are resistant to mold, outdoor heaters and kitchens help create the resort-like feel just steps from your living space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good taste is everlasting,â&#x20AC;? Hampton said. Combine that with some easy pick-me-ups that are expressions of who you are, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll create a cozy spring haven.

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Dedicated to service Bakersfield is a community of giving people, but these four stand out as leaders of Rotary clubs around town. They're raising awareness and raising funds to help a variety of causes locally and abroad.


What would you tell someone interested in becoming a Rotarian?

Tom: Rotary is the oldest service club in the world, currently at about 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. We have been known for years for our humanitarian and community service support. Rotary, along with the World Health Organization, has taken on the daunting task of eliminating polio from the face of the earth. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $500 million toward our effort, and Rotary has pledged to match it with $200 million of our own dollars ... Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy to report that we are more than halfway in reaching our goal! Roger: Please come to one of our meetings so we can show you how 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide work to address illiteracy, disease, hunger, lack of clean water and to promote goodwill and peace. Mike: I would tell someone that is interested in becoming a Rotarian to go to several different clubs and get a feel for what projects and how involved the club is in community service. Every club is different and has varying degrees of commitment. Duane: In my opinion, Rotary is the greatest service organization in the world. Last year, Rotary raised over $70 million for humanitarian and education programs around the world. The Downtown club is 90 years old this year. There are seven clubs in Bakersfield alone, and 12 in the county. They each meet once a week, at different times during the day. Almost everyone should know a friend or have a contact who is in Rotary. Ask them to take you to a meeting. 54

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Tom Burch East Rotary, 18 years

Mike Rubiy

West Rotary, nearly 7 years

Photos by Michael Duffy Summit Photography


Duane Keathley

Roger Allred

Downtown Rotary, 10 years

South Rotary, 15 years

How is your club serving the community?

Tom: We do many community service projects, including providing 650 backpacks to three organizations — Bakersfield Homeless Center, CASA, and the East Bakersfield Kidz Club — for kids to start school with. In addition we support Noble Elementary School including cleanup days, and providing readers to listen to the children who are challenged readers. We work closely with the Boys & Girls Club, and provide many things such as computers and tech support. Recently, we provided the Young Marines with four computers and a laptop, which they will use in their training and scheduling. Plus we are providing money for scholarships to allow those who are invited to special camps but can’t afford the tuition to go. Roger: The major focus of Bakersfield South Rotary is helping to improve the education of local students through college scholarships, textbooks and dictionaries for underprivileged schools, high school student seminars and training sessions, and support of organizations that provide a learning environment for abused children. Mike: Our club has given out $70,000 so far this year. We do various things, like give underprivileged kids a $100 gift certificate to purchase clothing for back to school. We have done this for about six years. We also collect gifts at holiday time and give them to the needy. This year was Jamison Center and other various organizations. Continued on page 56 55

Continued from page 55

We provide fuel for the Gleaners to go to Laval Road — where there is a McDonald’s distribution center — and pick up bread that is in turn used in the Gleaners warehouse and Ronald McDonald House. We pick several Interact students and award them scholarships. Duane: We have a number of programs in Bakersfield that have been in place for years. We have a Rolling Readers program, which has Rotarians reading to young children. We have our annual Leadership & Ethics Conference for our high school-age students. Our Bridging Program places students in our Rotarians’ workplace for work experience. Advancement Via Individual Determination is a mentoring program for our high school students. We are involved with Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, which is a leadership and personal growth program for young adults and teenagers. And each year, we provide a number of scholarships to CSUB and BC students.


What is your club’s next big event?

Tom: Our largest fundraiser of the year is coming up April 30 at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. We call it our Festa Di Pasta. This year our proceeds go to our foundation, the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital, and the Valley Fever Americas project. (Bakersfield East was the founder of the Valley Fever Americas project, seeking a vaccine against valley fever.) Roger: We celebrated 47 years of service to the community at our Charter Night in February. We will also have a garage sale on April 3 to help fund our community projects. Mike: Our next big fundraiser is the Cioppino Feed on March 6.

Roger Allred 56

Bakersfield Life

Tom Burch March 2010

For those that don’t know, it’s a highly seasoned fish stew that originated in San Francisco. This event is a blast to attend and the proceeds this year go to the Boys & Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection, and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hospital. Duane: For our club locally, members Tracy Kiser and David Dobbs planned a wonderful evening at Imbibe for late February. Recently we sent members Jeff Johnson and David Plivelich to India as a part of Rotary’s End Polio Program.


What’s your biggest goal for your club?

Tom: Early on I set a goal of achieving 30 community service projects for the Rotary year (July 1 to June 30). In just seven months, I’m happy to report we’ve just finished project No. 32! Roger: Bakersfield South Rotary will leave a legacy of service to our community and, through Rotary International, the complete eradication of polio from the earth. Mike: One of the biggest goals of mine for my year as president was to have a project, which we completed in January. Our club, along with several others, helped secure a matching grant from Rotary International, which in turn we were able to send money to Moradabad, India, that will in turn use the money for polio reconstruction. We also have another one for cataract surgery in the same location. That doesn’t mean that we’ve forgotten all the people that have a need. Remember that service begins at home. Duane: Our club’s foundation is working on a major project in downtown Bakersfield, which we should be able to announce soon. Our last major project was the Houchin Blood Mobile.

Duane Keathley

Mike Rubiy

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Maggie Cushine, resource development director, and Zane Smith, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, shown here at tge main activity room at the club on Niles Street, are enthusiastic about the club's accomplishments.

Positive place for kids Boys & Girls Club provides fun, fellowship for local youth By Annis Cassells


alk in the door and kids immediately know they’re in a positive place. Like the fictional “Cheers,” everybody knows their name and greets them, they’re enveloped in warmth, and they know they’ve come to a place where they can be themselves. That’s the atmosphere of the Boys & Girls Club’s Armstrong Youth Center. It’s the very climate that Executive Director Zane Smith wants to create. “Social bonding and connection are primary,” Smith explained. “Our positive adult role models serve as mentors and have a meaningful impact on the future. We’re helping kids make positive choices as they grow.” Art, technology and performing arts are emphasized and nurtured at the Niles Street club. Colorful murals painted by teams of


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

kids decorate and enliven the walls as do paintings by individual club members. A state-of-the-art computer lab fuels kids’ natural curiosity and fascination with technology, and the IT coordinator is mentoring a teen club member whose goal is to someday run the tech center. The focal point in the main room, the stage is the home base for the club’s performing arts program. “Our programs are ever-evolving according to the needs, interests and talents of kids and staff,” Smith said. “Because of the strong communication between staff and kids, we can make adjustments to accommodate kids’ individual needs, nurture their talents, build on their assets, and create new opportunities for them.” The Stockdale club opened in November on Young Street, near Harris Road, in southwest Bakersfield. Program Director Mike Espinoza is establishing the new facility’s place in the community








Partnering with the Spotlight Theatre was another endeavor aimed at keeping our community vibrant. The Boys & Girls Club provided kids and a rehearsal stage, while the theater loaned their expertise and the space to produce a house-packing performance last winter. A second show is in the works for this spring — a junior version of Spotlight’s “History of Rock & Roll” on April 5. The nurturing, positive atmosphere created at the Boys & Girls Club truly impacts kids and their life choices. Former club kids return to recount the great memories they have of their club days and to give back to the new crop of members. Many of those former members, who include military instructors, teachers, business owners, school administrators and college students, volunteer their time and donate goods and services to help keep the club’s legacy alive. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County serve approximately 3,200 youth at 32 locations. In partnership with the Bakersfield City and Lamont school districts, Boys & Girls Clubs run afterschool programs at 28 schools. Next year they will incorporate 12 sites, then serving all BCSD elementary schools. There are also club sites in Frazier Park and Lamont. Keeping things going takes creativity and money. Maggie Cushine, resource development director, finds ways to raise funds and maximize awareness about the Boys & Girls Club and its programs. “The events we do are great, but ultimately, their purpose is to help our mission,” she said. Zane Smith added, “We raise funds but also raise friends, and the more friends we have out in the community, the better for our kids.”

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and making a positive impact on the youngsters from seven nearby schools. Espinoza said, “I wake up smiling because I’m making an impact in the community and on someone’s life.” Step into the Stockdale club and be greeted by eggplant-colored walls forming a backdrop for an L-shaped bank of computers. A silver slogan painted on the wall inspires, “BE GREAT,” drawing from the Boys & Girls Club mission statement — “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens” — which adorns an adjacent wall. In the multipurpose room, brightly colored rugs designate areas for small group play, and there are spaces for art activities and recreational games. The philosophy of the Boys & Girls Club sends it beyond the after-school programs that we’ve come to know. Smith said, “We focus on community wellness and inclusiveness, things that are good for the entire community.” This drives Smith’s decision to collaborate with other social service agencies and community organizations. When county budget cuts threatened the probation department’s 25-year-old Youth Connection program, the Armstrong Youth Center agreed to house the program and provide an advocate. Thus, Youth Connection is able to continue serving at-risk youngsters. The Boys & Girls Club lifts the community by working with young families. In non-peak hours, the Niles Street building welcomes preschoolers and their parents as a part of the Family Resource Center program. When the center lost its lease in a nearby building, the Boys & Girls Club reached out to them, providing office space and facilities for their morning family programs.

This event is in partnership with the Mayor’s Great American Clean Up.



Close to his roots By Lisa Kimble

Jim Young helps guide Arvin students to success at competition, beyond

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

I 60

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

t is hard to imagine a more improbable Cinderella story than the Arvin High School Constitution team, which owes much of its appearances in recent years at the state “We the People” competition to one of its most dedicated volunteer coaches, Kern Community College District Chancellor Emeritus Jim Young. Arvin is a chasm of extremes — high poverty and low test scores — with less than 25 percent of the community’s adults possessing a high school diploma. But thanks to Young and fellow former educators, who are spending their retirement actively coaching Arvin’s best and brightest seniors, the school’s civics team is like the little engine that could … and has. “We are trying to teach them to be the best you can be in everything you can be in life,” said Young, who has invested countless hours after school and on weekends as one of the program’s volunteer coaches.

“He does some remarkable work with the kids that need a lot of support,” said his friend and former Bakersfield College President John Collins. It has been 11 years since Young retired from the college district. While some retirees are off traveling the globe or indulging in new hobbies, Young hasn’t strayed from his lifelong passion for teaching, or his hometown of Arvin. A graduate of the elementary and high schools, Young returned to teach at his alma mater in 1963 for five years, before his career took him to the high school district and eventually as chancellor of the college district where he spent 21 years. In 2004 he reconnected with the school as a volunteer with the “We the People” program. “It is really enjoyable to see them grow and how quickly they grow,” Young added. It hasn’t been easy though, preparing even the top-tier students to know and understand the inner workings of American democracy and the Constitution while straddling language barriers. Despite the hurdles, it’s the students that keep him coming back. “That regular stuff is boring. What is alive is kids,” he said. “If you can talk to kids for an hour, there are so many wonderful kids who need direction, they need someone who will hold high expectations of them.” Last month marked the team’s fifth visit to the state competition. Though Arvin placed sixth, and just a few points behind local rival and powerhouse Centennial, Young said the students are convinced they could have done better. “They are confident that they are able to

compete with the best schools in California and that is important.” Several years ago, the Arvin kids came within a few heartbreaking points of sweeping the state championship and earning a trip to nationals. But there was great validation in Arvin’s consolation prize: The Pleasanton team that beat them, Amador Valley High, took second in the nation. For Young, the program represents more than just a coaching job. He and his wife have made a personal investment in the future success of every student they work with. “It has to do with what you like to do with your life. I would rather do something that is going to impact someone’s life in a positive way.” One student Young took under his wing four years ago just graduated from college and is heading to law school, and the list of the colleges and universities that have accepted Arvin students whom Young has helped with admissions and scholarship applications is impressive – NYU, MIT, CAL and UCLA among them. “They keep your mind alert and keep you going,” he said of the students he and his wife consider extensions of their own family of three grown children. Lest you think it is all work and no play for the retiree, know that he does enjoy extended travels and fishing as well. But he says working with the Arvin High seniors has given him immeasurable satisfaction. “What a joy it is to see these kids compete with the very best everywhere. These 26 kids know they can come back and say it gives them so much confidence so they don’t need external rewards, and that message spreads throughout the entire school.”

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Santa Barbara is a vacationer’s paradise.

Ready for spring break Whether it’s snow or sun, there’s much to do not far from home By Chelley Kitzmiller


pring break is almost here. So, what are you going to do with your time off? We’re hoping you’ll get out and have some fun. Here are a few tried and true destinations to consider.

Santa Barbara

You just can’t visit Santa Barbara too many times; it a vacationer’s paradise. Still too chilly to sunbathe, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches in myriad other ways. Take your kite or remotecontrolled airplane and launch them from the beach. Check out the tidepools and see nature close up. Book a sport fishing charter, a whale-watching tour or a naturalist-led tour to Channel Islands


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

National Park and Marine Sanctuary to see the largest sea cave in the world. Love the movie “Sideways?” Take a “Sideways” tour and taste your way through Santa Barbara wine country while visiting all the places the movie’s characters visited. Some of the most beautiful and best golf courses in the nation await golfers, and adventure-seekers can get a thrill riding the winds over Santa Ynez Valley in a sailplane or a hot-air balloon. Miles of marked bike trails crisscross the city with links to the beaches and competitive cyclists can take the challenge of Figueroa Mountain, one of Lance Armstrong’s favorite torture tracks. Skater’s Point, just off Cabrillo Boulevard, offers a 12,000-

with Southern-influenced dishes like apple cinnamon beignets; a pulled-pork sloppy Joe; or the owner’s own favorite, a sprightly salad of lettuce, fried chicken, cornbread croutons and buttermilk dressing.


Mammoth has something for every winter sports enthusiast. square-foot arena of sculpted concrete for skateboarders and in-line skaters. And let’s not forget Mission Santa Barbara, the queen of the 21 California missions, where you can get a painless history lesson while enjoying the gardens and the Spanish architecture. The restaurants in Santa Barbara are out of this world, but one stands out as personal favorite. The Tupelo Junction Cafe has been featured in Bon Appétit magazine. They pack their menu

For winter sports enthusiasts, Mammoth is always a good bet. From now until June you can ski 150 trails within 3,500 skiable acres. There are 28 lifts (including nine high-speed quads, two high-speed six-packs and three high-speed gondolas) to get you up the mountains. Equipment rentals and lessons are available for every age. If you just into the scenery, there’s a gondola ride for that too. For something really different, catch a dog sled ride from the main lodge and let a team of malamutes and huskies do all the work, or ride in the warmth and comfort of a snowcat through the back country. Use your cell phone to get a snow report: text “snow” to 20123. Finding a great place to eat in Mammoth is easy, but here are two sure winners: Schat’s Bakery, where the bread, cakes, pies and pastries are out of this world and they serve full meals besides; and The Breakfast Club, where the omelets and biscuits and gravy will make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Events during spring break: April 2 to 4 - Mammoth Invitational April 4 - The Mammoth Marathon – 26-mile and 13-mile options April 4 - June Mountain’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at the chalet, hundreds of eggs full of candy and prizes will be hidden in the Ski School area.

Continued on page 64

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From now until June you can ski 150 trails within Mammoth Mountain’s 3,500 skiable acres. Continued from page 63

Pismo Beach is a great family playground. Besides the normal beach activities like swimming and surfing, there’s kiteboarding, scuba diving, sea kayaking, horseback riding and exploring the tidepools, coves and caves. The 1,200-foot Pismo Pier is perfect for sightseeing, walking, fishing and seeing the great sunset. For an out of ordinary adventure, take to the skies in an open-cockpit WWII biplane or explore the dunes with a Hummer dune tour. On any Saturday, visit the farmers market at Shell Beach and pack your shopping bag full of fresh produce, flowers, jams, dried fruits, artisan vinegars — all produced by local farmers. Market day is also a day of family fun at Dinosaur Caves Park with music and entertainment, Hula-Hoop and yoga classes, food demos, gymnastics and more. If you love clam chowder, don’t miss the beloved Splash Cafe. Get there early because the lines can be long, but the wait is oh so worth it! If steamed crab is your seafood of choice, try the Cracked Crab. The crab legs come by the bucket and are spilled out on to a paper-covered table. Whatever destination you choose, make a point to do something new and different, and don’t forget to take your camera to capture the memories!

Photo by Alex Horvath

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach is a great family playground.

If you go Santa Barbara offers a map of “Sideways” self-guided wine tours, listing of wineries, on-line brochure of a 101 free things to do and more. Tupelo Junction Cafe: 1218 State St. 64

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Mammoth offers listing of lodgings, restaurants, a ski trail map, etc. Schat’s Bakery: 3305 Main St. The Breakfast Club: 2987 Main St. Mammoth Invitational: call 760-934-0795

Pismo Beach offers detail information on activities, restaurants and lodging. Splash Café: 197 Pomeroy Ave. Cracked Crab: 751 Price St. Shell Beach Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Dinosaur Caves Park, corner of Shell Beach Road and Cliff Avenue

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Emergency? Get to our 24/7 ER. And let the experts treat you fast.

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Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Health&Wellness SPRING 2010

Field of dreams

Houchin Blood Bank has big plans

Bakersfield couple goes from fat to fit Eliminate 100 calories a day Local health resource guide

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 


Contents 6 Houchinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

field of dreams

Blood bank has big dreams for its planned complex.

10 Healthy

ever after

Fed up with an unhealthy lifestyle, the Lydays shaped up.

14 Keep your

heart healthy

Good habits form the foundation for cardiovascular strength.

16 Stay on

track at work

Avoid the midday slump with tips to keep focused all day long.

18 Find your

inner balance

Avoid the upsets of digestive troubles with small changes.

20 Wellness

resource guide

From health clubs to hospitals, a guide to all things healthy in town.

23 Drop 100

calories per day

Simple swaps help keep you on track for healthier eating. On the cover: There are carrots there now but Houchin Community Blood Bank president and CEO Greg Gallion has big plans for the field along Buena Vista Road. Photo by John Harte

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

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Women account for more than half of the heart disease deaths in the U.S. every year. BakersďŹ eld Memorial Hospital wants to keep everyone in Kern County heart healthy. So weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve created A Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Life: Guide to a Healthy Heart. This free, informative, easy-toread Guide is packed with facts you need to know. Like ways to lower your sodium intake, hearthealthy foods you can buy, and lifestyle changes that can decrease your risk of heart disease.

If a heart attack strikes, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no time to waste. So our Guide includes â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Case of Emergencyâ&#x20AC;? (ICE) stickers for your cell phone that tell emergency workers they can ďŹ nd your medical and family contacts in your phoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s address book. The Guide also includes a handy tear-off Emergency Contacts list you can put on the fridge. Remember, heart attacks are not just a manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s problem. But you can learn how to minimize your risk, get heart healthy, and protect yourself and your family in a cardiac emergency. Together, we can help you have a healthier heart! Supplies of our Guides are limited, so see the coupon below to order yours now:


Find out where heart attacks beginâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and how just one aspirin can help a lot when you need it most. Discover the many parts of your heart, and the simple tests we can do to check out just how well theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re functioning today.

For a free copy of â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Life: Guide to a Healthy Heart,â&#x20AC;? email your complete mailing address to: or ďŹ ll out this coupon and mail it to:

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Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 

Attention Medicare Beneficiaries: Open enrollment ends March 31 If you’re enrolled in another Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, there is still time to switch to GEMCare Medicare Plus HMO. Call today for more information!

Did you know that GEMCare Medicare Plus HMO is the one plan that is truly local? Decisions are made right here in Kern County and you can stop by and see us if you have questions or need information. We’re right here at home. (661) 716-8800 Toll Free (877) 697-2464 TTY/TDD 1-888-833-9312 (for the hearing impaired) Through Mar. 1: Sunday – Saturday 8 am to 8 pm Mar. 2 – Nov. 14: Monday – Friday • 8 am to 8 pm (except holidays) 4550 California Ave., Suite 100 Bakersfield, CA 93309




GEMCare Medicare Plus HMO is a Federally Qualified HMO with a Medicare contract and is available to Kern County residents only who are entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Part B. CMS Approval (12/09) H5609_MKT_135_Truly Local_Ad_GNRL

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 

President and CEO Greg Gallion stands in the field that will be the site of a consolidated facility for Houchin Community Blood Bank.

Photo by John Harte


Houchin’s ‘field of dreams’ to become

reality By Greg Gallion

When I look across a field along Buena Vista Road, south of White Lane, I see carrots being harvested. Someday soon, this property will become the Seven Oaks Business Park and the new home of Houchin Community Blood Bank. Through a generous five-acre donation in the business park, Bolthouse Properties LLC is enabling Houchin to meet the everincreasing medical needs of people in metropolitan Bakersfield and Kern County. Houchin will build a complex that will consolidate its laboratory, manufacturing, transportation, quality assurance and administration facilities. The complex also will include a full-service 

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

donor-drawing site. The existing drawing site on Truxtun Avenue will remain open. It is difficult to relate the importance of consolidating these activities, which now are housed at various locations. Perhaps some perspective will help. Houchin, a nonprofit organization, is one of only 75 independent blood banks nationwide. Founded to meet residents’ medical needs for blood and blood products, Houchin opened in 1951 with only 10 employees. The population of metropolitan Bakersfield in those days was less than 40,000. Over the following six decades, metropolitan Bakersfield’s

population has increased to more than 300,000, with the county’s population rapidly approaching 800,000. Houchin services the needs of all of Kern County and now employs close to 100 people. Medical procedures, such as cancer treatments, have advanced. Kern County has an increasing number of health care providers that specialize in these treatments. And with an expansion of all of the hospital facilities, Houchin must keep pace with the growing demands placed on it by these facilities. All these advances increase the need for blood and blood components. Only about 3 percent of the people eligible to donate blood in metropolitan Bakersfield and Kern County donate blood. This army of compassionate and generous donors must expand. Our lives and the lives of our families, friends and neighbors depend on more people donating blood, platelets, plasma and other blood components. While recruiting more donors is critical, it is not the entire solution. Houchin must become more efficient. With various aspects of its collecting, manufacturing and transporting activities housed in separate locations, efficiency is challenged, as is Houchin’s ability to respond quickly to changing community needs. Bolthouse Properties’ generous donation and the potential to create a consolidated complex for Houchin comes as the community, its residents and its health care providers are at the threshold of even greater expansions. There are significant advantages for residents to be served by Houchin. Decisions made and programs operated are focused Continued on page 8

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Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 

Health&Wellness Hoffmann Hospice

Hoffmann patient Milton Davis lived life on his terms in the mountains above Lake Isabella until his death on Nov. 26, 2009.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about life and making the most of every moment.

"2)-(!,,2/!$ ",$'s"!+%23&)%,$ #!s   s&!8

Continued from page 7

on this communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs, rather than on the needs of a larger organization based outside this community. Residents have long recognized these advantages, giving generously of themselves through blood donations, as well as through financial contributions to Houchinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operation. Plans for Houchinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consolidated complex are still being developed, as is the construction timeline. But construction of offsite improvements, such as sewer, storm drains, roads, sidewalks, etc., will begin this summer if not sooner. We hope work will shift into high gear in 2011, Houchinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 60th anniversary year. An estimated $10 million needs to be raised to cover construction costs. The work that looms ahead is great. While recruiting an increasing number of blood donors, Houchin will need to raise funds to build the much-needed complex. But the people of this community have proven time after time that they believe Houchin is a critically needed, life-saving resource. They have stepped forward to donate their blood. We are confident they will step forward to donate their money, as well, to help Houchin better serve metropolitan Bakersfield and Kern County. Please go to for more information about the construction of Houchinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consolidated complex, as well as ways to help. Greg Gallion is the president and chief executive officer of Houchin Community Blood Bank.

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Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 


Neal Lyday trimmed down from "10,000 calories a day" to a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise.

Healthy ever after After a wake-up call, local couple made fitness a priority By Lisa Kimble Neal and Shelia Lyday were the picture of health when they tied the knot 13 years ago. Lean, trim and fit, the Bakersfield couple said “I do” not only to each other, but also to an unhealthy lifestyle that put their health at risk. But several years ago, the Lydays finally said “I don’t” to the life they knew, reclaiming their premarital physiques. Their amazing success story has inspired others and landed them inside the pages of Men’s Fitness magazine. Neal, a 41-year-old certified personal trainer, was athletic in 10

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

school and no stranger to fitness. Shelia, now 39, never worried about weight gain or loss. But with marriage came complacency, and the two began getting fat together. Neal, who owned and managed a pool-service company, found most of his snacks and meals in the drive-through lane of fast-food restaurants. “Before I knew it, I’d consumed 10,000 calories a day,” Neal said. “We partied and ate a lot of fast food and takeout.” As their waistlines expanded, their physical activity disappeared. In nearly a decade, their sedentary lifestyle sent their respective weights skyrocketing – his to

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Married life lead to unhealthy eating habits and sedentary ways for Shelia Lyday and her husband, Neal. nearly 240 pounds, almost 80 pounds overweight, and Shelia’s to 70 pounds above her ideal weight. And though Neal came from an athletic family, heart disease was also part of his gene pool. His high cholesterol and triglycerides were flagging down a heart attack waiting in the wings. Two years ago, their wake-up call came when Neal picked up a copy of a national fitness magazine. Neal took photographs of himself, and encouraged his wife to do the same. It would be the most important photo session of their life. “After looking at photos of myself, I thought, ‘I’m done,’” Neal said. The decision may very well have saved their lives. “I knew I needed to change and I wanted a better life for both of us,” Shelia said. “We weren’t getting any younger and we needed to get back into shape before things got worse.” They began by carving 20 minutes out of every day of the week but one for cardio. Then they took a long, hard look at what they’d been consuming. They modified their daily intake, replacing fast food with fruits, vegetables, carbs and protein. “By having the support of each other we were able to stay focused. As a couple, having the same goals was necessary,” Shelia said. “Having one of us try to make a lifestyle change while the other stuck to the old ways wouldn’t work. We wouldn’t have succeeded if we hadn’t done it together.” Together, they lost nearly a collective 150 pounds and an extraordinary amount of body fat. They significantly lowered Continued on page 12

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Health&Wellness Continued from page 11

their cholesterol and clothing sizes. “You have a 90 percent success rate if you’re doing this with a partner,” Neal said of their greatest collaborative effort. Today, they are the poster couple for health and wellness. “Changing our lifestyle and getting healthy has improved “Having one of our quality of life. We are able to do things now that we us try to make a couldn’t in the past,” Shelia lifestyle change said. “It feels great to have accomplished this and to know while the other that we can help others do the stuck to the old same through Neal’s personal training.” ways wouldn’t The Lydays have paid work. We wouldn’t their success forward, helping some 50 to 60 others achieve have succeeded if the same success Neal and his we hadn’t done it wife have. “I’ve saved a couple of marriages too,” he added. together.” “People are unhappy and sick and tired of being tired.” —Shelia Lyday Their advice to other couples and individuals in the same situation is simple: “You didn’t get here in two weeks and you’re not going to get back in shape in two weeks either,” Neal said. “Know that it takes time and this is a lifestyle change involving portions, not diets, and losing body fat, not weight.”

The Lydays are now helping other couples get fit.

Quality of Life

For over 14 years we have been dedicated to providing each client with a high quality of life. Our professional staff assesses the needs of each client to ensure our program meets their needs while maximizing their physical and mental potential. We lead the local home care industry by providing unmatched excellence in individual care in a compassionate and cost-effective manner.

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Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

•The Caregiver and Assistance Program provides training to eligible family caregivers who provide in-home care. •The Conservator Payee Program assists individuals who are unable to manage their own funds thus ensuring that personal care and well being are maintained. • Linkages connects seniors and disabled adults to existing community services for resource assistance. Professional case management facilitates independent living for the client.

Trust experience. Expect results. Bakersfield’s first vein center still leads the way, today. We get the results our patients want – improved health and appearance – thanks to board-certified surgeon, Dr. Greg Williams. Dr. Williams has unsurpassed experience with the safest, most effective nonsurgical vein treatments available. Meet him and discover how he makes varicose and spider veins fade away, creating the results you want, with the personal, comfortable care you deserve.

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Keep heart healthy State Point Since 1963, February has been recognized as Heart Health Month, offering an opportunity to learn about combating heart and cardiovascular disease, which remains the country’s leading killer. But that information and change in lifestyle is important all year long. With this in mind, a few helpful tips and some dedication can make a difference in living a healthier life now and extending your golden years. “Simply thinking positively will not get the job done,” says Joseph Piscatella, an authority on heart-healthy habits and best-selling author of 10 books, including “Positive Mind, Healthy Heart: Take Charge of Your Cardiac Health, One Day at a Time.” “You need to take action and keep on doing it in order to develop new habits,” he stresses. 14

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

If you’re just starting out adopting new lifestyle choices to strengthen your heart, you first need to set realistic goals. By setting explicit, achievable goals, you’ll have an easier time adopting good habits. Unrealistic expectations ultimately can do more harm than good. Once you get rolling, here are a few points to help guide you to better heart health:

Think of your family “Take some time to think about your kids or grandkids,” says Piscatella. “They need you to lead by example.” Motivation sometimes can be difficult to muster when starting to make significant lifestyle changes. What better way to push yourself than to think about how it might benefit your family?

Forget candy, try fruit Diet is a big part of enhancing heart strength. Eating only broccoli and carrots isn’t necessary, but remember that many snack foods are high in trans fats and calories. Substituting apples, bananas and other fruits for fattier snack foods is a great way to kick-start your new healthy lifestyle.

Get a jumpstart on your


Try walking We do it daily, but not all of us do it enough. You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym — simply dedicating a small block of the day to a pleasant walk can make a major difference in getting your heart pumping. Once you’re comfortable walking, consider upgrading to a brisker pace. Eventually, you should feel a difference in your overall health.



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No more crash diets The plight of dieters has been well-documented. According to Piscatella, 97 percent of crash dieters re-gain their weight and more within a year. This is particularly true of dieters attempting to drastically reduce daily calorie consumption. Simply choosing different types of foods and making gradual exercise changes is more sensible. Before beginning any exercise program, consult your doctor. By adopting a few simple ideas now, this year could turn out to be a major milestone for your heart.

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Keep on track at work Metro Creative Services In a 2005 online worker productivity survey conducted by Microsoft, U.S. respondents who worked an average of 45 hours per week considered 16 of those hours to be unproductive. While 61 percent of those respondents related their productivity directly to their software, that still leaves 39 percent of workers who consider more than one-third of their workweek to be unproductive. While that no doubt makes a few bosses bristle, to the average worker it likely comes as no great surprise. That’s especially true in this day and age, when workers have more distractions than ever before, including instant messaging, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and even cell phones, all of which can work together to erode worker productivity. However, it’s not all the fault of workers, either. In fact, American survey respondents noted they spent an average of 5.5 hours per week in meetings, and 71 percent of those respondents felt those meetings weren’t productive. Each of these factors, both the distractions and business practices that might be dated and ineffective, can make it difficult to make it through the workday doldrums 16

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

as productively as possible. However, there are tricks of the trade that can help workers be more productive and enjoy the day more as a result.

Write down the day’s tasks It might sound simple, but with a list in front of you, it’s easier to get tasks done and avoid distraction. Because of the Internet and personal e-mail, it’s easy for workers to forget all the things they need to do in a given day. Before leaving the office each night, write down a list of tasks for the following day. This list can act as a reminder in the morning, and help workers stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Avoid surfing the Internet The Internet could be the single greatest contributor to the loss of worker productivity in history. While Internet access can help workers maintain some level of sanity during the workweek, spending too much time surfing the Internet doesn’t do anyone any

good (aside from Web advertisers, of course). If you must surf the Internet each day, do so at established intervals, such as lunch hour or the end of the day. Those who eat breakfast at the office could use the time while they eat to peruse some favorite Web sites, but keep such surfing to a minimum.

Stay organized A disorganized desk, desktop or work area is another way in which many of the nation’s workers are hurting their own productivity. Keep everything you need within arm’s length, and develop a system wherein you can easily find items. For example, keep important documents in monthly or weekly folders to make it easier to find them when you need to. Wasting time looking for documents can zap productivity and add to work-related stress as well.

Continue to examine what works and what doesn’t work Many companies have listened to surveys such as Microsoft’s and adapted their policies in accordance with those survey results. If more than 70 percent of the people in a meeting find it unproductive, consider canceling meetings altogether. It can be far more efficient to simply discuss matters via e-mail or person-to-person. However, if your office never has meetings and inter-departmental communication is problematic or nonexistent, then consider weekly meetings. Each company is different and each week, month or year can be different as well. To keep things fresh and productive, it’s ideal to continue looking for ways to improve productivity and make the workday more enjoyable for everyone.

Trusted Care for the Senior You Care for. Being able to live at home can be one of the most important comforts in a senior’s life. Our carefully selected CAREGivers™ help make that possible, with a wide range of non-medical services, welcome companionship and a ready smile. At Home Instead Senior Care, we treat each senior as we would a member of our own family.

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Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 17


Find your

inner balance State Point Every year millions of people vow to get fit and improve their health by joining a gym and following a healthier diet. Unfortunately, many overlook an essential part of our overall health and wellness — the digestive system. When the digestive system is out of balance, you are vulnerable to experiencing occasional digestive upsets that can slow you down and make you feel sluggish and unhealthy. Registered dietitian and Align spokesperson, Ashley Koff, offers these tips for working towards a healthier 2010:

Mind your manners Talking while you’re eating, chewing gum and drinking through a straw can all cause you to swallow excess air, leaving you uncomfortable.

Great things do come in small packages Allow yourself to enjoy the occasional treat, but limit yourself to just a taste or bite. The smaller portion will be better for your digestive system and can help you feel less bloated. 18

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

How sweet it is Keep this in mind the next time you reach for a treat. Sugars, dried fruit, sweeteners and juice are treats that may not be friendly to all digestive systems. Carbonated drinks like sugary sodas can make your stomach feel puffy and distended. Keep it simple — stick to water with lemon or herbal tea.

Underwhelm the digestive system How do we calm irritability? Take a few things off your plate — literally. When we eat and drink less at one time, we present less to the digestive system.

Don’t feel weighed down Hop on the treadmill, hit the dance floor or just run around with your nieces and nephews — anything. Working up a sweat releases fluids your body might be holding, and exercising each day can help to move food along your digestive tract. Before beginning a new exercise program or regimen, though, talk to your doctor to see what kind of activity is right for you.

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Health & Wellness


GUIDE Health clubs Body Xchange Fitness Spa: 7701 White Lane, Suite A-4, 837-2639 7650 McNair Lane, 847-2639 2749 N. Calloway Drive, 410-2639 9500 Brimhall Road, 716-2639 13125 Rosedale Highway, 410-5000 1128 Truxtun Ave., 410-6000 13019 Stockdale Highway, 716-0200 2661 Oswell St., 377-0600 11206 Olive Drive (Express and Ladies Only Gym), 410-0200 24 Hour Fitness: 4302 Gosford Road, 398-1111 3633 Rosedale Highway, 325-3600 3400 Bernard St., 873-8000 In-Shape City: 4801 White Lane, 398-4970 3409 Coffee Road, 615-6125 2681 Oswell St., 371-2990 In-Shape Tennis Club: 6901 Ming Ave., 833-3740 Bakersfield Racquet Club: 1660 Pine St., 325-8652 Personal Edge Fitness: 1801 19th St., 852-0606 1500 Haggin Oaks Blvd., 665-0606 20

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

Fit For Life Personal Training: 2204 E St., 325-0900

2838 Oswell St., 873-7100 901 Tower Way, Suite 101, 638-0643

Women-only gyms

TerrioKids Memorial: Memorial Hospital Rehab Services Department, 420 34th St., 377-0044

Body Xchange Express and Ladies Only Gym: 11206 Olive Drive (Olive and Jewetta), 410-0200 Total Woman Fitness Center: 5329 Truxtun extension, 325-0208 9901 Hageman Road, Suite 900, 5888239 Curves for Women: 1-800-257-5332, 4713 Planz Road, 836-0380 9500 Flushing Quail Road, Suite 502, 589-2380 1129 Olive Drive, Suite D, 393-1241 3709 Columbus Ave., 873-1776

Physical therapy Terrio Therapy-Fitness: 9000 Ming Ave, Suite T1, 663-9675 Riverlakes Professional Plaza East, 3400 Calloway Drive, Suite 603, 615-6600 4300 Resnik Court, Building B, Suite 104 A (near White Lane and Gosford), 617-1182

TerrioKids Easton: 4101 Easton Drive, 377-1700 The Terrio Edge: 3521 Alken Road, 410-3343 Aquatics Center: Inside the Arthritis Association Adaptive Aquatics Center, 1800 Westwind Drive, 663-9675 Glinn & Giordano: 1201 23rd St., 327-4357 3700 Gosford Road, Suite G, 832-9737 2701 Calloway Drive, Suite 400, 589-9066 200 China Grade Loop, 615-6150 Marie Glynn Occupational Therapy: 1831 Truxtun Ave., Suite 150, 326-1433 701 Central Valley Highway, Suite C, Shafter, 237-6100 Central Valley Physical Therapy: 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite B1, 8278959

Neck and Back Center: 4550 Coffee Road #H, 587-0700 Pair & Marotta Physical Therapy: 1723 27th St., 634-9440 5337 Truxtun Ave., 324-0122 2601 Oswell St., Suite 105, 871-5908 20418 Brian Way, Suite 5, Tehachapi, 822-5483 Southcoast Physical Therapy: 1800 Westwind Drive, #107, 327-4685 337 S. 10th St., Suite G, 763-4194

Spas Essentials Spa at The Marketplace: 9000 Ming Ave., Suite K7, 654-0321 Evolution Esthetics Spa: 1002 19th St., Suite 205, 323-5880

Health food stores Cone’s Health Foods: 8200 Stockdale Highway, 832-5669 Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins: 4308 California Ave., 324-6990 Trader Joe’s: 8200 Stockdale Highway, 837-8863 Cay Health Foods: 902 18th St., 325-7627 Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market: 1801 Planz Road, 831-8574 11100 Olive Drive, 589-0028 5190 Stockdale Highway, 859-0493 6601 Stine Road, 837-2116

Senior resources

These community groups and organizations assist in the day-to-day lives of Kern County seniors. From activities to legal assistance, help can be found with just a couple of simple phone calls. Aging Adult Protective Services: 5357 Truxtun Ave., 868-1006 Part of the Kern County Aging and Adult Services Department, this unit investigates reports of elder or dependent adult abuse. Abuse can be physical or financial and may include abandonment,

isolation, neglect and self-neglect. Kern County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: 615 California Ave., 323-7884 The program’s trained staff and volunteers investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, people living in nursing homes, convalescent hospitals, assisted living or residential care facilities for the elderly. Staff and volunteers investigate reports of abuse and neglect and advocate for the rights of the residents. Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County: 5500 Olive Drive, Building 1, 393-8871 The mission of Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County is to maintain and enhance the quality of life for those affected by this disease. Adult day services include light breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Prices vary depending on income. Kern County Aging and Adult Services: 5357 Truxtun Ave., 868-1000 The information and referral program helps adults 60 and older identify programs and services to meet specific needs. Services are free to individuals as well as family members and caregivers of an age-qualified person in the areas of Social Security; Supplemental Security Income; Medicare; Medi-Cal; transportation; in-home support for the elderly, blind, or people with disabilities. They provide Adult Protective Services, In Home Support Services, Senior Nutrition, which includes Meals on Wheels, Caregiver Support, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. Kern County Veterans Service Department: 1120 Golden State Ave., 868-7300 Provide veterans free of charge, counseling advice, and assistance to veterans and/or their dependents regarding rights, benefits, and privileges available to them under federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies. North of the River Recreation and Park District: Rasmussen Senior Adult Center — Oildale

115 E. Roberts Lane, 392-2030 Provides transportation, home-delivered meals, homemaker and recreation programs for seniors. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program: 1400 Chester Ave., Suite J, 395-9787 Program by the Volunteer Center of Kern County provides opportunities for adults 55 and older to offer service to the community. Various sites are available to place senior volunteers in governmental, nonprofit and health care agencies. Senior Brown Bag Program: Sites throughout the county, 398-4520 Coordinated by the Community Action Partnership of Kern's Partnership Food Bank with pantries and commodity sites throughout the county. Seniors Law Center: 615 California Ave., 325-5943 Representation is available in areas of public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income, Medi-Cal, food stamps and general assistance, Social Security (Title II) and Medicare, in-home supportive services and institutional care, subsidized housing, tenant protection, elder abuse and mobile home tenancies and eviction defense. Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program 5357 Truxtun Ave., 868-1000 The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program provides free assistance with Medicare problems and other health insurance issues for seniors and disabled adults.

Hospitals and medical care Bakersfield Family Medical Center: 4580 California Ave., 327-4411 Bakersfield Heart Hospital: 3001 Sillect Ave., 316-6000 Bakersfield Memorial Hospital: 420 34th St., 327-4647 Good Samaritan Hospital

Continued on page 22

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 21

Health&Wellness Continued from page 21

901 Olive Drive, 399-4461 HealthSouth Bakersfield Rehabilitation Hospital: 5001 Commerce Drive, 323-5500 Kern Medical Center: 1700 Mt. Vernon Ave., 326-2000 Mercy Hospital: 2215 Truxtun Ave., 632-5000

Cal. Program hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday for adults 18 years and older. ElderLife: 1111 Columbus St., Suite 5000, 326-6595 An adult, day health care program that provides case-managed medical, therapeutic and social services on an outpatient basis. Program hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday for adults 18 years and older.

Mercy Southwest Hospital: 400 Old River Road, 663-6000

Activity centers

San Joaquin Community Hospital: 2615 Chester Ave., 395-3000

Bakersfield Senior Center: 530 Fourth St., 325-1113

Bakersfield Community House: 2020 R St., 327-8835 East Niles Senior Center: 6601 Niles St., 363-8910

Senior day care Chateau d’Bakersfield / Wellness Center: 824 18th St., 322-4085 An adult day health care center providing assistance for mentally impaired and physically disabled participants, offering transportation, case management services, occupational physical therapy, meals and activities. Cost covered by Medi-

Greenacres Community Center: 2014 Calloway Drive, 3922010 Greenfield Senior Center: 1751 McKee Road, 834-9041 Rasmussen Senior Adult Center: 115 E. Roberts Lane, 3922030 Richard Prado East Bakersfield Senior Center: 2101 Ridge Road, 323-8624

NOW ACCEPTING RESIDENTS-COME VISIT (no appointment necessary)

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CORPORATE OFFICE: 2029 21st • Bakersfield, CA 93301 • 661-631-2036 22

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness

Health and Wellness Achieved by Preventing Heart Disease and Obesity


100 calories a day Dieting doesn't have to mean giving up everything that you love. A few simple changes here and there can trim a few calories from your daily intake — and that can mean faster weight loss. Following one or more of these suggestions in the food and beverage choices made at home, work, school, or on the go can help cut about 100 calories each day. While 100 calories may not seem like a big thing, over the course of one year you will have saved yourself 36,500 calories in total.

Instead of


potato chips

baked potato chips

12-ounce regular soda

12-ounce water

6 oz. fruit-on-the- bottom yogurt

light yogurt with no-calorie sweetener

a bagel

2 pieces whole-grain toast

butter and margarine on pans

nonstick cooking spray

white bread

light, whole-wheat bread

traditional pizza

halve the cheese and add veggies

whole milk

nonfat or 1 percent milk

supersized meat portions

3-ounce portions (deck of cards size)

layer cake

angel food cake

Use Our Methods To Look Good And Stay Fit • Free Initial Consultation • 95% Success Rate FOR COMPLIANT PATIENTS • Individual care by Doctor • Diet Counseling By Registered Dietitian • Pre/ Post Gastric Surgery; Evaluation And Care • Treatment Of Heart Disease, And Diabetes • Maintenance & Support Therapy Of Weight Loss • Unique Transcranial Test for Migraine And Stroke Evaluation T.A. Don Michael, M.D. Founder & Director FACC, FACP, FRCP, FCCP, FESC, FAHA Board Certified in Cardiology, Internal Medicine, and Bariatric Medicine (Medically supervised weight loss) Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA

Advanced Heart & Medical Center

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5343 Truxtun Extension, Bakersfield Visit our website:

Bakersfield Life 2010 Health & Wellness 23



1 Month

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Photo by Casey Christie

Christine Scott

Christine Scott and her stepson, Nick Scott, in the Mayfaire neighborhood, on Sterling Silver Street.

There’s so much to love about our town. From Rio Bravo to Rosedale, each neighborhood has its supporters. This month, Bakersfield Life asks Christine Scott what makes the Mayfaire neighborhood special. Has lived in Mayfaire for: 1.5 years Three words to describe your neighborhood: Friendly, secure, quiet.

Favorite neighborhood activity: Evening walks around our neighborhood with my husband and dog. What you like most about your neighbors: The broad diversity of personalities shared on all sides. Best thing about your neighborhood: The homeowners association’s involvement in keeping our neighborhood one of quality and peace for all families to enjoy.

Best memory in your neighborhood: Attending our neighbors’ daughter’s christening.

What you would change: More community activities (i.e., 4th of July block parties, Christmas open houses, etc.).

What attracted you to the neighborhood: The secure setting (gated community) accompanied with family-friendly amenities (community park with water attractions).

Why someone should move to your neighborhood: The secure environment in which to raise a family and enjoy the camaraderie shared with people of a like interest. www.BakersfieldLife.com67


Handmade English Toffee

Antonette and Diane started out making Aunt Mae’s fine handmade English toffee for close family and friends. Once their friends tried it they were hooked. The special combination of ingredients and the cooking process results in a rich candy that is mouth-watering, delectable and crunchy. This delicious English toffee can be found at Luigi’s, Flourishing Art and Sweet Surrender in Bakersfield. Open from October to May. Call (661) 725-5200 or visit www. for direct orders, other locations and information. Gorgeous gift boxes are available in various sizes.

bareMinerals at Lashes & Mustaches Come by and see all the kits and make your choice. Buy a kit today at Lashes & Mustaches. 5060 Californian Ave #100 in the Stockdale Tower (661)-836-9775

Lashes & Mustaches

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

Healthy Dog Prodcts From Halo

Biscuit carries a wide variety of dog food, this month’s feature is Halo. Halo’s holistic approach to pet health is focused on treating the “whole animal,” recognizing that good nutrition is an essential element of overall well-being. Biscuit carries Halo’s dog food, Dream Coat, Herbal Ear Wash, Herbal Eye Wash, Herbal Healing Salve, Super Stain & Odor Remover and Herbal Shampoo. This is the company that Ellen Degeneres believed so much in that she bought part of the company. Biscuit Boutique and Doggy Spa, 1617 19th St., (661)321-9602,

Biscuit Boutique


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Authentic Wine Accessories

Looking for something truly unique? How about vintage european wine accessories? Authentice wine press measures 54 x 24 x 19 or a selectiion of wicker covered antique wine bottles $42-$95 only at the French Quarter. (661) 588-0669 The French Quarter

THE PROMENADE To advertise here, call:

Ross Priest




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

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• Group Piano Classes (PreK-12 Years)

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St. Francis School Crab Fest Jan. 23, 2010 Held at Harvest Hall, KC Fairgrounds Photos by Tracy Walker-Kiser View these photos and more online at

Josh Tobias, Mark Napier and David Morton

Kryssy Jamieson and Kelli Gruszka

Monsignor Craig Harrison and Richard Beene

Bill and Sandy McMahan

Tom Franconi and Tracy Walker-Kiser

Lydia and Jon Rowles

John Sacco and Rob Waguespack

Ghina Itani 549-5886 • Interior Design Services • Remodeling • Turnkey

Full Service Spa/Salon Gift Certificates Available



Commercial & Residential


Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Breann Ritchie - Owner/Esthetician Behind the Green Thumb & House of Talula

1910 19th Street #B • 661-873-4001

Annual Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast Jan. 28, 2010 Held at Rabobank Convention Center Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Ray and Joan Dezember with Janice and David Parker

Marilyn Shaffer and Anita Walker

Alma and Henry Gonzales

Sharon and Mike Miller

Blanca Cavazos and Ana Santos

John and Christine Frazier

Bob and Ann Kindred

Susan and John Guerard

Michael Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Doherty and Pat Paggi

Jackye Clay and Robyn Bowser


Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner Jan. 28, 2010 Held at Marriott at the Convention Center Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Tony and Debbie Moreno with Barry and Michelle Zoeller

Glen W. Roberts and Vince Fong


Jennifer Abercrombie and Juan Palacios

Della Hodson and Bryan Borrow

Rick Riley and Lou Barbich

Bob Meadows and Susan Gharibeh

Denise Bish and Doug Hunter

Pete Leveroni and Laura Kuster

Lupe and Javier Lozano

Denise and Jerry Pearson

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Evening of Wishes Jan. 30, 2010 Held at Petroleum Clubof Bakersfield Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at Bea and Laurie Mahlman

Edward Venegas and Wanda Barrera

Stuart Annable and Derek Abbott

Bill and Annelise Bruce

Don and Sherrie McMurtrey

Majid and Willa Mojibi

Diana and Lorin Rambo

Harold Meek and Tom Bell

Angene Grigg and Heather Abbott

Marlene Ryan, Pamela and Tom Stenson and Heidi Scott


Pre-Opening Reception Feb. 4, 2010 Held at Juliannaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Art Studio & Gallery Photos by Rodney Thornburg View these photos and more online at

Michael Dooley, Marisela Oropeza and Juliana Bernier Dooley

Fabian Rodriguez and Sarah Barker

Pam Johnson and Judy Worley

Sean Ryan and Ashley Marchand

Mike Barker and Patti Doolittle

Kimberly and Douglas Hulsey

Larry and Alice Rector

Lynn Legg, Brenda Sharp and Robin Henkel 74

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Holly Lazzerini, Linda Sullenger and Candace Cummings

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Wine Tasting, Fundraiser Feb. 11, 2010 Held at Metro Galleries Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Pam Frasch, Jennifer Wilbur and Robin and Thomas Feher

Brenda Shumate and Kirstin Rehkopf

Caroline Thompson, Allison Perkins-Thomas and Otis Warren

Chip and Kim Goforth

Dennis and Terry Thelen

Avital Anders, Bridget Blackburn and Talia Anders

Tom and Linda Falgatter

BethAnn Miller, Ricardo Salazar, Karyn Wyatt and Dave Stouffer


First Friday Feb. 5, 2010 Held at Metro Galleries and Surface Gallery Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at

Josie Bowman, David Coffey and Felix and Teresa Adamo

Pamela Gallbraith and Ricarda Swackhamer

Evan Lomas, Frank and Diana Ripepi

Julio Marquez, Jenene and Mike Louden and Matthew Faulkner

Susan and Rod Hersberger

Michael and Ashley Lewis

Vikki Cruz and Veronica Barker

“Where Luxury Meets Efficiency”

• Business or Personal Travel • Private Charter • Regional Shuttles • Maintenance Services Call for a quote today!

(661) 393-0937 76

Bakersfield Life March 2010

Tim and Mary Beth Garrison and Tom Webster

Tastes of the Town Feb. 5, 2010 Held at Petroleum Club of Bakersfield Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Margaret Self, Nancy Hall, Debbie Oftedal and Diane Lake

Tom and Judy Watkins

Avon and Bill Wonderly

Suzanne Satterfield and Juliane Torczon

Jennifer Duck, Alissa Carlson and Katie Harlan

Joel and Arlene Heinrichs

Judy and Errol Shaw

a o l a n i S NT RESTAURA N A IC X E M

910 20th St. Downtown


JR Gomez, Andrea Gomez, Chef Juan Aguirre and Mary Aguirre

Open Tues. - Sun. at 11:15 am

Painting by Charlotte White




Shelly Castaneda Chief Deputy for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Favorite part of your job: Being in a position to have a positive impact on our county and the Sheriff’s Office through my daily decision-making. I also enjoy having the ability to be a mentor and encourage other hard-working people within the organization who have a true interest in the community and watch them succeed. Greatest piece of advice: 1. A wise leader surrounds himself/herself with smart people. 2. No matter what your position in life, somebody looks up to you. The example you set and even the smallest gestures of caring and kindness can have a great impact on the lives of others. Something about you that few people know: My greatest stress relief is gourmet cooking for my family and friends. Some of my specialties include Thai, Mediterranean and Italian dishes. What’s on your bookshelf: My primary nightly reading is my Bible. My collection also includes mystery, self-improvement and leadership books. Your first job: Selling cookies at the San Francisco Cookie Co. in the Valley Plaza. Favorite getaway: Short term, a quiet evening with my husband at Uricchio’s. However, my ultimate getaway is traveling with my husband to other major cities that offer rich history. Some of our favorites have been New York; Washington, D.C.; Rome; London; and Istanbul. Your favorite law enforcement show on TV: “Law and Order: SVU.” What does Bakersfield need more of? More cultural events.

Place you could be found having lunch on the weekend: Cindy’s Restaurant on the east side. Three things that define Bakersfield to you: As someone who was born and raised in Bakersfield, the city defines the things that are most important to me … family, friends and my job. 78

Bakersfield Life

March 2010

Photo by Casey Christie

What does Bakersfield need less of? Store closures. With the loss of major stores such as Gottschalks, Robinsons-May and Circuit City, our purchasing options have become very limited in Bakersfield.

2 0 1 0


Introducing the all-new Insight from Honda. A new hybrid built with style, efficiency AND affordability in mind. With loads of standard features like projector-beam headlights, six airbags, MP3 jack, folding rear seats and an innovative Eco Assist™ system, it’s the hybrid designed and priced for us all.

40 city/43 hwy 41 combined mpg 1

Lease the New 2010 Insight LX CVT




/mo* 36 month lease

FEATURED SPECIAL LEASE: Closed-end lease for 2010 Insight LX Continuously Variable Transmission (Model ZE2H5AEW) for $199.00 per month for 36 months with a $1,600.00 capitalized cost reduction available to customers who qualify for the AHFC Super Preferred credit tier. Other rates/tiers are available under this offer. $1,799.00 total due at lease signing (includes first month’s payment, and capitalized cost reduction with no security deposit; total net capitalized cost and base monthly payment does not include tax, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options, insurance and the like). Not all buyers may qualify.

4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to Bakersfield Automall

834-6632 Se Habla Español


���������������� ����������� Subject to limited availability. From 2/2/2010 through 3/1/2010, to approved lessees by American Honda Finance Corp. Closed end lease for 2010 Insight LX Continuously Variable Transmission vehicles (Model ZE2H5AEW), for well qualified lessees. Not all lessees wil qualify. Higher lease rates apply for lessees with lower credit ratings. MSRP $20,510.00 (includes destination) less the capitalized cost reduction (which may be paid by the suggested dealer contribution) resulting in actual net capitalized cost $18,490.93. Net capitalized cost includes $595 acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may vary and could affect actual lease payment. Taxes, license, title fees, options and insurance extra. Total monthly payments $7,164.00. Option to purchase at lease end $12,921.30. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15 cents/mi. over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000, but for vehicles with MSRP of $30,000 or more, mileage cost is 20 cents/mi. over 12,000 miles/year. See dealer for complete details.

Bakersfield Life Magazine March 2010  

Bakersfield Life Magazine March 2010