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January 2011


Ready or not Goodbye to last year's hangover, cheers 2011!

Vows 40-page wedding planner


playin’ hoops

In with a roar CALM’s new mountain lion exhibit to open


go to

The Bistro






Homes from the low $200’s Stockdale Hwy. & Renfro Rd. 661-387-6427



Homes from the high $100’s Ming Ave. & Gosford Rd. 661-663-3810


Homes from the low $200’s Stockdale Hwy. & Jewetta Ave. 661-829-1775

Homes from the mid $100’s Panama Ln. & Ashe Rd. 661-836-6623

THE VILLAS at Seven Oaks

Homes from the mid $400’s Ming Ave. & Grand Lakes Ave. 661-665-0683

Ca s t l e Co o k e H o m e s. c o m










isn’t always predictable. … the climbing trip everyone said you would love … the day your youngest thought he could fly … the morning your mom woke up and just didn’t feel well Life has a way of catching us off guard. When the unpredictable happens, it’s comforting to know there are some things that are just always there. For the past 100 years, Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield has provided compassionate healthcare for this community. People like your family, your neighbors, your friends, and you. , When life has you asking “What now?” the answer is simple:


2 0 1 1


Extraordinary Pizza and No Compromise Visit Our New Location

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



(661) 588-4700

40 4130 California Ave (661) 325-4717


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Outlook 2011

Despite having the economic strain of 2010 fresh in their minds, most people remain hopeful that the new year will bring about change. To find out what this year has in store for us, we asked professionals from various areas of the community to share their predictions for 2011.

CALM’s new exhibit

Willow and Sage, two playful mountain lion kittens, are ready to make their big debut to visitors on Jan. 14, in their new state-of-the-art exhibit at CALM.


Vows wedding planner

For you future brides and grooms (and families of the couple), we know planning a wedding can be difficult, so that’s why we dedicated a detailed wedding guide to help plan for your special day.

Photo by Felix Adamo

4750 Coffee Road














O R S’ C H O I C E P

It seems a “simple” enough concept. Home is the foundation of our lives. And while it can come in many colors, shapes and sizes, home is always bigger than the house it is surrounded by. For over 100 years, our agents have helped people find the houses they call home. And now more than ever, it’s important we never stop moving. 327-2121

1820 Westwind Drive


9100 Ming Ave., Ste1


3820 Coffee Rd., Ste 1

Signature Properties, Signature Service



2 0 1 1


30 Food & Wine

Mary Christenson Specializing in Luxury

Photo by Michael Lopez

Homes, Estate Properties and Golf Course Communities

Celebrating 29 years of local real estate excellence to both buyers and sellers. Working with you to achieve your real estate goals with professional, personal service.

www. Direct Cell


DRE License #00818891









2010 California State Governor


Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

See 50 photo visual tours of property listings, and search for homes at:

12 It’s Named After 16 Happenings 18 On the Road 20 Our Town 22 History 24 Real People

Bakersfield Life


E R S’


January 2011



Photo by Greg Nichols

26 Dining Divas 30 Food & Wine 34 Why I Live Here 36 On the Red Couch 58 Going Green

60 Home & Garden 62 It’s a Guy Thing 67 Tech Watch 68 Talk of the Town 70 Pastimes 72 Personality 74 Health & Wellness 76 Trip Planner 82 Snap!

90 The Last Word

Photo by Henry A. Barrios




Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Features Associate Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Direction Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo Henry A. Barrios Holly Carlyle Casey Christie Michael Fagans Jessica Frey Maria Garaygordobil John Harte Lois Henry Alex Horvath Greg Iger Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Michael Lopez Jan St. Pierre Carla Rivas Jose Treviño Artisan Photography Contributing writers Allie Castro Natalie Erlendson-Smith Gene Garaygordobil Lois Henry Lisa Kimble Dana Martin Ann McCright Jeff Nickell Melissa Peaker-Whitten Luz Pena Gabriel Ramirez Advertising Lupe Carabajal 395-7563 Reader Inquiries Bakersfield Life Magazine P.O. Bin 440 Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440 395-7492 On the cover Out with the old, in with the new as we ring in 2011. Two-month-old Elexandria Rose Estrada. Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

In search of Bakersfield’s Manliest Man


If you were to Google “manliest man,” most likely you’d run across images of bodybuilders, models and celebrities. When I punched in the search, I ran across images of actors Tom Selleck, David Hasselhoff (in his "Knight Rider" days in the '80s) and Clint Eastwood back from his western films. But what defines a manliest man? Better yet, who is Bakersfield’s Manliest Man? At a recent team meeting, we brainstormed the meaning and came up with a couple of ideas. Then I gave it some more thought at home. One of my boys immediately said his dad fit the bill so it got me thinking … being the Manliest Man is more than just having celebrity status and muscles. It crosses many levels. The father who displays strength in all its forms. The local firefighter or police officer who works to keep our neighborhoods safe. The colleague with the biggest heart you can imagine. The brother you can always count on. The retired grandfather who is always putting others' needs first and volunteering or donating wherever needed. The list goes on. But with that concept in mind, we at Bakersfield Life Magazine have decided to pose that question to our readers, asking you to tell us just who should be Bakersfield’s Manliest Man. As part of the contest, we are asking you to submit a short essay (a maximum of 150 words) and a photograph (high resolution of 300 dpi, please) that define what makes your nominee worthy of the Bakersfield’s Manliest Man title. It could be a friend, colleague, father, brother, whomever you feel is the definition of our Bakersfield Life contest. Please e-mail your nomination and photograph to Don’t forget to include the contact information (name, e-mail and phone number) for you and your nominee.

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

January 2011 / Vol. 5 / Issue 4

Our team will then review the nominations, and we will select the top 10 winners. Our plan will be to feature the honorees in an upcoming issue in our magazine. Now how’s that for recognition? But I encourage you to hurry and submit your nomination. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. The deadline will be here before you know it. I look forward to hearing from many of you. Now about this issue … you’re gonna love it! It is just filled with plenty of information that can get you motivated, excited and ready for the new year. And what better way to start it than hearing from some of the leaders in our community, who spoke to writer Dana Martin and provided their outlook for 2011. We also dedicated a beautiful special section devoted to the bride-to-be. In collaboration with the Ultimate Bridal Event, Bakersfield Life delved into many important wedding preparation topics, including a must-have wedding planner checklist. And if you want to hear more about love, then read about my test drive experience with the super cool BMW 535i. Enjoy.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487

We have the best new home value in town, and you haven’t stopped by. That’s making us crazy.

Matt Towery, President Towery Homes

We’re not playing:

1. You customize your home the way you want it. 2. Incredible included features like 3-tone interior paint, custom plumbing and hardware fixtures, upgraded tile and cabinets, and enhanced landscaping. 3. Unbelievable neighborhoods! 4. Incredibly low interest rates, plus we pay closing costs. Mountain Gate (northeast) starting at $159,990 s Copper Leaf (southwest) starting at $179,990


Westfield (northwest) starting at $184,990 s Northwood Ranch (northwest) starting at $184,990


ph 661-587-4665 Directions and floor plans are available online at The Local Choice 3% Broker co-op available.

UP FRONT It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Gordon’s Ferry


Gordon’s Ferry bridge, allowing access across the lower Kern River, played a significant role in the development of transit through the San Joaquin Valley in the mid 1800s, thanks to the man for whom the historic crossing is named, Maj. Aneas B. Gordon. Located at the eastern edge of what is now the Panorama Preserve, beneath the bluffs, the actual ferry service was in the vicinity of the presentday China Grade Loop Bridge. Gordon, then the 36-year-old ex-officio Tulare recorder, was granted a tax-free license to operate a ferry across the lower Kern. The initial license was for eight months. Gordon planned to shuttle settlers across the river and sell goods and liquor. Published historical accounts differ as to when Gordon actually began operations, some citing 1853, and others 1854, but he did so until 1857. Travel from Southern California to the north through Bakersfield was increasing, but crossing the mighty Kern was difficult because many access locations were impassable due to the river’s thick tule swamplike vegetation. Gordon used a flat-bottomed boat and

overhead-type cable to channel stage and wagon travelers across. Although crude in its construction, it reportedly could hold a stagecoach and about six horses and anyone else able to squeeze themselves on. The historic stop was also along the Butterfield Overland Mail and Stage route from St. Louis to San Francisco, which began in 1858. Gordon was born in Scotland and immigrated to the U.S., specifically Texas, before moving out west. According to the late Herman Spindt, whose early historical accounts note the development of the ferry, and local historian Gilbert Gia, Maj. Gordon was “ex-officio” because California had not yet recognized Tulare as a county. Maj. Aneas B. Gordon is also referred to as William H. and John F. in various publications. According to Spindt, Gordon paid business taxes through 1857 and relocated to a canyon on the Los AngelesFort Tejon road in 1858 to set up a trading post. Maj. Gordon eventually moved to Santa Paula where he died in 1875.

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

What’s hot

What’s not

Former MLB All-Star Ken Griffey Sr. is named the new manager of the Bakersfield Blaze for the 2011 season. Griffey Sr. served as the hitting coach for the Dayton (Ohio) Dragons of the Midwest League in 2010.

The disgusting and disturbing news of Lacey, a 7-pound, mixed-breed dog that was beaten in the mouth with a golf club, burned and sprayed in the eyes with bleach by a Bakersfield man, caught the attention of many kind-hearted Kern County citizens, who donated money for her surgery.

New Blaze manager

Local jobs

State Farm announced it’s closing the company’s Rohnert Park and Fresno offices and relocating more than 500 jobs to Bakersfield. The Bakersfield office was chosen not only because it’s cost-effective to move, but there’s room to welcome more workers.

High-speed rail gets boost

Federal money has been tied to the California high-speed rail project if construction is extended to Bakersfield. That would make the project eligible for $616 million in federal money, U.S. officials recently announced.


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Animal cruelty

'Least brainy'

Bakersfield appeared on the bottom of yet another negative list. This time, our city made the list of the 10 “least brainy” cities in America.

Goodbye Rudy, Jan

CSUB and BC say farewell to their longtime athletic directors. Rudy Carvajal, the ’Runners athletic director since 1972, announced his retirement over the summer. Jan Stuebbe, the Renegades athletic director for the past 13 years, recently did the same.

By the Numbers

Alta Sierra Ski Resort, Terrain Park and Tube Park


Price of lift tickets for adults

6 160 inches Number of ski runs

Average snowfall per season


Average daytime temperature


Average nighttime temperature


Approximate numbers of visitors this season


Percentage of skiers (compared to 40% snowboarders)

7,083 feet

Resort elevation at the top of the run


Average number of hot chocolates sold last season


Hot cookies

sold last season Source: Barry Hibbard, a partner at Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows


UP FRONT Short Takes

Let the 2011 resolutions begin! “I’m going to take better care of my skin. Makeup off every night, eye cream on. And a year from now, if that doesn't work, I’m asking for Botox for Christmas.”

— Jamie Butow

“I’m going to not sweat the little things in life and enjoy my family more.”

— Flor Hull

“Every year I set a goal to pay off bills and every year I succeed. Then I incur NEW bills. It's the American way.”

“My New Year's resolution is to jump full bore into hedonism after my retirement on Jan. 14. Do things that bring pleasure, not pain.”

— Steve Swenson “I’m going to spend more time with my mom because we live so close and don’t see each other much. You never know what can happen from one day to the next.”

— April Monarrez “To see more sunsets and take more naps. I want to make certain that my wife sees her mom at least every 60 days in a place/event that her mom wants to experience.”

— Scott Garrison

— Norma Takahashi “I want to get more involved with helping out the community so my kids know they need to give back. It’s hard for them to follow an example that I am not showing.”

— Melina LeijaStevens “Getting more disciplined in my health. I’m a sexy 41-year-old now that’s slightly dented with high mileage and my 'check engine' light just lit up!”

— Ernest Fuentes 14

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Photo by Jessica Frey

10 locals share their New Year’s resolutions:

For the record

My No. 1 resolution is the same one as the past 20 years -— put down the fork. That, and put on the running shoes, get off the couch and do something. Another repeat resolution: Finish a book. I've started thousands but seem to get distracted by newsmagazines. Maybe I shouldn't be subscribing to six of them.

— Robert Price

“Declutter! I'm a packrat. I need to get rid of stuff.”

— Veronica Madrigal

In the November issue of Bakersfield Life, mountain bike rider Clint Stevenson was incorrectly identified. We apologize for the error.

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

To submit material

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

To advertise

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

25 random things you didn’t know about

Amy Adams

as her partnership with Garden Pathways as the executive director of her singing camp. Although Adams has had to rest her vocals since last January’s surgery, she was able to spread out the recording process for her first solo album that still awaits a release date.

You may recognize her as one of the final 12 contestants on the third season of “American Idol.” Amy Adams, 31, continues to showcase her talent in the community through her private instruction of voice, acting, public speaking and mentoring as well

clock gives me anxiety.

2 I love to

challenge myself to a “technology break.” I think it's good for the soul.

dreds of strangers give you mouthto-mouth.

9 All clichés

and movie lines aside, my husband is literally my best friend.

land Cafe's chicken piccata every day (with loaded mash and sweet potato chips).

10 In the seventh grade, I ate all of my fundraiser candy, and my mom had to buy the whole box — after they were eaten.

4 I love to see if peoples’

11 I make it my goal to

3 I could eat The High-

feet match their hands. I think that hands are supposed to be a skinnier version of their feet.

13 When I travel, I miss

15 I had to give up my

7 I love to play golf.

8 I can't stand to fly... I hate breathing in the cabin air. I figure it's like letting hun-

21 I just love Brett Favre. 22 Retail therapy: shopping at Tangerine!

classroom every week.

can be the best version of myself every day (a bit too much at times. It is exhausting).


a hybrid with a V6 engine.

12 I work in my son’s

14 I think about how I

6 I love the smell of the

20 I drive

always be on time.

my local news.

5 I want a motorcycle. But, now that I'm a mother, I'd never buy one.

pitcher Colby Lewis. (He was my first great love.)

knitting club so that I could play roller derby.

23 I have had the same

pair of black Prada glasses for six years. I pride myself on not losing them.

24 I love singing to Jour-

ney at the top of my lungs.

25 I truly believe anything is possible!

16 I am sad that Cottage Living Magazine is no longer being printed.

17 I am a student. 18 My favorite

movie is “Love Actually” (I get warm fuzzies and cry every time I watch it).

19 I wrote my first song about Texas Rangers'

Photo by Felix Adamo

1 Ticking of the



Find more community events at or submit yours via email:



Can’t-miss events in January Wed. 5

Fri. 7

Fri. 7

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

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

FLICS International Cinema Society, presents “MicMacs,” 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater. $5. flics. org or 428-0354.

Tues. 11

Wed. 12

Fri. 14

Sat. 15

Sat. 15

“Grease” Broadway in Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $33.45 to $61.05. or 800-745-3000.

Franc D’Ambrosio’s “I’ll Be Seeing Youz,” 7:30 p.m., the theater at Rabobank Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $60 for five concerts. or 2058522 or 589-2478.

FLICS International Cinema Society, presents “Everyone Else,” 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater. $5. or 4280354.

Condors vs. Ontario Reign, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $7 to $26. bakersfieldcondors. com or 324-7825.

CSUB faculty member Roger Allen Cope, with chamber players from Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m., Metro Galleries. $12; $8 seniors; $6 students. 6542511.

Fri. 21

Sat. 22

Sat. 22


Wed. 19

Wed. 19

“The Measure of a Styx, 8 p.m., Bakers- Man” film premier, field Fox Theater. $39 Friday and Saturday, to $61 plus fee. valBakersfield Fox or 322-5200. ater. or 322-5200.

CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. UC Irvine, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $5 to $25. or 654-BLUE.


Tues. 25 Wed. 26 Sat. 29 CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $5 to $25. gorunners. com or 654-BLUE.

2011 ECHL All-Star Classic, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $18.60 to $33.95. ticketmaster. com or 800-7453000.


Sun. 30 Jeff Dunham, doors open at 4 p.m., show at 5 p.m., Rabobank Convention Center. $51.85. ticketmaster. com or 800-7453000.


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

CSUB Men’s Basketball vs. Cal Poly, 7 p.m., Rabobank Arena. $5 to $25. gorunners. com or 654-BLUE.

A Very Sporting Event, family and friends of local Kern County sports celebrities share their stories; 2 p.m., Beale Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. 868-0770.

FLICS International Cinema Society, presents “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater. $5. or 428-0354.

The all-new BMW 5 Series Sedan 1-800-334-4BMW

The Ultimate Driving Machine®

JOY IS WORTHY OF A STANDING OVATION. Joy’s reputation for giving a stellar performance has preceded itself once again. Introducing the all-new BMW 5 Series Sedan. This Ultimate Driving Machine® upstages the competition with a perfectly carved aerodynamic design dressed in dark shadows and piercing light. Underneath the sculpted body lies an abundance of innovations capable of stealing the show, like an eight-speed automatic transmission that reduces fuel consumption while increasing engine response. Joy was born to play this role. The story of Joy continues at


BMW of Bakersfield 661.396.4040 Less emissions. More driving pleasure. ©2010 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.


Plenty of love for BMW 535i Five series sedan boasts star-power attention, innovative technology By Olivia Garcia


Photos by Tanya X. Leonzo

If a car were modeled after the checklist of your ideal mate, then I’m pretty sure the BMW 535i would complete me. No offense to Julio, my hubby of 15 years, but there’s something alluring about the BMW 5 series. It was almost love at first sight. Now how can that be? Was it the 535i’s sleek look, debonair mannerism, amazing intelligence or super athletic build? Heck, I even asked my Facebook friends if it were possible to marry this car. Julio didn’t find that too amusing, but he knows I love him “this much” (stretching my arms out to both sides, a technique I learned from my soon-to-be-4-year-old.) My new friend, BMW Sales Representative Jose Robles, who hails from Salinas and is a former college ball player, rattled off a list of “attributes” that made the 535i a


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

The BMW 535i driving assistance technology provides important feedback on its operating status and surrounding traffic.

Displayed on a 10.2-inch screen, the BMW Nav system provides 3-D daytime and nighttime maps, zoom and travel planner.

perfect candidate for any driver who loves a sophisticated robust vehicle with star-power attention. Among the list: The totally redesigned iDrive controller. It provides quick access to music, ConnectedDrive system (i.e., get your calendar or an image of your caller) and more. I just love the TeleServices, which gives me an update and image of the car and alerts me, for instance, if an oil change is needed or tire pressure is low. Safety. Caught up in an accident? The 535i driver assistance technology will alert emergency services so help can be on its way. Its charming eyes. The front lights are capped with strip of frosted glass and come with the Xenon adaptive headlights that move “like eyes.” For example, if you’re turning to the right, so will your front lights. And if you veer to the left ... you get the point. (I felt like a little kid messing with that function.) M Sport Suspension and throttle programming, so you can adjust the car from comfort mode to sports or sports plus. So, depending on your mood, you can go from casual driving to sportster in a matter of minutes, or less. “It results in a smoother ride,” Robles added. And a fast one at that! Robles took me on for a speed drive and, boy, I was glad to have a seat belt on! Many of my friends encouraged me to test its swiftness for myself and drive it to the max, but I’m way too cautious and slow when it comes to speed (I think that CHP speeding ticket off Highway 152 on the way to San Jose during my undergrad college days really shook me up. I haven't recovered since.) And can I just say that I love the feel of the steering wheel. It’s like holding one of my Coach bags. Yes, this car is a beauty. But I can tell you this much: I don’t think the BMW 535i will want to stick it out with me till death do us part. We would have to settle for friendship because opportunities for love abound for this TwinPower Turbo engine with 300 horsepower. Case in point: As I test-drove this tall, dark and handsome (carbon black metallic on the outside and cinnamon brown leather on the inside to be exact) over a few days, heads turned left and right. On the freeway. At the stoplight. In the parking lot. Men, women, college students. All of them wanted to meet not me, but the 535i. They studied the outer appearance and, if it was parked, took a peek inside. I’d almost bet the 5 Series just loved all the attention. Who wouldn’t? But that’s what life is like when you have the dreamy 535i at your side.

It’s all in the details: Five best features of the 2011 BMW 535i:

The styling is immediately one of the top features of the all-new 2011 BMW 535i. Outstanding performance is also a key feature for this car, as well as the abundance of options, packages and color combinations available for customers to really personalize their new car. Another great feature for this car is its wonderful fuel economy. Finally, one of the most important features of the new 2011 BMW 535i is its safety: It was a top pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Mileage and price tag:

The 535i achieves 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. This is oustanding fuel economy given the luxurious size of the car and the remarkable performance available from the turbocharged engine. The base price of the 2011 535i is $50,475, including destination. A well-equipped model would be around $57,175.

The BMW 535i is perfect for:

… everyday life. It strikes the balance between the smaller 3Series model, by offering more size and luxury, and the larger 7-Series model by retaining enough sporty character for the driving enthusiast.

What makes the 2011 BMW 535i stand out:

Some of the features of the new 535i stand out right away from the beautiful, new styling to the heart-pounding performance. Upon further observation, other features like the new 8-speed automatic, the dual-exhaust, the fit and finish, and the ride comfort will stand out. Other luxury features such as ventilated and massaging front seats, power trunk lid and soft-close doors are now available. Even more impressive is the list of technological amenities like lane departure warning, blind spot detection, parallel parking assist, side- topand rear-view cameras, active cruise control and infrared night vision.

BMW 5 series’ ideal driver:

BMW has targeted practically every consumer with the 5-series. This is initially obvious by the blend of sport and luxury packaged up in a beautifully designed car. But what is so great is that BMW has offered 3 different engine choices, as well as all-wheel drive models and up to 3 different transmission choices. All of that, combined with the amazing list of available options, packages, and color combinations, allows for such specific customization by the consumer to have exactly what they desire.

Three words that define the BMW 535i:

The BMW 535i is defined by performance, luxury, and balance. On the other hand, the 535i actually defines those three terms. It is undoubtedly a benchmark in the automotive world.

— Source: Ali Bakoo of BMW


Photo courtesy of Doug Sala


Every Neighborhood Partnership


Every Neighborhood Partnership is a local nonprofit that started in Fresno several years ago and has recently spread to the Bakersfield/Oildale area. The organization joins forces with churches to create after-school programs at neighborhood elementary schools, so kids can interact with positive role models outside of school. The goal of arts and crafts as well as a Saturday sports program is hoped to increase attendance and test scores and decrease violence in school. 20

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Photo courtesy of Doug Sala

Creating healthier communities one neighborhood at a time

The newly launched Bakersfield/Oildale Every Neighborhood Partnership is excited about its after-school programs and volunteer efforts.

Prudential Tobias, Realtors

We are local ownership with the

Strength of The Rock (661) 654-1600 1620 Mill Rock Way Ste. 100 Bakersfield, CA. 93311 DRE Lic. #00577493

Photo courtesy of Betty Younger

Photo by John Harte


Betty Hoenshell Younger

Local artist shares family history that began here in 1889


By Jeff Nickell, Kern County Museum director For several months, I have been in contact with Betty Hoenshell Younger regarding her family’s history here in Bakersfield. A few weeks ago, I, along with museum curator Lori Wear, visited with Younger in her northeast Bakersfield home. The first thing I have to say is that everyone should preserve their family heritage like Younger. She had binders of newspaper articles, photographs and the like all laid out for us to peruse. For us to be able to pore through the material she has kept was amazing! Betty’s family’s history in Bakersfield is traced to her grandfather, David L. Hoenshell, who was born in Ohio in 1860. But family history can be traced back to Germany when the family name was Von Hohenshelts. David Hoenshell went to school in Ohio to learn the “three R’s” and then began a carpenter’s apprenticeship. Part of his training was to go into the forest, fell


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

The Hoenshell family, from left: William, William Jr., David Leroy, Hattie, David T. ("Toby"), Toby, Rosse and Betty.

trees and hew them into useable logs. He migrated to Kansas and became a farmer, stockman and butcher. It was there that he met Hattie Handley of Scottish descent, and the two were married. The couple moved farther west, first to Los Angeles and Tulare County before landing in Bakersfield in 1889. Once here, Hoenshell began as an agent of the Union Ice Company working for that entity until 1898. It was around that time (probably after the Kern River Discovery Well), David Hoenshell put his carpenter’s training to use and, for four years, built oil derricks. He then secured a contract with Standard Oil Company to build the roofs on 28 oil reservoirs with each reservoir covering seven acres. The job took two years to complete. From that point, Hoenshell focused on building bungalows and public buildings in Bakersfield, becoming a prominent contractor. In addition, he built residences in West Kern, Orange County, Santa Barbara and Ventura. According to Betty Hoenshell Younger, her grandfather became the first president of the local Carpenter’s Union. Younger said that her grandfather came to Bakersfield with $100, a gun and a carpenter’s tool chest. Betty still has the carpenter’s chest and all the tools. She also has quilts and other objects that date back to when her family first came to the area. The family’s original homestead is at the

Photo courtesy of Betty Younger

Hoenshell legacy continues

David Leroy Hoenshell

corner of 18th and H streets across from the newly renovated Padre Hotel. I think the most amazing part of this story is that the land is still owned by Younger. I believe this further illustrates her love of her family and the history of Ba-

kersfield and Kern County. Many of you already know that Younger is an accomplished artist, having placed many sculptures in downtown Bakersfield to beautify our city. But this is really about a family making a town its home. David Hoenshell purchased the original homestead in 1891. At that time, there were only a few residences located west of Chester Avenue. Wallace Morgan’s "History of Kern County," published in 1914, indicated, “eventually a valuable block will occupy this site.” An interesting fact I came upon while researching Hoenshell is that he served for seven years as the deputy sheriff under Henry Borgwardt. I guess the early pioneers really did do everything imaginable.

Photo courtesy of Betty Younger

Hoenshell Brothers Service Station with Padre Hotel in background. David and Hattie Hoenshell had four children: Hattie, William, Rosse, and David T. (“Toby”). Hattie taught physics and chemistry at Kern County Union High School and Bakersfield College for nearly 40 years (quite a feat for a young woman at that time); Toby became a geologist and worked for General Petroleum but also worked in the family business, which entailed Hoenshell Brothers Service Station. The station was located on the original family homestead. The brothers were also active in real estate and the promotion of downtown Bakersfield. The driving forces behind the business were William and Rosse. In fact, it was noted in the newspaper that the Hoenshell brothers would build a $55,000 three-story parking garage upon the completion of the "Hotel Padre" (this is how it was written in the article). The article further stated that the garage would be built over the site of the original home where the brothers had their early youth. Furthermore, it stated the home was removed during the World War I after a fire devastated Hocheimer’s

Store. Temporary buildings were erected on the homestead site for Hocheimer’s to continue to do business. Betty’s father was Rosse Hoenshell whom, as I mentioned earlier, helped with the service station and real estate ventures. Rosse attended the University of California at Berkeley, but his schooling was interrupted by World War I. He served as a commissioned ensign officer from 19171919 before going back to earn his degree at Berkeley and eventually returning home to Bakersfield. In 1981, the family built Short Stop Market on the site of the homestead. The market still exists today with the property leased out. Just a few weeks ago, Betty Younger unveiled her latest statue titled “The Lilly” on her family’s property facing the newly renovated Padre Hotel with the inscription: “This property is the original ‘Homestead’ of the David Leroy Hoenshell Family.” It is a tribute not only to her family’s legacy, but also to the Padre Hotel and the Downtown Arts District.

Betty Younger said that her grandfather came to Bakersfield with $100, a gun and a carpenter’s tool chest.



All in a day’s work As a BPD community relations specialist, Tony Martinez, center, focuses on crime-prevention efforts and looks at ways at erasing the graffiti problem.

Former cop works hard with community to keep graffiti in check

One way it works to prevent graffiti is by hiring local artists to paint murals in areas, such as the one on 20th and Chester downtown. Muralists are paid a stipend for their work, and it generally prevents an area from being tagged, Martinez said. By Melissa Peaker-Whitten Photos by Jose A. Trevino Another example is the 12 electrical mailboxes downtown that were always getting tagged. To prevent this from recurring, the unit For Tony Martinez, making Bakersfield a better place to live is partnered with the Kern Arts Council, which hired eight different all in a day’s work. artists to paint the boxes. The artists came up with original designs As a community relations specialist for the Bakersfield Police and gained approval before painting each box. Department’s crime prevention unit, it’s his job to find ways to One was even done as a community service project by six youth improve our city and residents' lives. But it’s his heart for the job that who had gotten into trouble for vandalism. The project was overseen truly makes the difference in what he does. by local muralist Sebastian Morales. As the kids One main role is serving as the chairman for the worked on the box, people passed by and admired anti-graffiti committee. This involves finding ways their work. They were being praised for something to reduce this type of vandalism, as well as cleanpositive, Martinez pointed out ing up existing damage. Last year, $1.7 million was “Hopefully that experience impacted them,” he spent to cover up graffiti within the city, the county said. “A lot of these youth are very gifted, so we try budget was an additional $1.3 million, $354 million to direct their talent in a positive way. There’s art and was spent in California, and more than $16 billion there’s vandalism — we try to work with them and was spent nationwide. focus them in the right direction.” The program, 32-erase, which cleans or covers Although the city staff does an excellent job, up damaged areas within city limits, really relies it’s been proven in city after city that it is strong on community volunteers, said Martinez, because volunteer groups that really impact graffiti, Martinez there’s more work than the staff can handle. Alstressed. It can’t just be the city crews involved in though the city handles the calls that come in, there the process, citizens also need to help maintain their are a lot of areas they can’t get to, so they develop neighborhoods. programs with different groups that can then adopt A retired police officer himself, Martinez said a neighborhood for cleanup. Tony Martinez

F 24

Bakersfield Life

“There’s art and there’s vandalism — we try to work with them and focus them in the right direction.”

January 2011

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Martinez said volunteers make a big difference in fighting vandalism.

at one time officers could spend a few hours at a time in a neighborhood, but today they just don’t have the time to invest. That is where his unit comes into play. “We (are able to) do so many positive things within the community that our police officers do not have time to do,” Martinez said. "(We) support our officers in the field and work with them. I look for those groups that will help the police department and our unit in helping people. Many times during the course of my day I’m attending those meetings or functions.” Not only does the unit find ways to resolve an issue, but it also follows up and keeps in touch with members of the community, said Martinez, who uses e-mail as one means of staying connected. “My strength is working in the neighborhoods,” he said. “I love talking to people and seeing what I can do to help them.” He also does community outreach through Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch, whose main function is to teach people to be observant and report suspicious characters or activities in their neighborhoods. He also sits on the board of directors for the Kern County Board of Trade, for Community Action Partnership of Kern County’s Head Start program, as well as the local food bank. “My job is not only fun, but I surround myself with good people and good partners and they make my life a lot easier, they help me be successful. Without the community and our partners within the community we would not be able to accomplish so much of this,” Martinez said. “You are who you surround yourself with, and I work with a lot of great people in the community. I’m really blessed to have a job like this, it’s a great job.”

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The Bistro

The Dining Divas, from left: Robin Noble, Lois Henry, Sofia Ronquillo, Sofie Zimmermann and Kim Jessup.

Savoring the moment Photos by Greg Nichols

Heel ratings (out of 5) Atmosphere (polished but not stuffy)

Service (attentive and very helpful)

Dining Divas’ trip to Four Points by the Sheraton restaurant provides lots of surprises


If you’re in the mood to get dressed up for a quiet, classy, scrumptious dinner, don’t forget about The Bistro. The restaurant is part of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, but don’t think that means blah blah hotel food. The chef isn’t afraid to spice up his dishes and gives diners a wide array of sophisticated choices. This has been, and still is, one of Btown’s few “white tablecloth” (OK, theirs are French blue) restaurants perfect for impressing a business partner or especially a first date!

The Basics Pricing

Food (yummy all around) How to dress: Business casual at a minimum. 26

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

The Bistro Address: 5105 California Ave. Phone: 323-3905 Hours: Breakfast, 6:30 to 10 a.m.; lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday; dinner 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday; lounge 4 to 11 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Extra: The Vineyard is a semi-private room

inside the restaurant that can accommodate parties of up to 24. Cost is a $100 setup fee. If guest bill exceeds $700 for food and drink, the $100 fee is waived. Book ahead! Executive chef: Mike Kelly, who’s been with The Bistro 20 years. Menu changes seasonally.

What we had: Wine: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006, $64/bottle; and Estancia Meritage, Paso Robles, 2007, $28/half bottle, $49/bottle. Appetizers: Bleu chips, $7, Vietnamese chicken wings, $10 Starters: Creamy potato and French onion, $6 each Entrees: Macaroni and cheese, $16 Sesame seared tuna (ahi), $22 Lamb special, $24 8 oz. Angus filet mignon, $32 Dessert: Crème brûlée and chocolate mousse, $6 each

Kimmy on the wine: The Divas were definitely in the mood for red. The Stag’s Leap Artemis was a fullbodied cabernet sauvignon, strong on black fruits, spice and richness with a long, elegant finish. A perfect pairing with the carnivore portion of the meal. The Estancia Meritage (61 percent cab, 27 percent merlot and 12 percent petit verdot) was fruit forward, complimented by anise and spice and everything nice. A velvety finish and paired well with everything we ordered. Overall, great wine list and a great wine experience for these Divas.

Sofia on the appetizers: I rarely have appetizers, so some of these were new to me. I took the safe route and started with the Vietnamese wings, which were semi-spicy with a hint of garlic, very tasty. The bleu chips (housemade chips, drizzled with white truffle oil and melted blue cheese) were totally new for me. My mom always told me that I should try something before I dismiss it. I’m glad I listen to Mama because both were sooo good. I’m not a usually fan of potato chips but enjoyed every bite of the bleu chips. They got an overall 5 Carlos Santana heels from this Diva!

Robin on the soup: Both soups were delish. The French

onion had a nice, rich broth (not too salty), generous crouton and perfectly browned cheese topping. The soup of the day, potato cheese, was rich, creamy and satisfying.

Sofie Z. on the filet: The exterior was char-seared, so it naturally locked in the delicious flavor — medium rare, thank you. I am a card-carrying carnivore so the prospect of digging in to my filet was overwhelmingly enticing. With fork in hand (no need for a knife), I was not disappointed. Each bite was better than the last as it virtually melted in my mouth. One of my sister Divas suggested I share (OK, she shamed me into it ), and I reluctantly acquiesced. You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out eight ounces plus five Divas equals one carnivore wanting more!

Bleu chips

Lois on the ahi: Done perfectly with a hearty sesame crust and moist interior and topped with a delectable mango salsa and light drizzle of a salty-sweet kabayaki sauce. The nutty/sweet combo really accentuated the flavor of the fish (which is not fishy at all, for you scaredies out there). The blanched, seasoned green beans were a snappy alternate flavor on the plate. The divas ate every bite.

Rack of lamb

Continued on page 28

Crème brûlée

Sesame-seared tuna with mango salsa


The Divas mull over The Bistro’s dessert options.

Continued from page 27

Robin on the lamb: My main course, the mustard crusted lamb chops, was a work of art. The chops were sectioned off in twos and generously crusted. Presented with butternut squash puree and roasted brussel sprouts, this dish was generous and delicious!

Kimmy on the macaroni and cheese: This isn’t your kids’ mac ’n’ cheese. The Bistro’s grown-up version is laden with triple cream Boursin cheese, elbow-shaped pasta, a tender sliced chicken breast and a crust of breadcrumbs on top. The cheese was silky smooth but not overpowering, nicely balanced. This “comfort food” definitely had the Divas wanting just one more bite!

Sofie Z. on dessert: Crème brûlée (French for burnt cream) is a rich vanilla custard topped with a layer of hard-caramelized sugar served cold. Talk about an out-of-body experience. To be honest, it’s one of my three favorite desserts, and The Bistro’s version was sheer perfection. It was torched golden, forming a crispy toplayer that crackled as you broke into it with a delicate tap of the spoon. In my view, the top is the key to the dish. Ahhh ... that caramelized sugar. I wonder if my husband would get a little nervous if I bought a welder's torch? The chocolate budino: (budino al cioccolato) was amazing to infinity! It’s a rich, decadent Italian custard style pudding, prepared with Callebaut bittersweet chocolate. It’s slow-baked in a water bath for an hour, then cooled to room temperature, served simply with whipped cream. It somehow tasted like rich, milk chocolate cake mix. Pure heaven! Any attempt at caloric control was futile (darn that mousse for being so easy to eat). This was the overall Divadessert-fave of the night. For you chocolate lovers, this is a must try … Divalicious!!

Angus filet mignon 28

Bakersfield Life

January 2011



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Mmm … Winter soups warm the soul Must-try dishes around town By Gabriel Ramirez


Photos by Michael Lopez

If keeping warm this winter is your goal, then you might want to try one of these delicious soups. From Uricchio’s minestrone to Mama Roomba’s tortilla soup, these local restaurant creations are a hearty meal that will definitely give you that warm comfort. Albondiga soup

Mauricio’s Mexican Restaurant, 10700 Rosedale Highway and 6410 White Lane This mixture of carrots, potatoes, celery, bell peppers, chicken broth and beef meatballs mixed with cilantro and rice is described by owner Sal Avila as a leaner tasting beef soup. “The warm flavor really warms up your body,” Avila said. “We do sell a lot of albondiga soup in the winter season. Among the Hispanic population it is like one of the most popular soups.” Avila said that this soup is a tradition passed on from generation to generation and Mauricio’s has worked over the years at perfecting this family recipe. 30

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Minestrone soup

Uricchio’s Trattoria, 1400 17th St. Uricchio’s minestrone soup is a mix of chicken base, garlic, oregano, thyme, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, spinach and elbow macaroni. “The soup is popular because it is tasty, made fresh daily, healthy and hearty enough to be a full meal if combined with bread and butter,” said owner Claire Uricchio. “When cold winter weather comes along, hot soup is always the ticket.”

Clam chowder (Pearl Jam) Roasted pumpkin soup with king crab legs

Café Med Restaurant & Deli, 4809 Stockdale Highway This pumpkin soup is a blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper, cream, chicken stock, parmesan cheese and king crab meat. Meir Brown, owner/chef, describes the soup as savory, sweet and very aromatic. “This is a hearty, filling and festive soup for the holidays,” Brown said. “It is served in roasted mini pumpkins, which makes for great presentation.” Brown feels this soup is popular because of its unique blend of pumpkin, spices and crabmeat, which makes it an alltime favorite.

Fishlips, 1517 18th St. This clam chowder, listed on the menu as Pearl Jam, is described by co-owner Andrew Wilkins as being composed of clams, clams, and more clams, plus some potatoes, cream and Fishlips magic. “It’s a good old-fashioned clam chowder,” Wilkins said. “It is thick and soothing and warms you up inside, and can be enjoyed as a full meal or as a side to complement any of our other great entrees.” Wilkins feels the soup is popular because unlike other places in town that only serve chowder on Fridays, Fishlips has been serving clam chowder fresh and daily for 10 years. “We set out 10 years ago to try and make the best clam chowder in town and, based on the response by many of our customers, I think we have succeeded,” Wilkins said. Continued on page 32


Continued from page 31

Tortilla soup

Mama Roomba, 1814 Eye St. Mama Roomba’s tortilla soup, which has no equal anywhere else in town, is a spicy blend of chicken stock, chipotle chiles, avocado, homemade tortilla chips, queso fresco and crema. This soup’s diverse and wonderful flavors are guaranteed to keep you warm. Chef Isaac Mancilla said the soup has some smokey and spicy notes, which are generated by the chipotle chiles. “This family recipe will warm you belly on a cold winter's day,” Mancilla said.

Minestrone soup

Luigi’s, 725 E. 19th St. Luigi’s minestrone soup starts out with a ground bean base and to that cabbage, celery, zucchini, onions, parsley, garlic, olive oil and pasta are added. The soup is served with parmesan cheese and croutons. “This soup is a delicious combination of fresh vegetables and the spicy aromas of Italy in a bowl,” said owner Gino Valpredo. Valpredo said that this soup is a good one to try out this winter because it warms the soul. The recipe was passed down from the early 1900s by his greatgrandmother. The restaurant uses the same recipe today.


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Vegetable soup

Benji’s French Basque Restaurant, 4001 Rosedale Highway Benji’s vegetable soup is a combination of many different veggies, including onions, cabbage, carrots, leeks and potatoes all thrown into a chicken base with tomatoes. This ultra-healthy selection makes staying warm in the winter just a side effect of the rich flavors in the soup. “People really like this soup in the winter because it is warm,” said owner Benji Arduain. “Even in the summer it is popular because it has lots of vegetables.” Arduain said that they use a family recipe to assemble this Basque favorite.

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There’s so much to love about our town. From the Panorama bluffs to streets of Rosedale, each neighborhood has its supporters. This month, Bakersfield Life asked the Jost family what makes living behind the gates of Rio Bravo so special. Who lives in the Jost household?

We recently became empty nesters. Our youngest married a year ago; the ceremony and reception was held out here at Rio Bravo County Club. So it's Jerry and Karen and our 21-year-old cat. A few wild lizards make their home on the property as well, probably due to the fact the old cat has lost her lightning speed. How long have you lived in Rio Bravo?

Eight years.

Three words to describe your neighborhood:

Views, wildlife and serenity. What is your favorite neighborhood memory?

Providing neighbors with a horse and buggy ride during a previous holiday season. What would you change about your neighborhood?

Lower property taxes. What is your favorite neighborhood activity?

Neighbor progressive dinners, Halloween open house, wine tastings and carting. What attracted you to the neighborhood?

Karen and I were raised and have lived in east Bakersfield (Panorama) most of our lives. We just migrated further east, including our parents and our children, who all graduated from Highland High School (Janelle, Allen and Jeana). I think the wildlife and fewer urban pressures are commonalities that most people share out here. Even when we head home from town, before we arrive there is a 34

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Jerry and Karen Jost in front of their Rio Bravo home.

Photo by Felix Adamo


calming effect, with the scenic views and less traffic pressure. It is truly worth much more than a gallon of gas and you don't have to navigate through a maze of city trappings. What was your vision when building and designing homes in your neighborhood? How many homes have you built?

Taking advantage of scenic views wherever possible; why not, they are free. Properly placed windows in the design phase is a top priority when achieving the big picture view. In our Vista Del Lago neighborhood, there are 65 homes built and 16 vacant lots owned by individuals. I have custom-built 26 homes in the Rio Bravo area, however my grandfather, father and I have built hundreds of homes in east Bakersfield (Panorama) including Park Place Condominiums that sit on the bluffs with unobstructed views of the Kern River Valley, hills, mountains and the city. What do you like most about your neighbors?

They are fun, witty, entertaining, down-to-earth folks. What do you like best about your home?

Our great-room is truly a great room. The comment that we hear most from our guests is that they always feel comfortable here. That's the way it should be. Best-kept secret about your neighborhood that you’d be willing to share:

The lake. A lot of people don't know what Vista Del Lago means. The wild water fowl that visit, cooler summers and no-fog winters. We can also view the starlet skies (no city light pollution). Anything else?

Thank you, Bakersfield Life, for letting us share with all who read, and from all the Jost and Zerler families, have a happy new year, Bakersfield.

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Leading the way in the courtroom Parents inspire four female attorneys to a career in law Photos by Henry A. Barrios

Floyd: As a child, I loved to read. I knew my local librarian by name. I loved watching the news and reading the newspaper and true crime novels. I started on my way to law school in sixth grade. Avila: I have always wanted to make a difference in my community. When I was studying in college, I noticed that at the forefront of all the great movements and causes for justice, there were always lawyers leading the way. More importantly, the lawyers had the power to right wrongs and truly change the world. It was clear this was the field for me. Lopez: It was a process that led to a moment. Unlike some people who were born knowing they wanted to be a lawyer, as a member of a farmworker family, the only lawyer I ever knew was Perry Mason from the TV series. I’m sure I must have been impressed with the way he controlled the courtroom because it sure wasn’t because I looked like him. I also loved the fact that he never lost a case. On a serious note, I always knew I was “good” with people and that I had a tenacious nature to fight for what I believed. Although my parents had very minimal education, they had the innate ability to instill in me the confidence that I could do anything as long as I worked hard and went to college. Walters: I couldn’t be a rock star, so it seemed like a good choice. I could argue for a living, how great is that? Bakersfield Life

11 years of experience, deputy district attorney, Kern County District Attorney’s office gang unit

Jennifer C. Floyd

What led you to a career in law?


Wendy Avila

January 2011

20 years of experience, owner of The Law Offices of Jennifer C. Floyd / Attorney at Law

Robin M. Walters 26 years of experience, Juvenile Court attorney

Sylvia Lopez

30 years of experience, attorney at law, sole practitioner at the Law Office of Sylvia Lopez

Who has been your inspiration for your career? Floyd: My mother was an R.N., not an attorney, but she has been an inspiration for my career as she always worked hard, took pride in her accomplishments, treated everyone with dignity and respect and was well-respected. My father who always gave my sisters and I what we asked for but who told us each time that ”money does not grow on trees.” Knowing that my parents were not going to support me forever inspired me to take care of business while I had their support. Avila: I was inspired by my mother, Ginger Avila, who always encouraged me to get an education because she had not had the opportunity to do so. Education saved my life. I was inspired by my teacher, Mr. Alex Vasquez, who told me to take advantage of the opportunities given to me. I did, and my life was changed because of it. Lopez: My parents, Gilberto “Shorty” Lopez and Juanita Lopez, inspired me. In fact, they inspired eight children, with eight very different personalities, to pursue their dreams through higher education. Now we have teachers, counselors, lawyers, businesswomen and one daughter who is completing her college degree at Cal State Sacramento as we speak. I only wish I could take their magic, can it and sell it. I’m sure I would give Donald Trump stiff competition. Walters: My grandmother and my mother. Both are strong, powerful women with a lot of drive. Neither were lawyers. In fact, there are no other lawyers in my family. My mom has survived many obstacles and is still working at 75. Now that’s inspiring! Continued on page 38


Continued from page 37

What advice do you have for female high school and college students considering a career in law? Floyd: To choose an undergraduate major in which they will excel as there is no required major for admission to law school, to learn how to write well, to become disciplined in their studies and to defer going into debt for non-essential items. Avila: Go for it! Being a lawyer is a great career for females. It allows you financial independence and more importantly, puts you in a position to make your own decisions. Being a lawyer gives you power. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot be a lawyer. It is within your power if you really want it. Persistence is key. Life will always send you challenges that can take you away from your goals, but keep going. Lopez: A career in law, as in any area, is what you do and should never be who you are. The reality is that most women work these days, and you want to spend 40 hours a week doing something that you enjoy. Being a lawyer is not for the weak at heart. Understand that you must be diligent, work hard, and always have your client’s best interest in mind, which, at times, is contrary to your financial interest. In return, you will feel a tremendous amount of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. You will also have the freedom of being able to financially support yourself in almost any situation. Walters: Go for it. One of the best things is the variety. Consider the variety just within this panel. Lawyers can be writers, litigators, criminal lawyers, child advocates, politicians and professors. A law degree can give you a breadth of opportunity. I know it’s trite, but I really do enjoy the fact that you can help people and be a positive force.

Jennifer C. Floyd 38

Bakersfield Life

Wendy Avila January 2011

Any challenges to being a female attorney in a predominately male profession? Floyd: When my children were young, I looked tired all of the time because I survived on little sleep. I was determined to be a good mother, wife and attorney. It is not uncommon to hear criticism of female lawyers and judges for missing work for their children. I am sure that our male colleagues take time from work to attend events in support of their children, but you don’t hear about it in the same way. There have been times when people enter my office and ask me if they can speak to the lawyer and times that I have arrived at other law firms for depositions and been asked if I am the court reporter. Years ago, I was verbally and physically assaulted by a female deputy sheriff when I walked in to the well of the courtroom because she did not think that I was a lawyer. Avila: When it comes to being a trial lawyer, knowledge of the law, solid preparation and effective presentation are the staples of the profession. These skills are gender and race neutral and can be accomplished by anyone who wants to put in the work. Lopez: There are challenges for female attorneys in a man-dominate world. I dare say, if someone had to pick out a person who most looked like an attorney from a lineup, out of five people, I would be the sixth to be chosen. This has been my challenge and has also been my sword. It is when the “enemy” has had low expectations of me that I have had the best results. Walters: Sure, but much less now. The fast track to big money is paved with hours and hours of work. The fact is family life is important. As mothers, we bear the bulk of that responsibility. There has to be a balance between work life and family life, and not just for women, but also for parents. My biggest positive is my flexible schedule, which allows me to pick my daughter up from school and then be home with her just about every day. As a single mother, you can’t beat that.

Robin M. Walters

Sylvia Lopez

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Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo

Tracy Walker Kiser, owner of H. Walker’s Clothing Co.


Local community partners share thoughts, hopes for the New Year


Edited by Dana Martin

Whether you lost a job, gained a job, lost a house or were able to maintain your monthly mortgage, no one stood unaffected by the state of the economy in 2010. Families are consolidating, businesses have closed, but there remains a common thread among us that ties communities together: hope. The good news is that another year is around the bend, shining and sparkling, inviting us with its endless possibilities and vast room for improvement. What is in store for our city, state, and nation? One answer is certain, and that is change. As the New Year’s Eve ball lowers 77 feet in New York City on Dec. 31, a year (and a chapter) closes, leaving memories, hope and expectation in its wake. The new year signals a fresh start, a reliable beginning that allows us to resolve to lose weight, go to school, vow to forgive more or hate less. We asked nine locals from nine areas of business to look into their crystal ball and tell us what they see for 2011. This is what they said. Continued on page 42


“Individuals and businesses have learned to reinvent themselves, which in turn creates new interest and new ideas.” Tracy Walker Kiser

Continued from page 41

Owner, H. Walker’s Clothing Co. My father, Herb Walker, started the business in 1971 and upon his retirement, I purchased the men’s specialty retail store in 1997. I was born and raised in Bakersfield. I went to Garces Memorial High School, Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield. For the clothing store, 2010 started great, but then showed a decline in sales at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third quarter. As we complete 2010, we will still have a decline in business of 6 percent to last year but have noticed a big increase in sales and traffic for the fourth quarter. One of the challenges we faced was manufacturers' decline in inventory selection and stock availability. With many retailers closing store fronts across the country, manufacturers had to reduce inventory production and change credit terms. These dramatic changes affected us with our inventory commitments to product lines. Going forward, 2011 shows lots of potential in change for the retail industry. We at H. Walker’s have already committed to our inventory buy through August 2011. With new technology, the luxury men’s denim industry is exciting and sexy with more options using Supima cotton. Dominant silk lines like Tommy Bahama are doing more with cotton in their relax division, which helps consumers save money on dry cleaning. Improved fabrics by Serica makes all their dress shirts 100 percent cotton and non-iron a huge plus for retailers. Johnston & Murphy shoes are offering their new Walk Fit program with sheepskin-padded insoles and flexible outsoles for extra comfort. Manufacturers for our industry are more optimistic and positive, which helps with selection of fabrics, styles and selections. Our store has noticed a change in attitude in the outlook for our community, with exciting growth in the oil and farming industries, State Farm Insurance announcing Bakersfield as its headquarters, Mill Creek development changing the landscaping of downtown and nonprofits still showing huge successes in fundraising. Individuals and businesses have learned to reinvent themselves, which in turn creates new interest and new ideas. Challenges bring strength within each other. 42

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Mike Maggard Mike Maggard

Photo courtsey of Mike Maggard

Tracy Walker Kiser

Kern County Supervisor, Third District Being elected by the people to be their representative is an incredible honor, and I’m just starting my second term as a Kern County supervisor. I’ve been married 34 years to Mary, and we have two grown sons. I was born in Bakersfield and graduated from Foothill High, Bakersfield College, and Cal State Bakersfield. Before my current job, I founded my own CPA firm at age 24. My first client was my boyhood friend, Sonny, who owned a pizza restaurant —$25 dollars per month, and all the pizza we could eat. Wouldn’t trade those lean first years in business for anything. My business life taught me lessons I apply every day in government, i.e., that government should spend money like it had to earn it, because the taxpayers certainly did. Given the economic downturn and the state Legislature irresponsibly “balancing” (if you believe in smoke and mirrors) its budget on the backs of local government, we’ve had to make many very difficult decisions — asking the public to accept reduced services and our employees to take significant reductions in pay and benefits. But we were elected to make tough decisions, and we have, delivering a balanced budget each year. Our top priorities are

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Libby Wyatt

public safety, jobs, improving our local economy and maintaining services to the public at a reduced cost to the taxpayer. In 2011, the economy hasn’t yet recovered, and the state Legislature remains addicted to spending beyond its means. Tough budget decisions will continue. Kern County will emerge as a leader throughout the state in the clean energy sector. We’ll work to get government out of the way and let businesses grow jobs. We will be successful in achieving reduced energy rates from PG&E. I hope to break ground on a town square and improve the business district in Oildale.

Libby Wyatt

Principal of Liberty High School As an educator for 20 years in Bakersfield, I have been fortunate to work with some amazing teachers, parents and students. 2010 brought many hardships to education in general. In light of drastic reductions in California education, we saw many school districts forced to make difficult decisions. Although, budgetary constraints left an impact, I witnessed staff members that remained dedicated to their profession, the students and the community. I saw our students continue to strive to do their best, and I saw parents, grandparents and other family members continue to support their students and local schools. Not only have I been blessed to a part of this effort, but my husband

(also a principal in the Kern High School District) and my own children (three in high school and one recent high school graduate) have had the opportunity to be a part of a tremendous local educational experience. I await 2011 with excitement for what lies ahead. I anticipate that much of what occurred in 2010 will continue to take place in 2011 in education. But I strongly believe that education will rebound and all the effort that educators have dedicated to making our students lifelong learners will be realized. For those educators who are finishing their careers, I applaud their dedication to our students and for our new educators entering the profession. You could be the one teacher that makes a huge impact on a student’s life.

RoseMary Wahl

Undersheriff, Kern County Sheriff’s Office This past year again left many Kern County residents feeling uncertain about their future. Countless community members continued to face extreme financial hardships as our local unemployment rate jumped to unprecedented heights not seen since the Great Depression. These turbulent times touched most everyone in some way and have significantly impacted many families. In spite of these unfortunate circumstances, we continued to witness many great acts of kindness throughout our communities. NumerContinued on page 44


Photo by Felix Adamo

Renee Stancil

RoseMary Wahl 44

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Photo courtsey of RoseMary Wahl

Continued from page 43

ous times during the year, Kern County residents came together to give a helping hand to those in need of food, shelter or to provide support to someone who suffered a tragic loss. As a community, we have supported our military men, women and veterans, and we regularly answer the call when our local nonprofit organizations ask for our assistance. I am proud to be part of a community that is filled with people who truly care about their neighbors and are willing to provide financial support and/or volunteer time to make a positive difference in the life of another. Personally, 2010 brought many changes in my life. As I reflected upon this past year, I had an opportunity to again appreciate and be thankful for the many blessings I received this year. In January, my beautiful granddaughter, Corey Marie, arrived. In May, I was promoted to the rank of undersheriff. In July, my husband retired after serving 35 years with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. In September, I completed an 18-month law enforcement Command College program. In October, I was inducted into the Girl Scouts of Central California South “Women Inspiring Girls Society.” In the year ahead, I predict that our nation’s economic climate will slowly start to improve. However, locally, our county budgets will continue to be bleak. As an administrator for a large law enforcement agency, I foresee KCSO facing many challenges as we strive to stay within our operating budget while delivering the same level of services our communities have come to expect from us. Fortunately, we have a department filled with Kern County residents who have the same giving spirit I spoke of earlier. We are public servants and we will continue to answer the call when it comes, with pride and professionalism.

Happy New Years from

Renee Stancil

Area program director Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County I have had the awesome opportunity to work at the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County for the past 11 years. My wonderful husband’s name is Donta, and together we have four children and two grandchildren. I was born and raised in east Bakersfield and graduated from Foothill High School. Here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, we were very blessed this year with our growth; we now have 29 locations throughout Kern County, which allows us to serve more children and their families. The ability to empower families in a difficult economy is a true joy of my job. I am proud to say I live in Bakersfield! Our community is truly a caring and generous place to live. Although the economy was tough on Bakersfield in 2010, the sense of community was alive. People stepped up to the plate to help one another, to share their faith and hospitality. The struggles brought us closer together, we came out and learned of one another to help and hold each other up. Now if we could change our summer temps it would a perfect place! For 2011, I see our community’s support continuing, even greater for our future at Boys & Girls Clubs, which allows us to provide youth services to our community most precious resource: our children. Our supporters know that the future starts with the children in Kern County and they want to give them the best start possible. Boys & Girls Clubs will continue to advance in providing the best youth services in Kern County. As our national slogan goes: “Great futures start here!” Growth is inevitable for Bakersfield, not only in our economy but the sense of community! Although we have faced struggles in Bakersfield, our successes are given only at the end of great struggle. If it were easy, anybody could do it. Success is success only because it relates to struggle. How can we have victory without conflict? To receive something without struggle lessens its personal value. In the coming year, Bakersfield will succeed!

Jim Ranger

Worship director/pastor at New Life Center I have been the worship director/pastor at New Life Center for five years. I am in charge of the music program, which includes overseeing the volunteers, around 50 to 60 people in all. Part of my job is organizing the schedules of the volunteers. We rotate musicians every week. Along with the scheduling, I also get the privilege of being their pastor. I am a part of helping them develop not only as musicians and vocalists, but also as leaders. I get to help them discover the potential they possess. My wife, Camilla, and I have been married for eight years and we have three kids. My father is the senior pastor at New Life Center and has been for 22 years. I was born in Newport, Ariz., but moved out here when I was 2 years old. I went to school at Ridgeview High. 2010 was one of the most exciting years I’ve had. Not only did my ministry grow substantially here at New Life Center, I

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Continued on page 46


Photo by Felix Adamo

Jim Ranger

Continued from page 45

also began writing and producing music for other artists. I spent much of the year going back and forth between here and L.A. working with some really talented songwriters and artists. It has been such a growing experience, being able to get around these guys are more seasoned and really talented. It has really caused me to grow. One thing I learned in 2010 is the chaos of life is always going to happen, so don’t get too emotionally caught up in the ups and downs that life throws at you. I believe God will never give you more than you can handle, and that has been tested for me this year. With that in mind, I think 2011 will be what it will be ... but I am prepared for it. After the year my wife and I had this year — both the good and the bad — I have learned to plan ahead, but also be prepared to shift with the flow.

Founder/president, Mendiburu Magic Foundation Our family has been blessed in the year 2010, and we are so very grateful for all of the good that has come our way. My wife, Valerie, and I both are really enjoying our careers, our nonprofit work, and most importantly, our second son, Jackson, was born in 2010! I can only imagine how much fun we will have going into 2011, raising our two sons, Braden and Jackson, and making famContinued on page 48 46

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Brian Mendiburu

Photo by Michael Fagans

Brian Mendiburu

Photo by Felix Adamo

Greg Gallion

Greg Gallion

Continued from page 46

ily memories. We are thinking about maybe another family vacation to Spain, but we’ll see. Our priorities will remain consistent: faith, family and career. In light of our current economic climate, we did anticipate (and strategically plan for in advance) the decrease in income revenue for this nonprofit foundation. We were proud to raise more than $25,000 this year and pump that right back into the community. Our current board adopted a five-year strategic plan that will provide direction for our continued focus areas, as we move into 2011: 1. Help children and families affected by any catastrophic or life-threatening illness; 2. Ongoing medical research for cancer; 3. Community impact programs with an emphasis on positive youth development. Mendiburu Magic will strive to accomplish these worthy tasks while appreciating the purpose of human life as being able to serve and show compassion along with the will to help others. We have established this foundation to help people in need and impact lives. It is true, we might stumble at times, but the only way someone does not stumble is if they choose to stand still. We have done the opposite of that and will continue to work hard and always move forward, advancing great projects into 2011.

CEO, Houchin Blood Bank For us at Houchin, 2010 was a year filled with mixed emotions. We’ve built a solid strategy plan to produce a stable blood supply, and we’ve been able to supply adequate blood to this community. We are also in a position to assist other communities in their struggle to procure blood. We’ve seen more donors in 2010, and we now attract 16-year-old donors into our donor pool. We were also blessed by Bolthouse Properties with a five-acre land donation on which to consolidate our laboratory, quality assurance, manufacturing, distribution and transportation services, as well as house a full-service donor drawing site. The Bolthouse Foundation is committed to giving back to this community, and Houchin is a nonprofit they felt was consistent with the Bolthouse Family legacy in altruism. Our two philosophies mesh with one another. Blood centers across the country, particularly smaller ones, are going to be subjected to an abundant amount of financial pressure as the future unfolds. As hospitals are under pressure to reduce costs and make decisions that may not be conducive with the philosophies of the small, independent blood centers, that is something we will have to struggle against as well. Because of Houchin Blood Bank’s commitment to this commuContinued on page 51


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

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Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo

Brian Kirschenmann

Continued from page 48

nity and the strength we have achieved over the last 60 years, we are committed to rising to the challenge of all of these obstacles that are being set before us. For 2011, we’ll have our groundbreaking in the first part of the year, expand the lab environment and continue meeting the needs of this community. We will continue to be a good steward of a safe and potent blood supply and a good partner with our local hospitals. We’ve also embraced social networking wholeheartedly on Facebook and Twitter, and our community development department will be a stronger presence in the community, creating more collaborative partnerships with businesses to get employees to be donors.

Brian Kirschenmann

Potato farmer, Kirschenmann Farms The Kirschenmann family has been growing potatoes in California for more than 100 years. Our family initially started farming in the Lodi/Stockton area then moved south toward Bakersfield around 1915. This area wasn’t farmed much until the construction of the canals. I’m a fifth-generation farmer, have been married to my wife, Katie, for nine years, and we have one son, Chase. I was born and raised in Bakersfield and graduated from Bakersfield High School and then from Reed College in Oregon (where I studied chemistry but essentially discovered the discipline within myself to learn).

In 2010, Kirschenmann Farms became a part of the Frito-Lay “Locally Grown” campaign and has been featured on its national billboards and commercials. The potato business usually does well in sagging economies; potatoes are the third-largest consumed commodity and are one of the most versatile crops to feed communities. The humble little potato has so many uses. With a growing world population and the low dollar, international demand for efficient and healthy sources of food is up, therefore agriculture prices are good. We have discovered that the international demand for potatoes, in particular, is up. We ship to Asia, Russia and Central America. Ag business did well in Bakersfield and the surrounding community in 2010; we suffered no disasters this summer, and no severe freezes last winter. Prices didn’t get out of hand and this, in turn, helped to keep the market even-keeled. All in all it, has been a steady year for agriculture in our community. In 2011, I believe our community will stay strong because of our oil and agriculture industries. People are still hiring, which fortunately makes our community economically stronger than most. As our economy picks up, our community will grow and revitalize alongside it. That being said, I believe there is a time in which economic upsets and setbacks shouldn’t always been seen as a negative. I have learned to see a setback as an opportunity to realign myself and re-train my focus. These moments are opportunities to make good out of misfortune and learn; it just depends on how you want to direct your energy.


Willow, one of CALM's two new mountain lions, shows her defensive side when she saw viewers on the other side of the glass at the new exhibit scheduled to open to the public this month. 52

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

wo T

peas in a pod

Less than a year old, both Willow and Sage are newest additions to CALM

By Hillary Haenes


hey hiss, purr and chirp like birds. They’re playful, curious kittens that demand constant attention. One cat purrs easily, and the other doesn’t. One is mischievous, while the other is usually mellow. Ninemonth-old Willow and 6-month-old Sage, two recent young mountain lion additions to the California Living Museum, may be close in age, but have completely different personalities. After 27 years, it’s come full circle, and the highly anticipated mountain lion and bobcat exhibit will open the weekend of Jan. 14. Willow and Sage are waiting to be released into their new state-ofthe-art sanctuary where they will reside in the same patron-viewing area but in a separate habitat enclosure next to three bobcats

Photos by Felix Adamo

— Reebok, Nike and Coco. “We’re pretty proud of it. We’ve got an exhibit the community deserves and the lions deserve,” said John Lindsay, deputy superintendent of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office. Lindsay oversees the zoo's operation as secretary of the CALM Foundation board of directors. This world-class Cats of California Exhibit, with ample room to roam and rocks to climb, was made possible with community donations, especially the major contributions to the CALM Foundation from Dolores F. and Victor S. Cerro and Diane Lake. With $1.5 million donated so far, CALM still seeks funds to cover the Continued on page 54


Sage has full access to Don Richardson's office at CALM as she heals from an injured leg. Richardson is the curator at the museum.

Continued from page 53

approximate $1.8 million cost of the exhibit. The mountain lion enclosure stands at 2,000 square feet while the bobcat’s area is 1,300 square feet. “Without their generosity, we wouldn’t have a mountain lion exhibit, so it’s pretty exciting. We’re hopeful it will increase visitation and fulfill a promise that the board made them [the community],” Lindsay said. The staff at CALM is hoping the community will come out to visit the exhibit on opening weekend and meet the adorable female duo since it’s been more than a decade that CALM has housed a mountain lion. When CALM opened in 1983, the first resident was Whisker, a mountain lion cub. Not long after, a female mountain lion named Sierra joined him, but both cherished cats died in the late '90s. With the new exhibit, building a larger habitat for the new mountain lions was important, but housing Willow and Sage next to the bobcats and having the capability of shifting the cats' habitats was an added benefit. "This 'changes up' the environment for the cats and stimulates new explorative opportunities for the individual cats, increasing the activity levels for the patrons to view the cats and reduces the potential for exhibit boredom," said Don Richardson, animal curator at CALM. A visit to the new exhibit will be anything but boring, according to Richardson, who said mountain lions are most active in their 54

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

the first couple of years before they start to get bulky, eventuis still seeking ally topping 140 pounds. (Wildonations and volunteers to help with special events, taking care low and Sage currently weigh of animals and other projects. between 30 to 40 pounds each.) Call 872-2256 for information. They're fun to watch, but Opening weekend the cats' playfulness has caused Jan. 14 to 17 some concern among CALM CALM hours and tickets caretakers, who feared when Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily the two were introduced that Adults: $9 the younger Sage would have Seniors (60+): $7 trouble taking care of herself. Children: $5 for ages 3 to 12; free for under 3. (All kids get in free on But they found the situation to the last Saturday of the month.) be quite the opposite. “She was going after Willow — she’s the strong-willed child of the two. Sage is a little spitfire, she has attitude,” said Lana Fain, CALM zoo manager. Despite coming from a sanctuary in Florida and being bottlefed, Sage arrived with some behavioral problems, so it was a gradual process to get the cat to finally settle down. Willow, who came to CALM at 11 weeks old, was found in Weed, Calif., by the Department of Fish and Game and was the only survivor of her two siblings. Not long after she arrived at CALM, she developed pneumonia and was hospitalized at Animal Emergency and Urgent Care where she recovered. Willow stayed


Continued on page 56

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Don Richardson, curator at CALM, gets inside the cage to help Willow become more relaxed in the new mountain lion exhibit.

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Willow leaps as she runs around her home at CALM. Continued from page 54

with Richardson until she became too big and started pulling light fixtures off the wall. Now Sage is the one rehabilitating after surgery for her back leg, which the rambunctious mountain lion injured after slipping from a tree limb. Because Sage is so active, she has to be closely monitored until she properly heals, meaning Richardson must coop her up in his office (now a "playground," he joked) while he’s at work and


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

take her home with him at night. And it’s apparent that she’s become attached to her caretaker as a high-pitched chirping sound (it’s a happy noise) resounds behind Richardson’s office door. Caring for the young cats is something the folks at CALM see as a real privilege. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s like having your child next to you – they are family in the sense that they grow up with us and we grow up with them,” Richardson said.


Being a part of something much bigger Science magnet school introduces students to the beauty of nature


By Luz Peña

Photos by Michael Lopez

It's lunchtime at Cesar E. Chavez Magnet Science School in northeast Bakersfield, but for a group of curious students, it was time to get their hands dirty. Students shuffled into a greenhouse located behind the school's office to plant some daffodils and irises with the help from their garden and greenhouse activity leader Tricia Treviño-Woods. They gathered around the preparation tables and waited patiently for instructions from Treviño-Woods. “Remember we have to prep our soil. It can't be too dry or too wet,” said Treviño-Woods, as she raised a plastic pot filled with soil in

Brooklynn Jeredin gets her hands dirty and learns about plant science as part of the Chavez magnet program. 58

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

The greenhouse is part of the Chavez magnet science school.

the air. “You have to make sure it's like Goldilocks, it's just right.” Before diving into their trays filled with soil, each student pushed up the sleeves on their sweaters and removed their jackets. After a few minutes, tiny hands squished the soil and water together. It wasn't long before more than 20 pairs of hands were covered with wet soil, while the children happily chatted and giggled with one another. Since the greenhouse is part of the magnet program, where students learn science-related coursework aside from the school's core curriculum, they're only allowed to work in the greenhouse after school until 5 p.m. or during lunch.

April Escudero Mendoza, 6, enjoyed working the soil and planting the daffodil bulbs because she couldn't wait to see the end result. “I like working with the dirt. The flowers are my favorite,” said April. “I like the roses because they get big and pretty.” The greenhouse has flourished with funding from Cal State Bakersfield, Chavez Service Learning Grant, plus other grants and donations — monetary or supplies. The students grow all the greenhouse garden fruits and vegetables. Some of their prized edibles include okra, strawberry, artichokes, bell peppers and radishes. The class emphasizes organic gardening and has special area for worms. Other sections in the greenhouse include a succulent house, a recycling center and the butterfly area, which has stones set up to resemble a butterfly. Over time, students have seen the caterpillars change into a beautiful, colorful monarch butterflies. “I'm not afraid to get dirty and planting daffodils is pretty easy,” said Logan Jones, 8. “I've seen a few butterflies. I think it's pretty neat.” The greenhouse has even been featured on an episode of the TV show "The Doctors." Plus, the students have participated in the Great American Cleanup campaign to keep their campus clean. After the planting and labeling was done, students lined up to put their plants into the propagation house, so their daffodils could sprout. Lunchtime was almost over, so students lined up to wash their

Julian Tovar Jr. and other students who participate in the Chavez magnet science school get a chance to explore nature at its best.

hands before going to class. Treviño-Woods said the lessons learned in the class would last longer than the hours they put into the greenhouse. “It's pretty amazing. They're a part of something much bigger,” said Treviño-Woods. “Some of these students have never had a garden and they'll do it all here. They'll take what they learned here and incorporate it into their lives as they get older.”

Students who participate in the Chavez magnet science school get a chance to explore nature at its best.



Winter gardening Bakersfield is the 'perfect place' for winter planting


By Gene Garaygordobil Photos by Maria Garaygordobil

Although Bakersfield often ranks at the bottom of places where people want to live, local gardening experts say it is the No. 1 place when it comes to winter gardening. And just because it’s a little cold outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be out in the garden planting things for the upcoming season. Local garden experts say you should plant in the wintertime, and get a jump start on spring planting. “It’s the perfect time to plant any ornamentals, many trees and even a winter vegetable garden,” said Suzi Williams, manager at Bolles Nursery in Bakersfield. “You can plant things like broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and many lettuces.” Williams points to the Bakersfield climate as getting cold in the winter, and extremely hot in the summer. So most plants do well in the area, except for those that need a tropical zone year-round to grow. “Our climate is like a high desert,” Williams said. “That’s what it was until all the farmers came and planted all these crops.” She said that most people seem to slow down in the winter when it comes to their gardens, especially come the foggy season. “Right now, you can plant ornamental flowers that do well in our relatively mild winters, so your garden can have color all year long,” Williams said. “Once spring comes, you can dig those out, and plant something different and better suited for our hot summers.” Williams stressed that almost anything can be planted in the winter. The cooler 60

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Cool winter temperatures make it easy to do planting during the season.

temperatures make it easier on the plant — “and easier on you!” For those gardeners who are waiting to plant a tree until spring, Williams said don’t put it off, do it now. Bolles Nursery, 1112 Wible Road, provides a huge selection of winter plants and trees for those Bakersfield residents who are itching to go play in their gardens. The business also provides landscaping and irrigation services. “It’s always good to check your sprinklers at this time, because you can see if they are working and how well they are

covering your yard,” she said. Jere White, owner of White Forest Nursery, smiles widely when he talks about winter gardening options. December is when most of his ball and burlap trees arrived, offering a wide variety of trees for Bakersfield gardeners. The field-grown trees are offered at a reduced price, with some trees — such as apple, pear and plum — starting at $12.99. Because their roots are literally wrapped in burlap bags, they are also easy on the gardener.

Jere White of White Forest Nursery lists snap dragons as one of many winter planting options. “They are easy to plant, and easy to transport,” White said. “Even my grandmother can transport them.” Besides trees, White said roses are also a great option for winter planting. “We have over 200 varieties,” he said. “And when you plant

them in the wintertime, you’ll have some lovely flowers come spring.” Other plants that are winter-friendly include: poppies, snapdragon, pansies, deltas, stock and camellias. He also suggested planting a variety of berries. But before you start planting, White strongly urges taking time to “prepare the hole,” especially when dealing with trees, to make sure that anything you plant gets help with its growth. He said that every gardener should use a planting mix, nutripack and top it with GardenMax to ensure a successful gardening experience. “You’ll be gaining one or two years of life and, in some cases, a 12-foot-tall tree after one year,” he said. And there are few limitations when it comes to winter gardening. You also get bonuses that many spring/summer gardeners miss out on: lower prices and nurseries are less busy. “That allows you to get more one-on-one attention from your nursery staff,” White said. With all the fall colors during the cold season, White said that gardening usually gets overlooked because it is not as “sprite and bright.” “By planting in the winter, you will not see a lot of growth on top, but the roots will be growing,” White said. “You’ll get 25 to 50 percent more growth before spring arrives.” “So if you plant now, you’ll have beautiful garden come springtime,” he added.

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Guys who hoop When it comes to basketball, these four are in sync Photos by Greg Nichols


How did you get into basketball? What’s your position? Salvador Monarrez: It was my father who got me to pick up a basketball at a young age. After that, I was hooked, and my brother and I grew up playing basketball. I play the “two” position (shooting guard), at least I try. Michael Gutierrez: My dad introduced me to the game when I was little. I would spend as much time as possible in my parent’s backyard shooting and playing. In elementary school, I started playing on school teams and have been playing competitively since. I play point guard. I have never been the greatest shooter, so I had to learn to handle the ball well enough to play the point.


If you had a chance to meet with your favorite NBA player, who would it be and what would ask them? Monarrez: It would be an honor to meet Kobe Bryant. In my generation of basketball, he is the best. I would like to know why is he so dang serious.

Smith: There are actually two. I would like to meet LeBron James and because I am from Utah, Deron Williams. With both guys, I would just like to know what their life consists of on a day-to-day basis. All we see is them playing the game, and a couple of interviews on TV. We

Scott Smith

Health teacher and coach at Mira Monte High School


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Lawson: I would like to meet Michael Jordan and ask him what it’s like to be a six-time NBA champion. And what was his most memorable moment in his career?

Gutierrez: My favorite players are Chris Duhon and Shane Battier. I am a big Duke Blue Devils fan and enjoyed watching those two play in college and the pros. I would have them reflect on their days at Duke and ask for any keys to success.

Scott Smith: I was tall growing up, so it made sense to play basketball and not pursue riding horses. I play every position, wherever I fit best on the team. The more spots you know how to play, the more valuable you are. Brent Lawson: I started playing basketball when I was 7. I play a combination of small forward and power forward.

rarely see them doing anything behind the scenes. How different would it be to be with them at the grocery store, rolling dice with them in Vegas or picking their kids up from school? It would be good to see them in a different light.

Salvador Monarrez Marketing representative at Kern Radiology Medical Group


If you could assemble your dream team, who would be on it? Monarrez: I would have Magic Johnson be my point guard. Kobe Bryant the shooting guard. Larry Bird as my small forward. Shaq as the center and Pau Gasol as the power forward. Gutierrez: If I could pick anyone when they were at their prime, it would be

exactly that, the 1992 “Dream Team.”

Smith: Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Bill Russell, John Stockton, Kobe Bryant, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Mike Gutierrez as my water boy, and Shaquille O’Neal. Lawson: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd and John Stockton.


Most memorable moment on the court?

Monarrez: It would have to be with my brother and The Chosen Few winning championships on the court. I have knocked down some big shots, but nothing is better than winning with a great team. Gutierrez: I don’t have just one moment that stands out. I will always remember and cherish the times of being on the court with friends and playing a game that I love. When you play a season, you become close to those that are playing alongside of you. That is reason why it is still fun to play today. I’ve been able to play with some of my close friends who used to play at separate schools. Smith: First varsity game in high school. Lawson: Mine would have to be when I was playing basketball for Bakersfield College, and we were playing against Glendale Junior College. I got a dunk off a missed shot. In professional basketball, it would have to be when the USA men’s team was playing in the Olympics against France. Vince Carter basically jumped over France’s center, who is seven-foot, and dunked on him.

Michael Gutierrez History teacher and coach at Mira Monte High School

Brent Lawson Photo tech at Costco Wholesale

Continued on page 64 www.BakersfieldLife.com63

Continued from page 63


hoop, then start my day at work.

Monarrez: Of course, I would have to go with Coach K and Duke. He is a great coach, and he always produces winners. They have no big name players, just guys who hustle and mesh well together.

Gutierrez: I’ve been lucky that my job allows me to be around the sports I love. When I was in college, I was coaching basketball and still playing in rec leagues. My first year teaching, I took a year off from coaching basketball to focus on coaching football and didn’t have time to play in those leagues. I missed being around the game, so it was nice to start helping out again last year. There is a group of co-workers that tries to play as much as possible, but it’s still tough.

Gutierrez: Duke all the way. I’ve been a fan forever and hoping they can make it two in a row. They’ve played well early, so let’s hope no one goes down with an injury, or they don’t have to face any one with upset potential.

Smith: For me, it is pretty easy. I’m always around it. When I get done teaching classes, I head to the gym to go to coach every day. I am also there a couple of mornings for anyone who wants to get some extra work in.

Smith: March Madness gets crazier every year, and it seems to get better. The tournament is all about match-ups, and for the most part, good guard play. It is hard to pick a champion in December, but I’ll go with Duke. They actually look better than they did last year, and have the best coach in sports today. The season still has four months left though, so a lot can happen between now and then.

Lawson: I always seem to fit basketball into my schedule. I work but don’t have any kids, so I still have some freedom to play a lot. And, sometimes basketball takes priority over my real job.

Who’s your pick for this year’s March Madness and why?

Lawson: My pick is Duke. They have an amazing coach and have a good balance of experience and youth on their team.


Everyone has a busy schedule with work and family. How do you fit basketball into your life?


What’s your hoop strategy to winning a game?

Monarrez: Honestly, I just try never to give up. When I was younger, I took winning too seriously. Now I just prepare my mind and body for a great battle. Gutierrez: Score more points than the other team. Just outwork, out-hustle, limit mistakes and use your fundamentals. Smith: Simple, score more than the other team.

Monarrez: I love this game too much to stop playing. I play in the men’s league throughout the year and play in the mornings at local gyms. I just start the day off super early at 5 a.m. playing

Scott Smith 64

Bakersfield Life

Salvador Monarrez January 2011

Lawson: It would have to be balance of strong defense, good shot selection and low turnovers.

Michael Gutierrez

Brent Lawson

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Vows 2011

Ultimate Bridal Event Annual show to offer tips to cut wedding costs and more By Ann McCright

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Photo by Jessica Frey


ow can I cut the costs of having the wedding of my dreams? Let me count the ways. (Apologies to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning for borrowing from her famous line.) But there is a lot of truth in that sentiment. Families and couples who begin their planning early, do their homework and consult with wedding professionals can make their dreams come true and still not blow their budgets. Events, such as the Ultimate Bridal Event on Sunday, Jan. 9, from noon to 4 p.m. at Rabobank Convention Center in Bakersfield, provide valuable resources to create beautiful weddings, while containing costs. Under one roof, couples will find more than 100 experts, including photographers, florists, wedding planners and caterers, who can apply their years of experience and innovations to shape wedding plans to fit any budget. Go to to purchase tickets and register online for honeymoons and prizes. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 bride, and $15 bride and groom. Tickets will also be available at the door on Sunday. Brides and grooms can maximize their attendance by bringing decision makers, appointment books and self-addressed labels so you can quickly sign up for prizes or cost-saving attractions. Wear nice, but comfortable clothing and shoes. Be prepared

to book services immediately to take advantage of one-day-only specials. Check out and register before the event. The highlight of the Jan. 9 event will be the fashion show, featuring the latest in wedding fashions for each member of the bridal party. Professional models will show wedding gowns, tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, lingerie, mothers-of-the-bride and flower

girls. Accessories, hairstyles, makeup, and flowers also will be displayed. Attendees will register for a variety of prizes, with the grand prize being the $10,000 wedding trunk, which is packed with gifts from more than 100 wedding vendors. Every bride will receive a bag, with the first 200 brides to walk through the door receiving a “special” gift bag. Vendors’ booths also feature giveaways.

Photo by Artisan Photography

Royal inspiration William and Kate’s ceremony to influence 2011 happily ever afters By Ann McCright

Thirty years ago, the world stood still for a day to become part of a fairy tale – a “happily ever after” story of a beautiful young woman marrying a handsome prince. It was the marriage of Britain’s Prince Charles to the lovely Diana. We all know how tragic that marriage turned out. But the royal wedding inspired years of wedding trends and is credited with increasing the number of marriages in its wake. Charles’ and Diana’s handsome young son Prince William announced his impending wedding to the lovely Kate Middleton on April 29, and wedding planners are predicting a similar increase in marriages around the world. Like William’s parents’ wedding three decades ago, his will be closely watched and copied.

This comes at a particularly good time for the wedding industry and the institution of marriage in general. We have watched the recent economy snag wedding plans and cause couples to delay taking their vows. A recent Time/Pew poll revealed 39 percent of Americans believe marriage is “obsolete.” But consider, that also means more than 60 percent of Americans still enthusiastically embrace the institution. The rate of people currently getting married in the United States is the lowest since the Census Bureau began tracking them 100 years ago. The plunge is tied directly to the plunge in the nation’s economy. We also have seen this trend in Kern County. Examining a decade of marriage license statistics, the Kern County Clerk’s Office reported the highest number of marriage licenses — 4,812 licenses — was issued in 2007, when the local economy was booming. But when the economy began falling, so did the licenses. In 2009, county officials report 4,066 marriage licenses were issued. As of Dec. 2, county officials report 3,958 licenses were issued in 2010. However, they predicted by year’s end the number will exceed 2009, as couples who delayed their earlier plans have now saved up their money and are getting married. When Charles and Diana married in 1981, Diana stepped out of her carriage wearing a beautiful, billowing formal gown. It ushered in years of “formal weddings.” Likely Kate Middleton will be wearing a similar grand gown. And that will likely mark a return of more formal weddings as well. But like young couples throughout the world today, William and Kate will struggle to contain the cost of their “dream wedding.” While both William and Kate come from wealthy families and may Continued on page 8 Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Photo by Artisan Photography

Continued from page 7

have little practical need to pinch pennies (or British pounds), they are under great pressure not to flaunt their wealth as their countrymen financially struggle in this recession. Security alone for the gala royal affair is expected to cost $130 million, with British taxpayers picking up the tab. But from the arrangements in Westminster Abbey to the honeymoon, William and Kate are urged keep their costs down. Sound familiar? According to various websites, the average cost of a Kern County wedding ranges from $17,000 to $25,000. While this amount pales by comparison to the royal wedding, it is a big gulp for most families to swallow, requiring a close eye on cost-cutting when planning the big event. The key to containing costs is the advice and guidance of professionals — photographers, florists, caterers, bakers, dress and formal attire retailers, etc. Local planning events are scheduled throughout the year to bring these professionals together with couples to create their “dream wedding” at reasonable costs. The first of these events in 2011 will be the Ultimate Bridal Event at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 9. In addition to the trend for the royally-inspired “formal” wedding, or even “vintage” weddings that include heirlooms, I am seeing trends for 2011 that include weddings: • In backyards, or natural settings, such as parks. • At single-venue locations, where vows are exchanged and receptions held. • At “destinations,” such as the nearby Central Coast.

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

• With personalized themes, such as those revolving around a couple’s careers, hobbies or interests. Interestingly, I am seeing brides using peacock feathers — in reception décor and cakes, as well as invitations and thank you cards. • With a casual or laid-back “feel.” Eliminating assigned seating and mixing the shapes and sizes of tables at receptions can result in a more “conversational” party. • That are scheduled for a brunch reception, where food and drink are limited. Keeping alcohol to beer, wine and a signature cocktail also is a cost-cutter. Picking less popular dates and times, and limiting the duration of receptions also will occur. • With slimmed-down invitation envelopes that eliminate fancy liners, return envelopes, etc. • That follow an 18-month engagement to provide more time to save up for the event. • With signed contracts and a deposit that will guarantee locked in prices with vendors. Prices fluctuate — from rental rates to cake ingredients. Asking for a fixed rate early in the planning process can save lots of money as the wedding draws near. • Where couples who break their budget down by percentages per item (like the gown, flowers, makeup, cake, etc.) have better control over their finances. It is not uncommon for couples to go over budget by $10,000 without a budget. • With simple cost-cutting measures such as ordering flowers in season (that means no roses in February). And avoiding rush charges by not waiting to order rentals at the last minute.

­­— Ann McCright of the McCright Agency is the organizer of the Jan. 9 Ultimate Bridal Event. Go to to register online for the event and prizes.

Vows 2011

Planning a

wedding in one

year? It’s possible, but get started


never wanted to get married. I had not been planning the big day since I was 8. I did not have colors already picked out, and I couldn’t even tell you what came after “Something old, something new …” Then I met the man that would become my husband. He was romantic, helped clean up after dinner, stayed up late with me reading novels aloud and even let my dog lie in bed with us. In my eyes, he was perfect and I now knew why people expressed their love by committing to it for better or worse, and whether or not he picked his wet bath towel up off the floor. Yes, I was starting to see things on the bride side. And even though I didn’t always think of myself as the marrying kind. It wasn’t the commitment that was giving me cold feet, it was the fact that I wanted everything to be perfect when I finally said "I do." But I was a lifetime behind the rest of my girlfriends, who’d been dreaming about this day since they were old enough to 10

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

We all want everything to be perfect when we finally say “I do.”

Photo by Holly Carlyle


By Natalie Erlendson-Smith

Photo by Holly Carlyle

Wedding details are best handled with a monthly checklist or timeline.

- featuring -

Romona Keveza Legends / Nicole Miller Ivy & Aster / Anna Elyse

play house. I was playing corporate-ladder-climbing Barbie and now had only 12 months to plan the kick-off to the rest of my wedded life. So I did what I do best. I went into typical type-A planning mode preparing for what would become my own ultimate bridal event. Here are a few tips and tricks I learned along the way that can help make your wedding everything you might — or might not — have always dreamed it would be:

BCBG / and more ...

Visualize the ultimate ‘I Do’ I’m not going to get all new age on you, but I can tell you from personal experience that putting your wedding vision down on paper will help manifest your own idea of holy matrimony. Call it a vision board, treasure map or just a plain old collage, but start flipping through magazines, Googling and scouring bridal sites for images that bring together your bridal style. I recommend putting them on one sheet of paper versus a poster board because it’s easier to transport and with even a little computer literacy, you can cut and paste your images into Word or PowerPoint. My PowerPoint collage included images of bouquets, bridesmaid dresses, table settings, veils and wedding cakes that demonstrated that I was definitely a Retro Glam bride. And it helped me easily convey exactly what I was looking for to the many vendors who helped bring this style together. Take tiny steps toward the altar It’s a long walk down the aisle, but it will be here sooner than you think! And if committing the rest of your life to one person isn’t overwhelming enough, now you have to think about whether you want fondant or buttercream frosting, and how to tell your mom she can't invite her third cousin, twice removed, to the shindig. Stop. Breathe. And break down the big day into small steps in the form of a monthly checklist or project timeline. Include what each step entails, who will assist, and your start and finish dates. Creating a profile on will give you access to an interactive, customizable monthly checklist, complete with articles and Continued on page 12 Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

11’s cost calculator is a handy tool. Continued from page 11

photos for every step of the way. If you’re more visual and want to see when each step is going to occur during your pre-wedding planning period, try developing a project timeline. Search Ehow. com for step-by-step instructions or search Google for alreadyexisting templates. Be a budget-bride Before you say "I do," say "I don’t" to overspending on your wedding — and stick with that oath! Know exactly how much you have to spend, and if you’re not sure how to divvy up the dough amongst the many itemized expenses, check out online wedding cost calculators such as the one at, which breaks down average costs based on your location. Research vendors who are local, online (always factor in shipping) and outof-town. The Los Angeles Garment District is a great resource for fabric, tablecloth linens, accessories and even dresses. And when all else fails, if you have the skills, the time and the help, DIY (do it yourself). But remember, balancing a budget is about more than just getting everything on the cheap. I intentionally splurged on live music, but looked to last season and trunk shows for my dress. Know where you want to indulge and be willing to make sacrifices, because life after all is full of them, especially when you’re married. Go with the flow The wedding experience isn’t just about your wedding day; it’s also about all the events leading up to it. From the engagement that made your head spin and heart skip, to giggling with your girlfriends as you try zipping up that too-tiny wedding dress, every exhilarating moment as a bride-to-be should be enjoyed. This certainly doesn’t mean you won’t have your share of Bridezilla breakdowns or that everything will go your way. Believe me, thanks to an unfortunate and unplanned accident on the dance floor, I spent my wedding night watching my husband get his head stitched in the ER. But the fact that I am now married has taught me that while not everything in life always goes as planned, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be perfect. 12

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

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Vows 2011

How to

downsize your wedding

without sacrificing the vitals


By Allie Castro

lthough reality TV might have us believe otherwise, not every couple has an unlimited dream-wedding budget (or a TV station to foot the bill). When the wedding planning begins, get out the calculator and start crunching numbers. Lucky for us, some local wedding experts weighed in on the best ways to trim down a budget without giving up the glamour.

Colleen Bauer, wedding coordinator and owner of Fairy Godmother Know your ABCs “I tell the brides when you’re making your invitation list, do an A, B and C list. The As, you definitely want, Bs, you’re not sure, and Cs are maybe acquaintances at your dad’s work,” Bauer said, adding that guest lists can get way out of hand. The best part about this tip? “Shaving your guest list shaves everything.” Change the day “More and more, I see that brides are changing their date to a Sunday or a Friday night. By doing that, sometimes the venue costs will be less because you’re not picking the key day, and sometimes they’ll give you better deals because they don’t normally get that (extra) business on a Friday.” Be willing to throw out tradition Bauer advised, if your entire bridal party doesn’t like champagne, keep the toast and ditch the bubbly. Or if you really want that videographer and couldn’t care less about the favors, most people won’t notice or remember. She said to do what suits you. After all, it’s your wedding. Fairy Godmother: 808-7816 14

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Oleta Collins, owner of Flourishing Art and Visions of Grandeur Event Productions Simple and elegant says more than cheap and cheerful Though this applies to all aspects of the day, Collins advises couples to stay away from costly centerpieces. Instead of bouquets or centerpieces stuffed with cheaper filler flowers, go for fewer, more expensive flowers, which helps to manage cost while still looking upscale. Also try floating one flower in a pretty vase instead of doing a big centerpiece. Set the mood Instead of expensive decorations, Collins swears by candles, which she said add ambiance and formality to any venue. Surprisingly enough, she reveals that to get the best deals on candles, head to IKEA. Find your best light Collins said if she had to choose, she’d go for lighting over a steak and lobster dinner any day. She added that while guests might not remember the details of the wedding, custom lighting will make the atmosphere go from average to upscale in an affordable way. Flourishing Art; Visions of Grandeur: 861-8600

ing a poly-linen to the floor with a satin overlay.” Mix and Match “Sometimes brides love flowers, but they don’t always like the cost associated with the flower arrangements. Pick every other or every three tables to do a flower centerpiece, and then do a candle centerpiece (for the rest), so you get best of both worlds with a cheaper price.” Do your research “A bridal show is a great place to ask vendors about specials, and most of the time if you put down a deposit during the show, you are guaranteed that special.” She also added, “Some vendors work well Continued on page 16

Denette Westbrook, owner of Details Party Rentals & Event Planning Use layers Instead of sticking to one expensive linen for each table, start layering. “Satin linen to the floor is so much more (money) than do-

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Gourmet burger bars are a popular, low-cost alternative to traditional wedding food. Continued from page 15

with other vendors so they might have partnership packages” that you can ask about at the event. Details Party Rentals: 322-6222

Katy Houchin, chef and owner of PM Custom Catering Think outside the box “There are so many other options out there besides chicken, tri-tip, and steak.” Houchin said her most popular alternative is the gourmet burger bar. Using all fresh, gourmet ingredients, guests get a burger that has been grilled on site and get to go through a buffet of toppings to customize it with things such as sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions and freshly baked buns like onion buns or Kaiser rolls. Plus, she added, buffet-style serving means the caterer controls both the portions, and the tab. Smaller doesn’t always mean cheaper Houchin said for the most part, “Stay away from appetizers. Brides think they’re the way to go. However, they’re more timeconsuming for the caterer to make, and you have to make so many more for people to be full,” which means the price rises quickly. Live out every kid’s fantasy “If it’s summer and it’s hot, do a later wedding and do dessert.” Houchin advises couples to find a caterer who doesn’t charge an extra cake cutting fee. She also added that variety is key, saying "Anamie (Mahanke, owner of Anamie’s Sweets, with whom she often collaborates) does cake, cupcakes, bonbons, mini cupcakes and truffles for weddings. (Having only desserts) is a great idea because it’s very colorful, and it’s not as expensive, but it still looks nice.” Both Houchin and Mahanke also recommend that brides go the cupcake route if working on a tight food budget. PM Custom Catering: 399-2263 Anamie’s Sweets: 503-367-3656 16

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

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Vows 2011

Toast from

the heart


By Gabriel Ramirez

hether you are getting married soon or serving as a maid of honor or best man, one thing you might want to avoid is an awkward toast. We have all seen the disasters that occur in movie weddings when someone completely goes blank and has nothing to say or when the drunken relative has too much to say. Ann McCright, owner/bridal event producer with The Ultimate Bridal Event, said that two of the big dos of making a toast is to stand up and make sure you have guests' attention and always speak from the heart. “Some of the don’ts of making a toast include never trying to wing a speech,” McCright said. “Always start working on your speech weeks in advance.” McCright said that many people find making a toast difficult because of the anxiety and overwhelming feeling of having every person staring at them. She also mentioned that some of the common mistakes people make when making a toast is not keeping it clean and not refraining from drinking anything but water. “No one wants to be bored for hours with your speech so make it short and to the point,” McCright said. “Don’t forget to add emotion when giving your speech and remember that the wedding isn’t about you.” 18

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

McCright gave the following nine essential tips for delivering a great wedding toast:


Wedding toasts are not wedding speeches. Keep your toast short and to the point, usually no more than one to two minutes. 

2 When you're ready to make your toast, be sure to stand up so people can see you. It's customary to tap on your glass with a spoon to get everybody's attention.

3 Before toasting, give the guests time to refill their glasses.

 4 Hold your glass in your right hand when proposing the toast and raise the glass toward the person you are toasting when you are finished.

5 After a toast, it is customary for everyone to clink glasses before sipping.

6 Keep the toast clean and appropriate for the audience. Humor is good; humiliation is not.

7 Speak slowly and clearly and make sure that everyone can hear you.

8 As you’re making your toast, look around the room at the guests.

9 Practice your toast before the wedding.

Vows 2011

Shoes of the bride

Photos by Jessica Frey


Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows




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Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows


Vows 2011

Low-stress catering

Coconut Joe’s offers value and fun, and will throw in a little 'wow,' too! By Gene Garaygordobil

B Coconut Joe’s caters up to 20 weddings a month during busy bridal months.

Photos by Maria Garaygordobil

ridezillas get ready for an “island-style” catered wedding from one local caterer who not only delivers on the atmosphere, but will make you forget all the other things that may have gone wrong on the day that most women want to be perfect. Of course, us guys just want it all to be over, and head on to the honeymoon. Joe Coughlin said he offers the bride and groom great food, great value and great “island-style thinking that allows you to kick back and relax.” Coughlin said Coconut Joe’s caters up to 20 weddings a month during the busy “marriage months” and

“Island-style” catering is one option for weddings. 22

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Wedding catering tips • Catering is usually your largest wedding expense, sometimes half the total cost. Choose a caterer carefully, and spend time talking about the style (buffet, sit-down, etc), what foods you want and especially the budget. • Get references from other brides. What is the caterer’s track record. • Don’t go overboard with hors d'oeuvres! Variety is the spice of life, but you probably only need about three to four types. Plus it can add up on the budget.

One wedding tip when selecting your caterer: Get input from other brides and check the caterer's track record.

will certainly provide value starting at $8.99 a head for meals that include tri-tip, chicken, rice, beans and salad. For a little more, you can get their “gut-buster” that offers double the meat to satisfy anyone’s uncle at your wedding. “How can we offer so much for so little,” Coughlin said. “It’s all based on volume. We do so much catering, we can pass along the savings to our customers.” Another reason Coconut Joe’s provides more bang for your buck is because its catering menu is pretty set in the options it offers: chicken and tri-tip. So with the food out of the way, you can also work with Coughlin on his secret “wow” weapon that can turn an ordinary wedding into a spectacular event that people will talk about for years. What is this place that appears to be hidden away behind a roll-up metal door? It’s Coconut Joe’s Private Beach Club, a Hawaiian oasis built around an ordinary office complex near his restaurant, which guarantees that the food will be fresh and hot when it arrives for up to 250 of your wedding guests. The club rents for $27.50 a person, including meal, prompting many brides to say “wow” when they see it. The bar cost is separate. “It took us a number of years to build, and we wanted to evoke the old Hawaii

during the war, a vintage Tiki theme,” Coughlin said. The club is intentionally split into the tastefully decorated banquet hall for the older set, while a huge Hawaiian-theme lounge and dance area is there for the younger set, he said. “You know when you go to a wedding reception, and you're trying to figure out when you can leave without being rude?” Coughlin said. “Well, we call ourselves the antidote to the boring wedding reception.” “We love to give tours, because we always get the sale,” he added. One woman changed the date and theme of her wedding after dropping by the club. “It is the No. 1 banquet hall for fun,” he said. “It’s also high school reunion headquarters.” So what tips does Coughlin have? “Just plan the wedding best you can,” he said. Assign responsibilities out to helpers. Most important: Relax — don’t worry about the glitches. “Brides envision this dream wedding,” he said. “But their planning is never perfect. If you have a fun wedding planned, any glitches will be completely transparent to the guests because they are too busy having fun.

If you have a fun wedding planned, all those glitches will be completely transparent to the guests because they are too busy having fun.

• Set up time to sample all food and take photos of how they will look. • When talking about how guests will be served, ask the caterer what their usual service-to-guest ratio is especially when having a sit-down event as opposed to a buffet. A good guestimate is one waiter/waitress for every eight to 10 guests. • Include meals for other service people such as the photographer, the band or disc jockey and any type of wedding planner you may have. Sometimes these meals cost less because they don’t get the fancy dinnerware and service. They should also be a plan where they can eat in a place where guests can’t see them. • See samples of the dinnerware so you know what you’ll be getting. • Also check about whether decorations are included and ask to see photos of previous weddings at which they were displayed. Make sure they don’t clash with your other wedding decorations. • Sometimes, the bride and groom are so busy at their reception, they forget or simply have no time to eat. Or worse yet, they run out of food. The caterer can prepare a “basket” of the food at your reception. If the bride and groom do eat, they can always use that meal for afterward or even for a honeymoon meal if they plan to leave immediately after the reception. • Finally, ask your caterer about guaranteed numbers. Often times, caterer quotes are contingent on a minimum or guaranteed number of guests, such as 100 or 200 guests. If your final meal count is less than the one agreed upon, there could be an additional fee.

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows


Vows 2011

Beautiful wedding day



Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Photo by Jessica Frey


hat bride doesn't want to be heads above the rest in terms of her wedding day 'do? The trouble is, many brides-to-be don't take adequate steps to ensure their wedding day tresses will be up to par, including doing a practice run and being confident with their stylists. While your hair may look picture-perfect in your mind, getting through the wedding day with hair intact takes some time and effort --and the planning process doesn't start a week before the wedding, either. Start early Once you know your wedding date and have the venues booked, start shopping around for a stylist that you'll stick with through your wedding day. You want to make sure this person is in consistent charge of your look, tailoring haircuts and coloring appointments toward the end goal. Set a schedule Certain hair tasks should occur at specific times. For example, your final color should be done at least two weeks before the wedding to allow for color blending. A final trim should be around the same time also so that your hair hasn't just been snipped. You'll want haircuts at regular intervals, even if you're growing your hair out for the wedding to make sure it looks healthy. Do your research Browse through magazines and make a lookbook of styles you like. Discuss with your stylist if they will complement your facial structure, style, hair type and wedding gown. Talk about the venue and what will be expected of your hair. If you'll be on the beach with blowing wind, a tight up-do might not be practical. Have a hair rehearsal Schedule a rehearsal of your wedding day hairdo with your stylist after you come up with a look that's agreed upon. Not only will this help your stylist get his or her technique down pat, it'll enable the both of you to fine-tune what works and what doesn't. You can also get a feel for your hair so there won't be any surprises once you are ready to walk down the aisle. Make sure to bring your veil with you and make up your face so you'll get an accurate view of what will be the finished product. Take pictures from all angles to ensure

that you're happy with the look from every direction. Remember, you'll be photographed coming and going, in action and at rest during the wedding. Pack reinforcements Some brides opt to invite their stylist to the reception hall for a few touch-ups between venues. If this isn't an option, ask what products to bring along and how you can repair any minor flyaways, etc. Put it in perspective Remember, just like everything that you're planning for your wedding, while you hope things go on without a hitch, there may be some snags along the way. Remain calm and go with the flow. Guests are more apt to remember the joyous tone of the day rather than minute details that could frazzle you — like an errant bobby pin or a pull in your stockings. — Metro Creative Services




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Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows


Vows 2011

Wedding Checklist Six to twelve months out:

officiant at rehearsal)

Day before:

__Determine your budget and the kind of wedding (informal, formal, etc.)

__Indulge in a manicure and pedicure

__Decide where the ceremony will take place

__Confirm travel itinerary and check travel documents for any last-minute changes

__Visit your officiant with your fiancé and set the date __Visit a wedding consultant

__Plan your honeymoon

__Plan the reception

__Shop for your trousseau

__Plan bachelor and bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinner

__Choose your attendants

__Have mothers choose their dresses

__Arrange final fittings for all attire

__Visit your doctor for complete physical examination

__Plan and pack honeymoon attire

__Select first dance, father/ daughter dance and music play list for reception

__Schedule a spa day for the bride and her bridesmaids

__Select and book hair stylist and makeup artist

Two weeks out:

__Draw up your invitation list; have your fiancé draw up his __Enroll with the bridal gift registry of your favorite department store __Select your dress, veil, accessories and bridesmaids’ dresses __Plan your wedding reception music __Consult a photographer __Select a florist __Select your reception venue

__Address wedding invitations

__Attend local bridal shows

__Choose gift for your attendants

__Determine a theme, style and colors

__Buy wedding rings, order engraving

__Select, order and mail Savethe-Date cards

__Make a date with your fiancé to get the marriage license

__Find a caterer __Discuss honeymoon plans __Select your wedding bands __Schedule tasting appointments with bakeries __Schedule tasting appointments with catering service __Select suits for groom, groomsmen and fathers __Select DJ and/or musicians and secure with deposit

Four to six months out: __Order your invitations, personal stationary and notepaper


Two to four months out:

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

__Arrange for your rehearsal dinner __Plan accommodations for your out-of-town guests __Have a final dress fitting __Plan how to handle traffic, parking __Mail your invitations __Plan bridesmaids’ party __If you receive any early gifts, write a prompt thank you notes in advance to get on track

__Send your wedding announcement to the newspaper __Draw up seating plan for reception; make cards for the bride’s table __Go over your personal trousseau and take care of any last-minute items __Make arrangements to move all of your belongings to your new home __Relax at bachelor and bachelorette parties __Arrange for the next month of prescription medications to be picked up early from the pharmacy __Mail rehearsal dinner invitations __Write out your personal vows

One week out:

__Eat a good dinner

Day of your wedding: __Eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch __Drink plenty of water and eat snacks __Make sure the person designated to hold the wedding rings for the ceremony has them and is prepared __Get dressed at least two to four hours before the ceremony __Relax and enjoy all of the hard work that has gone into making this day perfect __Share some private moments with your parents and girlfriends prior to the church gathering

After you say “I do” __Mail out personal thank you cards __If you plan to change your name, arrange that for driver’s license, insurance, banking and vehicle titles. Make sure you pay a visit to the Social Security office. __Pick up photos and videos

__Have final consultation with caterer, florist and photographer/videographer

__Have bridal gown professionally cleaned and boxed for storage

__Pick up wedding rings

__Give bridesmaids party

__Arrange tuxedos for groom, groomsmen, fathers, attendants

__Confirm rehearsal plans with officiant and attendants (take marriage license to

__Make sure any last-minute to-dos are taken care of before you set off to your honeymoon vacation

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Vows 2011

Wedding glossary

Planning a wedding? There are certain terms that every bride and groom should learn so they can be more informed of the process. Ascot: A wide, formal tie generally reserved for formal daytime weddings. Blusher: A short veil that covers the brides' face before the ceremony. Bodice: Close, upper-fitting part of the dress. Boutonniere: Flower or flowers that are worn by the men in the wedding party. The boutonniere always should be affixed to the left side of the jacket.

Photo by Jessica Frey

Buttercream: Most common icing used on wedding cakes. Cathedral train: Train, or long piece of fabric that extends 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 feet from the waist.

wide back tail; accessories include a wing-collar shirt with an ascot and a coordinating vest. Ganache: Rich chocolate filling or topping made from chocolate and heavy cream. Garland: Flowers and/or green leaves that are draped over railings. Girdle: The outer edge or the widest part of the diamond forming a band around the stone. Illusion: Fine netting used for veils, headpieces, and on the sleeves and necklines of dresses. Inclusion: An internal imperfection on a diamond. Nosegay: Small bouquet featuring posies. Tea length: Length of dress or skirt that falls several inches above the ankles.

Cornelli: Decorative form of icing that resembles lacework on wedding cakes.

Topiary: Flowers or foliage trained and trimmed into geometric shapes, often resembling miniature trees or animals.

Cutaway jacket: Jacket that tapers from the front waist button to a long,

Tussy mussy: Silver cone-shaped holder for a bouquet.

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Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

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Vows 2011

Selecting the perfect

bouquet Gone (thankfully!) are the days of the standard “hardcore” '80s cascading bouquets, said bridal bouquet expert and House of Flowers co-owner Amanda Klawitter. These days it’s all about customization and getting the biggest bang for your buck. “The big trends in bouquets that I’m seeing right now is a lot of people in general are doing a vintage look and adding accessories, broaches, crystals, pearls and lace,” Klawitter said. 30

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Photo by Jessica Frey

By Allie Castro

Flower Bar owner Janice Poncetta agreed, “We’ve done lace, we’ve done lockets, we’ve done rosary beads, it’s not just about the glitz and the glamour anymore.” Both professionals said the focus these days is on making the bouquet match the bride’s personality, which means customizing accents both in the wraps and in the flowers themselves. Klawitter said she’s seeing all sorts of accent pieces in the bouquet, such as alternating flowers and feathers, or having buttons peek through the flowers. With all the time and effort that goes into making the bouquet as beautiful and special as the woman holding them, how can brides bear to throw their bouquets to the next bride-to-be? “Ninety-nine percent of my brides do a tossing bouquet,” said Klawitter, since this gives the chance for the brides not only to keep their special bouquet for a few more days, but to get their flowers professionally preserved. Though some may worry about the cost, florists generally work with brides to make the extra tossing bouquet a budget-friendly option. “It’s not a requirement but another bouquet won’t cost a lot more than the bridal bouquet. With brides spending as much as they typically are, then you might as well save (that bouquet), and do a less expensive toss bouquet,” which is essentially a miniature version of the bridal bouquet, and often features the same personalized touches such as lace or crystals. To get their dream bouquet, brides should also be conscious of which flowers will be in season on their wedding day. For instance,

sunflowers are fall flowers and will not only be readily available during those months but will also be more affordable. Calla lilies (a huge trend in bridal bouquets these days) are in season during the spring, meaning you’ll get the best selection without breaking the bank. Flowers such as roses and orchids are available all year, and though prices vary by variety, they tend to be less expensive, making them great for bigger bouquets or for filler flowers. What’s the surest way for a bride to get everything she wants at a price she can afford? “The more brides do their research on what they do like and what they don’t like, the more it helps us, and it makes it to where you get more out of your time with us,” said Klawitter. This way, a bride can come in with a general idea of the kinds of flowers and colors she wants, and the professionals can let them know the best way to put them together. This can also lead to a cheaper bouquet, as when a bride knows what style she wants, her florist may be able to suggest a more cost-efficient alternative. “Orchids are really expensive, but there are different types of orchids. A lot of times brides come in and want a big cymbidium orchid but can’t afford it, so we’ll suggest another type of orchid like dendrobium, which have smaller heads but more heads on one stem, and have the same look as the bigger orchids.” While the flower professionals are there to make your bouquet even better than you imagined, the best bouquets at the best prices come from lots of homework, and of course, lots of personalization.

www. Day-Of Coordinator Wedding Planning Event Planning

Colleen Bauer (661) 808-7816

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Proudly serving Bakersfield brides for 30 years Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows


Vows 2011

Before saying, ‘I do,’ consider capturing the

‘First Look’ By Allie Castro


Photos by Jessica Frey

hile superstitious brides may want to think twice, more and more couples are opting out of the traditional route and embracing the opportunity to capture their “first look” on film. Photographer Jessica Frey describes the first look photo shoot as “an option for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony in a more private intimate setting.” “(We) take the two of them to more a secluded location where we set the groom facing away and have bride come up behind him so they can have the special moment of seeing each other for the first time. Typically, I have the bride tap him on the shoulder so that he turns facing me so that I can catch that look and capture that moment when he first sees her.”


Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Capturing the moment While more traditional brides may shy away from it, Frey said that there are plenty of both emotional and logistical benefits to the shoot. Instead of being in a packed room for the first look, the bride and groom get to share a private moment with each other where, as Frey said, “They can really relish in the day, and in how they feel and in what’s about to happen.” She added, “After (the first shot), I typically give them five to 10 minutes by themselves, which I’ve found is the only time they really

get to themselves on their wedding day.” Taking your time Another huge plus is that the couple gets more time to take photos both with each other, and with their families and friends. Frey said she typically has about an hour for pictures between the ceremony and reception if the couple opts for post-ceremony pictures, as couples are typically in a rush to get to the reception. However, the first look shoot allows the photographer an hour and a half to two hours for the shoot. Frey added that not only do they get some great shots with the extra time, “after the ceremony we only have a few more photos to take so they can enjoy the rest of their guests and cocktail.” Frey said that logistically, the first look shoot may also be a good idea depending on the season. For instance, some of her November brides may encounter issues with post-ceremony pictures because the sun sets earlier during late fall and winter. The First Look for Megan Thompson If you’re still unsure, take it from one of Frey’s most recent clients, Megan Thompson

who, along with her husband Josh, chose the first look photo shoot. Thompson said they originally chose this option to get great photos while still being able to get to their reception without making their guests wait. Megan said, “For me it was a time factor because I wanted to get the party started.” Thompson said the first look shoot ended up having emotional rewards as well. “You’re not distracted by everyone around you. Even throughout the whole wedding ceremony, I felt like I was distracted, but (the first look) was just me and him. We had our moment together without all the chaos,” Megan said. The pre-ceremony alone time also helped to calm some of her nerves. “It kind of took away some of my nervousness because I saw him and we got to talk a little bit. When I did walk down the aisle, I was already comfortable, it was just excitement.” Frey said that the first moment isn’t for everybody, but she predicts that as more and more couples see the great results of other first look photos, they’ll throw tradition to the wind and get ready for their first look.

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Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows



Larry Jackson, owner of AJ’s Tuxedo Junction.

40 years of tuxedos Owner of AJ’s Tuxedo Junction has seen it all, helped them all By Gene Garaygordobil

Larry Jackson, who owns AJ’s Tuxedo Junction in Bakersfield, has been sizing up grooms and dealing with brides for the past 40 years. After many years and helping with thousands of weddings, he said the reason he stays in business is because he provides the customers with what they want. 34

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows

Photo by Alex Horvath


We posed seven questions to Jackson, and this is what he told us: What are some things to keep in mind when picking a tuxedo? Well, a lot has to do with what the women will be wearing, and what the color scheme will be. The groomsmen want to pick a tuxedo that will match or compliment the bridesmaids, while the groom will not want to match the bridesmaids. He’ll want to match what the bride is wearing. We carry the largest selection of tuxedos in Kern County, providing a variety of options to match up the groomsmen and bridesmaids. When you give them different looks, then they feel like they are not stuck with just one way of doing it. What colors work best for the four seasons? Well, we live in Central California, not New York. A lot of our customers use more of a California style, which could be anything at anytime, depending on what they like themselves. We can do this, or this or that, and it usually works out this way because we have everything in stock, and the guys can actually try it on and see how it looks. Lots of other places don’t do that. You pick it out of a magazine

and the only time you try it on is when you show up on your wedding day. How should the groom’s tuxedo differ from his groomsmen? The groom certainly does not have to wear the same style as his groomsmen. He has the choice of wearing whatever he wants, although most times it is generally the same style. Sometimes a groom will wear a white tuxedo, while his groomsmen wear black. Maybe he’ll wear a longer coat than them. He could wear Perry Ellis, a whole different type of tux, while the guys wear something more fancy. Remember, it’s their wedding and they can do it how they want and it also looks nice. How should the groom’s tuxedo complement the bride’s dress? Well, the bride also has a lot to say on what the groom wears. She is the important part of the party. That’s why we try to give them all these options. Sometimes a groom will wear a white tuxedo to match the bride’s dress color. Also if the bride is wearing white or similar color, the groom could wear black, with accessories that match her dress, like a white tie, which looks very elegant. Remember, there are only two people on top of the wedding cake: the bride and the groom. So, they should be the ones that stand out and come away happy. What is the most memorable tuxedo story you have? There are so many stories over our 40 years, and I really don’t know which one I can tell. Generally speaking, we have some grooms, and sometimes brides with them, who come in and want

to make a change at the last minute. He or she will come in and say they don’t like the color of the pants or the fit or style after thinking about it. And the good thing is that we can help them because we have everything in stock. I had one groom come in after his wedding complaining that I had forgotten to give him his jewelry and cufflinks. I reached into his front coat pocket and pulled it out. He’d had it all the time. What advice do you have for the bride and groom planning for their big day? Be sure to go to a store that has everything in stock, because sometimes you like what you see in a magazine, but when you put it on, it doesn’t look so good. You need to try on the coat, because sometimes the one you like doesn’t fit you right, and the one on the mannequin that you didn’t initially care about, actually fits and looks the best. I believe that people getting married, should buy and trade locally because if you make a mistake, you are stuck with it. If we make an honest mistake and as long as we know about it, we will fix it, deliver it or whatever it takes to make it right. It is very important that our customers are happy and recommends us for the future, that’s why we have stayed so successful and bust our butts for our customers. We’ll even order special items to make sure they match any color scheme. There is not anything we can’t get. The most important thing for a bride and groom is to give them different ideas. They may come in with one thought and leave with something totally different in mind. We don’t try to sell or push anything on anyone. We just help them decide on what their party will look their best in and also make them happy.

Bakersfield Life 2011 Vows


Vows 2011

Tips on paring down your

wedding guest list Couples are faced with many decisions when planning a wedding. One often overlooked decision concerns the guest list. Ideally, couples would love to invite all their friends and family to share in their special day. Realistically, however, budget often dictates just how many guests a couple can invite. That reality has led to a disagreement or two over the years, as both the bride-to-be and her future husband make their case for who makes the cut. To help avoid such disagreements, couples should consider the following tips when paring down their guest list. Make a master list as early as possible. It's impossible to pare down a guest list if there's no list to begin with. Once the planning process begins, couples should separately write down all the guests they would like to invite. Once each is finished with their list, the hard work of paring that list down can begin. Consider who's footing the bill. If Mom and Dad are paying for the wedding, then their suggestions for the guest list should carry most of the weight. Weddings are very expensive, and if Mom and Dad are paying they should have a significant say who will attend. The same principle can be applied if the couple is paying for their own wedding. If the costs are being split down the middle, then both

the groom- and bride-to-be should be allowed to invite the same number of guests. Ask that kids stay home. Many couples request that their guests leave the kids at home. While nieces and nephews might make the

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cut, it's perfectly acceptable for couples to state their preference that children not attend. This can be noted on the invitation, addressing friends as "Mr. John Doe and guest" or "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe." Guests should take the hint, but if anyone R.S.V.P.s with their kids, be sure to call them immediately and explain the situation. Friends and family should understand the preference, particularly in the current economic climate. It's not a reunion. Couples are often tempted to invite long-lost friends to their wedding. But cost-conscious couples must recognize their wedding is not a reunion. If the goal is to keep the guest list under control, only invite close friends and family members who have kept in touch over the years. Stick to your guns. Couples vary greatly with what they want out of their wedding. Some want a grandiose affair they can share with their entire family and all of their friends. Other couples want a more laid-back affair with only those closest to them in attendance. Whatever their preference, couples should remain firm and not feel guilty no matter how many guests they choose to invite or not invite. Cut back in other areas. If it's proving simply impossible to agree on a reduced guest list, consider inviting everyone and cutting back in other areas. Before signing any contracts, closely examine each one for items that can be removed without drastically changing the ceremony and celebration. Chances are there are savings to be had, and those savings might make the difference between inviting and not inviting another friend or family member.

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Vows 2011

Wedding day transportation options abound

Couples have many decisions to make regarding their wedding ceremony and reception. One of those decisions conerns transportation to and from the special event. There are many options in wedding transportation. The more traditional options include renting a car or limousine. The Bridal Association of America reports that the average couples spends $400 to $500 for an automotive rental. However, prices may vary depending on geography and the type of vehicle rented. Wedding transportation is perhaps something grooms-to-be can get excited about. After all, we're talking about cars — some fancy, some large, and many decked out with different features. Plus, it's traditionally the responsibility of the groom to arrange transportation to and from the ceremony, reception, and the hotel or honeymoon destination. Grooms responsible for arranging transportation can consider the following options. Limousine: A limo is one of the most traditional methods of transport on a couple's wedding day. A limousine's size enables them to carry the bridal party in its entirety. Because the bride and groom often do not see each other before the ceremony, two limos may be rented, one larger for the bridal party, and one smaller for the bride and her parents, depending on personal preference. Classic car: Sports car enthusiasts may want to make an entrance — and exit — behind the wheel of a sporty vehicle. These can include a high-end Ferrari or an Aston Martin. Because of their high purchase price, sports car rentals may carry a premium. Stretch SUV: The traditional limo has morphed into the stretch SUV of popular models, including the Cadillac Escalade, Ford Expedition or even a stretch Hummer. Because of their popularity, these rentals may be snatched up quickly. Be sure to book well in advance of the big day.

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Party Bus: Many couples are leaning toward a party bus rental, which may be a single- or double-decker bus that can fit scores of people inside. These are particularly attractive to couples with a very large bridal party, or those who hope to begin the celebration even before reaching the reception hall. Horse-drawn carriage: Some couples truly want the fairytale feel on their wedding day. A horse-drawn carriage can evoke feelings of a Cinderella-type day. The carriage tends to be best suited to warm weather. For winter weddings, a horse-drawn sleigh might make a better alternative. Motorcycle: Exciting couples may want to ride off into the sunset on the back of a roadster or sports bike. Horses: Horses can haul more than just a carriage. A bride and groom atop a handsome steed can make for a memorable wedding transportation option and equally memorable photos. Boat: Individuals getting married by the sea or another body of water may want to consider attending the festivities via boat, be it a large vessel or a more intimate canoe or rowboat.

Wedding day transportation varies depending on each couple's preference. Here are some other things to keep in mind concerning transportation. Be sure to have transportation options at the ready for guests who may have over-indulged on alcoholic beverages. Wedding party participants who arrived at the wedding by a limo or other source will need a ride home somehow. Find out if a hotel nearby offers complementary transportation to and from the reception hall. — Metro Creative Services


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Kyle LePere Producer at Fast Forward Video Services produces video marketing in various forms such as commercials, long-form videos and live event productions.

What kind of phone do you have? Samsung Edge Quad Band. Ouch, I must admit to being a basic phone guy. But that run will end this month when I upgrade to a Samsung Captivate. I am a video producer and more of my work is being uploaded for marketing purposes. I enjoy being able to send samples of what I do directly to future customers. The market is moving faster and any business person today will admit to facing increasingly impatient clients. People are expecting instant answers to their questions because they know technology makes that possible. Turn your phone off and you lose. Don't answer an e-mail promptly and face an unhappy customer. To actually do my work, I need to be in my home office. I look forward to controlling that part of the business in an increasingly mobile way. What is your favorite tech program? My favorite thing to do is e-mail. All my business leads, contractual documentation, project management and project delivery is accomplished by e-mail in various forms. I am challenged by how quickly marketing techniques are developing today. Social media is taking over. Names like Twitter (we in the business community used to say with a smirk) are having the last laugh. I'm

driving down the same highway with everybody else, dreading the next learning curve. What is your favorite hightech gadget? Samsung 48inch, 1080p LCD TV linked to a Samsung Blu-ray player streaming Netflix. Do you have any tech routines you do every day? I am a sole proprietor in the truest sense. My lovely wife of 25 years is the business manager and I am the worker bee. That means I am the IT guy. At a gigabyte a second in high definition, video processing strains the capability of the personal computer. I would love to say that throwing money at the problem makes things easier, but I have had $100,000 editing systems bend and break under the stress of video production. At the very least, my day is an exercise in managing computer resources. I operate three video editing platforms concurrently. Keeping these essentially beefed up personal computers fed and well-groomed means

constant attention to drive space, virus protection and a seemingly endless list of work-arounds for each machine.. How has technology made your work and personal life easier? A dozen years ago, it would take a sixfigure budget to buy the hardware used in my line of work. Today, the processing speeds are up and the prices are down. This February, I will celebrate 10 years in business. Favorite social networking site for business, Facebook or Twitter? Let's not forget YouTube. For obvious reasons, YouTube is huge for me. It has surpassed even my own website in value to With it, I can show clients the work I have just completed for them, which is pretty good when your client is in Pennsylvania. YouTube also allows me to be ahead of the game for marketing purposes. My commercial can be linked, embedded, shared, grouped and sent anywhere. That's pretty awesome when you consider a few years ago when somebody wanted to see my work, I had to make them a DVD, or worse a tape, and then send it to them. Painful! I am on Facebook and Linked-in, but YouTube is where I live. www.BakersfieldLife.com67


Newly elected city councilmen Russell Johnson City councilman, Ward 7

City councilman, Ward 1 First thing you want to do when you take office? I want to have an impact on my community by improving public safety. I want to continue meeting with residents and collectively come together to address the needs of the community, everything from the lack of visible street addresses in the neighborhoods to forming community neighborhood watch programs. I also want to pull together the folks who worked with Irma Carson throughout her tenure on the City Council. Irma continues to be an effective leader in the community, and I want to ensure them that they and Irma will continue to have access to me. Three most important issues facing your ward? Safe neighborhoods: We need strong partnerships between the community and the Police Department to build and develop safe neighborhoods that focus on prevention, enforcement and providing opportunities for our youth and adults to become good law-abiding citizens. Community and economic development: We need to invest not only in the potholes, streetlights and infrastructure in our community, but we also need to invest in the people in our community. Together, we can transform, revitalize and build strong neighborhoods that we can all be proud of. This includes taking a closer look at how Bakers-

Photo by Felix Adamo

First thing you want to do when you take office? In order to be effective, you have to be able to get things done. I will work on developing relationships with my colleagues on the council and forge working relationships with city staff so that I can focus on the issues that are important to Ward 7 residents.

Rudy Salas


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Rudy Salas continued

Russell Johnson continued Three most important issues facing your ward? The council must make public safety its No. 1 priority, roll back the excessive government spending that plagues government and refocus on jobs for Bakersfield. How do you plan to address those issues? Jobs: Implement a Shop Bakersfield Concept to ensure local job growth, promote local businesses and increase local sales tax revenue. Also, make the city of Bakersfield a partner in the Kern Economic Development Corporation. We need an aggressive and unified effort to bring jobs to Bakersfield. Public safety: The council must make public safety its No. 1 priority. We can do this by moving Bakersfield back to the one-officer-to-every-1,000-residents ratio. As your councilman, I will focus the city’s efforts on putting more officers on the streets so that we can keep our community safe. We can no longer accept that living in fear and feeling like victims in our neighborhoods is the norm. Reduce spending: Implement a Retirement Stabilization Fund so that the city can ensure a stable retirement system that will weather the peaks and valleys of the stock market. Additionally, we can no longer do business as usual at the city. I will meet with all department heads and challenge them to find ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. What did you learn the most from your council campaign and talking with constituents? I learned that folks want someone who is going to fight for them. Ward 7 residents feel like victims in their own neighborhoods and the council must do everything in their power to improve public safety. 
 2011 has arrived, got a personal goal? I am going to either hike Half Dome or run another half marathon. Message to community and supporters: I would like to thank the voters of Ward 7, my supporters and volunteers for all of your hard work. As we move forward, I look forward to working with all of the council members on bringing financial accountability to the city, protecting our neighborhoods and proactively partnering with business to bring jobs to Bakersfield.

field spends its resources and whether those resources are adequately divided among the various neighborhoods that make up greater Bakersfield. Accountability and results: In these tough economic times, we need to ensure that we get the most out of every dollar spent. We need to maximize our impact with the resources we have by demanding results and making everyone accountable. We need to ensure that needs in the First Ward are addressed, so we can move forward in building a stronger, safer and healthier Bakersfield because what happens in southeast Bakersfield has a bearing on all of us as a city and a community at large. What did you learn the most from your council campaign and talking with constituents? By walking the neighborhoods and knocking on thousands of doors and talking directly with residents, I learned the value of listening. By listening to individual stories and hearing about the impacts of incidences that have occurred in their lives and in our neighborhoods, it fueled the fire inside of me to be an instrument of positive change and to do something to improve the lives of my fellow neighbors. By talking with my neighbors throughout the ward, I learned that across all ages, ethnicities and religions, we all want to live in safe neighborhoods, we want to see opportunities for our children to succeed, and we want to see something being done to improve the lives our neighbors from our elected leaders. 2011 is around the corner, got a personal goal? To become a “Big Brother” and mentor for a child who is growing up in a similar neighborhood that I grew up in, in southeast Bakersfield. Message to community and supporters: I would like to thank my fellow neighbors and supporters. Your enthusiasm, energy and support helped propel us to victory on Election Day. Now is the time for us to continue to build on that momentum to become the instruments of change that we all want to see in our neighborhoods. Together, we will create big changes that will revitalize our neighborhoods, provide opportunities for our children and keep our community safe. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but together we can accomplish great things. Thank you for your support and let’s roll up our sleeves together and make a difference one life at a time — one block at a time.


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Cool adventures just a short drive away By Gabriel Ramirez


Bethany Knott loves this time of year. The snowboard enthusiast has been hitting the snow-covered slopes for three years and admits that Bakersfield’s location allows for weekend getaways to many nearby ski resorts. “Tahoe might need a long weekend for extra drive time, but any other place is a drive up Friday night for a day on the slopes Saturday,” Knott said. Her favorite ski resorts are Heavenly in Lake Tahoe, Mammoth and Sierra Summit, now called China Peak. “Shirley Meadows, which is now called Alta Sierra, is close by, inexpensive and small enough that you don’t have to get on the lift right away,” Knott said. Knott recommends that beginners wear padding on their butt and knees in preparation for the many falls they will have. “Skiing and snowboarding are unusual feelings and it takes many trials to learn how to stay up,” Knott said. “Don’t give up if you want to learn. Make sure you have a patient teacher or pay for private lessons.” If you are looking to join Knott and other Bakersfield snowboarders and skiers on the slopes, you might want to look into the following resorts:

China Peak China Peak Mountain Resort is located 70

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Alta Sierra is close-by and inexpensive.

The Super Duper half-pipe attracts snowboarders to Mammoth in winter and spring. only 65 miles northeast of Fresno in the Sierra National Forest. The mountain has 1,679 feet of vertical with a base elevation of 7,030 feet and the peak at just over 8,700 feet. The resort offers seven chairlifts. This resort has lodging just steps from the lifts starting from $99 to $499 a day, with two lift tickets included in the room price for all rooms except economy rooms. Lessons at China Peak, which include equipment, are $59 for ages 13 and up. For $99, you can get your equipment rental, lift ticket and lessons. The resort also offers lessons for children age 6 to 12 for $79 a day. If you are simply looking to rent equipment, a package of ski or snowboarding equipment for a day will cost you $37.

Alta Sierra The Alta Sierra Ski Resort is located approximately one hour from Bakersfield, in the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The resort is 7,000 feet in elevation and the weather can get very cold. You will want to dress in layers, with a waterresistant jacket, pants, shoes or boots. The resort recommends that everyone participating in a snow-related activity consider wearing a helmet. If you are looking to rent equipment at Alta Sierra, you can get skis, boots and poles for $20 for a full day and a board and boots for $35 a day with a driver's license and deposit fee. Alta Sierra offers a Ski School, which is a great way to learn about the mountain, meet new friends and improve your skiing or snowboarding skills. Private and group lessons are also available for all ability levels. Class lessons for ages 6 and up are $25 per

hour and private lessons are $50 per hour. The resorts prices for Fridays are more economical than other days of the week. The Friday Special for children 12 years and under is $50 and $60 for adults. This includes the lift pass, rental equipment and a one-hour lesson. While some people pack their own lunch, Alta Sierra offers breakfast items in the morning, and for lunch choose from burgers, hot dogs, soups, salads and more as well as a variety of drinks. Alta Sierra Ski Resort considers itself to be a family-friendly resort.

Mammoth Mountain Mammoth Mountain has a variety of lodging options entertainment, shopping and dinning to make your weekend of skiing just slightly more diverse and enjoyable. One-day lift tickets are $92 for adults, $69 for youths 13 to 18, $46 for children 7 to 12 and for seniors 65 and up. Mammoth Mountain also allows you to rent your equipment online to save you some time in the line and allow you more time in the snow. If you are looking to hit the slopes while your child is well taken care of, you can take advantage of Mammoth’s Child Care for newborns to 8-year-olds. The hourly rate for day care is $25 with a daily rate of $119. Child ski lesson combo packages for kids 3 to 6 are also available for $198 with advanced reservation and they include child care, ski lesson, ski rental equipment and helmet, lift privileges and lunch. Mammoth’s regular season goes from Nov. 24 to April 24.


Photo by Henry A. Barrios


Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Director Dianne Hoover at Central Park.

Dianne Hoover City parks director wants to pass on her love of outdoors to Bakersfield youth

B By Luz Peña

Behind Dianne Hoover's desk of you'll find a pair of scuffed-up running shoes. As director of recreation and parks for the city of Bakersfield, Hoover likes to keep them on hand just in case she needs to take a jog or visit a park during her work schedule. And her job keeps her on the go. She oversees 53 parks and 137 miles of non-park grounds, including medians, streetscapes and trail heads throughout Bakersfield. Plus, she has to keep a staff of 153 employees safe and content. “On the weekends I'm pretty busy visiting parks,” she said. “I lead a busy life, but I chose to be that way.” With an athletic build and a sun-kissed face, Hoover is a fanatic of outdoor activities. This is no surprise to her because of her up-


Bakersfield Life

January 2011

bringing. Hoover was born in Columbus, Ohio, and was raised on an acre of land given to her parents by her grandfather on his farm. The humble home started out as a chicken house and was later built into a house by her father. This is where she learned an appreciation for nature. “As a kid, I was always was outside. There we had the land, trees and streams. I learned to swim, hunt, fish, ice skate and sled there,” she said proudly. “I love to see children enjoy the outdoors. It feels really good. Sometimes, they lead a structured life practicing a sport, but they just need free time to play outside.” Hoover, who’s been at her job for five years, swims at many parks within the city. She also likes to hike and bike ride on the trails. Her colleague, Donna Kunz, economic development director for the city, affectionately calls her "nature girl." “She has swum in every city pool, and she loves anything that has to do with nature,” Kunz said. “She has been an asset to the city. She is a team player.” Under her leadership, she has gotten Bakersfield Parks accredited as an agency by the National Recreation and Park Association

(NRPA). Also, the city parks were one of the four finalists for the National Gold Medal Award. Hoover worked with Colleen Dillaway, director of marketing for Bright House Networks, on the naming rights of the Bright House Amphitheater and getting Wi-Fi for Road Runner Internet service users at parks like Aera and Central Park. Dillaway describes her as an easygoing, sporty person with a wealth of ideas. “Many people don't know that Dianne has an incredible education. She has two masters in fields related to what she does today,” she said. “She also likes to read a lot. Sometimes, she will recommend a book for me to read.” Hoover has a master's in public administration from the University of Dayton and a master's in Parks and Recreation Administration from Dianne Hoover Western Illinois University. She has been a certified park and recreation professional since 1986. On Oct. 27, she will become the president of the NRPA, a national organization devoted to beautifying and encouraging the usage and preserving of parks throughout the U.S. As part of her presidency, Hoover will write an editor's note in the NRPA monthly magazine. Recently, Hoover was appointed by the City Council to spearhead a campaign to "Keep Bakersfield Beautiful." The local effort "is part of a nationwide campaign called 'Keep America Beautiful,'” she said. “I'm going to have to come up with marketing campaign and slogan both in English and Spanish.” Hoover keeps her childhood wonderment of the outdoors in her new project, tentatively called the Kern River Upland Park. She said she hopes to pass on her enthusiasm to the youth of Bakersfield. The project, which received $1.4 million from state funding, will not only clean up areas by the river but will plant more trees and plants and build overlooks by the canals. Parents and schools will be able to bring children to see nature and educate them about the natural resources. “I want to get children in love with being outdoors,” she said. “It's an opportunity to teach children about nature.”

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Find incentive, do the work Don’t just say the words, reach a realistic fitness goal for the coming year


By Gene Garaygordobil You’ve heard it over and over, from family and from friends, and even maybe a few “frenemies.” Those immortal words: I’m going to start exercising after New Year’s. Or better yet, I’m going to join a gym and help me shed a few pounds. Some people even go as far as to pay the gym membership or start a fitness regimen. But a week, two weeks or a month later, the fitness faze has worked its way out of your system. And you haven't lost any weight, just money. That’s where Joe Petersen, owner of Building Better Bodies Fitness in Bakersfield, comes in. He sees these types of New Year’s resolutions firsthand. “Most of us make them, all of us have great intentions, but few follow through and make them last,” Petersen said. Weight loss and fitness are at the top of the list for many people for changes they'd like to make for the coming year, he said. “The main reason most of these resolutions fail is because there are no finite goals,” Petersen said. There are no real efficient plans in place, and most people are not willing to make the changes necessary to make it happen.” Most people work out for two to three weeks, then look in the mirror and 74

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

How to achieve a realistic fitness goal plan: Make goals attainable. Schedule your exercise like any other important event. Don’t take on too much exercise as it could cause exhaustion or injury. Exercise at home because it is convenient. Use a well-rounded fitness program that includes stretching, walking, jogging and then work up to running. Get a friend, family member or co-worker to join you. Two or even three is more fun than one. You are also more likely to stick to your exercise if you have someone to support you. Be patient because it took a while to get into your current shape, so it will take time to change it for the better. You may also want to talk to your doctor or a fitness professional or personal trainer so they can help you create a plan by making sure your goals are reasonable.

they don't see major changes, so they give up and rationalize that it just doesn’t work for them, he said. That approach to “getting in shape” is like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. “Such wounds require a lot more extensive care to repair,” he said. “Is it very realistic to expect a body that took years of neglect to get to the state it's in, to miraculously change overnight?”

Joe Petersen

“Is it very realistic to expect a body that took years of neglect to get to the state it's in, to miraculously change overnight?”

What’s really in it for me, most people ask themselves as they stop their fitness program. What a person needs is some kind of incentive to stay consistent with a fitness program, Petersen said. It’s important that whatever that incentive is for them: an upcoming wedding, reunion, vacation, new boyfriend or girlfriend, divorce, modeling assignment, etc., that they realize the real incentive has to be health, wellness, vitality, longevity and quality of life. For many people the biggest stumbling block is mental, he stresses. “We're all physically capable of moving and working out,” Petersen said. “But most people have a million excuses why they can't work out, like no time or an injury. Obviously fitness is not a real priority if you can rationalize it away so easily. "The biggest limitations you will ever have are the ones you place on yourself,” he said. “When people tell me, ‘I can't lose weight,’ I use this example for them: If I had a million dollars cash right here in my hand, and I offered it to you if you would drop 20 pounds, could you find a way to lose it?" Petersen said the answer is always, “Yes!” “So it's not that they can't lose the weight, it's that they're choosing not to, for whatever reason,” he said. “Find your incentive. Reach your goals. Don't just 'want' to lose weight or get in shape. Lose weight and get in shape." Petersen said dreaming is fun, but doing and being is so much better. “The motto of my gym is ‘believe and achieve,’ know what you want, tell yourself ‘I've got this’ and go for it like you mean it,” he said. “My advice, decide what your true goal is, make a plan to reach that goal, pursue it with passion, make it yours,” Petersen said. “If you need help defining it and designing a game plan, don't be afraid to seek help.”

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Wishing you and your Family a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!



Explore Catalina this month

The Buffalo Run is a great way to see areas of Catalina usually closed to the general public.


Photo by courtesy of Pacific Sports

January could be the right time to discover ‘island playground’ along the coast

By Lois Henry

If you’re thinking of going to Catalina, I have two words for you: Do it! Now is the perfect time to plan a quick jaunt to this island playground 20-some miles off California’s coast from Long Beach. It’s the off-season, so hotel rooms are cheaper. And the weather is still nice enough to do most everything you want. If that’s not enough motivation, then maybe you need a goal to work off those holiday pounds. In that case, I recommend setting your sites on Jan. 22 when the uber-fun and challenging 12th annual Buffalo Half Marathon will be held this year. Yes, it’s 13.2 miles, which is a looong way, and it’s up Catalina’s famous hills, so it’s not easy. But there’s no pressure in this race. Everyone I ran it with last year was just out to have fun. You meet lots of nice people, and it’s a well-organized race with plenty of aid stations, courtesy of Pacific Sports. Lots of people walk the steep parts, by the way, and the last three miles are all downhill. (Hey, if I can do it, anyone can!) Besides there’s no better way to see parts of the island usually closed off to the general public, and afterward you can indulge yourself with one of the absolutely best burgers on the planet at Eric’s on the Pier with zero guilt. If you just can’t make the Jan. 22 race, Pacific Sports also hosts a full marathon on the island March 12 (lots of Bakersfield runners sign up for this one so you’re bound to see someone you know). This race also includes a 5k, 10k and a kids’ run. 76

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January 2011

A portion of the proceeds from both races goes back to Avalon schools. You can register for the Jan. 22 Buffalo Half The Buffalo Run Marathon at pacificsportDate: Jan. 22 marathon: Starts at 9 a.m. istration or up to the day Very challenging, hilly course on the of the race on site. east end of Catalina Island. Approximate 8-mile climb on dirt fire roads Maybe you’re up for until the descent back into Avalon. adventure, but without Buffalo 5k: The 5k course will be the pain and suffering. an out-and-back route down Avalon If so, I highly recomCanyon Road via Sumner Avenue. mend the Catalina Zip The turnaround point is at the Wrigley Memorial. Line Eco Tour. Yes, they have a new zip line that gives adrenaline junkies a wild (but very safe) ride from a hillside perch down a steep canyon to the sea. I spied the platforms being built last February during the Buffalo Run and immediately booked a return trip in May. It’s a little pricey at $92.50 per person. But that’s way less than going to Costa Rica or Mexico to zip line. And what a rush! Continued on page 79

Photo by Lois Henry

Full moon over Avalon Harbor.



Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Photo by Lois Henry

A view of the ocean from the Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour.

Continued from page 76

The first moment you step off the platform into thin air is admittedly terrifying. Then, after you realize you are not going to die, you can’t help letting out a wild “whoop!” as you speed toward the next platform. Seriously, you gotta try it! Check it out here: I’m already running out of room, and I haven’t even gotten to all the hiking, camping and biking you can do on the island, if you’re so inclined. For that you need to go through the Catalina Island Conservancy, which provides tours and tons of information for places to visit and how to get there. You can find the Conservancy at And there are tons of boat and other tours, too many to list. But you can find a plethora of them on the Zip Line site or the Chamber of Commerce site: http// The chamber also has a handy calendar of events and specials and packages for sale. Getting there is simple. I’ve gone out of the downtown Long Beach landing, but you can also catch ferries from San Pedro. I took Catalina Express both trips (, and they’re very easy to work with and accommodating if you have to change travel plans. It’s about $60 round trip. OK, now you have no excuses. Whatever you love in a getaway, it’s right off our own coast. So, go, run, zip, enjoy!


Experts in design and renovation of the two most important rooms in your home. Call today and see why we’re the kitchen and bath pros! Awarded the Best in Bakersfield for 2009 and 2010*


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PRODUCTS AROUND TOWN Handmade English toffee Prime Time face and eyelid prime seal

Does your eyecolor disappear? Use Prime Time for Eyes. Designed for bareMinerals Eyecolor, it extends wear and prevents creasing. Enlarged pores? Uneven texture and flaky dryness? Prime Time Foundation Primer prepares your skin for bareMinerals SPF15 Foundation. Apply it first for a smooth complexion. The only place to shop for all bareMinerals Products. Lashes and Mustaches in the Stockdale Tower, 5060 California Ave #100. 836-9775

Lashes and Mustaches

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

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

New outfit for the new year

If your New Year’s resolution is to look great, let one of our friendly associates help you accomplish it. Whether it’s a new pair of jeans, sweater, jacket, top, dress or shoes find it all at Divaz Desirez. Our associates can help you select that perfect item or help putting together a complete outfit for your New Year’s party. Stop by and see us at 4560 Coffee Road in Bakersfield (corner of Coffee and Hageman), give us a call 679-7278, or visit us at

City Mini Stroller

The award-winning City Mini by Baby Jogger available at JM’s Just for Children, 930 Wible Road in Bakersfield.

JM’s Just for Children

Divaz Desirez Boutique

Winter weather has arrived!

Custom framing

Art Express at the Curiosity Shop's owners Kathy and Charles Davis invite you to visit their gallery at 1607 19th St. Where they offer unique new and vintage art as well as design pieces to fit many styles. They also offer custom framing. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Art Express 80

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January 2011

Wrap your pooch up in warmth this season. Biscuit Boutique and Doggy Spa has a wide variety of sweaters for your male or female as well as multiple sizes too! Dress your four-legged friend in your favorite football jersey and watch the game together. Oh, and let your pooch enjoy a bottle of “Bowser Beer” too! Biscuit Boutique and Doggy Spa, 1617 19th St., 321-9602,

Biscuits Boutique

Holiday hostess

So you’re getting married!

Color Me Mine, the paint-your-own ceramic studio, offers the “Signature Platter,” an alternative to the traditional guest book. The platter can be painted by you or custom-painted by their staff artists in your choice of colors and design. Signed by your guests at the wedding or reception using their special pens, it will become a treasured keepsake to use and display for a lifetime!

Color Me Mine

Interior Accents not only carries a wide selection of framed artwork, floral and home accessories, but also a wide array of gift items. If you’re looking for that unique hostess gift, for the person who has everything, for someone special, or for yourself look no further. Come in and see our newest collection of hammered glass and natural bamboo trays and bowls featuring exquisite pewter accents that are sure to be the hit of any event. 6801 White Lane, Suite B-2. 833-1650.

Interior Accents

SAS Shoes Sweets? I do!

Whether it’s Hershey Kisses from the newly Mr. & Mrs. or M&M’s and Jelly Belly Beans in your wedding colors, Lil B’s Sweet Tooth has the candies you want in your Wedding Day Candy Buffet. Choose from a wide selection of delicious candies, scrumptious chocolates and more on hand or available through special order. Lil B’s Sweet Tooth at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., Suite H-4, 665-8500.

Lil B’s Sweet Tooth

SAS Shoe Company has a new excitement in their lineup of shoes, made in the good ol US of A. The "Roamer" comes in two colors, black and chestnut. We can fit most feet from size 5 to 12, narrow to extra wide. Classic styling with cut outs and an adjustable velcro t-strap. The insoles are removable, anti-bacterial and cushioned. Please come by Guarantee Shoe Center and see the newest that San Antonio Shoe Co. has to offer.

Guarantee Shoe Center

THE PROMENADE Waxing Poetic has something special for everyone!

Music School

The status stamp for the Bride to be is a charming rubber stamp replica cast in brass & sterling silver with four adorable sayings to announce her status to the world …”Sweet,” “Loved,” “4 Ever” and “Taken.” To compliment the bride is her bridesmaids in their antique brass charm delicately script initials cast in creamy brass and set in a sterling bezel. ($48 to $60). Fashionista, 2007 H St., 327-4466.


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

• Group Piano Classes (PreK-12 Years)

New Classes Begin January 17! (661) 665-8228

5381 Truxtun Ave.

(1 block East of Mohawk St.)


Bakersfield Museum of Art opening reception Dec. 9 Held at Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Margaret Nuanez and Sarah Haines

Rod and Susan Hersberger

Wendy Wayne and Cindy Chernow

Robin Ablin and Laura Wolfe

Liz and Mort Brown

Mary Cruz and Mary Moreland

Kathryn Lomely and Stephen Mears

Joe Hay and Sofie Beem

Owren and David Coffey and Josie Kouyomjian and Steve McKinzie 82

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Livio and Angelo Mazzei and Greg and Mary Bynum

Oil Barons Ball Nov. 11 Held at the DoubleTree Hotel Photos by JosĂŠ TreviĂąo View these photos and more online at

Kevin and Teri Caudill

Jesse and Jean Morris

Christine and Patrick Lujan

Denise and Michael Smith

Lori and Chad Hicks

Sandy Sons and Robin Cooper

Gretchen and Paul Barnes

Kristina and Ken Steinke


Choose from:


New vanity, vanity light, faucet & paint.





Bronze package, plus re-tile tub surround Silver package, plus floor tile & new toilet



Gold package, plus new bathtub

Mike and Lorna McWilliams and Marco and Mary Bent

LK Home Improvements (661)345-4047

Lic. 945537


Mercy Hospital 100-Year Anniversary Gala Nov. 6 Held at Mercy Southwest Photos by Greg Iger View these photos and more online at

Mary and Randy Richardson

Yolanda Griffiths and Rick and Dianne Riley

Debbie Cappello, George Cappello and Stephanie Weber

Sister Judy Morasci, Mayor Harvey Hall and Stephanie Weber

Jeremy Zoch and Dr. Jigisha Upadhyaya

Scott and Vaun Thygerson, Shawna and Russell Judd

Martin and Loraine Caratan and Maureen and Kevin Andrew

David and Catherine Gay and Linda and Dan Dane 84

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Clock Tower Holidays gala opening reception Nov. 18 Held at Kern County Museum Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at Larry Reider and Harry Starkey

Angie and Anna Paquette

Melissa Fortune, Beth Pandol and Renee Goodwin

Jackie Parks, Todd Karli and Carola Enriquez

Jim and Nona Darling

Ira and Carole Cohen

Sarah Woodman and Jim Curran

Robin Paggi and Jeff Nickell

Chris Jachetti, Madi Darling, Debbie Thompson, Jacob Wuest, Spencer Shoemaker, Courtney Nickell, Jason Hodgson and Trace Moreno www.BakersfieldLife.com85

CARE’s Circle of Life Luncheon Nov. 27 Held at Stockdale Country Club Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Erin Doubek, Kara Susank and Tara Jamieson

Chinta Ortiz, Mary Moreno and Rosie Culver

Verna Parks and Shelley Hudson

Dede Black and Rikky Brown

Kristin Snelling and Angelika Frieser

Leanne Patrick and Shanda Hammons

Terri Acha and Linda Delcid

Stephanie Horwedel and Julie Fanucchi

Dorene Rodriguez, Tanya Mauldin, Ralph Fruguglietti and Shawn Partain 86

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

The Pie Run Nov. 25, 2010 Held at Hart Park Photos by Jan St. Pierre View these photos and more online at

Ben Davis and Jimmy Thomas

Jim and Julie Francisco

Craig Gardner and Jonathan Wykoff

Tom Woodard and Debbie and Rick Hixson

Landon Churchman, Mandy Morgan, Colby Churchman and Gibson


Good Cars starting at only

Teresa Scrivano-Wilson, Margaret Patteson and Phil and Kevin Scrivano




23rd and Chester Ave. Diane and Wendy Wayne, Ira and Ann Reiner and Benji Wayne

MICHAEL STUART 661-978-5621


JERRY HERNANDEZ 661-331-5952 Hablo Espa単ol


Holiday Lamplight Tours Dec. 4, 2010 Held at Kern County Museum Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at

Troy and Donna Hawkins

Lexie, Ben, Carrie and Deegan Wageman

Adriana, Katherine, Cesar and Natalie Tello

Carol Wegis and Courtney Phillips

Flo Diaz and Pat Alvardo

Collin Johnson, Jessica and Lainee Waldrop

Zack Essex, Justine Castaneda and Shelby Grandowitz

Kevin Bell and Kenny Mount

Nimisha Amin, MD, FAAP Back row: Brad, Lisa, Sue and Ron Edwards. Front: Thomas and Jonathan Edwards 88

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

Mendiburu Magic Foundation Compassion Awards Dec. 1 Held at Wool Growers Restaurant Photos by Greg Nichols View these photos and more online at Roy and Linda Carter

Diana and Bryan Grace

Chris and Lyn Dutton

Larry and Sandra Reider

Back: Whitney and Bill Rector Front: Steve Sanders and Tom Corson

Juan and Brian Mendiburu, Annemarie Brast, Katie Etchegaray and Valerie Mendiburu

Laura Valenzuela, FNP

Personal care in a family-friendly atmosphere Se habla Espa単ol

3941 San Dimas Street, Bldg 101

(661) 327-3821

Kevin and Macy Albertson and Hudson and Tyler Hartley



Photo by Casey Christie

“I always want to save the world, if I could. I think about it every day and hope for the best.”

Tom Sheets Investigator at Young and Nichols Law Firm, president of Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation and co-owner of Latham-Sheets Fine Jewelry Favorite part of your job as an investigator: Doing a good job and making a case come together for the client in a timely matter, which is so hard to do. Your best accomplishment as president of the KCLEF: Getting new people involved and increasing fundraising and donations. We have been able to help law enforcement a lot more and now donate to all 19 agencies in the county. How involved are you in your jewelry business? My wife, Kandy, runs it day-to-day, and I help with buying and marketing the business, when she lets me. Trendy jewelry gift suggestions for Valentine’s Day: Chamilia bracelets, they can be custom designed to your own tastes, and you can change the look at any time. They are best designed and made of the bead bracelets. Second, large rings and watches, the latest “bling” like you see on "The Housewives of wherever" shows! Your first job: Gas station attendant at Webb and Green Mobile 90

Bakersfield Life

January 2011

in Oildale and a variety store clerk at Sprouse-Reitz in Oildale. I did both jobs (at the same time), I have always been a workaholic. Greatest piece of advice you've recieved: Never live in the past, learn from your mistakes and always be appreciative of what you have. Something about you that few people know: I always want to save the world, if I could. I think about it every day and hope for the best. Favorite getaway: Lake Tahoe South Shore. Boating with my family and friends. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Place you can be found having lunch on the weekend: Plumberry's pizza on Stockdale. What’s on your bookshelf? Usually the latest Grisham book, and now “Winner-Take-All Politics” by Hacker and Pierson. I'm just getting started on it, it comes well-recommended. It’s about special interests and their purchasing of the political system in America. Most influencing person in your life: Tie: My grandfather and father; one taught me how to work and the other taught me how to treat people. Three things that define Bakersfield to you: Friendly people that care and are willing to get involved, the variety of places nearby to visit and vacation, and the values of honesty and hard work.

(661) 283-4500


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Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2011  
Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2011  

Bakersfield Life Magazine January 2011