Bakersfield Life Magazine May 2014

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May 2014

bakersfieldlife.com

Memorial Day:

Bests & Favorites

Remembering a local war hero

Eats, Drinks, Shopping and more!

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Dining Divas, Food Dudes take on

Luigi’s, Eureka! Burger

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S R F E IEL K

of Bakersfield’s star athletes

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David K. Cohn Lawyer


BAKERSFIELD’S

Favorite Deli!

F E A T U R E S May 2014

1231 18th Street (18th and L Streets)

Take a look at the best that Bakersfield has to offer in everything from brunch spreads to plastic surgeons in our 21st annual, newly redesigned “Best of Bakersfield” feature. Winners and favorites in 110 categories were chosen by you, our readers! Page 98.

10:30am - 2:15pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 323-2500

Rosedale

9160 Rosedale Highway (Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm Daily

The American Jewelry Company, Best Jewelry Store.

Phone: (661) 587-1600

Southwest

PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO

Best of Bakersfield

Downtown

9500 Ming Avenue (Just West of The Marketplace) 7:00am - 3:00pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 665-9990

Our Dining Divas and Food Dudes will have your mouth watering as they dig into savory Italian dishes and gourmet burgers.

See our full menu and order online at

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Deli/Sandwich Shop Lunch Spot

Thank you, Kern County for your continued support! 6

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Find out how to quench your thirst this summer with the perfect sake for your next sushi outing or taste test a brew as the popular Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival returns. Pages 54 & 58

April 2014

Before you make your summer travel plans, read our features on Ventura and Morro Bay. Whether you head west or southwest, there’s tons to do in these coastal paradises. Pages 184 & 190 In honor of Memorial Day, read about Harold Brown, the first Kern County man to receive the Army’s second highest honor for bravery. Page 206


The key to success is to surround yourself with people who are passionate about life. I’m fortunate to have landed right in the middle of a group of such people.

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- Daniel Rodriguez

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Law Firm

Lawyer

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Time Recipient

Accidents I Personal Injury I Wrongful Death

Left to right are the following attorneys: Chantal A. Trujillo, Miguel Flores, Connie Rodriguez, Daniel Rodriguez, Joel Andreesen, Martha Rossiter, John Kawai.

(661) 323-1400

www.rodriguezlaw.net @DRodriguezLaw

DRodriguezLaw


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Dining Divas Food Dudes Food and Wine Entertainment Hometown Hero On the Road Why I Live Here All-Star Athletes Talk of the Town For a Cause Business Profiles Pastimes Home and Garden

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History Our Town Inside Story In My Closet Real People Fit and Fresh Health and Wellness Golf

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184 184 Trip Planner 194 Prime Finds 196 SNAP! 206 Last Word

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

change.

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PHOTO BY GREG NICHOLS

Its time for a

PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO

May 2014

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IF YOUR DOCTOR NEEDS TO REFER YOU TO A

CANCER CENTER WHAT’S YOUR PLAN? AIS Cancer Center is a member of the UC Davis Cancer Care Network When it comes to cancer care, The AIS Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital offers the latest treatment options in an atmosphere that promotes healing. As a member of the UC Davis Cancer Care Network, you have access to academic-based research, clinical trials and radiation treatment that targets cancer cells more precisely, producing fewer painful side effects and better outcomes. If you’re diagnosed with cancer, talk to your doctor and make a plan to come to The AIS Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital.

661–323–4673 WhatsYourPlan.net


S TA F F S H A R E S

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine May 2014 / Vol. 8 / Issue 8 Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. To advertise, contact Lisa Whitten at lwhitten@bakersfield.com or 395-7563. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse

Big city with a small-town feel

President/CEO Richard Beene

WHAT'S BAKERSFIELD'S BEST FEATURE?

Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Interactive Sales Manager Gunter Copeland Advertising Sales Manager Lisa Whitten

Generous people

“Bakersfield has tons of ‘best’ qualities, from restaurants to parks. But the top of the list has to be giving. Its residents rally behind important causes that make our town great.” — Olivia Garcia, editor “Location, location, location. Bakersfield is close enough to take trips to the ocean, mountains, forests or high desert and still be home for dinner.” — Gregory D. Cook, contributor “I say it's the generosity of the residents.” — John Wells, senior vice president revenue & marketing

“The best thing about Bakersfield is its community feel. It has the amenities of a big city with the intimacy of a small town. Yes, that is a good thing.” — Miranda Whitworth, contributor “It sounds trite - but the people who live here! We lift each other up, support one another's causes, sing our community's praises, and circle the wagons when the chips are down. It's who we are and what we do. Authentically, honestly, purposefully...Bakersfield is beautiful because of the people who live here!” — Lisa Kimble, contributor

“Resilience. Bakersfield is a town that can take the hits Close to the and come back swinging. And beach “What makes every that fighting spirit is part of city unique is its collection of local what makes it such a great place to businesses and Bakersfield is full of live.” — Rachel Cook, assistant hidden gems just waiting to be discovmanaging editor ered.” — Mark Nessia, contributor "Bakersfield's best feature is its “Without a doubt, Bakersfield's seemingly magnetic pull on the people best feature is its people. I often have who have lived here. It seems that out-of-town visitors comment on the everyone that leaves for a while, vowfact that people here are so friendly ing never to come back, ends up and welcoming. I love the small town returning because this is home." — feel of our city.” — Teresa A. Ford, Linda Petree, advertising account advertising account executive executive

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Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Managing Editor Rachel Cook Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Sally Baker, Henry A. Barrios, Ricky Bassman, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Jessica Frey, Nati Harnik, John Harte, Susan Heflin, Sean M. Haffey, Lenny Ignelzi, Danay Jones, Dawn Kerley, Michael Lopez, Chris Martin, April Massirio, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Carla Rivas, Jan St. Pierre, Mark J. Terrill, Rod Thornburg, John Walker, Dave Weaver, Eric Paul Zamora Contributing writers Sally Baker, Tony Biasotti, Lois Henry, Ken Hooper, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, Stephen Lynch, Marissa Lay, Melissa Peaker-Whitten, Mark Nessia, Katy Raytis, Sally Selby, Chris Thornburgh, Jacque Servadio, Miranda Whitworth Interns Ryan Barrera, Amanda Dixon, Alana Garrett, Eric Garza, Sandy Ornelas, Paul Rivas On the cover Design by Glenn Hammett


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EDITOR’S NOTE

MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS April Massirio’s love affair with photography began at age 14. Since then, she has earned a bachelor’s degree in professional photography from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, where she focused on commercial and advertising photography and portraiture. This led her to pursue a career as a lead photographer at multiple companies in Los Angeles and work in New York City before moving back home to Bakersfield. Massirio is currently the photographer and designer of B Well Magazine and a regular contributor to Bakersfield Life Magazine. Massirio also owns and operates The Nest Photography + Design, a full-service photography and design company, and Photo Fab Photo Booth. In her spare time, Massirio enjoys traveling, cooking, wine and spending time with family, friends and her dogs, Kingston and Bella.

A love for the visual eye and working with people has always been the biggest inspiration for photographer Michael Lopez. From an early age, Lopez had a fondness for capturing the special moments in his life, which led him to pick up a camera in high school and learn photography. From teaching computer classes to kids, to web development and working as a graphic artist, Lopez has always found a way to express his visual form in one way or another. Taking a different turn in his career, Lopez became a producer/director for a production house in Bakersfield, where he produced many commercials, public service announcements and live events. Working with clients and the public as a producer/director gave Lopez the desire to devote his time to photography. Since 2006, Lopez has worked as a still photographer capturing moments for corporate clients, donating his time and skills to high school seniors in need of graduation portraits, and focusing on photography work for local magazines. As a devoted family man with a beautiful wife and two adorable kids, Lopez sees his future as boundless and is eager to photograph the world around him and inspire those around him along the way. 12

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AT YOUR BEST f there is one issue that draws the most attention and interest months before it even hits the stands, it’s our Best Of Bakersfield edition. This year, we celebrate 21 years of organizing this contest where you nominate your favorite businesses and individuals in dozens of categories, such as best bank, best wine selection, best lawyer, best real estate agent, best “Made in Bakersfield” product ... the list goes on and on with more than 100 categories. From your nominations, the top three vote getters square-off in a contest where readers narrow it down to one top winner and two favorites in each category. Readers and local businesses and individuals love this contest, and the buzz begins at the start of the year: Who will make the Best of Bakersfield? In many of our sections, we have highlighted some of the featured winners — and some of the favorites. The staff was sworn to secrecy and could not reveal the winners to anyone, even though we were dying to let people know. But we stuck to our pinky promise and remained mum. Now, we can finally celebrate what we know will be an exciting issue for many. Aside from the fabulous Best Of Bakersfield spread, we featured a number of other cool stories for you this month. Writer Stephen Lynch gives us five of the best athletes to come out of Bakersfield within the last decade. The Food Dudes visit Eureka! Burger (love that place) while the Divas stopped at Luigi’s (another favorite place of mine!). May is also a busy month with many activities around town, including a number of charity events such as the annual Honor Run and the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation fundraiser. It’s also Mother’s Day time, and our staff wishes a very Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms out there.

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college, The Bakersfield Californian, which publishes our lovely magazine, is preparing for its annual edition of College-Bound Seniors. This section, which will run in The Californian, is a “salute to the hardworking high school seniors headed off to college in the fall.” Last year, the section featured its largest group of students yet — more than 1,000 graduating seniors were highlighted in the special edition and their college destination varied from our hometown schools to Dartmouth College. What’s even better is that this section is offered at no cost to contributors. However, The Californian needs your submissions. If you would like to nominate a college-bound senior, please send us your name and phone number, which will not be published, and the following information on your senior: first and last name, high school, college he/she will be attending, studio-style photo. We prefer the information be emailed to collegebound@bakersfield.com but will accept drop-offs at The Californian’s office, 1707 Eye St., or submissions by mail: The Californian, College-Bound Seniors, PO Box 440, Bakersfield, CA, 93302. Photos will not be returned. The deadline to submit your student’s details is Friday, May 16. Special thanks to Bakersfield Hyundai and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union for sponsoring this section and making it possible for so many families to salute their children in a memorable, special way.

COLLEGE-BOUND SENIORS

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

In tribute to seniors heading off to


OLIVIA’S PICKS

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I have said this before and I will say it again: I heart my Apple TV. This snazzy little gadget allows me to catch up on missed episodes of “Nashville” (through Hulu app); gives my guys time to live vicariously through “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (through Netflix app); and helps me score digital copies of recent animated films like “The Nut Job” (through iTunes) for my little guys. Price $99. Available at some local stores.

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INSPIRATIONAL WALL DÉCOR As you look to liven up your home as part of the spring season, consider some inspirational wall décor for your office, bedroom or kitchen area. Several local stores have many great ideas. I ran across a few inspirational wall décor at Pier 1 Imports, including “Remember you are braver than you believe…” and “Life is short. Buy the shoes.” Amen to that. Prices vary.

DRESS UP YOUR PHONE

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First of all, I love Brighton jewelry thanks to a girlfriend who introduced me to the line and now I am hooked. But did you know that Brighton now has a line of “tech-cessories,” such as iPhone cases? And what gal wouldn’t love to dress up her phone, too? Check it out. Prices vary.

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WORD ON THE STREET Compiled by Alana Garrett

“WHAT IS BAKERSFIELD’S BEST CHARACTERISTIC?” Destiny Pacheco

Ruben Alonzo

Curtis Conway

“All the programs that are willing to help the needy.”

“The affordability of everything.”

“Friendly people.”

Becky Adams

Julie Atkins

Tommy Muniz

“Small-town feel, everybody knows everyone, and you are connected somehow.”

“The fact that you get that small-town feeling in a big town. Everyone is so friendly here.”

“It’s very family oriented, and people always come back.”

Allison Dempsey

Courtney Clerico

“The art scene downtown and the graffiti; some of it is really artistic.”

“The sense of community. It’s safe. You get the benefits of a large town but still a tight community.”

Rebecca Hernandez

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Crusade against trafficking gets support in Bakersfield

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ear Editor,

Earlier this year, Cynthia Giumarra and Lyndsee Haddadin, two women from Canyon Hills Church, felt a strong desire to bridge the generational gap among women in our community, uniting them to do two things: raise awareness about human trafficking and help rescue girls and women who have been victims of this horror. From their desire, the first “Red and White Gala” is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at the estate of Cynthia Giumarra in the Rio Bravo area. The “Red and White Gala” is a formal event for women and will include music and dinner, two guest speakers, a live auction and gift basket raffles. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at Canyon Hills

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Church. All funds raised from the gala will go to Rachel’s House. This house was established a few years ago to provide a home for victims of human trafficking, giving them a safe place to live, helping them to heal and restore their lives. Learn more about Rachel’s House by visiting forgottenchildreninc.org. For more information about the gala and how you can help raise awareness, or to make a donation, please contact Canyon Hills Church at 871-1150 and ask for Women’s Ministries. “I have such a passion in my heart to reach these hurting and broken women. I am standing in the gap and believing in faith that we can make a difference in their lives. I have come to offer them hope and you can, too! Help us rescue broken daughters and change their lives forever," said Lyndsee Haddadin, one of the event coordinators. — Kaelyn De Leon

“The parks. There are so many large open parks. I just love it here.”


Sandman Sleep Lab has over

60 DIFFERENT MASK STYLES & SIZES to give you a custom fit. Call or visit us today.


UP FRONT

THE BIG PICTURE Photo by Felix Adamo

CHASING THE CLOUDS AWAY Under beautiful blue skies, Bakersfield High School sophomore Maggie Baker runs to victory in the varsity girls 1600-meter event with a time of 5:22.54 at the Southwest Yosemite League meet at Liberty High School. Baker also won the varsity girls 3200 later in the day.

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NAMED AFTER By Lisa Kimble

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Marianne Laxague and staff strike a pose outside the current Pyrenees French Bakery location.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CHERI LAXAGUE

he rugged business of sheepherding lured a handsome 17-year-old Frenchman to California in the late 1920s. But it was the alchemy of mixing flour and yeast into artisan bread that kept Pierre “Pete” Laxague here. The magic of bread making eventually brought him to Kern County where French sourdough bread is as synonymous with the region as cotton and crude oil. Pyrenees French Bakery in east Bakersfield, managed by the Laxague family for nearly 70 years, was named after Pierre's native province – the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Pierre was born in 1912 in pastoral Aldudes in the Pyrenees region of southwestern France. After coming to California, he grew tired of herding sheep after five years, and relatives living in La Puente got him a job at the French-American Bakery where he learned the trade of sourdough French bread making. He spent several years working under his uncle Jean Baptiste Garacochea, founder of Pioneer Bakery in Venice. Pierre married Juanita Ermigarat and they had two children. By then, they were in partnership with Garacochea and decided to move to Bakersfield where a large Basque community existed. They brought the original 'starter' sourdough recipe with them. They moved here in December 1944, and within a few months they had started their own bakery. Along with partners Michel Erreca and Jean Baptiste Elgart, they purchased Parisian Bakery on E. 18th Street, in what is known today as Old Town Kern, from Pete Borda.

In 1947, the partnership bought Kern City French Bakery, which dated back to 1887 when the building where the bread was made also housed a saloon and sold a loaf for six cents. In the early 1900s, Kern City French Bakery was bought by Marcel Raynaud, Joseph Gueyden and Augustine Amour. They built a new building in 1912. The Laxagues became sole owners and changed the name to Pyrenees French Bakery. Together they made quite a team. Pierre would arrive before dawn each day to make the bread using up to 300 pounds of flour a day and Juanita would deliver it to nearby restaurants and grocers. Using an oldfashioned brick oven and their time-honored master recipe, bread making became a family affair for the Laxagues. Son Michel joined his father as a dough master and daughter Marianne helped her mother run the business and its finances. In 1961, the 1910 building the Laxagues first bought was moved to the Kern County Museum to be part of a permanent display at Pioneer Village. Francois Pedeflous, founder of Fresno's successful Basque French Bakery, apprenticed with Pierre at one time and agreed when he left not to open a competing bakery nearby. Michel died in 1979, Pierre in 1993 and Juanita in 2009. Today Marianne, along with the help of nephews and greatgrandchildren, carries on the tradition. More than 7,000 pounds of flour is used to churn out upwards of 3,000 loaves and rolls each week, all still baked in brick ovens.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHERI LAXAGUE

PYRENEES FRENCH BAKERY

The original Pyrenees building, which was donated to the Kern County Museum on May 17, 1961.


MONEY MATTERS

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS AND HAVE THE PASSION People with a passion are energized about what they do. Live and breathe what you want and be passionately invested in the journey and the goal. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” — Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple

PUT IN THE EFFORT TO BE EXTRAORDINARY Your effort determines your success. Every successful entrepreneur puts in more hours than the average Joe. If you don’t embrace the extra effort that others may consider absurd, then you won’t be remarkably successful. “One thing we can all control is effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you’re doing. It will give you an advantage because most people don’t do this.” — Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner

INVEST IN POTENTIAL

TAKE THE RISK, BE RESILIENT People who consistently out-perform are willing to get out of their comfort zone and try new things. Be prepared to fail, learn from your mistakes, and persevere. “It’s impossible to live without failing at

It’s true that profit in dollars or power is temporary, but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity is forever. Integrity may bring more business from clients who trust in you or it may mean having employees or friends who are willing to go the extra mile for you. The value of trust the others have in you will bring limitless opportunities. “Just remember, it’s a small business and a long life. You’re going to see all these people again.” — Steve Ross, former CEO of Time Warner.

CHOOSE GREAT COMPANY Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. They will move with you toward your goal. Choose and connect with people who have talents and abilities that you do not yet possess. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn, entrepreneur

Fine Foods of Mexico and Traditional Dishes Holiday Parties Catering Covered Outdoor Patio Private Parties – Available Year Round

HAVE A PLAN, MAINTAIN FLEXIBILITY Even the best plans get altered. Be open to suggestions and consider viable alternatives. Above all, be willing to be wrong and start over. “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” — Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

THE TAKEAWAY Being the ‘Best of the Best’ allows you to make a difference. Persevering through challenging times is never easy, but have the wisdom to take advice and the knowledge that it pays to listen. — Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@bacpas.com Thornburgh

Bringing a little bit of Puerto Vallarta to Bakersfield

716 21st Street (661) 322-2655 Open Everyday 11:00am to 9:00pm Mexican Restaurant & Seafood Restaurant

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Conventional wisdom yields conventional results. Remarkably successful people go where others won’t go because there is less competition and a better chance of success. “Grit is often the single-most predictor of success. Grit is not just about stubborn persistence. It’s also about choosing the right goal in the first place.” — Jonah Lehrer, author

MAINTAIN INTEGRITY

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e all have the potential for success. Somewhere along the way, successful people receive advice that lands them on top. Whether it’s running a business, building a career, or experiencing life in general, there are common words of advice from the best of the best. Tap into some of the tips that can take you from good to great.

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something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

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UP FRONT

SHORT TAKES

SMALL BUSINESS LUNCHEON HEATS UP WITH INVENTOR OF FLAMIN’ HOT CHEETOS

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ern County’s National Small Business Week luncheon is heating up this year with guest speaker Richard P. Montañez, the inventor of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Montañez invented the spicy snack while he was a janitor. He is now executive for Multicultural Sales & Community Activation for PepsiCo North America. In addition to this red hot speaker, a light lunch will be served and awards will be distributed to standout entrepreneurs and small business owners at the luncheon on May 13. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is designed to offer networking opportunities and resources for small businesses. The Kern CounMontañez ty Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, along with the University of La Verne’s College of Business and Public Management and Small Business Development Center, are collaborating for the second year to host the business week luncheon at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center. Tickets are $30. Call Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 633-5495 for tickets and information. — Paul Rivas

STAMPEDE DAYS RODEO

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t’s that time of year again for the “Biggest Little Rodeo in California.” Saddle up for the Stampede Days Rodeo on May 2 and 3 at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 6 p.m. and performances, which include bull riding and steer wrestling, start at 7:30 p.m. The rodeo is put on by the Kern County Sheriff’s Reserve Association, a nonprofit organization made of members who donate thousands of hours of their time to the community, and raises money for training and equipment for reserve deputies. Tickets are $18 at the gate, but only $16 in advance. For details, visit stampededaysrodeo.com. — Ryan Barrera

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RENEGADES REUNITE TO REMINISCE OVER THE RIP

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ake a walk down memory lane with Bakersfield College’s student newspaper The Renegade Rip as the publication hosts its first Renegade Rip Alumni Banquet on May 10. The event is the brainchild of Bona Dillon, a journalism professor at BC from 1977 to 1992, and her husband, Larry Press, longtime sports editor and columnist at The Bakersfield Californian. Current Rip adviser Danny Edwards is helping coordinate. The banquet will be held at BC’s cafeteria with social hour at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. with a no-host bar. A continuous slideshow of The Rip’s front pages will entertain attendees throughout the evening and bound copies of issues that date back to 1929 will be available to browse.

For details on the Alumni Banquet, or to RSVP, contact Edwards at dannyed62@yahoo.com or Dillon at bedillon@aol.com. Cost is $30, checks can be sent to Bakersfield College, c/o Renegade Rip, Danny Edwards, 1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305. — Alana Garrett

GAMBLING FOR A CAUSE AT TIGERFIGHT CASINO NIGHT

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uck be a lady tonight! The Tigerfight Foundation will host its sixth casino night fundraiser at The Padre Hotel from 6 to 11 p.m. June 7. All proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” walk. There will be craps, roulette, blackjack, and poker tables available to play, as well as live music and dinner. Tigerfight started as a walk team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” fundraiser in 2009. Tigerfight supporters continue to raise money throughout the year. Other fundraisers include their special orange creamsicle “Tiger Chew” available at Dewar’s. Guests at the casino night can choose a social ticket or casino ticket –

one is only for appetizers, dinner, and socializing, while the other includes gambling chips. A silent auction will be held until 9:30 p.m. and the live auction starts at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $150 for a casino ticket, $75 for a social ticket. For more information, contact Chris Wilson at 978-0057 or visit tigerfight.org. — Eric Garza


PRESENTING THE NEW 2014 REDESIGN ROGUE with a 2.5 Liter DOHC 16 Valve 4 Cylinder engine with 170 PHP @ 6000 RPM makes this SUV one of the most attractive vehicles for 2014. Rogue is Nissan’s Volume Compact Crossover and has proven to be an effective Conquest model. It also has the highest model to model loyalty rate in the Nissan line up.

Who buys Rogue? Buyers in the small SUV segment have wide range of expectations. They want vehicle that supports activities like commuting, running errands or going out with friends and family. At the same time they don’t want family car image. They want a distinctive styling, technologies and superior value more than just price. The primary buyer targeted by National Advertising are young married couples in their 30’s with one child in the household, also buyer who are in their 50’s active lifestyle.

bakersfieldlife.com

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UP FRONT

ON THE WEB

Travel photo contest Summer’s coming fast and next month we’ll be talking all things travel. As vacation season nears, we want to see your travel snapshots and we’ll feature a few of our favorites in the June issue. You’ll also win a fantastic dinner cooked by Chef Robert Alimirzaie, executive chef at the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield. Email your photos to bakersfieldlife@bakersfield.com by May 9, and be sure to put “Travel Contest” in the title. Include your name and contact information and tell us a little about when and where the photo was taken.

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hank you to the many readers who nominated young leaders in our community for our 20 Under 40 contest. We have many wonderful men and women to choose from and we look forward to introducing 20 of them to you in our July issue!

Strong mom Congratulations to Crystal Hernandez, winner of our Mother’s Day contest. Hernandez wrote us a touching message about her mother Vicki Sinohui. Hernandez said her mother has been there to support her children through thick and thin and continues to be the family’s “glue.”

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FLEX YOUR PURSE TO HELP VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

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xercise the power of your purse — and your pocketbook — for a great cause at the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault’s Power of the Purse fundraiser. The event will be held at the home of Chris and Susan Hamilton on May 9. All proceeds from the shopping and the home tour extravaganza go to the Alliance, which aids victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and provides emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic abuse. In 2013, Power of the Purse raised $100,000 and more than 300 people attended. This year, the Alliance hopes to raise $150,000. Tickets are $75. Call 378-5646 for tickets and visit powerofthepursebakersfield.com for details. — Bakersfield Life

WHAT I’M READING

CRAIG HOLLIDAY Bakersfield High School teacher, Best of Bakersfield’s 2014 top teacher

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any students are glad that Craig Holliday traveled the long road that led him to Bakersfield. The winner of Best of Bakersfield’s 2014 Best Teacher category grew up in a small town in Hawaii. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and a master’s degree from Marquette University. Holliday found his calling to the classroom in graduate school when he had a chance to teach weekly review sessions for the history department’s western civilizations course. “While most graduate students saw the sections as a distraction from their research and writing, I felt the opposite way. The sections became my favorite part of the week,” Holliday said. It was at Marquette that Holliday met his future wife, Rosemarie. When she Craig Holliday returned to her home in the Bay Area, Holliday looked for a teaching job closer to her. That’s when he was hired to work at Garces Memorial High School and began teaching in Bakersfield in the fall of 1997. “(Teaching) keeps me young and I think I am doing meaningful work,” Holliday said. “No day is ever the same as the one before it.”

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Today, Holliday teaches AP U.S. history and AP European history at Bakersfield High School. Holliday is also the chair of BHS’ history department, assistant coach for Academic Decathlon and a moderator for the California Scholarship Federation. He and Rosemarie have three sons, Ian, Ryan and Colin. Outside the classroom, Holliday enjoys spending his free time with his family, reading and playing golf. What I’m currently reading: Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life.” Favorite author: Dennis Lehane (fiction), Joseph Ellis (non-fiction). Favorite book: “Shoeless Joe” by W.P. Kinsella. Books I’ve read more than once: “The Chosen,” by Chaim Potok and “Hamlet.” Other materials I like reading: Grantland (through ESPN) has some great articles. Where I enjoy reading: Anywhere with good lighting. The book that’s been inspirational in my life: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Any other thoughts on reading you wish to share with readers? I’m encouraged by how much my students read for pleasure. I think it’s en vogue to say that kids don’t read enough. Many of my students have books that they carry around with them and read in spare minutes.


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he Kern County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association invites you to run and raise scholarship funds at the third annual Honor Run on May 17 at Hart Park. Proceeds go to scholarship funds for children of fallen deputies and the Sheriff’s Activities League. The Honor Run starts at 8 a.m. Participants can choose a 5K or 10K, and kids can enjoy a fun run. Runners will start from the east end of Hart Park and make their way to Lake Ming. Entry fee is $30; KCSEBA members can get up to $10 off. Registration is open until May 12. Visit active.com and enter “Honor Run” in the search box. Participants will be treated to music, food, games, a raffle, and more. For information, contact Sheriff’s Commander Drake Massey at 9786396. — Eric Garza

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SAVOR A TASTE OF ITALY WITH THE MASTER CHORALE

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PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO

avor a “Holiday in Italy” with the 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50. Bakersfield Master Chorale on May For information on the Master Chorale 31 as they celebrate their summer or to purchase tickets, contact Brenda Rustour with a dinner, concert and live sell at 391-8465. auction. — Alana Garrett The Bakersfield Master Chorale is a nonprofit educational organization with an assortment of mixed adult voices. The Chorale is directed by Dr. Robert Provencio and is affiliated with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. The one night holiday begins with champagne and a silent auction at 5 p.m. at the Bakersfield Masonic Temple, 1920 18th St., followed by a Bakersfield Master Chorale buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. and Director Dr. Robert Provencio a live auction and concert at

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MY PET By Sandy Ornelas

DONNA COOK AND FRED

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I know Fred is moody when… He crawls into his house and turns his back to the door — if you can call a tortoise moody! What does Fred mean to you: He reminds me of Robert. Talents: He likes to bite your toes if you are barefooted, he eats out of your hand, and he can really dig in the dirt. Antics: He used to fight with Barney, but now he is alone, except for our rescue dogs, Flash and Molly, and he ignores them. Favorite foods: Mulberry leaves (new and tender), Bermuda grass, peaches, and romaine lettuce. Anything else you’d like to share with our readers about Fred: When the kids were at home and the gate was left open, Fred was really quite fast and could be down the block in a short time. Fortunately, the neighborhood kids all knew Fred and would bring him home if he took off. When a tortoise “runs” it really looks funny, but they actually can move pretty fast for having such short legs.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Donna Cook’s tortoise Fred is roughly 50 years old and still doing well.

Donna Cook loves her tortoise Fred, whom she cares for in her yard in Bakersfield.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

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onna Cook has an unusually meaningful pet in Fred, a desert tortoise. Cook, the 71-year-old owner of Cook’s Computer Maintenance & Engineering, Inc., has provided Fred a home since the early 1980s when her son Robert brought him home. Robert, a Marine, was heading home for a weekend while he was stationed at Twentynine Palms when he spotted a tortoise in the middle of the highway. “He feared Fred would be run over, so he picked him up and brought him home with him,” Donna said. Robert was killed in an automobile accident in July 1983, but Fred remains with Cook, a mellow reminder of her son. Cook has kept dogs, cats, fish and rabbits as pets but declares Fred is the easiest pet she has ever had. The tortoise, whom Cook estimates is about 50 years old, is registered with the state to keep him legal in captivity. Though he is an easy pet, Fred is a “loner,” as Cook puts it. He only ventures out for a short time in the morning before the day heats up and again before dusk. He hibernates from October to March in his tortoise house (a re-purposed dog house). “We just check on him once in a while to make sure he moves when you touch his leg,” Cook said. Fred’s personality in five words: Curious, slow and steady, stubborn, determined. We named him Fred because: He was named after Fred Flintstone and we had another tortoise we named Barney. Because they were both males, they liked to fight in the spring — really funny to watch. We lost Barney last summer and buried him in the backyard. Favorite memory with Fred: His big rescue by the fire department when he knocked over a ladder and got stuck between the rungs and I couldn’t break him free. The firemen were wonderful and got him out without harm to Fred or the ladder.


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CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO WITH HISPANIC CHAMBER

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elebrate Cinco de Mayo in style with the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s 12th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 2 is an event you won’t want to miss. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with other business professionals while celebrating our culture with new and old friends,” said Jay Tamsi, president/CEO of KCHCC. A ticket guarantees you a range

THIS 5K RUN WILL HAVE YOU GLOWING

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f you’ve run every 5K in town or are looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday night, here’s your chance to try a new, twilight twist on the ever popular fun run. Second Star to the Right, a nonprofit that raises awareness and money for families in Kern County dealing with pediatric cancer, will hold their first Starlight 5K Run on May 10 at The Park at River Walk. It’s a night run with glow sticks that will be kept fun and safe with four different glow experiences designed to illuminate the entire course. “We are working hard to make it extremely safe for everyone,” said Second Star to the Right President Briana Schechter. “It will be a blast! And all of the money is going to a great cause.” Second Star to the Right is currently assisting seven local families with children fighting pediatric cancer. Registration opens at 6 p.m. and a Little Dipper race for kids ages 12 and younger starts at 7:30 p.m. The 5K starts at 8 p.m. Cost is $35, which includes an event T-shirt and glow wristband. Kids’ race is $5, includes wristband and glow stick. Register online at www.starlight5k.com or at the event (shirts available on a first-come, first-serve basis for same day registration). — Paul Rivas 28

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of fun activities for the night including dinner, silent auction, poker tournament, door prizes and more. Proceeds will benefit KCHCC’s mission to provide business seminars and workshops, business academies in English and Spanish and networking opportunities. The party starts at 6 p.m. and continues until 11 p.m. at Golden West Casino, 1001 S. Union Ave. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Call 633-5495 for tickets. — Paul Rivas

CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY WITH 1,000 FLAGS

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onor the men and women who have made so many sacrifices for our country on Memorial Day by taking in the view of 1,000 flags at this patriotic event. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club will present A Thousand Flags during Memorial Day weekend at The Park at River Walk to honor veterans and active service members, as well as first responders including law enforcement, fire personnel, and EMS. The display will open on May 24, and prayer services will be held at 9 a.m. May 25. A patriotic fair will be held at the park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 26. The fair will feature vendors and information and fundraising booths for patriotic organizations. A ceremony and presentation will be held from noon to 2 p.m. with the singing of the national anthem. Mayor Harvey Hall and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will be present. Profits from corporate and flag sponsorships will be donated to local causes, such as Honor Flight, Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund, Wreaths Across America and other groups. Flags can be sponsored for $50. To sponsor a flag or donate, visit thousandflags.org. — Bakersfield Life


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ENJOY SOUNDS OF SWEET, SOULFUL MUSIC AT BAKERSFIELD JAZZ FESTIVAL

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iah Morfin will perfom on Saturday, May 10. elax and enjoy the music. Advance tickets for Friday events are $36 The 28th annual Bakersfield Jazz for the general public, $26 for students. TickFestival will be held at Cal State ets at the gate are $45 for the Bakersfield in general public, $30 for stuthe Amphithedents or CSUB alumni with atre on May 9 starting at an alumni ID. 7 p.m and on May 10 at Advance tickets for Sat4 p.m., with additional urday events are $41 for the events at the Eagle general public, $29 for stuMountain Casino Entry dents. Tickets at the gate are Stage in the afternoons $50 for the general public, and evenings as well. $35 for students or CSUB Performers will alumni with an alumni ID. include Poncho CSUB faculty, staff and stuSanchez, Jeff Coffin & dents get in free to all events the Mu’tet, Mento Buru, Poncho Sanchez with a school ID. Gerald Albright, Or spring for the two-day combo tickets, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Nomad Quartet $60 for general public, $40 for students, free featuring Scott Henderson, Kyle Burnham for children age 12 and younger. and the Kern County Honor Jazz Band. Visit www.bakersfieldjazz.com for At Eagle Mountain Casino, the Bakersdetails, vallitix.com for tickets. field Jazz Workshop Orchestra will perform — Sandy Ornelas on Friday, May 9 and CSUB Players and Isa-

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astering Abilities Riding Equines (M.A.R.E.) invites you to enjoy an exciting Evening at the Races on May 17. It’s the riding center’s annual fundraising event with all proceeds benefiting M.A.R.E.’s mission to provide therapeutic equine assisted activities for people living with special needs and disabilities. The good times will be had at the McBurnie Estate, 5730 Georgia Drive, which will be transformed into Churchill Downs for the event and decorated with red roses. Reservations are $100 per person. The fee will you get an elegant evening packed with horse races, wagering, silent auction, live entertainment and a dinner at this Kentucky Derby themed event. Garden party

attire is requested and the best headwear could win the fancy derby hat contest. Sponsors include the Don C. and Diane S. Lake Family, the Steven E. Haberfelde Foundation and Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc. A champagne reception with hors d’oeuvres begins at 7 p.m. The crooning of Chesterfield King and the Sultans of Swing will please the crowd. Call 589-1877 or email volunteer@mareridingcenter.com for information or reservations. — Paul Rivas


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IN SEASON

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME Compiled by Bakersfield Life

PICKING THE RIGHT SPORT To choose the best sport for your child, first you should consider what activity your child finds fun and is interested in doing. It can also depend on the child’s age, according to Mike Williams, CEO of American Kids Sports Center. For starters, Williams recommends swimming lessons for little ones from infants to 2-year-olds.

Gym class instructor Kelsey Cox-Williams races Henry Knaggs during a morning gym class at NOR’s Riverview Community Center. 32

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May 2014

PHOTO BY HENRY A. BARRIOS

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• Kids that participate in sports have a reduced risk of obesity. • Participating in sports can improve children’s coordination and balance. • Kids in sports have improved social skills and personal skills like cooperation and leadership. • Exercise from sports reduces stress and can make your child happier thanks to increased flow of endorphins. • Sports increase self-confidence in children and help them make friends.

Luka Zaninovich of the Mighty Green Hornets concentrates on a kick during an AYSO game.

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

SPORTS FACTS ports can help a child develop teamwork skills and friendships that can last a lifetime. There are many programs in Bakersfield that offer your child a chance to get active, get involved and get on the field. Here are a few Bakersfield’s favorite options: • North of The River Recreation and Park District (NOR) offers many sports, such as football, baseball, and aquatics. They also have an after school sports program. Visit norfun.org or email nor@norfun.org. • AYSO or the American Youth Soccer Organization has plenty of teams for everyone from tikes to teens in Kern County. Visit ayso.org. • American Kids Sports Center offers an array of recreational programs, including gymnastics, swim, martial arts, dance, and cheer. Visit aksc.com, call their northwest facility at 589-2100 or their southwest facility at 833-3986.

“It helps them become comfortable with their bodies in the water,” he said. Parents can also their children in the water during swim lessons. For slightly older children, Williams recommends gymnastics to help brain development, as well as flexibility. Lisa A. Plank, marketing director for NOR, suggests that children try many different sports to find the right one for them. “Let them try a variety of sports to find the one or ones they truly have a passion for, but let them know that when they make a commitment to a team they must see it through,” Plank said. Remember that you have to commit to the sport along with your child. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that parents/guardians ask themselves the following questions: • Are you willing to provide the necessary time and assistance (i.e. encouragement, transportation, volunteering, observing) each week for a successful experience? • Do you understand the financial and time costs of participation? • Are you willing to respect and support coaches’ and officials’ decisions, even if you disagree? Before signing your child up for any sport, remember to get your child a check up and a physical. Sources: Better Health Channel, Amazing Athletes, National Association for Sport and Physical Education


FINDING FAME

SWEET SURRENDER’S CAKES By Miranda Whitworth

In 2013, Oprah Winfrey’s publication O, The Oprah Magazine came calling and featured another of the bakery’s confections in the magazine’s April “O List.” This time the star was Sweet Surrender’s lemon white chocolate cake, a treat that O Magazine suggested readers ask the Easter bunny for in lieu of jelly beans. And the Oprah love keeps coming. This spring, the Mother’s Day Matterhorn made the O List, landing a full page in the magazine. The bakery is celebrating the article and their 25th anniversary with a party at the shop on May 18. Despite the publicity for the cakes, Fiorini isn’t shy about the fact that she is shy. When it comes to being the focus of an interview or talking about her bakery, she prefers to leave the PR duties to the experts. While the limelight has been important for her business, ignoring the urge to run from the cameras

hasn’t been easy for Fiorini. That urge was especially strong when the Food Network cameras arrived in her kitchen and trained their lenses directly on her. “It was horrible, are you kidding me? I don’t like having the attention on me like that. I’m a behind-the-scenes girl. So I just had to ante up and do it,” Fiorini said. After the lights were off and the production team had gone home, Fiorini gladly admits the experience was amazing, even if she was a little uncomfortable. “They were really nice and it was really neat to see how the whole process worked,” she said. Business is booming and Fiorini says she regularly meets people who have traveled long distances to find her store. She has customers who have learned about the bakery from following the Food Network’s mobile app or she’s hosted De Laurentiis fans that have made the pilgrimage specifically for that lick-worthy Matterhorn cake. Her shop abuzz with hungry travelers, Fiorini’s focus is on managing her growing business while maintaining the integrity that she built Sweet Surrender on. “I am being really careful and trying 100 percent for quality control and consistency. I want people to have the same experience every time. That’s my drive,” Fiorini said. Fiorini knows that every day is another opportunity for a twist of fate and a shot at even bigger things. “You never know who will come in the door and who you will meet,” Fiorini said. “Fridays are always very busy. People are picking up their cakes and then taking them out of town to friends or family. My cakes travel more than I do.” PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO

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hen it comes to finding fame, a simple twist — or in this case, a taste — of fate may be the only thing standing between you and stardom. That’s what one Bakersfield business owner learned firsthand when one of her decadent treats ended up in the mouth of a Food Network darling. Kim Fiorini, owner of Sweet Surrender, remembers the day she was first contacted by the cable network. “My employee says, ‘You got a call from Food Network and they want you to call them back.’ I was like, ‘OK, yeah, whatever,’” Fiorini said. But upon returning the call, Fiorini found out the food-centric channel was indeed looking for her and, more specifically, her moist and fudgy Matterhorn cake. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis had tasted the locally crafted treat and enjoyed it so much she wanted to talk about it during a segment of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” “There are clips of (the 2010 episode) on YouTube,” Fiorini said. “She actually licks the cake. It’s crazy.” According to Fiorini, De Laurentiis tasted the Matterhorn through an employee. “I guess her assistant and her assistant’s aunt are from Bakersfield and they bought the cake from me and brought it to her. That was the connection,” Fiorini said. The Food Network feature created a domino effect of national attention. Soon after the episode aired, Fiorini received a call from Jenny Hutt, an HLN star, who ordered the cake for her birthday.

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

HAPPENINGS: Can’t-miss events in May Thurs. 1

Fri. 9

“Company,” 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, Stars Dinner Theatre, 1931 Chester Ave. Adults dinner/show: $54 to $60; $38 show only; students dinner/show: $39; $23 show only. 325-6100.

28th annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival, 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, CSUB Amphitheatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway. vallitix.com or 322-5200. Scott McCreery, 7 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $45.50 to $54.50 plus fees. vallitix.com or 3225200.

Fri. 2 “Into the Woods,” 8 p.m., The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. $15; $10 students and seniors. 3277529.

Sat. 10 Comedian Jay Mohr, 8 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $40. vallitix.com or 322-5200. Dinner in the Villas, dinner, tour three homes, 5 p.m., The Villas at Seven Oaks. $75. kerncasa.org or 631-2272.

Sun. 11 Taste of the Sizzling South

Eli Young Band, 8 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $23 to $26. vallitix.com or 322-5200.

Wed. 14 Sat. 3 Carlos Mencia, 8 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $44.50. vallitix.com or 322-5200. “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” presented by the Omnipresent Puppet Theater; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall, 12748 Jomani Drive. $6. 587-3377. Wine Camp for KEEP Fundraiser, wine, appetizers, live music, a wine pull and opportunity baskets, 6 p.m., at private residence. $40. All proceeds go toward scholarships to send under privileged children to Camp KEEP. 636-4629.

Monday 5 “The Perfect Gentlemen,” presented by Bakersfield Community Concert Association, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $80 for nine concerts. bakersfieldcca.org or 205-8522 or 589-2478.

12th annual High Tea 2014, presented by Garden Pathways; honoring women with a heart for Bakersfield, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Seven Oaks Country Club, 2000 Grand Lakes Ave. $65. 633-9133.

Thurs. 15 Brett Eldredge, 7 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $15.50 to $23.50 plus fees. vallitix.com or 3225200.

Sat. 17 2014 Concert

42nd annual Spring Barbecue, 5:30 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $30 advance; $35 at the door. 6543473.

Jay Mohr Bakersfield Life Magazine

Series with Pablo Cruise, 8 p.m., Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway. $12.50 plus fee. ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Third annual “Taste of the Sizzling South,” presented by Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce; food tasting, games, prizes, vendors, music, 2 to 8 p.m., Noble Park, 700 S. P St. $20 adults, $10 KCBCC members; $5 children 10 and younger. 3261529. Eating Well in Season, learn recipes, outdoor, farm-to-table experience dining, 6 p.m., location to be determined. $75. kerncasa.org or 631-2272.

Sun. 18 Bakersfield Collector Con, costume contest, guest Johnny Jimenez, toy expert from Pawn Star show, collectibles, raffles, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bakersfield Marriott Hotel, 801 Truxtun Ave. $5, wear costume, receive half off admission, free

for children ages 7 and under. 859-1300, or facebook .com/bakersfieldcollectorcon. El Festival de Mariachi 2014, 6 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $52$97 at the box office window, vallitix.com or 322-5200.

Tues. 20 Green Day’s “American Idiot” Broadway Musical, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $35 to $55 plus fees. ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

Wed. 21 Special Needs Trust Workshop, 6:30 p.m., Kress Building, 1401 19th St. Trusts, state and federal aid and quality of life issues for those with special needs. 327- 3733.

Thurs. 22 Driller Football Hall of Fame, 6 p.m. social, 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. ceremony, Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, 801 Truxtun Ave., $125; $1,250 10-seat table sponsor. 393-4027 or 3428356.

Fri. 23 “The Royal Association of Thespians,” 11 p.m., The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. $5. 327-7529.

Sat. 31 George Lopez, 8 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $37.50 to $47.50 plus fees. ticketmaster.com or call 800745-3000.

Thurs. 8

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BY THE NUMBERS

FROZEN YOGURT FACTS The local ice cream and yogurt restaurant industry generates more than 25 million dollars in annual sales. Yogurt’s share of that is 16 annual sales.

percent of industry’s

Bakersfield’s Finest Private Business & Social Club Exquisite dining, impeccable service, astounding views and plenty of style far above the rest.

Bakersfield is currently home to 9 yogurt restaurants. Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt — the winner of this year’s Best of Bakersfield’s yogurt shop category — at 8200 Stockdale Highway offers 40 toppings, including five fruit toppings. The store scoops through

20 gallons of yogurt a day. Tutti Frutti’s

most popular topping is strawberry. Source: Scarborough Research (September, 2013), Nielsen BusinessPoint (2012 data), The Bakersfield Californian Market Research Department, Medhat Habashy, manager of Tutti Fruitti.

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UP FRONT

12 RANDOM THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT…

DAVID K. COHN Compiled by Bakersfield Life Magazine

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avid K. Cohn has been practicing law for nearly 40 years, and today he is one of the most highly regarded personal injury lawyers in Kern County. He’s also a scuba diver, an avid University of Southern California football fan and university alumnus, and a Bakersfield native. But it’s in his practice where Cohn truly shines. In this year’s Best of Bakersfield competition, his firm — Chain | Cohn | Stiles — was voted Best Law Firm and Cohn bears the title of “Super Lawyer” in Southern California, an honor bestowed upon only the top 5 percent of lawyers in the region. Here are a few more random facts about this interesting attorney.

1. Some of my first jobs included making pizzas at Pizzaville, vacuuming cars at Oak Street Car Wash and sweeping out box cars for Santa Fe Railroad. 2. I’ve known David Stiles, my law partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, since grade school. We attended Roosevelt Elementary. 3. I once dove down to 210 feet in the South Pacific. I also dove in Malaysia, Borneo, Micronesia and Tahiti. 4. I’ve never learned to type without looking at the keys. 5. I just finished “Catcher in the Rye” for the first time. 6. I proposed to my wife at the top of Half Dome. 7. My favorite food is a freshly grilled ballpark dog with mustard and onions. No ketchup. 8. I don’t like snakes or spiders, but I dove with schooling hammerhead sharks. 9. If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would have been a pilot. 10. My favorite ice cream flavors are peppermint ice milk and rum butter. 11. I’ve practiced law for nearly 40 years and have fought well over 10,000 cases in my career. 12. My favorite movies include “In the Heat of the Night,” “Casablanca,” and “Blade Runner.”

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

FENCER CONTINUES TO INSPIRE, WIN IN HIS GOLDEN YEARS

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Lucas Dobrzanski

PHOTO COURTESY OF LUCAS DOBRZANSKI

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ention the subject of fencing and all its swashbuckling bravado, and Oildale is not likely to be the first image that comes to mind. But on any given night, inside an unremarkable metal building at the Fruitvale-Norris Park, a dashingly modern-day Zorro and his fellow swordsmen are fulfilling their end of a bargain they made with some at-risk Standard Elementary School students. That’s right. Oildale. Not a movie set or Olympic venue but a North of the River recreational facility with immaculate hardwood floors and full-length mirrors that help duelers condition and refine their foot and blade work. Fencing, one of the original modern Olympic sports, once considered a blue blood, military sport and a symbol of power and honor, is enjoying a renaissance in this country. “This sport is safer than football,” said 70-year-old Lucas Dobrzanski, who bears a more than uncanny resemblance to Douglas Fairbanks’ swaggering Don Diego Vega. Dobrzanski and the Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation, borrowing a page from a successful program in New York, are teaching struggling students the chivalrous art of Olympic fencing in exchange for a few hours of free tutoring in English and comprehension. “Kids love to play with swords,” Dobrzanski said. “We focus on the whole development letic h t of the child pulling from the martial arts and A n Ker ng emphasizing regimen, discipline and i c n Fe dation respect.” n u o it F n, vis The students and their parents sign a rmatio 9 For info org or call 31 f. contract, volunteers help tutor and coachf a n r ke es donate their time and training along 2235. with the use of masks, clothing, weapons and electric scoring machines. Modeled after the foundation created by Peter Westbrook, considered the greatest American fencer of all time, the program aims to offer students an alternative to more troublesome entertainment. “At NOR, there aren’t very many individual activities. This allows the child to develop strategic thinking because, after all, fencing is a physical chess game of strategy and tactics,” Dobrzanski said. The foundation has a sterling ambassador in Dobrzanski. While most of his peers are well into retirement, Dobrzanski is still medaling in world class championships. Born in Poland, his family became refugees after his father was shot by the Germans when Dobrzanski was just 2 years old. They fled to Argentina where Dobrzanski was raised. Dobrzanski emigrated to the United States when he was 20 and served in the U.S. Army. He began fencing at L.A. City College, and then UC Davis, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. By then, he had a wife and two small children and no time to fence. A year after earning his master’s degree from the University of Southern California, Dobrzanski moved to Bakersfield. It would be some 12 years before he would pick up a sword again. But when Dobrzanski returned to the floor, he discovered

he still had game and leapt back into competition. Last year, he made the Veteran U.S. team comprised of competitive fencers, ages 70 and older. In October, Dobrzanski placed 20th at the Veterans World Fencing Olympics in Bulgaria. When he isn’t teaching others how to duel, Dobrzanski spends hours on his own fancy footwork. “You have to be a thinker with fencing, too. Literally, milliseconds make a difference in the efficiency of movement,” he said. And he shows no signs of slowing down either. So far, none of his three children or eight grandchildren have taken up the sport, but Dobrzanski is undeterred. “My objective is to give back to the community and to promote the sport, and eventually my desire is to help 100 local kids a year with this program,” Dobrzanski said. Sounds like a pretty sharp idea to me! Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to me at itmannersalot@bakersfield.com or visit itmannersalot.blogspot.com Lisa Kimble


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Many factors contribute to the installation of a serious personal well being. Sport can be a great help in the sleep disorder such as chronic insomnia, there are physical attempt to stop chronic insomnia, physical exercises as well as psychological issues that need to be taken into actually free both the mind and the body from the toxins consideration for the proper treatment of this health resulting from stress or negative thinking. problem. music, breathing techniques, sport, Relaxation Research indicated alarmingly high numbers of people who aromatherapy are all great ways of fighting chronic suffer from it because of daily stress and depression. insomnia regardless of its generating factors. 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There is a seem difficult at the beginning, stress management can be whole array of herbs and spices that induce a peaceful state achieved by an increased self-awareness; the moment you of mind, due to the non-toxic soothing effect at the level of feel very tense, try to empty your mind of all thoughts and the central nervous system. Jasmin for instance is a very breathe deeply several times. pleasant to use insomnia cure; this herb of Asian origin D L E C I A F S LIF ER OR Relaxation is the great enemy of chronic insomnia; has gained world-wide popularity for its special AK 2014 the moment you come in control of your thoughts, flavor and relaxation properties. It can be used and you make silence inside of your mind, you’ll either to prepare an incredibly tasty tea or for be able to sleep like a baby. Once you get home aromatherapy in a hot bath or as essential oil. 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T H E FA M I LY V E R D I C T By Katy Raytis

GROWING UP IN A GIRLIE HOUSE Editor’s Note: Not every writer can turn musings on everyday life into stories that both entertain us and warm our hearts. But on top of her legal expertise, local attorney Katy Raytis boasts just that talent. After featuring her in our April issue’s Last Word section, we are pleased to introduce Raytis as an occasional columnist for both Bakersfield Life and B Well magazines. We hope you will enjoy her witty, touching writing in “The Family Verdict” as much as we do.

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live in a girl house. We have three daughters and a girl dog. And even though my husband isn’t technically a girl, he’s about halfway there. For example, the other day at breakfast, he told our oldest daughter that he really loved the “PannyCakes” that she made. It’s not his fault. It’s a known fact that testosterone gets eroded over time by estrogen. “Yes, dear” isn’t a phrase that men use in their 20s, but by 50, it’s pretty much the pat response to everything. Anyway, since we are in a girl house, we have lots of girl

toys. Barbies, My Little Ponies, and Care Bears; things that are pink and sparkly and princessy. The only Transformer that could survive here would be one that changes from a fairy into a butterfly, and even then, it would need to be covered in glitter and have dresses that you can take on and off. Even our Legos are girlie. They don’t fit together to form a spaceship or a robot. They make a yacht for Hello Kitty, complete with a pet salon and an ice cream parlor. Girl toys have names that are happy and flowery. Strawberry Shortcake. Rainbow Dash. Loves-A-Lot Bear. You can pack a lot of sweetness into a toy just by giving it a fluffy, girlie name. And that’s when I got the bright idea of giving my kids

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are little because when they are little, their problems are little, but when they are big, their problems are big. For now, our problems center around Barbie’s arm falling off or the Orbeez glamour night light is burning out. Those are the problems in a girl house. And even though they might trigger Mega-Tantrum Bear to make a surprise appearance, they really are worries that are of the happy, fluffy variety. And that’s when the Half-Male, Prince Charming Daddy Bear shows up with a pack of batteries and a screwdriver to save the day. I might be misleading them with all that pink, plastic, made-in-China junk that they begged for and had to have, but at least (for now) their world is sparkly and magical. Mice can sew ball gowns, ponies can talk and pixie dust can make you fly. If nothing else, at least that makes me Very-Happy-In-A-GirlHouse Bear.

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— Katy Raytis is a practicing attorney and a partner in the law firm of Belden Blaine, LLP, and also serves as in-house counsel for Worklogic. She lives in Bakersfield with her husband and three daughters.

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Care Bear names. Maybe this was the secret to infusing some sweetness into them. My oldest daughter is 12. She is a tween. But Tween Bear doesn’t exactly pack a punch of joy, so I started thinking about her hobbies. Texts-a-Lot Bear? Shop-A-Licious Bear? It started to seem like maybe Care Bear names don’t work if you are over 10 years old. But I didn’t fare much better with the younger two either. Mommy-Can-I-Sleep-In-Your-Bed-Tonight Bear? Colors-onthe-Furniture Bear? I-Scream-If-You-Wash-My-Hair Bear? The Care Bear name thing wasn’t working out quite like I thought. And it didn’t work with My Little Pony names or Smurf names either. (Tattletale Smurf was about as sweet as it got.) It surprised me that — even though we are literally being buried alive by Lalaloopsy accessories, Tinker Bell costumes, American Girl horses, and Groovy Girl tents — my kids are surprisingly un-girlie (or at least un-fluffy) to a large extent. But maybe that’s OK because maybe it is not wise to send three little princesses out into the world to eat poison apples, wait for fairy godmothers, or just go to sleep until Prince Charming shows up to kiss them. The world isn’t really covered in pink sequins after all, or at least it won’t be when they grow up and turn into That-Boy-Broke-My-Heart Bear and Taking-College-Finals Bear and Not-Living-At-Home-Anymore Bear. My mom says that you need to enjoy your kids when they

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D I N I N G D I VA S

LUIGI’S RESTAURANT AND DELICATESSEN A lavish lunch on Luigi’s patio

Salmon with Giovanna’s gourmet salad 42

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The Dining Divas, clockwise, from top left, Tanya Hutson, Norma Diaz, Nina Ha, Amanda Reade and Aryana Mosley on the patio at Luigi’s.

Photos by Greg Nichols

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egends may leave us, but their legacies remain like the one left with Antonia Valpredo, the granddaughter of Luigi’s founders Joe and Emilia Lemucchi. Antonia, together with children Monica, Lanette and Gino, has managed to continue the more than 100year-old family tradition of serving authentic Italian dishes in a fun and festive atmosphere. That’s what you’ll discover when dining at Luigi’s, one of Bakersfield’s beloved longtime gathering spots. Antonia’s greeting — a beaming smile and gracious hospitality — is a forecast of the fantastic experience you will encounter at Luigi’s. The excellent wait staff make you feel like part of the family. The dining room is always full of life, and it’s rare not to find a line of anticipating patrons waiting outside for their turn to devour a delicious meal. Besides the iconic walls lined with photos and sports memorabilia from decades ago, Luigi’s also offers seating on a beautiful patio that is alive with color and greenery that imparts a relaxed, down-to-earth feel. This is where you want to be seated in the springtime to enjoy the sunny weather and feel like you’re basking on a veranda in Italy. Salads, beans, pasta or an Italian sandwich — Luigi’s has it all. The sauces and spices are specially prepared by Gino Valpredo’s father, Monte. The stuffed chicken breasts and New York steaks are a favorite among customers. In Luigi’s Delicatessen next door to the restaurant, you can find everything on the menu and more Italian items than you can imagine. Antonia’s daughter Lanette Caratan, a certified

sommelier, can help you pick out a fabulous wine to pair with your lunch and take straight to your table to enjoy with friends and family. Whether it’s a lunch date for two or a special event for a larger party, Luigi’s is perfect for any occasion.

Clam steamers appetizer

Luigi’s Restaurant and Delicatessen Address: 725 E. 19th St. Phone: 322-0926 Website: shopluigis.com Lunch Hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Bar Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Delicatessen Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Hungry for more? See more photos on bakersfield.com.

APPETIZERS Amanda on the antipasti plate: I was the lucky one to taste the first bite of the Luigi’s antipasti plate, a smorgasbord filled with cheeses, cured meats, and olives. I sampled the Cambozola cheese (a mix of blue and Brie), which was a delight. It was topped with the most delicious sun-dried tomato pesto (I noticed this as an appetizer on the menu paired with bread). Next was the Camembert, a semi-soft cheese that pairs nicely with the Prosciutto Toscano and peppered salami (both available in the deli). To go with the mix of Luigi’s green and black olives were a handful of grissini breadsticks. I would definitely recommend picking up a selection of deli items ... It’s a perfect start to a meal or an entire meal in itself!

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ing of wine, our knowledgeable sommelier recommended the il Campo wine, a blend of friulano, pinot grigio and moscato bianco grapes, from Giornata, a winery in Paso Robles.

ENTREES

Wild mushroom agnolotti and New York steak

Continued from page 43 Tanya on the steamers: How do you spell delectable? C-L-A-M-S. As a seafood fan, I was delighted when I saw Gino bringing some clam steamers our direction. And boy, were they delicious! The fresh clams were perfectly prepared in a wine sauce consisting of sweet marsala and parsley, resulting in a tender and definitely not chewy or overcooked mollusk. These beauties of the sea were served with toasted-just-right crusty bread to soak up all that wonderful wine sauce. Speak-

Luigi’s colorful patio is perfect for a leisurely spring lunch. 44

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Aryana on the salmon: Having lived in Bakersfield for more than 15 years, I’m ashamed to say that I’d never been to Luigi’s before this luncheon. I had never been introduced to this gem, but now Luigi’s definitely has another repeat customer! We were seated on their scenic umbrella-covered patio and greeted by the owners and the amazing waiters. The atmosphere was a relaxed, yet an almost organic dining experience. It would be a great place to bring your children or to romance your special someone. On to the entree, I was served the Giovanna’s gourmet salad of mixed baby greens tossed with candied walnuts and pecans, blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette; along with the salmon also topped with a mixture of candied walnuts and pecans. The salmon was tender and moist, and by far the best salmon I have ever eaten. Nina on the New York steak: “How’s your beef jerky?” My mom used to ask me that every time I had steak, which I only enjoyed extremely well-done and drowning in sauce. When Luigi’s fourth-generation family member Gino Valpredo asked me how I wanted my New York steak, I decided to


show some culinary maturity. “I’ll have it any way you think is best,” I replied. And so he brought out a handsome cut of strip steak glistening with natural juices and Cambozola cheese. Just one bite and I immediately joined the medium rare fan club. You can really taste the quality of their choice meat when it’s sizzled at just the right temperature and duration. It’s perfetto! My mama will be so proud. Paired perfectly with the steak is a super Tuscan red blend. The winemaker himself, Brian Terrizzi of Giornata, was there to explain that their Gemellaia is a more serious wine that complements the tender steak nicely. The wine is named after his twin daughters since gemellaia means twin in Italian. While I am no sommelier, I did notice the wine had numerous legs, which some say indicates the quality of the vino. Nina on the wild mushroom agnolotti: The best thing about Luigi’s wild mushroom agnolotti is its generous heaping of parmigiano reggiano shavings on top. However, the soft agnolotti pasta underneath is just as tempting. Filled and topped with sliced porcini mushrooms, this dish is warmly bathed in brown butter with hints of crispy sage. Even if you’re trying to give up carbs, this dish is totally worth the calories. After you’ve had a few of these pillowy pasta puffs in your mouth, you’ll find yourself shouting, “Delizioso!”

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DESSERTS Norma on the cantucci cookies and Baci chocolates: This is the moment that I wait for after every wonderful meal we share together. We were presented with a beautiful display of crunchy cantucci (biscotti) cookies with some Baci hazelnut chocolates. Wow! The cookies were fabulous with just the right sweetness to satisfy the palate. To add more relaxation and joy, they can be paired with a Tuscan classic dessert wine, such as a Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Pomino Vinsanto. The Baci chocolate was smooth with crunchy hazelnuts within and a fortune inserted into each chocolate. Say “I love you” the Italian way with one of these. Norma on the Butterfinger pie: A delicious crust filled with chocolate, peanut butter and ice cream makes an awesome combination. If you’re a fan, then this Butterfinger pie is for you. A slice of this pie and your sweet tooth will be smiling. You can never go wrong with this choice! You can order it in a sharable slice or purchase an entire pie to take home.

ONE MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE Our visit to Luigi’s was more than spectacular — we felt like royalty! Each dish served came with a perfect description of what we were about to savor. The ambiance of the entire restaurant was built on great food and excellent service.

Luigi's mouthwatering antipasti plate

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The divas sampled a Tuscan classic dessert wine - Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Pomino Vinsanto - to finish off their meal at Luigi's. bakersfieldlife.com

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FOOD DUDES

EUREKA! GOURMET BURGERS & CRAFT BEER Dudes discover the fine art of gourmet burgers

Eureka’s cowboy burger takes the western-style burger to a new level. 48

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Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer

Food Dudes, from left, Jay Tamsi, David Rous, Chris Berry and Robert Rodriguez, get things started with Eureka! Burger’s lollipop corn dogs.

Photos by Greg Nichols

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ne thing’s for sure, this group of Food Dudes likes casual dining just as much as fine dining. When we were told our next outing would be Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer, there were collective high-fives among the group. A few of us had been before, and we were aware of the gourmet spin they put on the classic burger, but we were unaware of just how impressive their appetizers, sides, and desserts would be. All of their burgers are prepared with 100 percent vegetarian fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free, all-natural beef. Eureka! also offers a distinctive assortment of craft beers and bourbon handmade by some of America’s best artisans. According to General Manager Carolanne Vann, the Eureka! Bakersfield location opened its doors in April 2012, making it the fifth location for the California-based family of restaurants. Just two years later, the company has branched out and added up to 11 restaurants throughout California and one in Seattle and has plans to expand to Texas. Vann describes the Eureka! atmosphere as laid back and casual with a modern flair. The interior of the restaurant is comfortable and laden with reclaimed wood throughout. Splashes of bright orange pop against the earthy wood tones. Because it was a cool spring evening, we were seated on the covered patio next to an outdoor fireplace, which provided the perfect ambiance. Our server, Yesenia Bustillo, had a smile on her face throughout our dinner. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and, despite our best efforts, we were unable to stump her with our ques-

Address: 10520 W. Stockdale Highway Phone: 241-5999 Website: eurekaburgerbakersfield.com Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday; 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Hungry for more? See more photos on bakersfield.com.

tions. It was a busy evening, but that didn’t seem to slow down the kitchen. We received our food quickly and accurately, as did the many other patrons who were dining on the patio along with us. Fast, friendly and well informed seems to be the service philosophy here at Eureka!

APPETIZERS David on the nacho average nachos: The choice of appetizers will almost make you overlook the entrees. One by one, Bustillo brought out several appetizer plates. For me, the nachos were the standout performers. The crisp, thick chips gave adequate support to mounds of shredded chicken, black beans, guacamole, chipotle sauce, and cheese. There was no need for utensils, just choose your chip and eat it. Robert on the lollipop corn dogs: When I first saw this appetizer on the menu, I immediately started singing the “Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli-Lolli-Lolli” song. This appetizer was not your typical corn dog. There’s a nice piece of Polish sausage wrapped in a handbreaded, delicate

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Lollipop corn dogs

Chris on the osso buco riblets: Most people know osso buco as the classic Italian dish made of a braised veal shank. Eureka! puts a twist on the traditional recipe by using tender pork riblets that are braised in sherry wine and topped with a homemade firecracker aioli. The riblets were delicate and juicy with a little heat in every bite. Osso buco translates as “hole in the bone,” which makes sense because all that was left on our plates were a pile of riblet bones picked clean.

ENTREES

Catalina bison burger with Pacific coleslaw

Continued from page 49 corn batter. The sweet corn batter combined with the saltiness of the sausage was the ultimate combo. It’s served with three different dipping sauces — handmade ketchup, ranch and the spicy porter mustard, which was my favorite. Jay on the Eureka! wings: I’m a huge wing fan, and these wings were definitely amazing! I almost didn’t leave any for the other dudes to try. You can order these wings several ways. We ordered ours laced with a special chili garlic sauce and served with farm stand carrots and celery and a side of blue cheese dressing. These wings also come in a mild, hot or homemade firecracker sauce. Any way you order Eureka! wings, you will not be disappointed! 50

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David on the Catalina bison burger: This big burger brings a mouthful of flavor with bacon-infused jalapeno jam, charbroiled tri-color peppers, onion and smoked mozzarella. My favorite part of this burger was the peppers. They were moist but not soggy, and they provided a little kick to the mozzarella, which topped a perfectly prepared burger. If you are afraid of trying bison over beef, I recommend that you work up the nerve and just do it. The tastes are quite similar, and Eureka! has done its homework by offering a tasty, flavorful option to those willing to try something different. And I also encourage you to forgo the delicious fries for the Pacific coleslaw. It was so fresh dressed in a light dressing and included peanuts, which I’d never had in slaw before. Chris on the cowboy burger: When I read the menu, I was sold on the cowboy burger and noticed it contained three of my favorite ingredients: bacon, shoestring onion rings and beer. My burger was charbroiled to a medium temperature and served with a side of honey cinnamon sweet potato fries. The combination of the crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, shoestring onion rings and homemade beer barbecue sauce provided the right amount of textures and flavors. This is not the typical Western-style burger commonly found at other restaurants. The Eureka! cowboy burger takes it to a new level and is a must-try for all barbecue lovers! Jay on the fried chicken sliders: I gave up red meat for Lent, so I was bummed that I couldn’t eat a Eureka! burger (I’ll be back now that Lent is over). But thanks to the


diverse Eureka! menu, I had a variety of items to choose from: salmon, salads, veggie beet burger or fried chicken sliders. I, of course, went with the house signature entree that came with two fried chicken sliders, garnished with aioli, tomato, red onion and homemade coleslaw. The chicken was tender and freshly battered and served on Southern-style buttermilk biscuits with a side of signature panko-crusted onion rings. If you are not a burger fan or not in the mood for a burger, I strongly suggest you try the fried chicken sliders. You only need two to fill you up! Robert on the Fresno fig burger: When ordering this burger, I was very excited because I love figs. I never thought about putting them on a burger, but after reading all the yummy ingredients, I was sold! This burger’s got fig marmalade, goat cheese, arugula, bacon and that spicy porter mustard that I loved. It was an explosion of flavors on my palate. The sweetness of the fig marmalade tamed the wildness of the goat cheese while the freshness of the arugula and tomato gave it a great crunch. Oh, and I can’t forget about that salty bacon. This was one dynamite burger!

DESSERTS Chris on the chocolate espresso soufflé coffee cup cake: The chocolate espresso soufflé coffee cup cake (try

Chocolate espresso soufflé coffee cup cake

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Continued from page 51 saying that three times fast!) is a Eureka! signature dessert. Picture a decadent, dark chocolate soufflé-like cake presented in a large coffee cup topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade whipped cream. Needless to say, the dessert lasted about 30 seconds before it was completely devoured by our table. I paired mine with a cup of gourmet coffee and was pleased to discover that Eureka! uses hand-roasted, single origin beans from the locally owned Covenant Coffee in Bakersfield. Robert on the Goldengate butterscotch rum pudding: This dessert topped the night off beautifully! The rum pudding is an ideal mix of sweet and salty. There was a slight grittiness, yet, oh-so-delicate texture in every bite. The caramel sauce cuddled the pudding like a nice warm blanket. Topping this dessert off was a dollop of homemade whipped cream. You can’t help but just smile with every bite.

OUR OVERALL REVIEW Eureka! was a great dining experience. The atmosphere — out on the patio amongst the activity of The Park at River Walk was relaxing. We knew we were never forgotten by our awesome waitress. When heading out to Bakersfield’s Southwest to dine, Eureka! should be a regular stop.

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Friendly server Yesenia Bustillo, center, with Jay Tamsi and David Rous, brightened the Food Dudes trip to Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer with her smile and knowledge.

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FOOD AND WINE

THE PERFECT PAIR

Mild-flavored sake, like Kikusui Junmai Ginjo (pictured), pairs well with sashimi. This sashimi appetizer from Tokyo Garden features tuna, salmon and red snapper. 54

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PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

Sushi aficionados share tips for picking the right sake to liven up your sushi


PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

Hatsumago sake pairs well with black snapper with wasabi shoyu topped with tobiko, micro greens and battera kombu. Sake with more intense flavors pairs well with complex dishes.

By Mark Nessia

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ushi and sake are a special combination. Unlike wine and beer, which can be paired with other cuisine, sushi and sake are mutually exclusive. But pairing the two isn’t always a sure thing. Sushi and sake share the same base component – rice – and combining the two can result in a rice showdown instead of a complementary experience. Knowing which sakes pair well with different types of fish can make the difference between a memorable dining experience and a total bomb. “Texture is very important,” said Eddie Kim, head chef at Kan Pai. “Sometimes if the sake is too smooth, it interferes with the flavor of the fish.” Opened in June 2013, Kan Pai, which is Japanese for “bottom’s up,” offers plenty of drink options to pair with one’s meal, including 30 different wines, six beers on tap and 15 different sakes. Regardless of the drink of choice, balance is always the key.

“Smoother sake pairs better with delicate food, simple dishes,” Kim said. “Sake with more intense flavors pairs well with more complex dishes.” Sake that is too sharp can overpower the flavor of white fish like snapper and sea bass. They pair better with fattier, more flavorful fish to complement one another. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask the chef. “If you sit at the sushi bar and ask the chef, he will probably start you off with something easy then move up to something more exotic,” said Thomas Park, owner of Tokyo Garden. According to Park, sake with robust flavor pairs well with sushi rolls and light sake works better with sashimi as the subtle flavor doesn’t over power the fish. Avoid sake that is too sweet when pairing it with rolls because you don’t want it to overpower the flavors of the sauce. But in the end, there really is no wrong answer. “There are so many varieties that you would be best experimenting for yourself to find what tastes best to you,” Park said.

Types of sake Sake can be divided into the following groups according to the brewing process.

Junmai The name means "pure rice." Junmai is sake composed of only rice, water, koji and sake yeast. No other ingredients or additives, such as alcohol or sugar, are added. Rice that has been polished to 70 percent or less of its original size is used to brew this kind of sake. The sake character tends to be full-bodied and slightly acidic.

Honjozo In this sake, no more than 120 liters of raw alcohol per each metric ton of white rice and no glucose has been added during the brewing process. Added alcohol cannot exceed 25 percent of the total alcohol in the finished product. In the U.S., it is not legal to make Honjozo or to add alcohol to sake. Imported Honjozo is categorized into distilled spirits. The sake character tends to lighter than Junmai.

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Continued from page 55 Ginjo Ginjo is a special type of Junmai or Honjozo, and considered the highest achievement of the brewer's art. All the rice employed in brewing Ginjo must be polished to at least 60 percent of its original size. Dai-Ginjo is brewed with rice polished to at least 50 percent. Many Ginjo brewers use special yeasts, and ferment the final mash very slowly at a low temperature. This extra effort produce a sake that has a lighter, clean taste and tangy flavor and an aroma.

Nama Nama means “Draft sake.” In this sake, fresh sake is microfiltered and pasteurized twice, once before aging and once in the process of bottling. Nama has a fruity and fresh taste with pleasant aroma.

Nigori Nigori, “Cloudy,” sake is unfiltered or roughly filtered so that some grain solids left behind after the fermentation process make it into the bottle. This sake has a milky white appearance. Nigori has a bold and sweet taste.

Genshu Genshu is undiluted sake. After filtration, this sake has an alcohol content of around 19 percent. Most sake on the market has been diluted with water until their alcohol contents falls to between 12 and 16 percent. Genshu has a full-bodied and rich taste. — Takara Sake USA Inc.

More polishing results in a smaller grain of rice and fewer impurities in the finished sake.

HSC is proud to announce the opening of our High Pressure Iron Testing and Recertification Facility for our Bakersfield Branch. HSC has industry certified technicians to serve all of your equipment needs to ensure that your equipment is safe and free of washout and corrosion. INSPECTIONS INCLUDE 1. VISUAL INSPECTION - Looking for wash out and corrosion that’s identifiable to the naked eye.

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3. MAGNETIC PARTICLE INSPECTION - An inspection using magnetic particles to identify cracks and discontinuities in metal.

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2. ULTRA SONIC THICKNESS TEST - A gauging process used to identify thickness of metal. SFIELD CALIF ER O

4. HYDROSTATIC TESTING-Pressure test using air and water.

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E N T E R TA I N M E N T

A SECOND ROUND OF GOOD TIMES Imbibe brings back Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival with brews and eats aplenty By Paul Rivas

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tart your summer the right way by drinking an original cold glass of beer. Imbibe will host the second Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival on May 24 and attendees will be able to sample brew from the approximate 30 breweries as well as enjoy tasty food from local restaurants, including Moo Creamery, Jake’s Original Tex-Mex Cafe and Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer. Tamera Dobbs, co-owner of Imbibe, said the festival is meant to be “about fun and friends” and “a grand kickoff to summer.” The event will benefit local causes, including the CSUB Alumni Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, Covenant Coffee, and Golden Empire Gleaners. “We want to give an opportunity for our guests to try new beers and learn about new breweries in California and from around the country. And each year we hope to make significant donations to local charities from the proceeds of this

Breweries will be back to share their beers at the Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival on May 24.

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PHOTO BY SUSAN HEFLIN

Continued on page 60


Imbibe Craft Beer Festival

PHOTO BY SUSAN HEFLIN

When: May 24 Time: Doors open at noon for VIPs, 1 p.m. for general admission Where: CSUB Amphitheatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway Tickets: $40 general admission, $750 for VIP tables of 8, $20 for designated driver. Visit bakersfieldcraftbeerfestival.com.

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The first Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival drew quite a crowd last May.

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Revelers enjoying the first Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival last year.

PHOTO BY SUSAN HEFLIN

Continued from page 58 event,” Dobbs said. Organizers expect a big turnout at the festival, given the recent popularity and growth in the craft beer industry. Jeff Williams, owner of Lengthwise Brewery Company, thinks the event will help beer aficionados find the right brew for them. “Sampling at the festival allows the consumer to drink without the six-pack price tag. If a consumer samples a product they like, they will search for it in the marketplace,” Williams said. Central Valley breweries presenting their craft beers include Tioga Sequoia Brewing, Kern River Brewing, and Lengthwise Brewing Company. Vendors will share their flagship, seasonal, and special beers for the event. Other sponsoring breweries are Firestone-Walker, Bear Republic, Speakeasy, Golden Road, Lost Coast and more. Organizers hope to build and improve on last year’s success. “This year we’ve planned many improvements for the flow of the festival and for our guests’ comfort. We know, at the end of the day, it’s about giving the guests the experience they want,” Dobbs said.

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ROY WRIGHT Gunner’s mate second class, Navy By Ryan Barrera

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What I learned: It taught me discipline and to get along with others. Favorite memory: My favorite memory is the places I visited. I had a lot of ocean under me and I saw places like Nova Scotia, Africa, Scotland and Russia. Advice for people thinking about joining the service: What I would say to people wanting to join the service is it teaches you discipline and to get along with others. It teaches you to behave and changes your attitude.

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Roy Wright as a 17-year-old in Navy boot camp.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROY WRIGHT

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oy Wright has seen a lot in his 89 years. He was always on the move during his four years and one day of service with the Navy, traveling across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during World War II. He was even in Tokyo Bay aboard the USS Cowpens when Japan surrendered at the end of World War II. Before joining the Navy at the age of 17, Wright grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. But during his time in the service, Wright’s father and mother moved to Bakersfield in 1943. When Roy left the Navy, he headed to California as well. After he left the Navy, Wright worked as an electrician. Retired for 24 years, these days Wright spends his time Roy Wright holds a frame with a letter that with his wife Dottie lists military medals he was authorized to and his train model receive for his service in the Navy aboard club. He’s humble the USS Cowpens during WWII. about his time in the Navy, but it was a pivotal time in his life when Wright got to see the world and gained new experiences along the way. Why I joined: I joined in November 1941. I was in boot camp when World War II was declared. It was one of the best things I have ever done because I might have been in jail at the time… I was always getting into trouble back then. I was 17 when I joined; I was on the verge of being kicked out of school.

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Kern County and Bakersfield Life Magazine for voting TERRIO Best Physical Therapist for the 6th year in a row!


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ON THE ROAD

Bakersfield Life editor Olivia Garcia enjoys a laugh and drives the 2015 Chevy Tahoe.

2015 CHEVY TAHOE Upgrades include safety features, technology and comfort By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Michael Lopez

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hevy Tahoe owners, former and current: You have no idea what you have been missing. I am referring to the 2015 Chevy Tahoe. Talk about an upgrade from previous models. My family and I were pretty much spoiled during the days of my test drive of the Chevy Tahoe. “Why don’t we have this?” asked my 15-year-old son Mateo. Good question from the kid who grew up with mom and dad driving him around to school, football and track practices, family gatherings and out-of-town vacation trips in Chevy Tahoe models. It was the first car my husband and I purchased as a couple when we were married nearly 19 years ago. Today, we remain owners of a Chevy Tahoe, although an older model. That’s why I was pretty happy that I scored the chance to test drive the newest version — and it was then that I learned

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The 2015 Chevy Tahoe boasts the Bose audio system and an 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen. that the latest version has some major upgrades, including technology, performance and safety.

TECHNOLOGY I am a big geek when it comes to technology and the 2015


Folding seats make it easy to get everything in and out of this SUV.

Chevy Tahoe had me at Bose audio system and its 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen that allows me to tune into music from my iPhone or satellite radio, take calls, get weather updates and make use of the navigation system. (There’s a little car icon that appears as your SUV). The remote keyless entry, power-heated outside mirrors and rain sensing windshield wipers features are pretty cool too.

PERFORMANCE There is something about the nice and strong but quiet ride of the 2015 Tahoe. I was driving in comfort with its cushioned leather seats that made me feel like I was snuggling on my favorite sofa. However, this baby packs a punch when you need it to pick up and move through crosstown traffic and freeways, thanks to its 5.3-liter, V-8 Ecotec3 engine. “The cabin was whisper quiet, sealed off from the harsh road and wind noise,” wrote David Undercoffler of the Los Angeles Times. “Chevy uses higher-grade materials in this generation of Tahoe, and everything is bolted together with laudable attention to detail and craftsmanship.”

SAFETY Here is where things get even better. First, let’s talk about the lane departure warning and safety alert seat. Driving an SUV has never been so easier with these added safety features. Your seat will vibrate (yes, vibrate) if it notices you veering into another lane without properly changing lanes. There is plenty of airbags to cover you and your family. Plus, you get a warning signal to advise you if cars are in your blind spots. The rear cross traffic alert also came in super handy as I moved through The Marketplace to meet with photographer Michael Lopez. The alert buzzed my seat as I tried to back out, noticing nearby pedestrians approaching the back of the SUV. What doesn’t this SUV do? The Daily Sentinel in Colorado proclaimed the 2015 Chevy Tahoe was “anything but basic.” Writer Michael St. Clair lauded the number of cool features loaded into the basic model — and that’s

Continued on page 66

The 2015 Chevy Tahoe is a comfortable, quiet ride with plenty of technology incorporated into this new model.

It’s all in the details Five best features about the 2015 Chevy Tahoe: 355 HP with improved fuel economy using direct injection, active fuel management and variable value timing. Sleek interior appearance with power-folding seats for the third row of seating. Class-exclusive safety features, an airbag between the driver and front passenger to offer added protection in side-impact collisions. Customizable MyLink 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen. OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation.

Mileage and price tag: 16, city and 23, highway. Starting at $44,600 plus destination charge. The 2015 Chevy Tahoe is perfect for: The all-new Tahoe is perfect for a group of eight headed to the lake for weekend and a quick day of shopping before a night on the town. The 2015 Tahoe gives you the confidence to go anywhere and do anything. What makes the 2015 Chevy Tahoe stand out from others: Class-exclusive, the available theft-protection package helps keep the all-new Tahoe secure. The strategically placed window sensors, interior motion detectors and a revolutionary inclination sensor that measures any tilt of the vehicle also set it above the rest.

Three words that define the 2015 Chevy Tahoe: Stronger, smarter, and more capable.

What do you like the most about the 2015 Chevy Tahoe: It is the commitment to safety with combined technology from the safety alert seat, forward collision alert, crash imminent braking, rear cross traffic alert, and the lane change alert. Source: Mike Thomas, Sr. Sales Manager for Three Way ChevroletCadillac

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She’d like to welcome everyone to her facility at 4000 Fruitvale Ave. #10

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a big deal for family SUV buyers. We want SUVs that come built in with extra bling without having to fork over additional money. “Starting from the inside, the Tahoe has fold-flat seats, making it easy to convert from a people-mover to a cargo-carrier,” St. Clair wrote recently. “Looking forward when the seats are down, you can see multiple 12V power-points, for charging phones, tablets or other electronics that are necessary for play or work,” he concluded. And like many SUV owners, we like our cars to be a home away from home.

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ON THE ROAD

2014 LINCOLN MKX The view is beautiful from this powerful crossover

Bakersfield Life assistant editor Rachel Cook stops by The Padre Hotel with the 2014 Lincoln MKX. 68

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The 2014 Lincoln MKX listens to your voice commands, but you can make adjustments to the temperature and tunes using regular controls as well.

By Rachel Cook

Photos by Michael Lopez

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efore April rolled around, I’d never driven a Lincoln, but now that I’ve spent a few days behind the wheel of one, I’m a confirmed fan. The 2014 Lincoln MKX is a stylish crossover that is great for a family but also has enough get-up-and-go to keep drivers from feeling like they’re chugging around in a minivan. Intriguing details like the panoramic Vista Roof and powerful engine make the MKX a delightful ride that I’d be more than happy to enjoy every day. Consumer Guide Automotive summed it up well saying the “MKX delivers most everything a luxury crossover buyer could want. It rides well, has good power, and first-class interior appointments.” I picked up the 2014 Lincoln MKX from Chad Yost, Lincoln Brand Champion at Jim Burke Lincoln. As he pointed out the great features, Yost explained that the MKX is a solid vehicle for a small family or a smart lease option for families that are on the edge of growing. “(Crossovers are) a majority of the market. It has a very comfortable ride and it holds enough stuff for your day-to-day family activities,” Yost said. With automatic folding seats and ample seating for five, Lincoln’s crossover is just the right fit for a sedan owner looking for a little more room or for a young family that needs space to grow. The front seats are heated and cooled like many new vehicles, but the second row of seats is also heated, a detail that’s sure to keep your littlest passengers toasty on wintery nights. The MKX has plenty of stylish touches inside. You can upgrade to genuine real wood trim in walnut swirl or olive ash (the model I drove featured gleaming olive ash accents that practically glowed). The leather seats were unique with dark trim touches and textures

The vehicle will automatically dial 9-1-1 if the airbags are deployed.

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The view from inside the 2014 Lincoln MKX is outstanding through the panoramic Vista Roof.

It’s all in the details Mileage: 18 city, 26 highway, 21 combined Price: Starts at $38,575, $46,425 as tested Five best features: Standard Remote Start Two years Complimentary Maintenance Air Conditioned Seats – perfect for Bakersfield summers Available Adaptive HID Headlights Available Adaptive Cruise Control

Target customer: A professional who doesn’t want to sacrifice style for function. The 2014 MKX is perfect for… A car owner looking for more room than a sedan but doesn’t want something as large as a Navigator.

Three words that define the 2014 MKX: The three words that best define the MKX are the same three as the three pillars of Lincoln. Design. Quality. Personal Service

What do you like most about the 2014 MKX? The comfortable ride you can expect from a Lincoln and ample passenger room. Source: Chad Yost, Lincoln Brand Champion, Jim Burke Lincoln

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who’s taken notice. “(The engine) allows an estimated 0 to 60 mph time of 8.0 seconds, which makes it one of the quicker vehicles in this class (especially for one that weighs more than 4,000 pounds)...It handles as if it were a class lighter, though; the MKX digs into its share of country roads with gusto,” wrote Marty Padgett for The Car Connection website. Maybe it’s time to rethink those fancy sports cars and lifted trucks when a crossover like this has everything you need.

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areas. You can also upgrade them to Bridge of Weir fine Scottish leather. My favorite feature of all in the MKX is the panoramic roof. It stretches from above the driver’s seat, all the way back to a second window above the back row, offering you and your passengers amazing views and plenty of sunlight. The technology is also outstanding. Lincoln’s SYNC with MyLincoln Touch allows you to give commands with your voice, but you can also use the old-fashioned controls with ease. Two swipe touch bars allow you to adjust the volume and temperature quickly as you drive. The MKX also works to keep you safe. Once you sync your phone to the MKX, the vehicle has your back in case of an accident. The vehicle will automatically dial 9-1-1 if the airbags are deployed. After that call, the system will move on to call the first person listed in your emergency contacts. The technology is also built to minimize distractions when you are on the road. Choose the ‘do not disturb’ setting and you won’t hear a peep from your phone. The MKX’s system can also read your incoming text messages aloud to you. You could spend your time admiring all the gadgets and the view out the roof, but once you step on the gas, the 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 engine will quickly grab your full attention (as Yost pointed out to me, that’s the same engine as a Mustang). I saw that the speedometer topped out at 140, and I have no doubts the MKX could reach that. The MKX offers you a ride that’s smooth, but powerful and I’m not the only one

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WHY I LIVE HERE

SHERI HORN-BUNK

Sheri Horn-Bunk is the executive director of the Taft College Foundation and Institutional Advancement.

Energetic Taft College Foundation executive director is a Central Valley girl at heart Compiled by Bakersfield Life

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heri Horn-Bunk was born in Sacramento but grew up in Madera and remains a Central Valley girl at heart. After adventures including moving to Hollywood to become a singer and working as a headhunter in the software search business in the 1980s, Bunk headed to Bakersfield. The move was a decision she said “had a little bit to do with love and getting back to a small town.” Bakersfield has brought Horn-Bunk plenty of interesting opportunities, including jobs with KUZZ, the Bakersfield Symphony, and Cal State Bakersfield.

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“In what other city could I have worked for the great Buck Owens, very noteworthy symphony conductor Maestro John Farrer, and groundbreaking university president Dr. Horace Mitchell?” said Horn-Bunk, who is now Executive Director of the Taft College Foundation and Institutional Advancement. Bunk has been married to her husband Gary for almost 22 years and they still make time for Friday date night. They enjoy spending time with their grandkids, remodeling their 1960s home, and collecting and tasting wine. What surprised you most about Bakersfield? The great need for people of all ages to understand how education and training can change their lives for the good, and that (a good education) is very affordable and we have it a few miles away from our homes. Stop complaining about your life, get an education and get going!

Describe the neighborhood you live in now. Old, classic, traditional, friendly, special, historical and authentic. What is an interesting fact about you? I was the first female student body president of my high school and was also the mascot of my high school, a coyote. What is your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield? Play golf at Seven Oaks, but anywhere else is good as well! Stockdale, Bakersfield Country Club, and Rio Bravo are all great courses! Where do you like to vacation? Palm Springs, Cabo, Cambria, Santa Barbara, and Carmel. What is one of your favorite memories in Bakersfield?


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Hosting Carol Channing for five days for a CSUB event. Also leading the efforts for the Baseball Music Project with the Bakersfield Symphony. And most recently, the West Kern Petroleum Summit and meeting keynote speaker John Hofmeister.

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What are your favorite restaurants in Bakersfield? La Costa Mariscos, Luigi’s, 24th Street Cafe, Akira, Flame & Skewers and Mexicali. What do you like most about Bakersfield? Having a CSU and two community colleges (Taft College and Bakersfield College). Education can change your life. How would you describe Bakersfield to outsiders? Friendly, giving, honest, authentic and comfortable.

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A L L-S TA R AT H L E T E S

FIVE OF BAKERSFIELD’S BRIGHTEST STARS A nod to five of Bakersfield’s best athletes in recent years By Stephen Lynch

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Iowa State’s Jake Varner celebrates his win over Nebraska’s Craig Brester at the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

AP PHOTO / DAVE WEAVER

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n keeping with the “Best of Bakersfield” theme, this month’s All-Star Athlete applauds five of the best athletes to come out of our fair city in the past 10 years. This list is extremely subjective and represents only those sports standouts that graduated high school in 2004 or later, so the likes of such greats as Frank Gifford, Lonnie Shelton, Joey Porter and Kevin Harvick, just to name a few, do not qualify. 1. Jake Varner, Wrestling: A lot of outstanding wrestlers have come out of Bakersfield in recent years, but none have achieved the greatness of Varner. The former Bakersfield High and Iowa State star did something that very few people from Kern County have ever done when he won an Olympic gold medal two years ago in London. Before showing what he could do on the world stage, Varner dominated at the high school and college level, racking up a pair of state wrestling championships while at BHS and then two NCAA wrestling titles to close out his career with the Cyclones. Varner finished his prep career with a record of 159-10 (132 pins) and is the only wrestler in California history to pin all six of their opponents at the state meet. He went 121-10 at Iowa State, including a 31-0 mark his senior year. In 2011, Varner won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Istanbul. He followed that up with a gold medal at the 2012 Pan American Games. But it’s Varner’s victory in the 96 kilogram (211.5 pounds) freestyle wrestling gold medal bout at the 2012 Olympics that trumps all of his other accomplish-


ments. 2. Ryan Mathews, Football: From West High to Fresno State and now with the San Diego Chargers, Mathews has put up prolific rushing numbers at every stop of his stellar football career. This past season Mathews was the NFL’s seventh leading rusher with 1,255 yards. It’s the second time the 2011 Pro Bowl selection has gone over the 1,000 yard mark during his four years with the Chargers. Mathews jumped to the NFL after his junior year at Fresno State. During his final season with the Bulldogs Mathews led the nation in rushing yards per game (150.67) and was named first team All-WAC and second team All-American by CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and the Associated Press. The year before he joined the Bulldogs, Mathews wrapped up one of the most storied prep football careers in Kern County history, leading the nation with a whopping 3,396 rushing yards. The 6-foot, 220-pounder tallied 4,247 total yards and accounted for 55 touchdowns his senior year at West. At the conclusion of that season, Mathews was named

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Ryan Mathews finished up the day with 52 yards in a win over the Bengals in January. bakersfieldlife.com

AP PHOTO BY SEAN M. HAFFEY / UT SAN DIEGO.

AP PHOTO / LENNY IGNELZI

San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews scores a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the first half on Dec. 22, 2013 in San Diego.

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Derek Carr set 27 school records in his four years at Fresno State.

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PHOTO BY ERIC PAUL ZAMORA

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Derek Carr fakes a hand-off before passing during Pro Day at Fresno State’s Bulldog Stadium in March.

first team All-State and second team All-American. 3. Derek Carr, Football: Everywhere the strong-armed, gunslinger has played, he’s broken tons of passing records and led his teams to major wins. Carr set Bakersfield Christian records in passing yards (4,067) and touchdown passes (46) while leading the Eagles to a 12-1 record and Central Section Division IV championship in 2008. From BCHS, Carr went to Fresno State and wiped nearly all of his older brother David’s marks out of the Bulldogs’ record book. During four seasons at FSU, three as a starter, Carr amassed 12,842 passing yards and 113 touchdown passes. Carr was a two-time All-American, two-time Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and winner of the 2013 Sammy Baugh Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top college passer. He set 27 school records and 21 Mountain West records while at Fresno State. This past year, he became just the fourth quarterback in FBS history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season.

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AP PHOTO / NATI HARNIK

South Dakota’s Polly Harrington (33) is defended by Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike (13) and Erica McCall, right, in a first-round game in the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament.

Erica McCall drives past Independence’s Jazzmin Sanders during McCall’s senior season at Ridgeview High School. 78

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CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

Continued from page 77 Next up for Carr is the NFL, where he embarks upon his rookie season this fall. 4. Erica McCall, Basketball: The most dominating female basketball player to come from Bakersfield in who knows how long, maybe ever, is Erica McCall. The 6-foot-3 center, currently a freshman at Stanford, led Ridgeview to three Central Section championships during her four-year varsity prep career. McCall, the daughter of CSUB women’s coach Greg McCall and sister of WNBA star DeWanna Bonner, racked up 2,655 points (second all-time in section history), 1,986 rebounds (third most in state history), and a state-record 983 blocked shots while playing for the Wolf Pack. McCall, a four-time All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year selection, was chosen for WBCA and McDonald’s All-American honors plus selected California Gatorade Player of the Year following her senior year of high school. This past year, McCall was a key contributor for


USC quarterback Cody Kessler in action against Stanford Nov. 16, 2013 in Los Angeles.

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the Cardinal as it made it to the Final Four into the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. 5. Cody Kessler, Football: The former Centennial standout showed this past season why he was so highly regarded coming out of high school a few years ago. The 6foot-1, 215 pounder started all 14 games at quarterback for USC and was 236-of-361 (65.4 percent) passing for 2,968 yards, with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He capped off his sophomore campaign by setting career highs in passing yards (345) and touchdown passes (4) leading the Trojans to a Las Vegas Bowl victory over Carr and Fresno State. For his efforts, Kessler was selected the game’s MVP. With all of Kessler’s accomplishments on the football field, it’s easy to forget that he was an outstanding basketball player in high school. Kessler enrolled early at USC so he didn’t play his senior year of hoops at Centennial. But, as a junior, he averaged 29.4 points per game and was the All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

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TA L K O F T H E TO W N

Farmworkers Feliciano Ramirez, left, and Carmen Colmenarez tie grape vines southeast of Bakersfield off of Fairfax Road to prepare for the growth season. Employment in farm work could take a big hit as California suffers through a drought.

DEALING WITH DROUGHT What Bakersfield residents need to know about our water crisis By Paul Rivas

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alifornia has been dry for three consecutive years and the outlook remains parched. Last year was the driest on record and reduced the state’s water supply. There seems to be no improvement in 2014. Normally, California gains most of its water during the winter months from rainfall and snow melting off the mountains. As Kern County’s agriculture industry endures the dry climate, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January and national politicians stopped by the state to assess the situation. We talked to the Kern County Water Agency’s general manager Jim Beck about our current crisis.

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What Bakersfield residents need to know about the drought A zero allocation from the California State Water Project and Friant-Kern is catastrophic and woefully inadequate for Kern County residents, farms and businesses, and it provides no hope for replenishment of groundwater banking reserves that have been tapped to provide Jim Beck agricultural and urban water during previous dry years. Kern County Water Agency staff is working with local water districts to find ways to minimize the impacts of a third dry year, but those possibilities are stretched thin. Stewardship and conservation are always important, especially when water supplies are critically low. Agricultural water-use efficiency has been a high priority for many years. However, conservation alone cannot solve California’s long-term water supply issues. The current crisis underscores the importance of addressing California’s chronic water supply reliability issues through new water


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What we can do here to help Locally, residents can do their part to stretch limited water supplies by practicing water conservation in their indoor and outdoor water usage. On the state level, we support the continued efforts of Governor Brown and state officials that continue to be directly involved in this dire situation. State leadership is essential to ensuring that the federal government also provides the necessary relief during this unprecedented water supply crisis. Coordinated efforts are critical to maximize and optimize California’s very limited water resources this year and solve the long-term water crisis facing the state. Economic impact At this time, economic impacts (of the drought) are not fully analyzed but are estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

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Do your part to save water When it comes to saving water, a little effort can go a long way. Turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth and taking shorter showers are small steps that can equal a giant conservation leap if done by a whole community. Kern Green project manager Sasha Windes offered the following tips to save water in your home and garden:

Indoor • Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash. • Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Energy Star-designated dishwashers save even more water and energy. • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to four gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

• Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor while shaving and save up to 300 gallons a month. • Take five-minute showers instead of baths. A full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water. • Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you have a leak. • Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank. To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank away from the operating mechanisms. This may save 10 or more gallons of water per day. • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your driveway and sidewalk. • Consider using a car wash that recycles the water. Better yet, use a waterless car washing system. There are several brands on the market.

Garden • Plant species native to our area. • When sprucing up your front or backyard, consider xeriscaping, a landscape method that uses low water-use plants. • Use two to four inches of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year. • Don’t water the gutter. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on the street, paved areas or your house. • Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. • Water early in the day and avoid watering when it’s windy. • Consider artificial grass. It’s just as beautiful as real grass but requires no water use and little maintenance. • Wash your pet outside over an area that needs watering.

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FOR A CAUSE

Guests at last year’s Derby Party enjoying good conversation and food for a noble cause.

SOUTHERN DELIGHT CASA of Kern County’s third annual Derby Party brings Southern charm to Bakersfield to benefit abused, neglected children By Sally Selby

Photos courtesy of westcoastexposure.org

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ASA of Kern County’s third annual Derby Party may just be the most memorable derby experience you’ll find outside of Kentucky. Hosted at the Gardiner Ranch, Keith and Jennifer Gardiner are thrilled to share their countryside oasis, complete with horses, a barn and riding area, for a true Kentucky Derby experience on May 3. “We are surrounded by almond orchards, casting the perfect setting for a Kentucky Derby party,” Jennifer Gardiner said. “It’s so festive; women wearing beautiful hats and dresses, and men in customary fashion for a day spent at the actual Kentucky Derby.” In addition to providing a good time, the Gardiners are

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Strawberries and other delicious treats awaited guests at last year’s Derby Party.


also dedicated to CASA’s mission. “Our community has generously supported CASA activities over the years, and our wish is simply to provide a fun setting, bringing together like-minded individuals who recognize the continued need to financially support this child advocacy organization,” Keith Gardiner said. CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, plays a vital role in the Kern County community. The organization provides caring advocacy through the training and support of court appointed volunteers who stand up for the rights of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and the community. The money generated by community events like the derby party helps cover the costs of training these volunteers who give their time and expertise to help these children. “Money raised through this event helps to ensure CASA has the resources necessary to help reach every child in need,” said Tami Chapman, owner of Johasee Rebar and co-sponsor for the party. Less than 15 miles west of town, guests will

Ladies and gents put on their finest derby wear and best hats for last year’s Derby Party.

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Continued from page 85 arrive at the Gardiner Ranch feeling as if they are in the middle of nowhere. As guests stroll through the barn to the party, they’ll enjoy mint juleps and view the many silent auction items. Guests will also be treated to bluegrass-inspired CASA of Kern appetizers and dinner, folCounty’s third lowed by a live auction with a annual Derby Party professional auctioneer. When: May 3, event starts at Attendees can also kick up 4:30 p.m., dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. their heels to live music from Where: Gardiner Ranch The Fruit Tramps. Cost: Tickets are $150, visit Chapman said the event www.KernCASA.org for brings the all excitement of details. the real event here to Kern County for one day. “At the Derby Party, not only do I get to be a part of a horse-themed event on a beautiful ranch, I also pretend for one evening I’m really at Churchill Downs for ‘The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports,’” Chapman said. For information or to reserve your tickets to the third annual Derby Party, call 631-2272, or visit www.KernCASA.org.

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FOR A CAUSE

This puppy was adopted earlier this year from Kern County Animal Services’ Bakersfield shelter.

PUT YOUR PAWS TOGETHER FOR THE ANIMALS Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation will tickle your feathers with a night of comedy By Bakersfield Life

Photos by Casey Christie

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ll over Kern County, animals are in need of love and a home. Luckily for these critters, folks like the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation works hard everyday to help these animals get the care they need. The nonprofit’s work has expanded over the years to meet the needs of Kern County animals. The group got its start purchasing items that weren’t in animal shelters’ budgets, like storage sheds, dog beds and a washing machine. The foundation has become a big advocate for Kern County’s homeless

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Meredith McRae admires the dog she adopted at Kern County Animal Services’ Bakersfield shelter in February. pets, providing funds for medical care and spay/neuter vouchers to reduce the cost of sterilizing pets. “The organization itself has not grown, although we have branched out through the spay/neuter voucher program and helping other shelters in outlying areas,” said Judi Daunell, president of Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation. This summer, the group invites you to put your paws together for their cause at the Applause for Paws fundraiser.


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When: June 14, doors open at 6 p.m. Where: Masonic Temple, 1920 18th St. Tickets: $30 for one, $50 for two, $250 for a table of eight. Pick up tickets at the following locations: • Self Serve Pet Spa, 2816 Calloway Drive and 7401 White Lane • Red Brick Pizza, 9500 Brimhall Road • For the Birds & More, 10425 Rosedale Highway • Fur & Feathers Luxury Pet Resort, 3329 Allen Road and 408 21st St. • In-Shape, 2681 Oswell St. and 3406 Coffee Road For tickets by mail, contact Friends Foundation, PO Box 11494, Bakersfield, CA 93389, please include the number of tickets you are ordering. You can also get tickets via PayPal (fkcas@gmail.com) but be sure to include your mailing address and the number of tickets you are purchasing.

The June 14th event will bring in comedians to entertain the crowd, while also offering great food and drinks, prizes and a silent auction. (The) Foundation would like to continue to support Kern County’s shelter pets and help people get their pets spayed/neutered. We cannot do any of this without donations from supporters,” Daunell said.

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Kern County Animal Services employee Maggie Kalar plays with 9-year-old Ope, a black domestic short hair, during an animal shelter open house.

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CHANGING ANIMAL LIVES

In December 2010, a little dog named Lacey was in sorry shape. Lacey had been badly abused and the county turned to the foundation for help. “She needed medical care and we received a call from the county asking if Friends Foundation would accept the donations and then pay for Lacey’s care,” Daunell said. After Lacey’s story hit the news, money came pouring in from across the country and around the world. The donations were enough to treat the pup and also start Lacey’s Medical Fund. “The donations over Lacey’s expenses were held for the next animal that would need help.” Daunell said. The fund has helped about 20 animals, including a cat and horse. It gave another small dog a second chance at a healthy life. The fluffy white canine named Emma had a poorly healed broken leg that need-

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Many animals were adopted by families at a recent Kern County Animal Services open house at the shelter’s new location at 3951 Fruitvale Ave. in Bakersfield.

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Continued from page 89 ed to be amputated. But life on three legs had a bright side for Emma. She was adopted by Shelter Supervisor Nick Cullen. “She’s happy, healthy, and she’s a part of my family,” Cullen said. In addition to helping meet the needs of individual dogs, the foundation pays attention to the big picture and works to improve the overall situation for animals in Kern County. Since turmoil about shelter operations between the City of Bakersfield and the county boiled over last year, the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation has focused on distributing vouchers to reduce the costs of spaying and neutering dogs and cats. Daunell said the group issued 1,297 vouchers for dogs and 540 vouchers for cats last year and has given out hundreds more already in 2014.

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At last year’s Applause for Paws event, the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation raised close to $6,300 but didn’t sell out. Daunell hopes that this year the group can sell all 240 tickets and raise even more cash to help critters. “The comedians are really good, professional and funny! ... Come out for an evening of fun and support Friends so we can continue to support Kern County’s homeless pets!” Daunell said. To donate to the foundation or learn more about Applause for Paws, visit www.friendsofkernshelters.org.

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FOR A CAUSE

Mariachi San Marcos perform at last year’s Menudo Cook-Off.

GOT MENUDO? Event spices it up with annual Menudo Cook-Off contest, live entertainment Bakersfield Life staff

Photos by Casey Christie

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he battle is on to decide who can dish out the best menudo on June 1, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Kern County Fairgrounds. The 16th annual Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Menudo Cook-Off has become a popular tradition that centers on food (specifically menudo), live entertainment, kid activities and more. The main event is the menudo contest where contestants compete to earn bragging rights for having the best menudo around. Menudo is a spicy tripe and hominy soup, and legend has it that it can cure hangovers. The Latin soup is often shared with families and friends on Sundays. “The event is one of the largest cultural events in Kern County,” said Jay Tamsi, president/CEO of KCHCC. “I have been involved with the Menudo Cook-Off for the past 10 years, and it grows each year.” Tamsi said the event usually draws more than 10,000 people each year. And the competition is fierce. Last year, a cap of 75 menudo contestants from throughout the state entered. A panel of 15 judges ranging from Mexican restaurant owners and local

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Got Menudo team member Eli Salinas prepares his hot menudo at the 15th annual Menudo Cook-Off last year.


chefs to local attorneys and celebrities evaluate the entries. Another big highlight is entertainment. “We have live entertainment all day long for various age groups and generations,” Tamsi said. “We have confirmed local entertainment, Velorio, Mento Buru, Mariachi San Marcos, and a Kern County Favorite — Hind Site — a band from the San Fernando Valley. Our headliner band is a surprise and will be released within a few weeks.” Tamsi said the event caters to families that want to enjoy good music and food while supporting a good cause — the chamber. “The Menudo Cook-Off is the largest fundraiser for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which allows the chamber to continue our ongoing mission to promote, enhance and provide business services and cultural resources to our community in Kern County and provide scholarships to students,” Tamsi said. Although menudo contestants have already begun signing up, Tamsi said the chamber is still accepting entries. Some enter the menudo contest with a group of friends or business associates, and others compete as one big family, sometimes including two or three generations, Tamsi said. “The contest is taken extremely seriously,” Tamsi said. “Winning the cook-off is a big deal to our community, not to mention walking away with a cash prize but above all brag-

ging rights (for) the best menudo in Kern County.” Tamsi said this event would not be possible without the long list of volunteers, sponsors and community support. Kern County Hispanic “I enjoy seeing families from Chamber of Commerce Kern County and all over the state 16th annual Menudo come together as one, to celebrate Cook-Off our culture and heritage,” he said. When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Agreed, said Dr. Rebecca Rivera, June 1 a KCHCC board member who is Where: Kern County Fairgrounds chairing the event along with board What: Best menudo contest, best member David Alanis. decorated booth contest, jalapeno“The Menudo Cook-Off is an eating contest, food booths, plenty of live entertainment, kids camp, opportunity for friends and families which includes bounce houses, to spend time together,” Rivera said. rock-climbing, games and other “It is a way of sharing our culture activities, local business and nonwith others in the community. Traprofit vendors, and more. ditionally, menudo is been known as a cure for hangovers. I see menudo as feel-good soup.” Menudo contest entries, event tickets, vendor booths, and sponsorships are still available. For more information, call the chamber office at 633-5495 or visit www.kchcc.org.

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PHOTO BY RICKY BASSMAN

Take me out

The Bakersfield Blaze started off the 2014 season with a promising sweep of the Modesto Nuts in a four game series from April 3 through 6.

ball game

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

to the

Blaze Centerfielder Junior Arias comes on to the field before the opening game of the season at Sam Lynn Ballpark.

Compiled by Bakersfield Life

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Junior Arias listens to the pregame announcements before the opening game.

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

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he crack of the bat, the boom of fireworks over the river and the sizzle of hot dogs can only mean one thing: The Bakersfield Blaze are ready to play. Opening day at Sam Lynn Ballpark has all the restless energy and excitement of the first day of school as Bakersfield’s High-A team returns to town. And the Blaze didn’t disappoint eager fans in the season opener April 3. They crushed the Modesto Nuts 6-2 and went on to sweep the Nuts in a four games series that ended April 6. The Blaze gave up one game to the Stockton Ports on April 7 but finished the first week of the season with two wins against the Ports. While the first homestand is over, there are still more than 60 chances to crack open a cold one, grab some nachos and watch the Blaze play at Sam Lynn this season.


ATTENTION VENDORS

The First Annual KidsFest is coming to the

Blaze Pitching Coach Tom Browning watches James Allen warm up before the opening game.

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

Younger fans chat with their favorite Blaze players before the season opener.

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

Kern County Museum on Saturday, July 19th!

The grounds crew prepares the field for the opening game.

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

Children steal home in the running of the bases after the Bakersfield Blaze’s Sunday game April 6.

PHOTO BY CHRIS MARTIN

KidsFest Bakersfield is a great place to get your products and services in front of thousands of forwardthinking, modern families. • • • • • KidsFest Bakersfield will allow Kern County kids and parents the opportunity to touch, feel and experience your product while they explore 16 acres of creative fun.

Vendor Opportunities Available! • Education • Extracurricular Activities • Fashion • Food Vendors • Health and Medical • Nutrition • Professional Services

Younger fans got to meet and shake hands or bump fists with their favorite Blaze players before the Blaze’s opening game at Sam Lynn Ballpark.

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

For more information, contact Mira Patel: 661-395-7586 mpatel@bakersfield.com Sponsored by

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Blaze players celebrate during their four-game sweep of the Modesto Nuts with high-fives at Sam Lynn Ballpark.

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PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

Ryan Wright rounds third toward home to score the first run of the season for the Blaze.

PHOTO BY CHRIS MARTIN

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

James Allen pitches the opening game of the season against the Modesto Nuts.


PHOTO BY CHRIS MARTIN

Bakersfield Blaze mascot and KGET-TV 17 Sports Director Mark Haas embraced after Haas tossed out the first pitch before the Blaze faced off against the Modesto Nuts.

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All of us at Smith’s Bakeries wish to thank you for the opportunity, over the last 69 years, to prepare the best quality baked goods we know how to make. You expect us to use the best ingredients and our artisans enjoy the fact that baked goods made with a combination of their hands and hearts are still appreciated.

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Cup Cakes “Made in Bakersfield” Product

Kern County’s Only Certified Master Baker Brookside Market

Bake Shop And Sales

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2808 Union Ave. • 325-6357

White Oaks Plaza

Decorating Dept.

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2808 Union • 325-3411

Brookside Market

Grand Island Village

The Marketplace • 654-0858

(Inside Sully’s Chevron Station) 11400 Ming Ave. • 663-8611

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genuinely friendly smile from a stranger at the drive-through car wash. A bowl of steaming soup with a scoop of beans and salsa mixed right in. The excellent customer service at the shoe store, the car dealership or just about anywhere else you plunk down your hard earned cash. A shared meal of the best tri-tip around with family and friends on a hot summer night. Whatever you think is the best thing about Bakersfield, most of us who live here know there are plenty of 98

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good things to share in this town. And every year for 21 years, we have asked you to tell us what’s the very best that Bakersfield has to offer for our “Best of Bakersfield” contest. In 2014, we tallied your votes and now bring you a whooping 110 of the best services, products, professionals and eats in our fair city. We hope you see a few of your favorites on our lists or find inspiration to explore a restaurant or shop you’ve never ventured into before. From the well-known names to the hidden gems, there’s lots to discover on this list.


PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO

Eats

Bakersfield’s Best Thai Food: Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar

From pink champagne to Orange Julius, Sweet Surrender’s cupcakes are the best in town, according to our readers.

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Keith Barnes, owner of the Garden Spot at 3320 Truxtun Ave., hopes to spread healthy habits through his restaurant.

A spot with something for everyone The Garden Spot is a favorite for salad and healthy food enthusiasts

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eith Barnes bought The Garden Spot hoping to start a health food uprising. While he manages his personal well-being with healthy eating, Barnes wants his nutritional menu to make his customers feel healthy too. “My regular customers, who I see five times a week, look healthy because they don’t consume sodium and cholesterol,” Barnes said. The Garden Spot offers great tasting healthy food made with lower cholesterol oils. One popular dish served everyday is the Basque bean soup, a delicious soup that’s low in calories and high in protein. Working hard to sustain a health food business that stands out, Barnes and his staff only use fresh vegetables. Barnes has a large crew of people that come in every morning to chop up salads, cucumbers, and everything else on the menu.


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The Garden Spot serves up healthy eating options, including a huge salad bar.

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“We offer the largest selection of hand-cut fresh produce. We use organic and locally grown produce as much as we can,” Barnes said. The Garden Spot’s large buffet also helps parents introduce their children to vegetables. “Kids get to make their own plates and you’d think they wouldn’t eat vegetables. By the time they get to the end of the buffet line, their plates are filled with good energy food,” Barnes said. The Garden Spot’s goodness isn’t limited to the restaurant’s four walls. The business also offers an interactive catering service, including chefs that will cook right in front of a party. Barnes’ mission to spread healthy eating isn’t slowing down any time soon. He is working on providing gluten-free products, and is partnering up with boot camp trainers and a nutritionist to create healthy on-the-go meals. — Paul Rivas

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661-324-2427 5001 California Ave. Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309 Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. dba Agape Mortgage, NMLS #1788. Licensed in California by the Department of Business Oversight under the Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

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Chocolate strawberries ready to be savored at Sweet Surrender.

Sweet success Delightful desserts bring fame, adoration to this local business

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weet Surrender is a Bakersfield institution that’s grabbed national attention, and this year, the famous treat boutique is hitting a major milestone. The bakery is celebrating its 25th year under the watchful eyes of owner Kim Fiorini. Fiorini purchased the bakery from the original owners in 1989 when the store sold only chocolates, small pastries and ice cream. Over the years she transformed the 900square-foot store with a tiny kitchen into the 5,500-square-foot bakery it is today. While Sweet Surrender is known for its decadent desserts, Fiorini said the evolution from cookies and ice cream to gourmet cakes was not easy. “I remember not even being able to sell a whole cake. I would painfully throw them away or give them away. I was always like, ‘Is this ever going to happen?’” Fiorini said. Hard work and perseverance paid off and since 2010 Sweet Surrender has been basking


Best Eats Best Bakery

Best New Restaurant

Smith’s Bakeries Favorites Sweet Surrender Pyrenees French Bakery

Black Bear Diner Favorites Kan Pai Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Best Barbecue Restaurant

Best Overall Restaurant

Famous Dave’s Favorites Jake’s Tex-Mex Café Salty’s BBQ & Catering

Wool Growers Restaurant Favorites Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

Best Salsa

Sweet Surrender’s lemon white chocolate cake is one of two of the bakery’s confections featured in O, The Oprah Magazine.

PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO

Best Burger Place In-N-Out Burger Favorites Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer Happy Jack’s Pie ‘N Burger

Best Cupcakes Sweet Surrender Favorites Smith’s Bakeries Cupcakes~n~Crema

Best Deli/Sandwich Shop The Sequoia Sandwich Company Favorites Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen Luigi’s

in the national spotlight with features on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and in Oprah Winfrey’s publication O, The Oprah Magazine. The notoriety has led many out-of-towners to Sweet Surrender’s doorstep in search of the acclaimed Matterhorn and lemon white chocolate cakes. While some customers travel hundreds of miles or take long detours just for a taste of the acclaimed treats, Fiorini said there are still plenty of Bakersfield natives that are stopping by for the first time. “I have people who have lived in the neighborhood behind the shop for years that will come in and say they have never been in before,” she said. The business is still growing and Fiorini knows the secret to maintaining her success is to keep the same hometown feel that Sweet Surrender had in 1989. “When people come to my store, it’s like they are coming into my house. You still want them to feel like it’s home and they are welcome here,” Fiorini said. — Miranda Whitworth

Best Drive Thru In-N-Out Burger Favorites Starbucks Dewar’s Candy Shop

Best Pizza Spot Rusty’s Pizza Favorites Tony’s Pizza Cataldo’s Pizza

Mexicali Restaurant Favorites El Jacalito Grill Mauricio’s Grill & Cantina

Best Seafood Restaurant Red Lobster Favorites La Costa Mariscos Cafe Med

Best Steak Restaurant Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse Favorites KC Steak House Steak & Grape

Best Wing Place Buffalo Wild Wings Favorites Wingstop Goose Loonies Tavern & Grill

Best Yogurt Shop Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt Favorites Yogurtland Daddy O’s Frozen Yogurt & Gelato

Around the world Best Basque Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurant

Wool Growers Restaurant Favorites Benji’s French Basque Restaurant Narducci’s Cafe

Mexicali Restaurant Favorites La Costa Mariscos Don Perico Mexican Grill & Bar

Best Chinese Restaurant

Best Sushi/Japanese Restaurant

Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks Favorites Great Castle Chinese Restaurant Rice Bowl

Akira Japanese Restaurant Favorites Tokyo Garden Love Sushi III Inc.

Best Italian Food

Best Thai Food

Luigi’s Favorites Uricchio’s Trattoria Frugatti’s

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar Favorites Blue Elephant Thai Cuisine Thai House Restaurant

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Country brunch Bakersfield’s favorite brunch comes with a side of country music history

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very Sunday, hungry residents flock to Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace for the best brunch in town and for good reason. Available from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Sunday brunch features more than 40 items all made fresh from scratch, including favorites like buttermilk waffles, cheesy potatoes, roasted tri-tip and chicken-fried steak. An omelet station with a dozen filling options and a waffle/sundae

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bar allow diners to experiment to find their perfect combination of ingredients. There’s also a carving station, which slices up items like barbecue ribs, ham and tri-tip; fruit and salad station, dessert station and full bar. And among the plates of bacon and biscuits, there are also plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Between trips to the buffet, diners can stroll by displays of sequined and star-spangled memorabilia from Owens’ life or take in

the dazzling details of his Pontiac convertible parked over the bar. Reservations are not required but highly recommended, especially for large parties. Adults get in for $21.95 (includes two complimentary mimosas), seniors are $18.95, children ages 11 to 13 are $12.95, and kids 10 and younger get in free with each paid adult. Additional kids 10 and younger get in for just $8.95. — Mark Nessia


PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

The Sunday brunch at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace goes from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays and features more than 40 delicious items made from scratch and a full bar.

The right bed for you

n’t been If you haven’t bedFIT, you’re only guessing!

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f Hageman Rd & Calloway Dr (661) 589-8000

Northeast 3700 River Blvd. • (661)324-9701

Southwest 2739 Panama Ln. • (661)834-8820

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For any occasion Best Breakfast Restaurant

Best Restaurant for Kids/Family

24th Street Cafe Favorites Village Grill Cope’s Knotty Pine Café

John’s Incredible Pizza Co Favorites BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Chuck E. Cheese’s

Best Buffet

Best Romantic Restaurant

Hodel’s Country Dining Favorites Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace The Garden Spot

The Belvedere Room at The Padre Hotel Favorites The Mark Restaurant Uricchio’s Trattoria

Best Business Lunch Luigi’s Favorites Petroleum Club of Bakersfield The Padre Hotel

Best Sunday Brunch Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace Favorites Hodel’s Country Dining Don Perico Mexican Grill & Bar

Best Lunch Spot Sequoia Sandwich Company Favorites Luigi’s Jake’s Original Tex-Mex Café

Bakersfield’s Best Breakfast Restaurant: 24th Street Cafe.

TONY’S PIZZA

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NORTHEAST 3615 Mount Vernon Ave.

(661) 871-3556

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OPENING SOON NORTHWEST 4750 Coffee Road SOUTHWEST (661) 588-4700 6417 Ming Ave EB

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Thank you Kern County for vo<ng for us in the BEST CPA Firm category!

4130 California Avenue

(661) 325-4717

SHAFTER 300 Lerdo Hwy.

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Jodie Gibson enjoys a Cabo-Rita at Tahoe Joe’s, which is beloved not only for its food but also for its outstanding happy hour.

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Drinks

Bakersfield’s Best Microbrew Selection: Lengthwise Brewing Company


Let the good times roll Tahoe Joe’s pours the best happy hour in town

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alking into a Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse is like stepping into an alpine ski lodge, complete with authentic pine beams and hand-painted lamps. Between the atmosphere and the delicious, made-from-scratch food, Tahoe Joe’s gives you something to be happy about just about every hour of the day. But it’s the eatery’s open patio and full bar that make them stand out as one of Bakersfield’s best happy hour location. The bar area and large, open patio feature six flat-screen televisions. With appetizers starting at just $2.99 and $1 off all drinks during happy hour, there’s sure to be something to make everyone happy. Happy hour runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. until closing, Monday through Saturday, and all day on Sunday. “For us, it’s all about the food and hospitality,” said Reem Atkins, Tahoe Joe’s Community and Public Relations Manager. And together, those priorities make Tahoe Joe’s a home away from home for both guests and employees. “Our team members treat each guest like you would treat a friend in your own home. Every member of the Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse team strives

to create an experience our guests will tell stories about to friends and family,” Atkins said. Patrons can quench their thirst with everything from ice cold beer and wine to handshaken martinis and margaritas. Or visitors can sip on one of the restaurant’s many signature drinks such as their Blueberry Pomegranate Cooler, Captain’s Mai Tai or their top shelf Long Island Iced Tea. Out of all of Tahoe Joe’s refreshing beverage, Atkins said one of the most popular cocktails is their bellini, which blends tequila, peach schnapps, white wine and peach nectar swirled with Razzmatazz raspberry liqueur. Tahoe Joe’s also serves up seasonal libations like their Pumpkin Pie Martini in the fall and their Golden Peach and California Red Sangria to cool off your summer. But Bakersfield isn’t the only city that enjoys Tahoe Joe’s excellent happy hour. The local restaurant is one of nine locations throughout California and up until now, the farthest south. But Tahoe Joe’s will spread the happiness even farther this summer when the chain opens its 10th restaurant in Chino. — Melissa Peaker-Whitten

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Best Drinks Best Bar The Padre Hotel Favorites Lengthwise Brewing Company Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse Starbucks Coffee Company Favorites Dagny’s Coffee Company Covenant Coffee

To Go Orders 661.323.8801 1415 24th Street

Mexicali Favorites Don Perico Mexican Grill & Bar La Mina Cantina

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We’ve loved serving you for the past 41 years.

Best Wine Selection

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Lengthwise Brewing Company Favorites BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer

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Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchant Favorites Trader Joe’s Cost Plus World Market

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Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center’s Dr. Ravi Patel and nurse Diane Taggart were chosen as best specialty doctor and best nurse in this year's Best of Bakersfield contest.

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Health

Bakersfield’s Best Fitness/Health Club: In-Shape Health Clubs


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A DEDICATED LEADER At CBCC, Dr. Ravi Patel has labored to change lives through hope and innovation for 30 years. Patel established the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in a 1200square-foot clinic in 1984 and since then CBCC had grown by leaps and bounds. With great staff and cutting-edge technology, Patel has propelled the center to success while maintaining a personal connection with his patients. “He has a way of making our patients feel comfortable and content, that they can fight this disease and he will do everything he can to make sure that they get the best care. He has been known to go and visit patients at home from time to time,” said Kristen Hall, who has worked as one of Patel’s medical assistant for more than a dozen years. Not only does Dr. Patel devote his time to his patients and employees, he is also dedicated in worthy local causes. “He is very involved with the Kern County Cancer Fund and many other foundations. He has a heart of gold,” said medical assistant Francisca Quiroz. Born in South Africa, Patel faced the challenges of racial discrimination and limited resources. His childhood struggles opened his eyes to a respect for life at the deepest level. Patel said his life changed when he met his wife Naina in medical school. She has been his guiding light ever since, helping him make the right decisions for their lives. Together they raised two ambitious

sons who are also joining the fight against cancer. One son is in medical school and is interested in becoming an oncologist, while the other son has begun working as a scientist in cancer research. Free time is rare for Dr. Patel, but when he does have leisure time he spends it with his family, reading philosophy, teaching Sunday school, and exercising. Most recently, he has taken up piano and keeps a keyboard in his home office. “Who knows, one of these days you may catch me performing at one of the local restaurants at night,” he said.

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r. Ravi Patel and nurse Diane Taggart are part of a dedicated team at the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center that strives to make each cancer patient’s life better. Their skills - and bedside manner have not gone unnoticed by the community. Patel was named best specialty doctor and Taggart was voted best nurse in the 2014 Best of Bakersfield competition.

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HEALING WITH CARE Nurse Diane Taggart’s faith inspires her as she does her very best to care for every patients. “I pray before I see each of our patients,” Taggart said. Taggart started working for Patel in February 2006. A skillful nurse, she has developed a keen ear and desire to let patients know someone cares. “My philosophy about being a great nurse is to always be honest and to do my very best to listen with my whole heart because I want our patients to know that we really care,” Taggart said. Coworkers also appreciate Taggart’s kindness toward patients. Alissa Turner, a medical assistant who works with Taggart, said she notices Diane’s strong relationships with the center’s patients. “She connects with patients by making them feel comfortable and talks them through the process,” Turner said. Outside of her nursing career, Taggart is a wife, a mother of three daughters, and a grandmother. When she is out of her scrubs, she loves to exercise and take her three dogs on walks and runs. As her patients inspire her to exceed their expectations, she wants everyone to be conscious of their health. “I would like people to be aware of their own bodies and to take care of themselves as much as they are able to,” Taggart said. — Paul Rivas

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Best Doctor/General Practitioner Dr. Raj Patel Favorites Dr. William J. Farr Dr. Calvin J. Kubo

Best Hospital Mercy Hospital Southwest Favorites San Joaquin Community Hospital Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

Best Medical Group Best Dentist/Orthodontist Dr. Donald R. Montano Favorites Dr. Gerald P. Tadej Dr. Kurt Sturz

Kaiser Permanente Favorites Mohawk Medical Group Farr Medical Group, Inc.

Best Nurse Best Chiropractor Matthew Tatsuno at Tatsuno Chiropractic Favorites Lorne McCan at McCan Family Chiropractic Christopher Berry at Advanced Wellness Center

Diane Taggart at Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center Favorites Kammie Roberts at Mercy Hospital Southwest Hope Roe at San Joaquin Community Hospital

Best Ophthalmologist Best Fitness/Health Club In-Shape Health Clubs Favorites Body Xchange Health Clubs Total Woman Fitness & Training Centers

Dr. Greg A. Stainer, Southwest Eye Care and Laser Favorites Dr. Charles D. Fritch, Fritch Eye Care Center Dr. Daniel H. Chang, Empire Eye and Laser Center

Best Health Food Store Best Personal Trainer Eric Mahanke at TERRIO Physical Therapy & Fitness

Best Physical Therapy Group TERRIO Physical Therapy & Fitness Favorites Glinn & Giordano Physical Therapy Pair & Marotta Physical Therapy

Best Plastic Surgeon Dr. Darshan Shah Favorites Dr. Vipul Dev Dr. Gordon Mitts

Best Specialty Doctor Dr. Ravi Patel - Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center Favorites Dr. Mark L. Schamblin - Southern California Orthopedic Institute Dr. Milan Shah - Beautologie Medical Group

Best Veterinarian Paul Ulrich - Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital Favorites Julie Mischke - Coffee Road Animal Hospital Travis Thurman - Thurman Veterinary Center

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Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins Favorites Cones Health Foods & Vitamins GNC

Favorites Gina Rolow at Body By Gina Pat Brown at Lifetime Fitness

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Make your home a “Best Of”with our “Best Interior Designer” nominee. Melissa Hutton

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Where Beautiful Homes Begin

9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 705

829-2288 • www.beladagio.com

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Mercy Hospital Southwest registered nurse Jacinta Munguti cradles one-day-old Nathan Tusa. Mercy Hospital Southwest was voted Bakersfield’s Best Hospital this year.

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Warm welcomes like Baleigh Fox’s smile keep customers coming back to Cruz Thru Express Car Wash.

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Services

Bakersfield’s Best Tire Store: Costco Wholesale


Cruising to excellent customer service Cruz Thru Express Car Wash’s special flair keeps drivers rolling in

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uckle up and travel back in time through a mysterious land covered in trees and inhabited by cavemen and dinosaurs. Straight ahead is an active volcano with steam rising from its peak and lightning striking from the skies. Dramatic music chronicles the vehicle’s approach as it’s covered in a hot lava bath as it passes through the base of the volcano. A photo is snapped at the end of the journey as the travelers make it out with their lives...and a clean car. It’s no amusement park ride – just a Lava Cruz car wash at Cruz Thru Express Car Wash. Since 2002, Cruz Thru has been

providing Kern County with an overthe-top car wash experience and unrivaled customer service with seven locations in Bakersfield, one in Lancaster and one in Palmdale. “We’re in the people business; we just happen to wash cars,” said assistant director of operations JoAnna Smith. “It’s only when you come to a Cruz Thru that you experience what makes us stand out.” The heartbeat of the business is the employees. Friendly service, attention to detail and an experience the whole family can enjoy are what bring customers back – a clean car is just an added bonus. Everyone who comes to Cruz Thru is greeted with a smile. Com-

plimentary coffee is available for drivers every morning and children are treated to lollipops and Disney drawings on the windows. But what really makes Cruz Thru unique is Photo Shoot, which takes a customer’s photo and places it on backgrounds that change weekly and never repeat. The photo is available within minutes, ready to view, share and enter into a photo-of-themonth contest to win free Lava Cruz washes. “We’ve created a business that people will come here for even when they don’t need it,” Smith said. “They’ll come for the want, not the need.” — Mark Nessia

Taking Care of Business Best Advertising Agency

Best Dry Cleaner

Best New Local Business

Saba Agency Favorites The Marcom Group Design Mark + Associates

Today Cleaners Favorites New City Cleaners SPARKLE Uniform & Linen Service

Hobby Lobby Favorites Black Bear Diner Wiki’s Wine Dive & Grill

Best Bank/Financial Institute

Best Florist

Best Pest Control Company

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Favorites Chase Bank Wells Fargo Bank

Log Cabin Florist Favorites Garden District Flowers White Oaks Florist

Clark Pest Control Favorites Banks Pest Control, Inc. Terminix

Best Catering Service

Best Funeral Home

Best Travel Agency

Jake’s Tex-Mex Café Favorites Luigi’s Hodel’s Country Dining

Greenlawn Funeral Homes and Cemeteries Favorites Hillcrest Memorial Park & Mortuary Basham Funeral Care

AAA Automobile Club of Southern California: Bakersfield Favorites Lambourne Travel Uniglobe Golden Empire Travel

Best Law Firm

Best Retirement Home

Chain | Cohn | Stiles Favorites Law Offices Of Young Wooldridge, LLP Rodriguez & Associates

Glenwood Gardens Favorites Rosewood Retirement Community Carriage House Estates

Best CPA/Accounting Firm Brown Armstrong Certified Public Accountants Favorites Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock CPAs & Advisors Hocking Denton Palmquist Certified Public Accountants

Best Customer Service Cruz Thru Express Car Wash Favorites Costco Wholesale Kern Schools Federal Credit Union

Best Lawyer Daniel Rodriguez Favorites David K. Cohn H.A. Sala

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Members of the Bill Wright Toyota/Scion sales team surrounded by a Toyota Tundra, Toyota Tacoma, Toyota 4Runner and Scion FR-S.

Driving success Bill Wright Toyota/Scion keeps customers rolling in with options, service

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or nearly 45 years, Bill Wright Toyota/Scion has been synonymous with reliability and extraordinary customer service. From the moment a customer steps into the dealership, the friendly and knowledgeable staff ensures they are treated right regardless of their needs. That relationship doesn’t end once they drive off the lot, either. Many customers who purchase their vehicle from Bill Wright often return for maintenance and routine check-ups because of the trust they have in the business. And those customers often come back to Bill Wright when it’s time to purchase another vehicle. “When the company does in-house sourcing to see where customers are coming from, most of the customers are repeat customers,” said advertising marketing manager Tara Shackelford. “Forty-five years in the business has developed a reputation of reliability.” That reliability extends to the vehicles

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Everything on wheels Best Auto Service

Best Tire Store

Bill Wright Toyota/Scion Favorites Motor City Buick GMC Lexus Jim Burke Ford

Costco Wholesale Favorites Big O Tires America’s Tire

Best Bike Shop

Best Used Car Dealership

Snider’s Cyclery Favorites Action Sports Finish Line

Bill Wright Toyota/Scion Favorites Jim Burke Ford Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac

Best Motorcycle Shop Bakersfield Harley Davidson Favorites Valley Cycle & Motorsports Fred Cummings Motorsports

Best New Car Dealership

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themselves. “The Toyota product is renowned for its quality, dependability and reliability,” said general sales manager Kevan Juergens. “Couple that with a customer-first philosophy and the results have made Bill Wright Toyota a major automotive influence in Kern County.” The addition of Scion to the lineup of vehicles in 2002 has increased that influence even more. “The Scion concept – embracing pure pricing – was proposed as a dealership within a dealership and targeted Generation Y consumers,” Juergens said. “The idea was to offer a fixed selling price and to give buyers the opportunity to customize their vehicles so they were unique unto themselves.” Whether it’s a reliable Toyota or a customizable Scion, customers have plenty of options at Bill Wright. Customers even have a choice of location – a north dealership at 19651 Industry Parkway Drive and the original lot at 5100 Gasoline Alley Drive – to make buying a car easy. — Mark Nessia

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Pat Henneberry, right, Castle and Cooke Vice President of Bakersfield Housing Operations and Robert Hernandez, construction manager, inside a Brighton Park home.

Cooking up a new standard of living Castle & Cooke continues to build up Bakersfield with stellar home, retail developments

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astle & Cooke is dedicated to making Bakersfield one of California’s most desirable places to live. Samuel Northrop Castle and Amos Starr Cooke founded Castle & Cooke, Inc. in Hawaii in 1851. The company came to Bakersfield in 1988 when it purchased the holdings of Tenneco West. Since its arrival, Castle & Cooke has been fundamental to the development of the west side of Bakersfield including Seven Oaks along with the Seven Oaks Country Club, and retail shopping centers in The Marketplace, Gosford Village and The Shops at River Walk. A home from Castle & Cooke offers peace of mind for any potential homeowner. “Residents feel protected and are engaged with the lifestyle offered inside and outside their home,” said Vice President of Home Building Pat Henneberry. The company strives to make the process easy, offering everything a soon-to-be homeowner needs including a sales agent, design consultant, mortgage lender, and warranty team that will ensure financial goals are met.

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Best Real Estate Agent Best Home Improvement Building Contractor DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen Favorites Blue River Cabinetry & Construction Sorci Construction Services

Jon Busby at RE/MAX Magic Favorites Mary Christenson at Watson Realty ERA Betty Byrom at People Realty, Inc.

Best Interior Designer

Best Real Estate Company

Red Door Interiors Favorites Robert Moseley at House of Moseley Melissa Hutton at Beladagio

Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors Favorites Watson Realty ERA RE/MAX Magic

Best Mortgage Company Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Favorites Wells Fargo Agape Mortgage

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Castle & Cooke’s vision is to produce high quality homes that improve lifestyles and communities. Choosing where to live can be difficult, but Castle & Cooke stands behind its product to make sure every home is built to premium standards. “We have a responsibility to take care of the land we develop, so we build with our green-wise philosophy of being energy efficient, improving air quality, using sustainable materials, and incorporating the surroundings into the design of the communities and homes,” Henneberry said. In each job, Castle & Cooke puts a lot of love into the homes they build. “We love being a part of where people choose to spend their lives. The feeling of home isn’t something you can get anywhere, it comes from feeling connected to not just your home but also to your community,” Henneberry said. “Memories are made in our homes and we want to help create as many as possible.” — Paul Rivas

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Bakersfield Christian High School’s mascot clowns around with students Sydnie Anderson, Garret Kingsbury, Feike DeBoer, Brandon Paw and Savannah Shores.

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Education

Bakersfield’s Best College/Higher Learning Source: Cal State Bakersfield


Helping students soar Bakersfield Christian High School celebrates 35 years of enriching the community

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lthough they have changed their name and their location over the years, Bakersfield Christian High School has been a cornerstone of the Bakersfield community for 35 years. With a student body of just under 450, BCHS is unique in that it offers a more intimate setting than many other private schools, which tend to have more students enrolled. “The kids know each other and the teachers know everyone,” said Karen Dierks, BCHS’ vice president of advancement. Smaller class size means students receive extra attention and have more time to meet with teachers outside of class, Dierks said. Fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Christian Schools International, the school’s course credits are easily transferrable to colleges and universities throughout the United States. But BCHS isn’t just about academic success. The school staff and administrators strive to create a cul-

ture that nurtures the whole student, focusing on athletics, arts and spiritual development as well, said Dierks. The athletic program offers a variety of sports, including golf, tennis, and water polo, as well as perennial favorites like football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. And the school’s art program includes both the visual and performing arts, including animation, broadcasting, theater, choir, guitar, and band. Settling into the school’s 10th year at its Stockdale Highway location, cutting-edge technology is available to both students and staff, with more than 250 computers on campus and more than half of them designated for student use. Every teacher is equipped with an iPad for classroom instruction and each classroom is equipped with Apple TV with a 60-inch HD display. Finally, the school’s workers strive to instill positive Christian values in their pupils. To learn more about the Eagles, visit bakersfieldchristian.com. — Melissa Peaker-Whitten

Education Best College/Higher Learning Source California State University, Bakersfield Favorites Bakersfield College Taft College

Best Day Care/Preschool Facility Little Red School House Favorites St. John’s Lutheran Children’s Center Stockdale Christian Preschool

Best Kids Sports Program North of the River Recreation & Park District Favorites American Youth Soccer Organization American Kids Sports Center

Best Local Teacher Craig Holliday at Bakersfield High School Favorites Nate Thiessen at Bakersfield Christian High School Janell Burke at Stockdale High School

Best Private School Bakersfield Christian High School Favorites Garces Memorial High School Stockdale Christian School

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North of the River Recreation & Park District was voted Best Kids Sports Program.

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BEST SALSA BEST MARGARITA BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

We look forward to offering you the same quality food & service. We appreciate your loyalty.

2 Locations

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One of the bobcats at the California Living Museum, which was selected Bakersfield’s Best Family Recreation/Entertainment Place.

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Out and About


Animals, events abound at CALM This “living museum” is a family outing you won’t want to miss And soon, two new little additions will join the zoo family. “We are very excited to be introducing two new mountain lion kittens to the public soon,” Fain said. Tickets for admission to CALM are $9 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $5 for children 3 to 12 years old, and children younger than 3 get in free. You can also purchase an annual individual membership for $30 and other membership levels are available. To visit, donate, or find out how to volunteer at the zoo, call 8722256 or visit calmzoo.org. — Alana Garrett

A few of CALM’s natural exhibits include an open black bear exhibit, bird of prey exhibit with hawks, owls and eagles, as well as a mammal round that houses bobcats. There is also a contact area with domestic animals and you may even find a few endangered species on exhibit. There’s always something to keep you entertained at this zoo. “From kids free days to the Holiday Lights, we always have something going on,” said Lana Fain, the zoo manager at CALM. “Spring Fling is coming up and we will have our birthday in May; these special events keep people coming to see what’s new at the zoo.”

Good Old-Fashioned Family Food!

Breakfast Served All Day

Thanks Bakersfield!

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ountain lions, bobcats and black bears, oh my! Take a walk on the wild side at CALM — also known as California Living Museum. At CALM, you can see native California animals, plants, fossils and artifacts. The zoo is located on 14 park-like acres and has more than 80 species of unreleasable animals. CALM not only provides a safe haven for animals, it also provides education to more than 13,000 Kern County school children annually through on-site programs and 60 programs presented off-site at schools and community events.

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Buy One Get One

New Local Business

Any Entrée Purchase any regular price menu entrée with two beverages and receive the second regular price menu entrée of equal or lesser value for half off. Only valid at the Bakersfield location. Cashier please use POS key BOGO1/2 Entree. Not valid with any other discounts or specials. Not valid on holidays. Exp. 06/30/14

4102 California Ave. • Bakersfield • (661) 322-5000

BlackBearDiner.com Facebook.com/BlackBearDiner bakersfieldlife.com

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Junior League members Teresa Lewis, left, and Tamara Mazzei work on their blankets during the Tie One On for Tots event. The blankets were donated to the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

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members each year. New members must complete a training course and the organization welcomes women of all races, religions, and national origins who are committed to voluntarism. Junior League envisions all women and children in Kern County living free of abuse and neglect. “We focus on the needs of women and children, and in particular, we give emphasis to the needs of pre-emancipated foster girls,” said President Lydia Rowles. The group raises money at Bakersfield Uncorked, Junior


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Best Hotel

Kern County Fair Favorites Holiday Lights at CALM Relay for Life

The Padre Hotel Favorites Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Best Art Gallery Bakersfield Museum of Art Favorites Metro Galleries Bakersfield Art Center

Best Community Theatre The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall Favorites Stars Theatre Restaurant The Empty Space

Best Family Recreational/ Entertainment Place

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Best Place to Worship Valley Bible Fellowship Church Favorites St. Francis of Assisi Parish Valley Baptist Church

Best Service Club

California Living Museum, CALM Favorites Maya Cinemas The Park at River Walk

Junior League of Bakersfield Favorites Kern County Shrine Club Kiwanis Club of Kern, Bakersfield; Lions Clubs (tie)

Best Golf Course

Best Worthy Cause

Seven Oaks Country Club Favorites The Links at RiverLakes Ranch Stockdale Country Club

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Favorites Relay for Life Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

Let our experienced team and creative minds design and build the kitchen and bath of your dreams.

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League’s annual wine fest. In 2013, Junior League distributed $23,000 in grants and enabling funds. “We support projects and groups that help fulfill our mission and support our vision,” Rowles said. Junior League started an in-house project called Girls Achievement Program in 2009 to help a pre-emancipation foster youth develop life skills. Junior League’s newest project stems from the GAP program. “It is from our deep involvement with GAP that clued us into the issue of human trafficking in Kern County. We have discovered that one of the most vulnerable to this horrible scourge is a young woman in foster care,” Rowles said. Junior leaguers plan to develop a better understanding of the issue to create a way to protect young women from becoming tangled in a life of abuse. — Paul Rivas

- Everett & Patty Gray

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Enhancing Lives. Improving Homes. The DreamMaker Experience

Experience E i D DreamMaker M k Today, Call 837-1117 Visit DreamMakerBakersfield.com to see all of our beautiful work.

5880 District Blvd. Suite 19 • Fully Licensed & Insured • Lic # 548785 bakersfieldlife.com

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FAMOUS FAMILY STYLE RESTAURANT

BILL LEE’S BAMBOO CHOPSTICKS

Celebrating Our 76th Anniversary

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The Kern County Fair was voted Bakersfield’s Best Annual Event.

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Laura Kovacevich peruses the display cases at The American Jewelry Company with Carl Saenger’s help.

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Shopping

Bakersfield’s Shoe Store: Guarantee Shoe Center


A sparkling legacy

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Saenger also learned important lessons about the jewelry business from his father-in-law. “Treat the customer as you would like to be treated and be true to your word,” Saenger said. After more than a century in business, The American Jewelry Co. staff maintains a strong focus on customer service. “They are prepared to take on whatever time is needed to assist their customers. (We) offer in-house custom designing, manufacturing, and repair, as well as appraisal services,” Saenger said. Customers looking for the right piece of jewelry can find everything from Rolex timepieces to popular Tacori engagement rings at this shop. “Shoppers can be assured of finding that special piece of jewelry for any occasion,” Saenger said. — Paul Rivas

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he American Jewelry Company continues a more than 100year-old tradition of exceptional service that customers appreciate and trust. Nat Solomon founded The American Jewelry Co. in 1898. The shop’s first location was on 19th Street in a lively retail center. Solomon died in 1947 and Paul Campbell and his grandfather, along with his great uncle Jim Cheney, purchased American Jewelry from Solomon’s estate. In 1949, the business moved from its Chester Avenue location to 20th and Eye streets and remained there for 39 years. The store moved again in 1988 to its present location on the fifth floor suite atop the Oak Park Tower. Campbell’s son-in-law, Carl Saenger joined the business in 1975. He completed the coursework to become a Certified Gemologist Appraiser by the American Gem Society to help the business prosper.

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Shopping Best Antique Dealer

Best Jewelry Store

Best Shopping Center

Five and Dime Antique Mall Favorites Mill Creek Antique Mall In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques

The American Jewelry Company Favorites Rogers Jewelry Company Houston Jewelers

The Marketplace Favorites Valley Plaza Mall Northwest Promenade

Best Camera Shop

Best Pet Supplies

Henley’s Photo Favorites Costco Wholesale Best Buy

Petco Favorites PetSmart The Village Pet Market

Best Electronics

Best “Made in Bakersfield” Product

Best Sporting Goods Dick’s Sporting Goods Favorites Big 5 Sporting Goods Sports Chalet

Best Western Store Best Buy Favorites Costco Wholesale Urner’s

Dewar’s Candy Shop ice cream and chews Favorites Smith’s Bakeries Sweet Surrender cupcakes

Boot Barn Favorites Emporium Western Store Floyd’s General Store

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Bakersfield Life intern Alana Garrett enjoys a sundae at Woolworth’s Diner in the Five and Dime Antique Mall, where you can shop and then enjoy a milkshake.

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Thank you Bakersfield Life readers for nominating Wells Fargo “Best Bank/Financial Institution”*

Our bankers live and work in your community and know that good relationships make us all stronger. By getting to know you our experienced bankers can offer customized tools and services tailored to meet your financial needs. Visit us at a location near you and talk with a banker today.

wellsfargo.com * Readers’ poll, Bakersfield Life, 2014. © 2014 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (1183879_11636)

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Home Sweet Home Best Carpet/Flooring/Tile Bill Ray Ceramic Tile Center Inc. Favorites Stockdale Tile Flooring Liquidators

Best Furniture Store Weatherby’s Furniture Favorites Ashley Furniture HomeStore Red Door Interiors

Best Home Appliance Store Urner’s Favorites Sears Home Depot Urner’s Z’s Please Sleep Center Favorites Mr. Mattress Furniture Direct Mattress Land SleepFit Center

Best Nursery/Garden Store White Forest Nursery Favorites Bolles Nursery Landscape Robby’s Nursery

Bill Ray of Bill Ray Ceramic Tile Center Inc. walks through his large store on E. Brundage Lane.

GREATEST thing about having a CHOICE is the FREEDOM to make it. The

Come see our new renovations! Life can be a wonderful adventure at any age, especially when you have the freedom to make your own decisions about all the places your life can go. And our Brookdale®

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To learn more or to schedule a personal visit, call (661) 587-0221

INDEPENDENT LIVING | ASSISTED LIVING ALZHEIMER’S & DEMENTIA CARE REHABILITATION & SKILLED NURSING

350 Calloway Dr. | Bakersfield, CA 93312 | (661) 587-0221 RCFE # 157203395 ()) ./6 8)(%61 ),46 %(& 2; 59 * .<*?>"*<0 @= '<@@0?*-> 1>!5@< )535!: ,!A#$ &*9735-->$ .&$ +1(# 5HJ 8 6 3DWHQW DQG 70 2IÀFH 5(6 /00

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brookdale.com

PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE

Best Mattress Store


JOIN US FOR A

+!(!"%$#*'&) SUNDAY, MAY 18TH 10am – 2pm Sweet Surrender 6439 Ming Avenue Birthday Cake | Entertainment Cake Walk

www.sweetsurrenderbakery.com

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Mr. Tuxedo keeps it classy Longtime shop owner shares his secrets for keeping customers sharply dressed and happy

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4601 California Ave. • 4601 Fruitvale Ave.

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For voting Little Red School House “Best Day Care Facility in 2014 Readers Poll”. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us for the past 47 years. Congratulations to our staff for a great job! Now Accepting Registrations

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To keep Mr. Tuxedo in step with fashion trends, Leech and his staff have a keen ear for what the customers want. “We upgrade every six months, and we have the latest colors and styles available,” Leech said. Nearly three decades after he opened his doors, Leech estimates he has fitted more 100,000 young men. Known for his sweater vest, Leech is always at his shop to say, “Hello” to his customers. As Leech sees it, “You don’t need customers; you need friends.” — Paul Rivas

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wear in stock. “If a guy needs a particular coat, we go back and get him that particular coat. We fit him on the spot without using any try-on coats, which eliminates 90 percent of the problems,” Leech explained. Mr. Tuxedo also belongs to the International Formalwear Association network, which allows the business to fit anyone from anywhere. A gentleman can visit Bakersfield from out of state for a wedding and if he is fitted at another network shop, Leech gets a email from that shop with his measurements and has the garments ready to wear.

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Carl Leech, owner of Mr. Tuxedo, is known around town for his signature sweater vests.

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Air Force Health Professions 11075 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste 300 Los Angeles, CA 90025

TIMOTHY A. BERNAU Master Sergeant, USAF Air Force Recruiter 1-800-423-USAF

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Best Bridal Wear

Best Spa

David’s Bridal Favorites Ladies & Gents Bridal Mr. Tuxedo

Essentiels Spa et Beauté Favorites Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa EuroPhoria Medical & Personal Spa

Best Hair Salon Essentiels Spa Et Beauté Favorites Curl Up & Dye Salon Paragon Salon Spa

Best Men’s Apparel Macy’s Favorites H. Walker’s Men’s Clothing Company Kohl’s

Best Shoe Store

Best Tuxedo Store Mr. Tuxedo Favorites A.J.’s Tuxedo Junction Friar Tux Shop

Best Women’s Apparel Kohl’s Favorites Macy’s Apricot Lane Boutique

Guarantee Shoe Center Favorites Macy’s Famous Footwear

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Rosco Rolnick, president, and daughter Sarah Rolnick, sales associate in front of Guarantee Shoe Center, voted Bakersfield’s Best Shoe Store.

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Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests CRYSTAL PALACE STEAKHOUSE 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. 661/328-7560

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BUSINESS PROFILE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS AND INSTRUMENTATION, INC. (ESI) ESI celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2014—what are some highlights? We’ve come a long way in 10 years! We started in 2004 with four employees and a local customer base of commercial and industrial companies. We now employ more than 250 people and Electrical Systems and have expanded our territory to Instrumentation, Inc. (ESI) include West Texas, Nevada, 6906 Downing Ave., Bakersfield, and New Mexico. ESI provides CA 93308 a winning scenario by employ(661) 587-9322 ing great people whose goal is www.elect-systems.com to provide the highest quality service to our customers. Our clients are happy, our employees are happy—it’s a win-win situation. How does ESI continue to be so successful? We have three major pillars that we base our company and our service on: Safety, Quality and Value. We truly believe that these tenets are what make our company successful. In terms of safety, we continually provide opportunities for our employees to become trained in specific aspects of their job. We repeatedly stress how important their safety is, not just for the success of the project or the company, but because their own families want them to come home safely every day. We want our service and products to be of the highest quality, because it’s our name and reputation on the line. And we focus on value—if something doesn’t add value for our customer, we won’t do it. We have worked very hard to build a company that is based on trust and positive relationships, both with our customers and our 142

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employees, and we attribute our growth and success to those ideas. What are some specific examples of Safety, Quality and Value? In addition to offering many types of safety courses, we have 11 employees who are responsible for creating, maintaining and expanding our safety program. We recognize our workers for their personal commitment Robert C. Riley, to safety, and it shows: ESI has completed six President of ESI years without an OSHA Recordable or Lost Time Injury and has sustained only one in its 10-year history. While we provide our services in many ways, such as through fixed and unit pricing, our specialty is hourly reimbursable, commonly called time and material. We manage the vast majority of our hourly reimbursable projects as though they are fixed price. This is another way we feel we add significant value to our clients. What is ESI’s specialty…what do you do? Our expertise includes the full spectrum of industrial and commercial electrical and automation services such as electrical power, control systems, instrumentation and process control. We work within many industrial sectors, including oil and gas, the food and beverage industry, and refining and mining. How does ESI create a positive work environment? In spite of the industrial nature of our service, we still try to maintain an atmosphere that feels like a family. The owners of our company are always on-site and accessible to all employees. We want our employees to feel like they have a voice, that they matter to our success and that they can influence our company. We support, encourage, and listen to our employees because they are our most valuable assets!


Safety, Quality and Value

Why choose ESI? ESI is committed to upholding the highest level of integrity and professionalism through safe, effective and value driven implementation of a quality product. We are... ESI is a full-service electrical, automation and instrumentation service company specializing in industrial and commercial electrical power, control systems, communications and process control. We work within many industrial and commercial sectors, including the oil and gas, refining and mining, and food and beverage industries.

We stand for... Safety‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌ Safety is the top priority for our employees every day and in every situation. Our safety record is proven by multiple years without an OHSA recordable injury—a remarkable accomplishment in our field. Safety at ESI is not just a word; it is a way of life. We have always had a full-time Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Manager on staff and employ a number of Safety Specialists who monitor and encourage the safe behavior of our employees. Our ratio of safety professionals to employees is approximately 1:25. Quality‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌ t -PX UVSOPWFS SBUF BOE IJHI FNQMPZFF NPSBMF t 8F TUBSU FYFDVUF BOE mOJTI B QSPKFDU XJUI UIF DPSSFDU QFSTPOOFM t 0VS GPDVT FODPNQBTTFT UIF UPUBM DPTU PG PXOFSTIJQ OPU KVTU MPX QSJDF t 1SPGFTTJPOBM FMFDUSJDBM DPEF DPNQMJBODF ESJWFO JOTUBMMBUJPOT t %POF SJHIU UIF mSTU UJNF FGmDJFOUMZ Value‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌ &4* FNQMPZT IJHIMZ USBJOFE -FBO 4JHNB #MBDL #FMU (SFFO #FMU BOE 8IJUF #FMU QFSTPOOFM XIP identify opportunities to add value and improve project execution efficiency. Through their FGGPSUT PVS -FBO 4JHNB UFBN IBT TBWFE PVS DMJFOUT IVOESFET PG UIPVTBOET PG EPMMBST

ESI Headquarters %PXOJOH "WFOVF #BLFSTmFME $" Phone: (661) 587-9322 | Toll free: (800) ESI-0800 Fax: (661) 587-8655 | Web: elect-systems.com

California C-10 #837498

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BUSINESS PROFILE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

maintaining the highest standards of cleaning quality and environmental responsibility. Today, Cleaners is licensed to use this proprietary cleaning system. This year, we are celebrating 11 years as the exclusive GreenEarth Cleaner in our market, which is an important milestone for us.

TODAY CLEANERS Today Cleaners has been named the Best Dry Cleaner in Bakersfield Life’s “Best Of” competition for 20 consecutive years. What are the reasons behind receiving this distinctive honor? Today Cleaners has 10 locations in the newest areas of town and provides a level of service that is second to none. Our staff is well trained and friendly. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have the most customers of any dry cleaner in Kern County, and we work hard every day to exceed those customer’s expectations. We are proud of our record and strive for continuous improvement. What about your service makes Today Cleaners so unique? Today Cleaners provides same-day service seven days a week. Our regular service promise to our customers is “In by 11 – ready at 4” every day. All 10 of our locations have full dry cleaning plants and shirt laundries. We also have express service that saves our customers valuable time. We have the longest hours of any cleaners in our market area. We also exclusively use the GreenEarth Cleaning System to care for our customers’ clothes. What is the GreenEarth Cleaning System? GreenEarth was introduced in 1998 to develop the “best professional textile cleaning system possible.” Emphasis is on 144

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Jeff Newman, Jr., President and CEO of Today Cleaners

What is express service? We provide you with a free pair of nylon express bags to accumulate and transport your clothes to us. Each bag is identified with a barcode tag indicating that it belongs to you. Just drop it off and go, no waiting! We have 24-hour drop boxes at all 10 locations as well. We also store your encrypted payment information in our secure point of sale system so your orders are automatically paid for when you pick up, saving valuable time. Our regular customers love express service! What are the benefits of an on-premise plant? Your clothes never leave the place where you bring them, which allows us to give you faster service and prevents misplaced items. It also affords us the opportunity to have skilled garment care specialists at every location that can answer questions and give more personalized service to our customers.



BUSINESS PROFILE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

HEISE MEDIA GROUP What does Heise Media Group do? We help our clients succeed! Heise Media Group is an award-winning, full-service marketing and advertising company that integrates new and traditional forms of media in order to create successful multi-media campaigns designed specifically for each client’s needs.

Heise Media Group

Heise Media is celebrating 15 years— what is your most significant 1400 Easton Drive, Suite 148, achievement? Bakersfield, CA 93309 Fifteen years in the advertising industry (661) 323-8594 is a big deal in any market! The fact that we www.heisemedia.com have been successful is a testament to the quality of our work, our relationships with our clients and involvement in our community. We produce a great product for great clients and are well respected for our experience, knowledge, and integrity. What do you attribute your longevity to? Hard work, experience, creativity, and knowledge! We continue to use cutting-edge ideas and tools to help our clients maximize their advertising and marketing dollar. We build partnerships with our clients and work hard to earn and keep their trust. We have proven over time that we can increase our clients’ bottom lines and help them grow their business. We want them to succeed. What do your clients say about you? Word of mouth and what others say about us is one of the best tools we have to tell others about Heise Media’s services. Our clients regularly use words such as astounding, creative, innovative, invaluable, and fabulous to describe 146

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our work. The old adage “actions speak louder than words” also explains how our clients feel: They not only keep coming back, but they share Heise Media’s name with business associates. What are the challenges in today’s marketing world? Marlene B. Heise, There are so many media Owner of Heise options in today’s world—it’s a chalMedia Group lenge to know which ones work best to reach a client’s target audience. The newer tools, including social media, the web, and e-blasts, have great potential, but traditional media such as print, television, and radio still have an important place. The trick is knowing how to utilize the media that will best serve our clients and their customers. Heise Media Group excels at finding the right mix! What does Heise Media do best? Our goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations. We deliberately focus on building a brand for each client by utilizing the strengths of various media, both traditional and emerging forms. We also are exceptional at media buying and integration—which allows our clients to get the most from their advertising budget. Why should businesses utilize an advertising/marketing firm? A great business plan is only part of what it takes to be successful. A strategic marketing plan enables a business to expand by getting the word out to the public (i.e., potential customers) about the company’s services or products. An advertising/marketing firm creates the plan, fine tunes the message and executes the distribution of the information to the target audience.


You know your business‌

we know marketing. From building great brands to social media, web site development to traditional media, media buying to powerful media integration, Heise Media is your full-service marketing solution. Celebrating 15 years of innovative ideas to maximize your advertising and marketing dollars.

1400 EASTON DR. SUITE 148, BAKERSFIELD, CA 93309

HEISEMEDIA.COM | 661.323.8594


BUSINESS PROFILE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

CASH IN

PHOTO BY JOHN HARTE

Mission Bank has the skills to connect your business to the power of SBA loans

Matt Damian, Senior Vice President SBA Division Manager for Mission Bank.

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ission Bank has been an active part of the Kern County business community for more than 15 years. After more than a decade in business, the bank continues to grow in size and in the type of products and services it offers to customers. Among the exciting recent developments at the bank are the new Riverwalk Business Banking Center opening in 2014, a new Agricultural Division and, of course, the bank’s new SBA Lending Division. Business owners can tap into the power of small business loans to grow their business with the help of Mission Bank’s new SBA Lending Division. Matt Damian, Senior Vice President and SBA Division Manager, leads the new venture and is excited to help business customers realize their full potential with this new program. Damian shared his insights into what makes Mission Bank stand out and how Mission Bank can make SBA loans work for your business. What sets Mission Bank apart? Our values: integrity, drive, ownership and collaboration. Mission Bank team members live by these values, and I believe this 148

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positively affects each and every business relationship we have. What is an SBA (Small Business Administration) loan? Generally speaking, SBA loans are government-guaranteed loans that are geared towards helping business owners grow their business by offering more flexible terms, like smaller down payments or longer amortization periods. What is exciting about Mission Bank’s new SBA Lending Division? It’s always exciting when you can offer new products to the business community, especially products specifically designed to promote growth. Business owners and entrepreneurs deserve any help we can provide to expand and nurture their endeavors. Strong, thriving businesses ensure a strong, thriving local economy and that is something that we at Mission Bank are proud to support, as a bank in general, and through the new SBA division. How will Mission Bank’s expertise in SBA loans benefit customers? Having unique product knowledge and a long history of navigating the SBA loan

process directly translates into a better customer experience. My entire banking career has been focused on this type of lending, and I believe that customers and their businesses can directly benefit from that. Who can apply for one of these loans? Most for-profit businesses are eligible, and SBA loans can be used to finance projects up to $10 million or more. Sometimes the word “small” in small business detracts companies from applying, because they think, “We’re too big for an SBA loan.” That’s not the case! How does banking locally benefit the community and the customer? We believe our role as a community bank is to invest in the success of our neighbors, which is why our core purpose is: “To Fuel and Grow Vibrant and Prosperous Communities.” At Mission Bank, we focus on developing personal relationships with each and every one of our customers. We truly want to understand your business and its unique set of needs. Who should customers contact if they want to find out more about SBA loans? Matt Damian, SBA Division Manager – 661-859-2521.



BUSINESS PROFILE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PROTECTING AND BUILDING YOUR FINANCIAL WELL-BEING

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What’s the history of your business in Bakersfield? I’ve been here since 1993, and I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. It’s a privilege to get to know people on a personal basis and make a difference in their lives. People feel like they need to have everything in order before they come see me. They don’t. It’s our job to get everything in order for them. What do you focus on? We are fee-based comprehensive financial planners. We look at the big picture. Most of our clients already have other advisors: attorneys, CPAs and an investment person. We take all of that and bring it together so that it’s cohesive. We’re the big picture people.

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Debbie Charpentier of Charpentier Wealth Strategies aims to help Bakersfield families build, protect and distribute their wealth and save efficiently.

distribute it, and save efficiently to make sure you have enough for your kid’s college, to invest and to retire. We make sense of all the options, and help you figure it out. We’re the interpreters. Clients receive a checklist of sorts, and they get their marching orders.

Who do you typically serve? Busy, professional, dual income couples with kids, busy executives and business owners, philanthropists, decisionmakers, and those who have a desire to leave or transfer assets to loved ones. We want to take the financial part off their plate.

What makes you different from other financial planners? I’m approachable, and you can feel comfortable to ask me anything. I would say that’s my gift – God’s gift to me. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and we didn’t have a lot of money when I was young. I try to put myself in people’s shoes so they can put a plan together and at least have a place to start.

How exactly do you help? We’ll help you build it, protect it and

Your firm’s philosophy is, “Serve first, last and always.” What does

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or 25 years, Debbie Charpentier has helped residents and families plan for their financial futures. This month, Charpentier’s Lincoln Financial Advisors is expanding and moving to a new address at 5001 California Ave. Suite 125. With the move comes a name change, too -- Charpentier Wealth Strategies. Charpentier Charpentier, Wealth Strategies a 2012 Southern Address: 5001 California California FinanAve. Suite 125 cial Planner of Phone: 322-5204 the Year, took Website: time to answer www.DebbieCharpentier.com questions about her business and how her team helps clients like you.

that mean? Sometimes people will come in, and I know they don’t have assets and there’s no potential to make revenue. It doesn’t matter. I can see they need help. I’ve had widows come in, and their lives have just fallen apart. I’ll sit down with them and pray. Sometimes that’s the first thing we do with clients, is pray. What’s your ultimate goal in your business? For me, it’s not a goal to of making X amount of dollars, it’s helping X amount of families in Bakersfield — giving people peace of mind. Most people come in and ask, “Do we have enough to live until we die? And if not, what are we going to do?” They’re real fears. We help settle those fears.


She’s Got Your Back “Most of us need help making practical financial decisions. I want to be encouraging, helping people move ahead with their financial lives. Above all, I help watch over my clients.” —Debbie Charpentier, 2012 Southern California Planner of the Year for Lincoln Financial Advisors

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RETIREMENT PLANNING INVESTMENT PLANNING LIFE INSURANCE LONG TERM CARE ESTATE/TAX PLANNING

Debbie Charpentier 5001 California Ave., Suite 125 Bakersfield, CA 93309 t. 661-322-5204 • f. 661-322-5412 debbie.charpentier@lfg.com www.debbiecharpentier.com

Debbie Charpentier is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln Marketing and Insurance Agency, LLC and Lincoln Associates Insurance Agency, Inc. and other fine companies. Charpentier Wealth Strategies is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. CA Insurance License #0763281. Lincoln Financial Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice. CRN890485-032714


PA S T I M E S

Three generations of shoppers do some serious antique shopping in Bakersfield at the Central Park Antique Mall on 19th Street in this file photo. Matthew Palmer, left, his grandmother, Lena King, center, and Matthew's mother and Lena's daughter, Adrianne King, right. Lena said she loves looking for antique jewelry, pottery and Fenton glassware.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS WHILE KEEPING WHAT IS OLD Bakersfield’s antiquing district continues to thrive, keep passion for the past alive By Mark Nessia

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A booth at Mill Creek Antique Mall is decorated with bits and bobbles in this file photo.

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ntiquing means different things to different people. For most, it about buying and collecting of items from long ago. But for those who grew up with it and whose lives revolve around it, antiquing isn’t that simple. To them, antiquing allows someone to recapture his or her childhood, to preserve family history, and pass traditions and life lessons to future generations – things that would otherwise be forgotten. To them, it is a way of life. Every antique has a story and that story is told and retold every time the item changes hands. With more than a dozen stores on 19th Street alone, Bakersfield’s unofficial antique


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Reg. $399 district has been telling plenty of stories as it’s grown over the years. “We’ve built a nice antique community here in Bakersfield,” said Rick Freels, owner of Mill Creek Antique Mall. “There aren’t a lot of towns where you’ll find that anymore.” Even though many of the stores are located close to one another, there isn’t a sense of competition between them. The stores have such unique inventory that the chances of finding the same item in another store are slim. If anything, the close proximity of the stores has allowed businesses to support one another. “It becomes a symbiotic relationship,” said Kandis Peake, owner of Forget Me Not Antiques. “I’m really pleased with how everybody is cross-promoting businesses and working together with that.” Those relationships help spread the antiquing culture throughout the community. It’s a shared love that got many into the business to begin with. “When you work in your passion, it’s not work,” said Dixie Brewer. “I get to share my love of antiques and work with the people I love most.” Brewer owns In Your Wildest Dreams, a consignment and antique store stocked with antique furniture and vintage clothing among more modern finds. Her daughter Ginger and grandson

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Tanner are also in the business with her. “It’s our dream come true,” Brewer said. “Passion for antiques is our family business.” That passion is often contagious. “You build relationships with people over time,” said Linda Sheffield of Five and Dime Antique Mall. “Young people come in and look around and something catches their eye, starting a new generation of antique collectors.” The creation of new collectors among today’s youth is important to keep the antiquing culture alive. Many stores encourage parents to bring their kids and have kidspecific displays piled with vintage toys, books and children’s clothing. Bringing children along not only exposes a new generation to antiquing, it also teaches and inspires them to preserve memorabilia and history. “Pretty soon people won’t know what a lot of these items are,” Sheffield said. “It’s really valuable to learn the history of how our country grew and changed over time.” It’s easy to forget how swiftly and definitively technology has changed our lives. In an age where everyone has a mobile device, a walk through an antique store is a healthy reminder of where things came from and how life was during a simpler time – a time where a phone’s mobility was limited to the length of its cord.

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A full-sized rickshaw and other antiques stand out at the Great American Antiques in Bakersfield in this file photo.

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2515 F Street • (661) 322-9910 Family Owned & Operated Monday: 11:00am - 10:30pm Friday: 11:00am - 12:00am Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Happy Hour: Weekdays 3:00pm - 6:00pm

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HOME AND GARDEN

AN INTERIOR UPGRADE

Adding a leather couch is a simple way to update a living room.

Best of Bakersfield favorite Ashley Furniture HomeStore offers simple steps to revamp your home By Bakersfield Life staff and Marissa Lay

Photos by Felix Adamo

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hether it’s your phone or your car, having the latest, best commodity is all about upgrading. But what about the place where you spend most of your time, your home? When was the last time you upgraded your mattress or updated a room with a new chair or lamp? For insight on how to revive each room in your dwelling, we turned to Ashley Furniture HomeStore general manager Steven Tran. “We're always here to help,” Tran said. “And when you are able to sit down and plan the steps you need to take, (updating your home is) no longer a daunting task, but rather an exciting one.”

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place to pile on for a movie or snuggle up for a good chat: the sofa. Commonly upgraded into something bigger or more comfortable, your dated couch can also be traded out for a more traditional piece, maybe something in leather. “You sit in it to relax, take a load off, so that's the big thing. You should find something that is comfortable to you, but also that fits your style,” Tran said. If you’re looking for a smaller investment, you can jazz up a living room with accessories, coffee tables, and lamps. “Accessories really bring a room together. They make the style of your furniture stand out. Match those with the coffee table and you've got a warm and inviting home,” Tran said.

THE KITCHEN When you look to redoing your kitchen, Tran’s advice is to “start with functionality.” If your family is big, do you need more seating at the dining room table? Are you in a smaller kitchen and need something more efficient for seating? Look at the table, make it fit and tie the room together with accessories on your walls and countertops. The accessories don't need to be expensive and they can make a huge

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• Personal Care • Bathing Services • Homemakers Service • Care Management • Meal Preparation • Transportation • Alzheimer’s & Hospice Care • Emergency Monitoring • Hospital Attendant • Bonded & Insured

We personally match our caregivers to each client and their needs. Our dependable caregivers are experienced, drug-alcohol screened, background checked, bonded and insured. 24 -Hour Service Call today for your FREE In-Home consultation!

(661) 631-2036 2029 21st Street • Bakersfield, CA 93301

Ashley Furniture HomeStore has both traditional and modern furniture on display.

Established by Jeanne Schamblin in 1990 • Serving Bakersfield for over 21 years.

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finding the right space to work and making it fit you needs becomes ever more important. While the electronics aspect of your home office is key, getting the right desk is the biggest home office improvement you can make. If you're still working from your kitchen table, it's time to get into a desk that offers functionality, storage and style, and Ashley Furniture HomeStore offers a variety of desks that do just that. “You need the furniture to make sure your work functions the way you need it to,” Tran said. “A simple desk can make a drastic change to your work life, I promise you that!”

THE BEDROOM

You can’t see it but updating your mattress is an investment you are sure to feel.

Continued from page 157 difference in the feel of the room.

THE HOME OFFICE As working from home becomes ever more common,

The best upgrade you can give your bedroom is one you can’t see but you’ll certainly feel - springing for a new mattress. According to Tran, upgrading your mattress every five to seven years is a good rule to follow. “A good mattress is so important for your sleep,” he said. “If you're waking up every morning feeling drowsy, still tired, and sore, I will bet you it's because you're sleeping on an old mattress.” Ashley carries Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, and Stearns & Foster brands, to name a few. “Whether you want to upgrade to a more modern con-

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Kern County Courthouse circa 1930.

‘THE DAY OF THE WOMAN JUROR IS AT HAND…’ Kern County women won the right to vote in 1911 but had to wait to join men in the Kern County jury box By Ken Hooper

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he day of the woman juror is at hand in this state…and it may be predicted that in the next six months members of the gentler sex will be found in the jury box and when they are they will determine the questions submitted to them quite as sensibly as do the men that now make up the juries.” This concluding paragraph from an editorial published in The Bakersfield Californian on Oct. 26, 1911 anticipated the right of jury service would soon be extended to women less than two weeks after women won enfranchisement at 160

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KERN COUNTY MUSEUM USED BY PERMISSION

HISTORY

the ballot box. But six months turned into six years before a woman sat in a Kern County jury box. As women won citizenship status in other states in their fight for the right to vote, the right of jury service also came with enfranchisement but not in California. Los Angeles County famously sat an all-women jury in the November of 1911 only to have the Police Court judges openly differ on the validity of the case. The California Code of Civil Procedure Section 192 specially stated that a grand jury was ‘made up of men,’ while Section 7 of the Civil Code read, “Words used in the masculine gender include the female and the neuter.” Los Angeles-based Police Judge Frederickson said in 1911 that “a man is a man, not a woman. If the code meant to include women as jurors it would not read ‘he’ but ‘he or she.’” Assistant U.S. Attorney George Cryer for the city of Los Angeles stated on Nov. 18, 1911 that, “In my opinion women are not qualified to serve as jurors in this state…unless the constitution is specifically amended to so provide.” The general consensus from judges around the state was that the California State Legislature would need to eventually address the topic. Yet it was not uncommon for California courts in various municipalities to regularly sit women on police courts and grand juries. The issue of women serving as jurors came before the California State Senate in April 1915. The debate centered not on the qualifications of women to perform jury duty but


rather the concern of drawing the names for jury service, regardless of sex, from the voter rolls. The concern that drawing names from the voter rolls would deter a great number of women from registering to vote stopped the progress of any legislation. In 1917 a defendant had his conviction successfully overturned for selling liquor illegally when an appellate court decided that women could not serve on juries or grand juries until the California Legislature amended the code to specifically allow women the right to jury service. On May 29, 1917, six weeks after America’s entry into World War I, Governor William Stephens signed the Women’s Jury Bill into law. The first Bakersfield jury to include a woman was seated on Oct. 26, 1917. Mrs. Mary G Curran, one of Kern County’s first women to register to vote in 1911, served as Kern County’s first jury forewoman in Department One of Judge Jackson W. Mahon’s Superior courtroom. The Bakersfield Morning Echo newspaper carried the story of Kern County’s first all women’s jury on the ‘Women’s Society Page.” According to the testimony of Dr. C. A. Rogers and Dr.

Kern County Historical Society The programs of the Kern County Historical Society are held monthly between September and May, with the exception of December. The programs feature speakers on subjects pertaining to county history, historical sites, and Kern County lore. All programs and field trips are open to members and guests. We are always looking for new members interested in Kern County history! For more information on membership and details on programs, visit our website at www.kchistoricalsociety.org

Spring 2014 Programs • April 19 — Kern County’s Banning of “The Grapes of Wrath,” by Marci Lingo • May 17 — The Geology of Kern County, by Jack Pierce

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

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The Villas At Scenic River A SENIOR COMMUNITY DESIGNED FOR YOU Continued from page 161 F. W. Mitchell, Mrs. Ella Bennett, the defendant in the case, was suffering from the “first stages of mono-mania or paranoia and advised that the state hospital would be the proper place for the woman.” The Bakersfield Morning Echo newspaper went on to say, “Mrs. Bennett went on the stand in her own defense and spoke of her struggles with life’s vicissitudes.” The all-woman jury decided that Mrs. Ella Bennett of the Weed Patch District, was of an “unsound mind” after Sheriff D.B. Newell and Deputy Sheriff Joseph Ratliff took her into custody from a “lonely mountain cabin in the Tejon Country.” The attorneys involved in the case of Mrs. Bennett said the jury was “was the most intelligent and good-looking jury it had been their pleasure to appear before.” — Ken Hooper is a history and archiving teacher at Bakersfield High School. He is also the past-president of the Kern County Historical Society, historian for the Kern Veteran’s Memorial Foundation, and coordinator for the Kern Veteran’s Oral History Project.

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OUR TOWN

THE REAL OIL WIVES OF BAKERSFIELD The Association of Petroleum Wives on a mission to better Bakersfield, build sisterhood

A worker in the oil fields northeast of Oildale, right, is silhouetted among oil pump jacks during a rain storm in Kern County.

By Paul Rivas

PHOTO BY DAWN KERLEY

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en are often front and center in the oil business, but there are some powerful women behind them that are setting out to make Bakersfield a better place. The Association of Petroleum Wives is a nonprofit organization that raises money for local charities and promotes friendship for women whose husbands work in the petroleum industry. Families in the oil industry are often relocated and the ladies of APW reach out to oil wives to help them adjust to Bakersfield. APW started in 1948 and is celebrating 65 years of fundraising and helping oil wives become active members of the community. The group’s members continue to make a strong impact in the community by lending their hands to Kern County charities. In the last 12 years, the group has donated nearly $200,000 to local charities, including Links for Life, the Kern Adult Literacy Council and Garden Pathways. This year, the group raised more than $25,000 from its clay shoot event alone. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the active ladies of APW.

HELPING OIL WIVES The ladies of APW enjoy Bunco at Christine’s Brighton. Top (from left to right) Coleen Noel, Kay Bell, and Laura Jones, front, Linda DeRose. 164

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APW members pump their husbands to find out who’s new in town. They organize social gatherings for couples so that all


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the wives can get to know each other. The fact that APW member and newsletter editor Mary Christenson happens to be a real estate agent also helps direct new families to the group. “Mary is a big part. She helps them find their homes or she helps them sell their homes, and she tells the wives about our group,” said APW President Norma Jallo.

THE REAL HUSBANDS OF PETROLEUM WIVES The wives are not the only ones doing some social work. Husbands play a big role in APW. “We have a lot of our husbands who come out and help. We get a lot of support,” Jallo said. The husbands constantly support their wives and encourage them to exceed expectations. They also participate in the fundraising because they want to make a difference, too. “It’s not just wives; it’s a family affair,” said APW Publicity Chair Dawn Kerley said.

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DRIVEN TO IMPROVE APW is driven to give back to charitable organizations so that Bakersfield can become a better city. That mission keeps the petroleum wives passionate about making a difference. Reaching their goals, putting smiles on people’s faces, and bringing people together to meet a need for charity groups inspires the ladies of APW.

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Continued from page 165 This year, the group is raising money for the Kern County Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County, the Kern County Office of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and JJ’s Legacy.

ANYONE CAN HELP Everyone is welcome to join APW functions to help raise money. The club welcomes a helping hand from ladies who are not members and not associated with the petroleum industry. “One of my best friends, Sandy, always helps out with everything. She is just one of those girls, and she has been helping out for seven years,” Jallo said.

The ladies of APW support many local causes. From left to right, Janie Hoy, Arlene Fisher, Lynn Califf and Norma Jallo.

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PHOTO BY DAWN KERLEY

THE PETROLEUM SISTERHOOD These ladies are not just sitting around, focusing on leisure activities. They are passionate about what they do. The women are also are very close and strive together to reach their goals. “We have our little disagreements on stuff, but when it comes down to the end, we are family,” Jallo said. The ladies contribute different skills and “it creates a great organization,” Christenson said. “We like to have fun, and we want to be friends and get to know each other and be supportive of each other,” Kerley said. To learn more, find APW (Association of Petroleum Wives, Bakersfield) on Facebook.



INSIDE STORY

DEWAR’S CANDY MAKING Photos by Mark Nessia

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efore the Easter bunny bounds from the homes of Westchester to the houses of Belsera, there’s one place he’s sure to stop: Dewar’s Candy Shop. Dewar’s is a Bakersfield institution renowned for its ice cream and taffy chews, which were voted the best “Made in Bakersfield” product this year. As Easter approached, Dewar’s workers helped the Easter bunny out by rolling out the taffy and busting out the ribbons to build the perfect basket for lucky boys and girls across town.

Elizabeth Carreno wraps a chocolate basket. The entire package, from bunny to the basket itself, is completely edible.

Lois Hubble prepares a gift basket filled with Dewar's candy.

Will Hernandez, left, and Jose Villatoro pour a batch of caramel onto the cooling slab.

Taffy is cooked in one of six copper kettles. Each station is a different temperature due to the varying sizes of the kettles. Temperature is crucial in determining the hardness and consistency of the taffy.

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Jose Villatoro ensures the 75-pound peanut butter chew has the perfect circumference as it is fed into the batch roller.


Lois Hubble, left, and Melissa Wagner prepare gift baskets and chocolate boxes for the Easter season.

Will Hernandez prepares two 50-pound batches of chocolate hazelnut for the roller. Each batch will make approximately 2,500 chews.

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Elizabeth Carreno places a wrapped chocolate basket on the shelf.

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IN MY CLOSET

TAMI CALDERWOOD

Dressing in comfy, casual clothes or chic couture, this store owner’s style depends on her mood By Hillary Haenes

Photos by April Massirio

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efore she was queen of her own boutique, Tami Calderwood was a busy stay-at-home mom. When her youngest daughter started kindergarten, Calderwood considered working but had one major stipulation — she wanted to be her own boss. “I needed a job that would allow me to maintain my role as a mom. Opening up a franchised business allowed me to have the flexibility that I wanted,” said Calderwood, 36.

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Apricot Lane owner Tami Calderwood describes her store as her closet. Veronica M maxi dresses, like the one she is wearing, are one of her favorite designs.


And so in August 2010, The MarketMy fashion icons: I consider some of my fashplace welcomed a new women’s clothion icons to be Nancy Reagan for her simple ing store — Apricot Lane Boutique. yet sophisticated style, as well as Audrey This hip shop caters to everyone Hepburn for the same reasons. Also, from teens to the very fashionable Veronica M is a more recent fashion 50-and-older crowd. Calderwood icon. I love her dresses and carry them works hard to provide the trendiin my store. Veronica M uses unique est looks so that her customers patterns and each dress is an amazBig Star USA don’t have to travel out of town to ing fit. Most of her dresses have a denim jeans find them. banded waist, and the fabric is a While taking on this venture certainly has perfect weight, which makes it its perks, it has also required a lot of hang well in all the right places! hard work and dedication. “Owning a business is like being a My favorite designers mom — I do not have set hours,” Calderwood said. or brands: Some of my Her favorite thing about having her own business is getfavorite brands that are sold ting to know her customers and creating lasting friendships in my store — Big Star USA with them. Calderwood strives to make each and every one of denim, Ark & Co. denim and her customers’ shopping experiences a memorable one. Veronica M dresses to name a Her daughters Ireland, 11, and Sydney, 9, love visiting few. their mom at the store. They also help with ordering clothes and enjoy ringing up people at the register. Where I shop both locally and out of “I love that I have the opportunity to teach them a realtown: I, of course, shop primarily in my life work experience. They see me struggle, but they also see own store. But occasionally I will reach out me succeed. They love all of my girls who work for me and get to other Apricot Lanes for brands they so excited to see who’s working when they come in,” Calderhave that I cannot carry due to locawood said. tion restrictions. Apricot Lane Boutique receives new shipments daily, and after being open for four years, Calderwood still gets excited Why fashion is important every time a box arrives. She jokes that her store is her closet, to me: It allows me to but Calderwood has had to become very disciplined to resist express myself. It is fun to taking home one of every item in the store. wear different styles and designs, and owning the store Lorna Jane Five prized possessions in my closet: I consider my allows me more freedom to do workout pants perfect fitting Big Star USA and William Rast denim, Veronica just that! It doesn’t matter if you M dresses, various pieces of Julio Designs cross-inspired jewwant to dress up or be casual, you elry, Lorna Jane workout clothes and assorted Nike tennis always need to accessorize. A shoes some of my prized possessions in my closet. To feel my bracelet and earrings can change your best in my everyday clothes, I have to workout — but let’s be look! You can wear jeans and a T-shirt, but if honest — I want to look good while I workout too! you accessorize, you appear more put together than without any jewelry. Not a huge jewelry Why I love fashion: I can change how I want to dress person? Wear a cute hat or a headband — based on my mood. Some days I feel comfy and casual, while my favorites are the Vintage Rose Wraps other days I want to dress in heels and a dress. I love the flexithat we sell at Apricot Lane. bility that fashion allows. My biggest fashion My personal style: It truly depends on faux pas: It is probably the permed hair in the day, but no matter what, I always acceseighth grade. Yikes! sorize, and more often than not, I have on heels! I don’t think I have a signature look. I One staple every woman should try to keep it changed up, but I do wear have in her closet: A really great fitjeans a lot. ting pair of jeans. We shouldn’t be afraid to spend more money on a nice pair because How long it usually takes me to we wear them all the time, and they truly get ready: From shower to walking out make a difference in how you look and feel! the door, it takes about an hour. That’s only because I get distracted. If I’m really Fashion advice: Dress nice every day. focused, I can be ready in 40 minutes. If you look good, you feel good. Nike training shoes bakersfieldlife.com

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REAL PEOPLE

Cyndi Hicks, the owner of four Rusty’s Pizza locations, is a firm believer in the importance of giving back to her community.

CYNDI HICKS Rusty’s Pizza franchisee serves up beautiful music to the community By Paul Rivas

Photos by Casey Christie

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or Cyndi Hicks, good pizza and good music have been the basic ingredients for a great life. Hicks grew up in Santa Barbara and was already bussing tables and washing dishes on weekends at roughly the tender age of 8 to help her father Roger Duncan — Rusty’s Pizza franchiser. Little did she know that she would one day become a franchisee in Bakersfield. Around the time she began working in the restaurant industry, Hicks started playing the marimba, a percussion instrument made of wood or synthetic metal and hit with a 172

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mallet to produce musical tones. Hicks had rented a violin but the instrument didn’t fit her. She returned it to the woman she rented it from and was introduced to a music maker that was more her style. “She took me to the warehouse of the music store and started playing a marimba and that was it, that’s what I wanted to play,” Hicks said. As an adult, Hicks’ love of music and quality pizza continues to define her busy life. Hicks moved to Bakersfield from Santa Barbara in 1991 to open a delivery-only location of her father’s eatery. Within a decade, she became a franchisee. “When I became a franchisee/owner it was exciting and scary all at the same time — exciting to have worked so hard for something and scary for all the responsibility — and that big loan from the bank!” Hicks remembered. Today, she has four Rusty’s Pizza locations — three in Bakersfield and one in Lamont — and about 125 employees. Even with a packed schedule, Hicks finds time to give back to the community through her music.


For 10 years Hicks has been strongly involved in the Bakersfield City School District’s “Music In Our Schools” program, performing several shows a day for the elementary schools in the district for nine days. “We perform a little show that the teachers make up and they’re incredibly creative at putting together these shows that display all the instruments,” Hicks said. Hicks also lends her percussion talents to Stars Theatre Restaurant for sound effects. And Hicks is also the chief fundraiser, manager, and a player in the Beale Park Band, which performs free concerts every Sunday evening in June at the park. “The Sunday evening band concert has been a tradition for years and years... I get donations from personal business acquaintances and other people in town that help keep it going,” Hicks said, adding that the shows are “a nice family thing” to do on a warm summer evening. Music is far from Hicks’ only interest. The businesswoman is also an avid motorcyclist and likes to spend her vacations seeing the country by bike with her husband. She also stays active, completing

Continued on page 174

In addition to owning four pizza parlors, Hicks plays music, rides motorcycles and runs marathons.

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more than 20 marathons and half marathons since 2003. “I’d like to keep doing all that I’m doing for a long time!” Hicks said. While playing for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Hicks met her husband David Hicks, a retired stage manager. They married in 2005 and he has been constant support to Hicks, attending all her gigs and managing the sound for her salsa band, Salsa Solution. Along with her love of music, Hicks remains passionate about Rusty’s Pizza and teaches her employees that being successful is all about giving back to the community without expecting anything in return. “We have great customers and try to be involved with and support the organizations which are important to our customers. What we give in the community comes back to us,” Hicks said. A woman with a packed and colorful life, Hicks likes to keep it simple when it comes to her personal pizza. “(My favorite pizza is) cheese because you can taste the dough and the sauce,” she said, adding that pepperoni is a close second.

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FIT AND FRESH

A WALK DOWN TOAD’S GULLY Katie and Sally share their Best of Bakersfield hike

Catch this stunning view of Lake Ming on this hidden hike.

Story and photos by Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann

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Katie Kirschenmann heads to the top of the hill behind the sheriff department’s shooting range.

Katie descends into Toad’s Gully. 176

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y favorite hike to share with friends who visit from out of town — or even compatriots who have lived here years but have never ventured over to the east side — is an adventure to Toad’s Gully, a spectacular three-mile trail. “What on earth is that?” you may be asking. All you have to do is drive out to Hart Park, park near the Kern County Sheriff’s Department’s pistol range, and head up the hill. The main trail is easy to follow for the first mile, winding around above and behind the pistol range. At the first-mile mark, you will be almost at the top of the mile-long hill, surrounded by incredible views. Make a left at the crossroads, head toward cliffs overlooking the soccer park, with Lake Ming as a serene backdrop. The ribbon of the river cuts through the stunning scenery. Many people climbing this path have told me, “Wow, I never even knew we had scenery like this in Kern County.” Mile two marks the downhill bent of the trail through the gully. You’ll know you’ve reached the portion of the trail that earned it a name after Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride because the trail cuts deep into the earth,

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Bikini Zucchini “Pasta” April showers bring May flowers is the old saying, but to me, the onset of spring means I’d better be thinking about the fast approaching swimsuit summer. I love pasta. Who doesn’t? But all those carbs are not your friends if you are trying to trim down. Never fear, you can still have the flavor of a great pasta dinner without all the calories. Simply replace spaghetti with the first tender zucchini crop of the spring. Celebrate the flavors of the season while enjoying a satisfying dish of bright tomato-y comfort. This sauce is so easy, so good it will soon become a staple in your weekly kitchen repertoire. Create a full (and bikini-friendly) dinner by serving this dish with a roast chicken breast. Serves four (with leftover tomato sauce). Ingredients: 6-8 zucchini, peeled into pasta-like ribbons 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste. Pinch red chili flakes 2 28-ounce cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion cut in half, outer skin removed 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (feel free to go garlic crazy) Begin by preparing the sauce. Empty the cans of San Marzano tomatoes into

a large bowl (San Marzano canned tomatoes are the best and the secret trick to making this amazing sauce). Squish the tomatoes with your hands until the bowl is a pulpy tomato mess. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can

always chop the tomatoes with a knife but be careful to reserve all that delicious tomato juice in the can. Transfer the tomatoes and juice to a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in the chili flakes, salt and pepper. Add the smashed whole garlic cloves and halved the onion cut side down. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir periodically to make sure the sauce isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the onion (the onion is a terrific treat on its own!) and begin to prepare your “pasta.” Using a sharp vegetable peeler remove the zucchini skin. Then use the peeler to make long zucchini ribbons, turning the zucchini as you go until you reach the pulpy seedy center. Save the zucchini cores for another use. Heat the oil over medium high heat and quickly add the garlic and zucchini to the pan. Sauté quickly, taking care not to over cook the zucchini, you want them to be al dente. Plate the zucchini immediately with a generous ladle of sauce. Enjoy the guiltfree goodness!

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Continued from page 176 leaving steep sided cliffs on each side. As a runner, you can bank up the corners and fly down this hill, or if you prefer an easier pace, enjoy the shrubs and natural habitat as you hike the peaceful gully. Emerging at the bottom, you’ll see the pistol range again, and shortly, your car. Carry water and enjoy! If you have a question about this hike, feel free to email us at sallyandkatiefitandfresh@gmail.com.

TRY THESE OUT OF TOWN RACES TO KEEP YOU ON YOUR TOES THIS MAY May 17 — Run with History Half Marathon/10K/5K Each of these distances takes place around the historic Edwards Air Force Base, the lakebed and along the flight line. Proceeds benefit the Flight Test Historical Foundation. Runs start at 8 a.m. $50 for half marathon, $30 for 10K, and $25 for 5K. For more information, call the Fitness Center at 275-4961, or register online at www.bakersfieldtrackclub.com. May 31 — Run With the Wind 5K The Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District is pre-

Toad’s Gully’s steep walls and banked turns make it a unique experience, whether running or walking.

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senting this race and energy expo. Race-day registration and packet pickup starts at 8 a.m., followed by the race at 9 a.m. $35, includes a technical race shirt, medal and swag bag. For information, email L.Williams@tvrpd.org or visit active.com.

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Katie Kirschenmann at the end of Toad’s Gully.

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H E A LT H A N D W E L L N E S S

TAKING THE FIRST STEP Attorney Daniel Rodriguez makes time for workouts between court dates By Marissa Lay

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Rodriguez runs at least 20 miles a week.

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etting up in the morning and making a conscious effort to better yourself isn’t an easy thing to do. Taking that first step every day toward a better life is always a challenge. But Bakersfield attorney Daniel Rodriguez starts each day by making that choice. “Someone once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity,” Rodriguez said. “If you want to better your health and you keep doing the same thing over and over again, it’s never gonna get different. The first thing you have to do is take the first step.” Making fitness and health a top priority is a life-altering decision that 60-year-old Rodriguez continues to make every day. As a successful attorney for more than three decades, finding time to workout or take a run isn’t simple for Rodriguez. “I always try to find time for it. It’s hard when I’m in trial or sometimes when I’m on the road, so I try to stay in hotels that have gyms so I can workout,” Rodriguez said, adding that he has probably worked out in 500 hotel gyms around the world by now. He has also pounded pavement across the globe running marathons in London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Stockholm and Rotterdam. Rodriguez is currently training for the Rio de Janeiro Marathon in Brazil in July. His workout routine includes training for marathons, running at least 20 miles a week and weightlifting. Each day for Rodriguez begins around 4 a.m. with a 10- to 15-minute yoga stretch. Next comes a trip to the gym, where the lawyer runs or lifts weights. He finishes up his morning routine with another round of


PHOTO COURTESY OF RODRIGUEZ & ASSOCIATES

stretching. Even when he’s on vacation with his family, Rodriguez stays active. “I go bicycling for two weeks. I go climb a mountain in Africa. I go caving. I go white water rafting,” Rodriguez said. “My idea of fun is not sitting by the pool drinking a Mai Tai. I have to be on the go, I have to see things, I have to experience things. And the best way to do it is either on a bicycle seat or on your feet.” Rodriguez doesn’t keep his healthy attitude to himself. He and his team at Rodriguez & Associates occasionally get together and run marathons. “I like to think that you have to lead by example,” Rodriguez said. “If they see that I enjoy it, that there’s benefits and I make time for it, I’m hoping they might think and feel the same way.” This all-star attorney proves that even Rodriguez encourages staff and attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates to stay fit. with a busy life, finding time to stay active isn’t impossible. said Rodriguez. “You don’t dive in head first, right off the cir“There’s an old Indian saying that goes something like cuit. You take that first step, because the way we begin all this...‘How do you eat an elephant. One bite at a time.’ And journeys in life is by taking that first step.” that’s how you change your lifestyle and start working out,”

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Stroke survivor Mike DeCastro and his caregiver Marc Barcelona attended the 2012 and 2013 Saving Strokes events.

REHABILITATION THROUGH GOLF By Jacque Servadio

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elping stroke survivors get back into the swing of things is the goal of the Saving Strokes event, now in its third year here in Bakersfield. This program of the American Heart/American Stroke Association began in Sacramento in 2001, and Bakersfield is one of five cities here in California hosting this event. The vision for the outing is to offer stroke survivors an opportunity to participate in golf for pleasure as well as for physical rehabilitation. Thirteen years later, this small program has grown to 16 sites in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah and serves more than 1,000 participants annually. Last year, 30 survivors attend this invigorating event in Bakersfield. Saving Strokes, which is sponsored by San Joaquin Community Hospital and held at Stockdale Country Club on May 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., kicks off American Stroke Month. Group golf lessons and a complimentary lunch will be offered. Participating in Saving Strokes offers stroke survivors a positive outdoor experience where they can gain confidence, socialize, and 182

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meet others who experience similar challenges. Dave Bolar, head golf professional at Stockdale Country Club, is heading up this year’s event. “The goal is to introduce or reintroduce stroke survivors and their caregivers to the game of golf post-stroke to be used as an adjunct to their rehabilitation outside of the clinical setting,” said Jennifer Halldorson, Senior Director of Stroke Initiatives for the American Heart Association. As a golf professional myself, I know how rewarding golf can be to these survivors and their caregivers. Participating in golf also gives survivors an excellent way to work on their balance, which is a major focus in the rehabilitation process. I am sure it will be an extremely uplifting and encouraging experience and it will open up many opportunities to network and make new friends. The real message here is that there is life after stroke — through golf. The event is free, RSVP to Carrie Vines at the American Heart/American Stroke Association at 916446-6505 or carrie.vines@heart.org. — Jacque Servadio, an LPGA Class A teaching professional at Kern River Golf Course, specializes in skill-based golf instruction. More information, appointments: www.jsgolfinstruction.com, 301-5944 or Jacque Servadio jacque@jsgolfinstruction.com.


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Real Estate Agent

Thank you for Voting for me, for your loyalty and for the opportunity to serve you, year after year! 33 Years of Bakersfield Real Estate Service Excellence in both Buyers & Sellers Scan the QR Code with your smart phone to sign up and see 50-photo Visual Tours of all listings

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TRIP PLANNER

BASKING IN THE SIGHTS OF VENTURA

A view of Ventura from Grant Park.

When you are looking beyond the beach, check out the many sights of Ventura By Tony Biasotti

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hen the temperature in Bakersfield hits triple digits, there’s only one thing to do: Pack up the car and head for the nearest beach. Some of the closest beaches are in Ventura, where the climate is mild, the surf is gentle and the

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sand stretches for miles. But there’s more to do in Ventura and its environs then sit with your toes in the sand. Between eating, shopping, sightseeing and enjoying the outdoors, this beach town offers enough diversions for a full weekend getaway. Here are just a few things to do when you’ve had enough of the beach.

EAT OFF THE BEATEN PATH Ventura is developing a well-deserved reputation as a foodie town. There are some fine sit-down restaurants, but your best bet is to spend your weekend sampling the food trucks, taquerias and other casual options. The food is as good, if not better, and you’ll be able to afford that much more of it. The best food truck in Ventura — and one of the best restaurants, with or without wheels — is Scratch. Chef/owner Tim Kilcoyne’s menu is heavy on slowcooked meats, prepared in ways that are at once traditional and adventurous. Don’t skip the porkstrami (a pastrami sandwich, but with pork instead of beef) or the banh-mi-rito (a burrito filled with the type of ingredients you’d find in a Vietnamese sandwich). Kilcoyne knows when the put a fried egg on top of something — that is, almost anytime.


The next time you want a picnic at the beach, leave the sandwiches behind and try The Jolly Oyster. It’s a food truck at San Buenaventura Beach State Park, open Friday through Sunday. The Jolly Oyster sells nothing but oysters and clams, by the dozen, fresh from the owner’s farm in Baja California. Bring your own knife for shucking, if you want them on the half-shell, or some charcoal, to cook your purchase on the park’s barbecue grills. Add a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine and you’ve got a seafood feast at a fraction of the cost of any restaurant. One way to taste a wide variety of Ventura eats is with Ventura Food Tours. You’ll be taken to six different food shops and restaurants for samples of fish tacos, cocktails, olive oil, cheese, chocolate truffles and more. The tour guides also share interesting tidbits about Ventura and its history.

SEE THE SEA LIFE The Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of Ventura County is one of the best places in the world to see migrating whales as they pass to and from the warm waters of Baja California. Gray whales crowd the channel in the winter and spring, and blue and humpback whales are plentiful in the summer and early fall. A few companies offer boat trips out of Ventura Harbor

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Palermo is a coffee and gelato shop on Main Street in Ventura. The shop has more than a dozen tasty Italian ice cream flavors and just as many different kinds of coffees and teas. bakersfieldlife.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF VENTURACOUNTYWEST

PHOTO COURTESY OF VENTURACOUNTYWEST

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard features classic French automobiles from the 1920s and 1930s including Bugattis, Voisins and Delahayes.

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Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort, Oxnard Talk about beachfront property. One of the largest and most luxurious hotels in Ventura County, this place has its own expansive beach. Rates start at around $150 per night for a midweek

PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

off-season stay and $300 per night for weekends during the summer. Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Ventura Another beachfront option, this one near the buzz of downtown Ventura. Rates start at between $100 and $200, depending on the season and day of the week.

Where to stay

Continued from page 185 and Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Island Packers is the oldest of these companies and departs from both harbors. The people at Island Packers say it’s been an extraordinary whale watching season, with gray whales spotted almost every day and dolphin counts sometimes in the thousands. On a recent morning cruise, passengers were treated to two gray whales frolicking and basking around the boat and apparently waving their fins at the crowd for a good 20 minutes.

It has been an extraordinary whale watching season on the Ventura coast.

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23rd Street & K Street Calloway Dr. & Brimhall Rd. Panama Ln. & Wible Rd. Mt. Vernon Ave. & Mall View Rd. Coffee Rd. & Downing Ave. White Ln. & Buena Vista Rd.


Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard.

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In early April, some of the Bakersfield Life team took a road trip to Ventura County for a special spring break edition of the Live Well Show, a webcast streamed live on bakersfield.com Wednesdays at 10 a.m. The show aired live from the gorgeous Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard, where hotel guests are greeted by the pristine beach on the resort’s property and serenaded by the sound of crashing waves. Live Well Show hosts Lisa Krch and Lisa Kimble chatted with a host of local business owners and excursion experts who gave us the lowdown on everything there is to do and see. Our guests popped by the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort to tell Bakersfield viewers about everything the region has instore for them this summer. From wine tasting to shopping, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained at this coastal getaway, including the sprawling Camarillo Premium Outlets, the Ventura Harbor Village and Herzog Wine Cellars. Trips on the Ventura County Wine Trail and excursions to Channel Islands are just a few of the adventures awaiting you in our coastal neighbor. We had plenty of help planning our trip from VenturaCountyWest and the Ventura County Lodging Association. Our team also traveled in style to the beach in the 2014 Lincoln MKZ from Jim Burke Lincoln. This hybrid carried us all the way to Ventura, between Camarillo and Oxnard, and back to Bakersfield on less than a tank of gas. With blind spot monitoring and full panoramic sunroof, this fuel-efficient sedan is sure to give competing hybrids a run for their money. To find out how you too can take the MKZ for spin with Lincoln’s Date Night promotion, contact Jill Villa at Jim Burke Lincoln at jvilla@burkeauto.com. Check out clips from the trip or watch the whole spring break show at bwellmagazine.com/video or on YouTube at Bakotube.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF VENTURACOUNTYWEST

The Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet was one of only six produced. This car was built to represent France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

the public at Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard. It’s a focused collection to say the least. Every car is French, made either by Bugatti or a handful of other companies, and every car is from the Art Deco era of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. This is a rare opportunity to admire some of the rarest and most beautiful works of automotive art in the world. The museum is generally open to the public two Saturdays a month, so call first before you plan your trip.

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CARS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN What’s the world’s most expensive car? Well, Ferrari and Lamborghini both make cars that retail for well over $1 million. Just add up 30 or so of those, and you’ve got the price of Peter Mullin’s most valuable car, a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Mullin’s collection of 100-plus classics is on display to

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UPCOMING EVENTS Spring Wine Dinner in April Mother’s Day Brunch & Dinner May 11th Spring Beerfest May 31st

Introducing Our Weekend Specials. Call Nick for banquets and off site catering

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Wednesdays Therese Muller

Friday Big Sax Nights



TRIP PLANNER

MAKE IT TO MORRO THIS SUMMER Morro Bay offers something for everyone By Morro Bay Tourism Bureau

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econnect with the beauty of nature and enjoy the tranquility of this welcoming beach and bayside town. When you visit Morro Bay, a picturesque seaside village with its unique fishing harbor, you’ll think you’ve traveled back in time, back to a place you remember but thought was lost forever. This is a town where people slow down and live their lives to full measure — where you can meet and talk with those who own the boats, shops, restaurants and galleries. Morro Bay is for the young and the young at heart. Morro Bay Harbor is delineated by a five-mile sand dune, which stretches from beautiful Montaña de Oro (Mountain of Gold) State Park to Morro Rock, encompassing a large body of water completely sheltered from the open ocean. Morro Rock & The Harbor in Morro Bay The most prominent feature here is Morro Rock, the immense, dome-shaped volcanic peak at the northwest boundary of Morro Bay’s harbor. It stands 578 feet high and covers 50 acres at its base. It also provides a sanctu190

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Morro Bay is located along scenic Highway 1 .

PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRO BAY TOURISM BUREAU

Morro Rock greets visitors to the bay.

ary for birds, including the endangered peregrine falcon. Activities in Morro Bay Every activity under the sun awaits you in Morro Bay. The great coastal outdoors provide the ideal setting for boating, surfing, kite surfing, paragliding, hiking, rock climbing, deep-sea fishing, whale watching, biking, tennis, golfing and more. Hike the trails on Black Mountain above Morro Bay State Park and take in the views of the Rock and the estuary. Looking east, wonder at Cerro Cabrillo and Hollister Peak, two of the Nine Sisters, ancient volcanic mountains of the area. Be sure to play a round of golf at the 18-hole championship seaside resort course with stunning ocean views. Natural Morro Bay There are an abundance of eco activities in Morro

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PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRO BAY TOURISM BUREAU PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRO BAY TOURISM BUREAU

Aerial of Morro Rock, sometimes called the Gibraltar of the Pacific.

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Visitors can enjoy a comfortable walk to the Rock along a recently completed boardwalk.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRO BAY TOURISM BUREAU

cans and other shore birds. It’s a scenic paradise.

Continued from page 190 Bay, including wildlife spotting, birding, trekking, paragliding, kayaking and nature walks. Several species of birds and coastal creatures — such as whales, porpoises, dolphins and orcas — can be seen seasonally in and around the waters of Morro Bay. Photographers flock here to capture images of great herons, egrets, sandpipers, peli-

Bakersfield Rid Your Home of Rats NOW! EXPERT RODENT PROOFING

Pet-friendly Morro Bay Whether they want to go on long walks or hikes, just sit in the sun or play in the surf, your animal friend will love Morro Bay. Dog-friendly hotels and restaurants make it easy to spend all your time with your devoted companions. Galleries, shopping and dining in Morro Bay There are three distinct districts in Morro Bay: Old Town, the Embarcadero, and North Morro Bay. Find watercolors, oil paintings, drawings, handcrafted items, jewelry, clothing and more on display in galleries, antique shops and boutiques throughout Morro Bay. You will also find wonderful restaurants featuring fresh caught seafood and more. Staying in Morro Bay There are a variety of places to stay in Morro Bay, whether you're looking for elegant rooms full of amenities, a cozy getaway and family-friendly motels, you can find it here. Spend a night, weekend, or a week or two and get acquainted with Morro Bay and the central coast region of California.

Thinking twice before you smile?

If you have heard noises in your attic or in your walls, chances are it’s Rats! Rats can squeeze through the hole the size of a quarter. Due to imperfections in con-struction, rats can find their way into your attic or crawl space with ease. Cutting trees off the roof, setting traps, and even putting out poison are only Band-Aids. Some facts about Rats. According to the Center for Disease Control rats, their droppings and urine left behind can contribute to and cause allergies, asthma, bacterial diseases, they also carry mites and fleas. Rats can reach sexual maturity at only five weeks. A female rat is in heat every four to five days and she will produce six to thirteen rats per litter.

Did you know that nearly half of the adults living in the United States have missing teeth?

With over 16 years of experience All Pest Pros will professionally solve your Rat problem. We will trap and remove all Rats, seal all Rat entry points from the foundation all the way up to the roof lines. Only construction grade materials will be used. (no steel wool or expandable foam) If your insulation is contaminated we will disinfect, deodorize, remove all insulation, HEPAVAC all rat droppings and install new insulation up to or above recommended levels. All of our work is done in house. We do not sub contract. There will be one charge with out the need for monthly visits or charges. Your home will be 100% guaranteed free of Rats.

DON’T PUT YOUR HEALTH AT RISK Rat droppings contribute to many health issues and diseases including asthma, respiratory infection, allergies, bacterial diseases, tularemia and more. Attic Before Attic After How many rats are We will: in your attic?

• Remove Old Insulation • Disinfect • HEPA filter vacuum • Deodorize • Clean all surfaces • Install new cellulose insulation up to or above building code levels

Schedule your free inspection today by calling

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We offer the All-On-4® treatment concept full arch of teeth on 4-6 implants.

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We understand the private pain and embarrassment you feel if you are missing one, several, or all of your teeth. We want to provide you with a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Working with the world-leading dental implant provider, Nobel Biocare®, we’re dedicated to providing you with the highest possible esthetic outcome. There’s nothing more captivating than a spontaneous smile. Get yours back with our life-changing dental solutions!


It’s in our Nature Halfway between LA and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers fresh ocean breezes, beautiful beaches, a calm bay, a fishing harbor, great dining, activities and more. And there is also a rich wine region, just minutes away. In Morro Bay there’s a wide variety of lodging to meet everyone’s needs, especially during mid-week travel.

Natural Morro Bay.

Visit our web site morrobay.org for more information


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Eva’s Boutique Sizes small to 3X and sizes 1-19 in jeans and capris. Also find bling sandals, hats, jewelry and more. Ask about Nerium AD. 5009 Stockdale Highway; 472-4818.

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth Fine handmade mouth-watering English toffee made by Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth. Available at Luigi’s, Sweet Surrender Bakery, Café Med, Flourishing Art and Sullivan Petroleum stores. 725-5200; auntmaessweettooth.com.

Urner’s Z’s Please Sleep Center

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Kamnation Clothing

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Farm Girls Vintage Finds

Color Me Mine at The Marketplace

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Grandmothers deserve the best Mother’s Day gift of all. This adorable hand print cupcake tray is sure to be a treasured family heirloom. Paint yours today. 9000 Ming Ave.; 664-7366; bakersfield.colormemine.

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Victoria’s Spoil your mother this Mother's Day with Brighton from Victoria’s. Buy any bracelet and necklace and receive any pair of Brighton earrings for free through May 10. The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.; 665-8300.

Spring is here. Check out our collection of women’s and children’s vintage inspired clothing and accessories. www.etsy.com/shop/KamnationClothing

Chicken feeders make great planters or centerpieces for weddings. 7200 Shafter Road, between Ashe and Gosford, south of Taft Highway. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

iComfort® mattresses by Serta are allnew 2014, featuring their new EverFeel™ Technology for a difference you’ll feel the moment you lie down. 9500 Brimhall Road (Brimhall & Calloway). 241-9329; www.zsplease.com.

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From high fashion runways to your closet, you can find it with us. Berek, Jimmy Crystal, New York and Lavive brands and more. Layaway available. 5512 Stockdale Highway.

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Uniquely Chic Spoil mom this Mother’s Day with fabulous flowers from Uniquely Chic. Order online at www.uniquelychicflorist.com. On the corner of Brimhall Road and Calloway Drive; 588-7997.

Kuka’s Folk Art Original, one-of-a-kind jewelry by Tigua Doll, just in time for Mother’s Day. Other bracelets and necklaces available. 1609 19th St. 325-0000 kukasfolkart.com

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2 March 15 CBCC Foundation Gala

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1. Micky Heppe and Amy Raddatz 2. Bruce and Linda Jay 3. Faye and David Turner and Diane Hoover 4. Cameron Kaufman, Kristen Rubio and Gerri Todd 5. John Stinson and Shelly and Ron Fraze 6. Gerald Jankowski, Maureen Napier, Kathy and Peter Hunt, Linda and Rich Hunt and Stacie and Bob Bender 7. Deana Tison, Janice Stinson and Michelle Pool

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1. Renee Massey and Vince Fong 2. Angelica Fuentes, Austin Huckaby, Ben Ward and Nick Del Mundo 3. Silvano and Maria Vasquez 4. Jackson and Jenny Vaughn 5. Alex Medina, Harmaneet Gill, Sara Baldridge and Annie Bardet 6. Roger Griess and George Hay 7. Lynn and Nick Del Mundo and Ariella Goldstein 8. Margarita, Noe and Noe Avalos and Jocelyn Camacho 9. Brian Conner, Sally Nalesnik and Cindy Meek

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April 10 Dream Builders Awards Night Held at the Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com

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April 5 Lung Association’s Fight for Air Walk

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Riverlakes Community Center Tues, Thur 9:00am Sat, 8:30am

Uniglobe Travel Tues, Thurs 5:30pm

For more info:

589-8950 or Jazzercise.com

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1. Kaitlyn Gordon and Katie Jacobsen 2. Christian Limon and Fabian Cepeda 3. Maria Jaime-Romero and Ethan Romero 4. Barbara Sharette, Anais Perales, Elisa Gonzalez and Nancy Shanks 5. Scott and Desiree Ingalls 6. Calvin Paschal, Brian Ruff and Brian Molhook 7. Dominique, Jennifer, Harmony and Kekoa Ramirez-Sefo 8. Alyssa Noriega, Savannah Davidson, Karla Molina and Wendy Cruz 9. Katherine Kerrigan, Daniella Schlegel, Philip Kroll, Malcolm Buchholz and mannequin


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2 April 12 The Macaroni and Cheese Festival

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1. Briana and Dominic Zaninovich 2. Kelli Davis, Patsy and Jason Cohen, Robert and Beckie Diltz and Debbie Peters 3. Jon and Kim Busby 4. Dwight Young and Gayle Dobbs 5. Barry Hibbard, Christa and Howdy Miller 6. Tim Jalving, Angie Paquette and Sharon Jalving 7. Barry Hill, Chris Molina and Zane Smith 8. Scott and Debbie Cox

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April 12 The Bakersfield Association of Realtors Wine Tasting

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Held at Motor City Lexus Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more at bakersfieldlife.com

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9 1. Teresa Hutson, Dianne Sharman, Glenda Rankin and Susan O’Quinn 2. Suzi and Darren Beaty 3. Brooke Hood and Lindy DeGeare 4. Midge Jimerson, Bryan Boydstun and Kevin and Emilee Gonsalves 5. Stephanie Frausto, Shellie Berlanga, Annette Cornejo and Loretta Leon. 6. Vali and Curtis Nemetz 7. Danielle Plotner and Darlene Denison 8. Xochitl Ayon, Sylvia Lozano and Julie Martin 9. Jerelle Kavanagh, Terry and Darci Hill and David Maher

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LAST WORD

By Ken Hooper

H

arold Brown was not from New York City. He was born in Buttonwillow, raised on a farm off of Union Avenue and lived with his wife, Grace, and daughter at 1205 G St. in Bakersfield. But his death during World War I is forever tied with a battalion of men from New York. The 2001 movie “The Lost Battalion” described the men of the 308th Infantry, 77th Division as a “battalion of Irish, Italian, and Jewish gangsters from New York City.” More to the fact, they were made up of working class men from the ‘melting pot’ of the lower east side of Manhattan — a neighborhood made of recent immigrants to America. While both historical myth and a Hollywood film have distorted the account of the 77th Division, one fact remains: Brown was the first Kern County man to receive the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest Army honor for bravery, after being killed in action after he volunteered for a patrol to reconnect the “Lost Battalion” with forward troops. Born in Buttonwillow on May 15, 1895, Brown moved to a ranch on Union Avenue with his parents at the age of 3. He graduated from Kern County High School in 1914 and completed two years of education at Bakersfield Junior College. While in his third year of studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown registered for the Army. He married Grace Gray on in the summer of 1917 and went into the Army on Oct. 3, 1917, seven months after the United States entered World War I. Alta Brown was born to the young couple in May of the following year. On July 27, 1918, Brown went “over there” with the 40th Division — the “Sunshine Division” — made up of men from the southwestern United States. After three days in England, the men of the 40th Division were broken up and sent to eight other American divisions as replacement troops. Arriving in France, Private Brown joined Company D, 308th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division on Sept. 25, 1918. The 77th Division — the “Metropolitan Division” — made up of men primarily from New York City, and one man from Bakersfield. In this new division, Brown’s bravery would lead to his death. Major Gen. Robert Alexander, commander of the 77th Division, recounted the circumstances of Brown’s death to Grace in a letter, stating: “When the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 308th Infantry, were surrounded by the enemy near Charlevaux [France] on Oct. 4, 1918, in the Forest of Argonne, this soldier volunteered to go out on patrol to establish liaison between Company D and the forward troops. Knowing the fate of previous patrols, which had started on this mission, Private Brown realized that to volunteer probably meant death. He was killed while the patrol attempted, unsuccessfully, to reach the forward battalions.” A notice was placed in The Bakersfield Californian titled “With our Soldiers and Sailors” on Oct. 17, 1918 stating the

THIS MEMORIAL DAY, REMEMBER PRIVATE HAROLD BROWN

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Harold Brown's graduation photo in the 1914 Oracle, the Kern County High School yearbook.

Brown was stationed 75 miles north of Paris, France but his unit was “on the move.” By the time the notice appeared in the newspaper, Brown had been dead for two weeks. Brown’s family would not learn of his death until January 1919, two months after the end of World War I and more than four months from the date of his death. His body was brought home from France after the war and interred in Union Cemetery on Sept. 18, 1921. Memorial Day originated in the years following the American Civil War and was encoded by the National Holiday Act of 1971 to honor those who died fighting in any war. This year, the day will be commemorated throughout Kern County with a number ceremonies and events. But on this Memorial Day, pause to honor Harold Brown. — Ken Hooper is a history and archiving teacher at Bakersfield High School. He is the past-president of the Kern County Historical Society and the current historian for the Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation.


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