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June 28-July4, 2009


Joe Tomasi’s legacy remembered Pg. 4 Fun & faith for kids Pg. 6 Bakersfield man gets ‘Fatherhood’ call Pg. 7

Wave of spirit Next contest: Show us your Fourth of July celebrations, pg. 5



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W W W. B A K E R S F I E L D V O I C E . C O M

JUNE 28- JULY 4, 2009


A howlin’ good time for all! Staff

8th annual BPD K9 Unit's ‘Howlin’ at the Moon’ fun run Saturday, July 11

EDITORIAL Olivia Garcia Vice President /Content



he Bakersfield Police Department K9 Unit is hosting the Eighth annual “Howlin’ at the Moon” Fun Run. Join us for Kern County’s only nighttime run, Saturday, July 11. The 2k fun run begins at 8 p.m.; the timed 5k and 10k run begins at 8:30 p.m. There will be awards in all categories for the 5k and 10k. The cost of the event is $20 if received by Wednesday, July 8, and $25 the day of the race. Registration is open at 6 p.m. The event will be at the Park at River Walk at Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista Road. All money raised benefits the BPD K9 Unit. The first 300 entries get Tshirts. For more information, e-mail: or call 3263685.

Gene Garaygordobil Managing Editor 716-8642 Teresa Adamo Associate Editor Sandra Molen Writer/Copy Editor


Runners get ready to start the 2007 Howlin’ at the Moon Fun Run.

Buy fireworks & help Blues Soccer Club

Timothy Heinrichs Designer

ADVERTISING Jaime De Los Santos Sales Manager 716-8632

BY DEBI OLIVAS Community contributor

David Alanis Sales Executive Gustavo Carrillo Sales Executive Mark Wells Sales Executive Angela Espinoza Sales Executive Katie Blair Sales Executive Jose Trevino Sales Executive Samantha Vilchis Sales Executive


ome and help these great, talented boys achieve their goal! The Central California Blues Soccer Club fireworks booth will be located on Olive and Knudsen drives (between Burger King and Starbucks) beginning Wednesday, July 1 from noon to 10 p.m. The booth will be open July 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to midnight. On Thursday, July 2, we will have DJ John Fox in the evening. On Friday, July 3, from noon to 3 p.m., we will have ESPN 1240 am radio store will be live at our booth and from 4 to 6 p.m., we are having DJ Damage and 94.1! Donations are welcome and are tax deductible. Come on out and help support our club. For more information, e-mail:

OFFICE Marisol Sorto Office Administrator 716-8640 CALIFORNIAN FILE

Fireworks booths like this one benefit local clubs.

Start your day with some ‘sweet music’ BY USER NAME: BMOA23 Community contributor


ome and enjoy a performance by local artist, Ellie Peters, as part of First Wednesdays at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. 1930 R. St., Wednesday, July 1 at 9:30 a.m. Peters’

sweet piano music and soothing vocals have been compared to Norah Jones. It’s the perfect beginning for a summer day. Come and enjoy! Free to members; $4 for non-members seniors; $5 for adults. Sponsored by: Valley Public Television, San Joaquin Community Hospital, and Adventist Health.

The Bakersfield Voice P.O. Box 2344 Bakersfield, CA 93303 The Bakersfield Voice is published by Mercado Nuevo, an independent subsidiary of The Bakersfield Californian. To learn more or to contribute news and pictures, visit us online at:


W W W. B A K E R S F I E L D V O I C E . C O M

JUNE 28- JULY 4, 2009



4 5 7

In memory of Joe Tomasi

Beloved teacher, author and frequent Voice contributor honored by a friend.

Yep, another contest for you!

We’d love to get photos and a story from you on how you show your patriotism.

Fatherhood a true calling

Read about Bakersfield resident Tim Popplewell who is father to many foster kids.

Centennial grad goes national BY DAVID EWERT

About the cover

We love you, Lee-Lee!

Community contributor

Carolyn Ewert, a 2008 Centennial High School grad and member of the CHS Valley Championship Volleyball Team was part of the B Division Gold Medal winning Swagger team at the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. Ewert was also selected as a member of the All Tournament Team. She will be attending the US Naval Academy in the fall and playing volleyball for the Midshipmen.

BY ALEX TORRES Community contributor

Hey, LeeAnna, we love you so much. You are a great helper for your mom when it comes to your baby sister and brother. You are the best big sister they could ask for. We are so proud of you and your school work, we know you will be an awesome second-grader. You are such a great reader already. And don’t worry, one day you’ll get a picture in The Bakersfield Voice like Yessie and Sheldyy! Love always, Allie

Californian photographer Casey Christie caught this youngster waving her homemade flag in the crowd at last year’s Veteran’s Day parade. Enter our next contest with your patriotic photo and story! Details on page 5. Your photo could be on our next cover! Photos and stories for the July 12 issue must be posted by Wednesday, July 1 at 5 p.m.


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W W W. B A K E R S F I E L D V O I C E . C O M

JUNE 28- JULY 4, 2009

YOURVOICE soul outside of my cat has read my written work is because of Joe, and if I ever publish that best-selling novel, it will be because of him. Every new writer dreams about that first book, and most every writer can BY ROB L. BERRY Community contributor already envision the dedication page long before the rest of the book takes shape. e lost a great one. My dedication page will express my Joe Tomasi — teacher, gratitude to my family, my friends, and author, and frequent cona mentor named Joe Tomasi that contributor to local communivinced me I really could do it. ty journalism passed away At his core and in his soul, Joe was a on May 30, following a valiant struggle teacher. If you asked them — Joe, Debagainst a relentless illness. bie, and the Panama Buena Vista I met Joe in 1987, when I was his stuSchool District would tell you that Joe dent in U.S. History class at Actis Jr. retired from teaching in 2005, but they High. I travelled on two different trips are wrong. Joe never stopped teaching. with Joe and his wife, Debbie. — one to Retirement didn’t stop him. The disthe Eastern United States and one to Europe. After I moved on to high Joe Tomasi loved his “spoiled” dachshunds, Rachel and After retiring from teach- ease didn’t stop him. Not even his passing could stop him, because he is still school, I lost touch with them — an Seymour, that he and his wife, Debbie owned. ing, Joe became a writer. teaching us. And I hope Joe will forgive absence that lasted until just a few years ago. It was amazing to have Joe I retrieved a copy of The Northwest of his teaching life, so I immediately me for saying this, but these lessons are and Debbie back in my life. The hardest Voice from my driveway. It was the wrote an article titled “No Ordinary infinitely more significant than U.S. part was when Joe insisted that since I first time I had ever opened it, and the Joe,” which explained how much of an History. If you want a lesson in how to chase was now into my thirties, I could proba- first page I turned to had a familiar impact he had on my life. The article bly stop calling him “Mr. Tomasi.” face. It was a smiling picture of Joe, was posted, Joe e-mailed me, and a few your dreams, remember Joe and the Strange as it may sound, it was a very adjacent to an article he had written days later we met for coffee to catch up look in his eyes during his first book signing at Russo’s. If you want a lesson hard habit to break. about retiring from teaching and re- on old times. After the years apart, it was writing inventing himself as a writer. I thought My first question for him, naturally, on how to re-invent yourself and make that brought us back together. In 2005, he was far too humble in his description was if he had enjoyed the article I had the most of a bad situation, remember Nominated by a Guadalupe Hernández written. Joe was gifted critic, and he Joe and the sight of him writing a masterpiece while sitting in the infusion had the ability to take any body of work teacher I’d like to nominate my twin daughters’ kindergarten of CBCC. If you want to learn how and suggest ways to improve it, so I was Mr. Rhodes who teaches at Discovery Elementary room School. be a good father and husband, anxious for feedback. the to after At the beginning of the year, IHe wascalled so skeptical remember Joe and his relentless goal of article that “thethey single best piece of literahaving learned were going to have a male teacher making sure he lived long enough to ture that He you’ll produce,” to my which for kindergarten. hasever superseded all of expectations walk his daughter down the aisle at her I replied that he only felt that way as to what a great kindergarten teacher should be. My because it was about HIM. He respond- wedding. If you want to learn about girls love Mr. Rhodes. He teaches them lots of cute and ed, “Well, you have to start with a quali- remaining positive and hopeful no matsilly songs. He builds up their self-esteem. He is just so ter what the diagnosis, remember Joe ty topic.” marvelous with my girls! Nominated by Erin & Max Richey I often think of that picture from The and his “health update” e-mails where Northwest Voice that prompted me to he would describe a relapse as a “small Mrs. Christine Whitaker was our son, Max’s, write the article. It summed up Joe so speed bump on the Tomasi Highway.” first-grade teacher at Bimat Elementary. To perfectly, looking up and beaming at If you want to learn how to fight a horrisay that she is his teacher is truly an underthe camera, with a wise, but slightly ble disease with every ounce of your statement; she is also his friend and a mentor. mischievous look in his eyes, and a being, remember Joe at his last book She is an inspiration not only to him, but also to wide smile on his face. The photo, like signing, where despite alarming blood me as a parent. Mrs. Whitaker cares not only his writing, was pure Joe. I think that’s test results, he signed every book, about her students’ academic progress, but also To submit your nominee for Educator of the Month, the same reason people are so drawn to refusing to let anything steal the joy of go to: www.northwest then click on “Post Something!” and contribute a about their character development, citizenship, paragraph why youwell-being appreciate and would like to out recognize your nominee. the day. If you want to learn how to be his writing. andabout overall in and of the class- Be sure to include the educator’s name, school, department and picture. The contest is open to No matter the topic, fiction or non-fic- an inspiration to everyone in your life, room. Mrs. Whitaker is an extraordinary pereducators in the Southwest area. Entries can also be e-mailed to: tion, it’s all Joe, and his personality remember Joe, or just pick up one of his son! Each month the winning entry $50 gift certificate, comes across so clearly that you can books. compliments of GW School Supply and The Northwest Voice. Sponsored by If you have a dream that you just can’t practically hear his voice reading the seem to realize, remember Joe. words off the page. It’s cliché when someone passes to Whether you want to write a best-sellsay they’ll always live on in our hearts ing novel, or run a marathon, or go back and memories, and I guess there’s truth to school and complete your education ■ If you have a teacher you think is great, nominate them for Educato that — but in this case, it’s particular- — whatever your goal, remember Joe, tor of the Month by going to: and posting ly appropriate. Joe will live on through and how he lived more in his last 10 his writing, and will continue to inspire years with cancer than most people will an article. Nominations should tell us in 50 words or less why your in a lifetime of health. You may suddenhis fans for years to come. teacher is the best and MUST also include their first and last name, Ironically, the article I wrote about ly find that unreachable goal is much school, department/grade and a photo in a jpeg format. Winners will Joe in 2005 led to me pursuing my own closer than you once believed. be featured in the print edition of The Bakersfield Voice for a month Most importantly, when the trivialties dream of writing, and none of it would have been possible without his kind- of life have you down, and you need a and will receive a $50 gift card for school supplies, compliments of ness and guidance. I am who I am reason to carry on the fight for what GW School Supply and TBV. because of many people, family and really matters in life, remember Joe. I know I will. friends included. But the fact that any

Remembering the gift of Joe ...


Educator of the Month

Mr. Rhodes

Educator of the month

Christine Whitaker


W W W. B A K E R S F I E L D V O I C E . C O M

JUNE 28- JULY 4, 2009


Show us your Stripes! BY GENE GARAYGORDOBIL TBV Managing Editor


ave you been getting ready for the Fourth of July since January? Do you have an American Flag flying at

your home 365 days a year? Do you dress your children in red, white and blue? If so, enter The Bakersfield Voice’s new reader contest, “Show us your Stripes!” That’s right. We’d love to see your

photos and a story about how you show your patriotic spirit. And you could win SIX tickets to The Monterey Bay Aquarium (a nearly $200 value), giving you a place to cool off in the upcoming summer heat. Please keep your story to 200 words or less. Our contest runs through July 13, and the winner and selected run-

ners-up will appear in a future edition of The Bakersfield Voice. It’s easy to participate! Just go to, create a free profile, and begin posting your stories, photos and blogs right now. Don’t hesitate, start posting today! Join thousands of other Bakersfield residents who are part of our online community.




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W W W. B A K E R S F I E L D V O I C E . C O M

JUNE 28- JULY 4, 2009



Fun, faith & friendship! COURTESY OF REDEEMER LUTHERAN


ome to Gadget’s Garage! Redeemer Lutheran Church is inviting kids for its Vacation Bible School. It runs July 13-17 and will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. each of those days. The sessions are open to the public and free of charge. Find fun, faith and friendship! Experience exciting Bible stories, catchy music, one-of-a-kind crafts and more, as you make new friends! COURTESY PHOTO You will discover new friends and Han’s Tae Kwon Do Academy qualified 29 of its members for the National Champibuild a powerful relationship with your Forever Friend, Jesus Christ! onships June 29-July 5 in Austin, Texas. Good luck to all! Redeemer Lutheran Church is located at 2525 Belle Terrace. For more information, go to the church’s Web site at: COURTESY OF HAN’S TAE KWON DO ACADEMY the body or head with their foot and Or call, Jennifer at 832-7881 or epunches to the body. With the proper mail: he National Governing Body of protective gear and supervision, Tae to register today! the United States for Tae Kwon Do is a safe sport in which practiKwon Do, USA-Taekwondo, tioners of all ages can enjoy. Tae Kwon will be commencing the Junior Do is the fastest growing martial art Olympic and Senior Nationals worldwide, which is why it is an on June 29-July 5 in Austin, Olympic Sport. Texas. World Class Competitors from Han’s Tae Kwon Do Academy has every state will be in attendance for the qualified 29 individuals through the event. To compete in the World Class State and Regional pipeline to compete category, the individual must have won in the National Championships. Twengold or silver at a sanctioned State ty-three members of the team will be Tournament or medaled at a sanctioned making the journey to Austin at the end Regional Event. Potentially, there can of the month. Our competitors will be be a total of 124 individuals in each representing Bakersfield and Califorweight category, belt, and age group. nia in the largest Tae Kwon Do compeForms competition consists of a dou- tition of the year. Good luck to the ble elimination demonstration of tech- Han’s Tae Kwon Do Progression nique, grace, and power. Sparring Team. competition is three 2-minute rounds For more information regarding who with the declared winner having the will be competing, please visit: most points for kicking the opponent in

Han’s to compete nationally

Redeemer Lutheran Church’s Vacation Bible School will feature a “gadget” theme for kids.

This week’s Star Athlete: Kobe Holden Nominated by Proud mom, Melissa Holden My son, Kobe Holden, is 8 years old and plays baseball for the Southwest Rays, Div. 8. Kobe loves to play baseball and has played since he was 4 years old. He is an All-Star in our family’s eyes.

T We Develop: ■ Do you have a son, daughter, grandkid or buddy who is your pick for MVP? Nominate them for Star Athlete of the Week by going to: and posting an article. Nominations should tell us in 50 words or less what makes this kid a star athlete and should include a photo. All nominees will be featured weekly in the print edition of The Bakersfield Voice,and each month, one nominee’s name will be drawn to receive a $50 gift card for sporting equipment, compliments of Sports Authority and TBV.

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W W W. B A K E R S F I E L D V O I C E . C O M

JUNE 28- JULY 4, 2009


Fatherhood at its best 10 years and has worked with more than nine children. Through their roles as foster parents, Tim and his wife, n Father’s Day, we celebrated Julie, have helped two youths emanciand honored those men who pate from the foster care system, and have played or are playing a have become legal guardians to four of significant role in our their children in their home. upbringing. This man does According to Tim Popplewell, his not have to be our biological father as motivation to continue on this worthpaternity does not define fatherhood. while journey is simple: “These kids Fatherhood is defined by a role that one are family, and it’s not that tough to has taken on, and the become attached and responsibility that keep going when you comes with it in caring think of them that way.” for and nurturing a As in any home, there child or children. This are definitely chalFather’s Day, Aspilenges. However, Popranet, a leading fosterplewell believes the adopt program in Kern rewards of being a fosCounty, wanted to ter dad are well worth acknowledge and thank any challenge that all foster and adoptive comes their way. In dads who are fulfilling fact, he states the most their fatherhood role by rewarding part of parsharing their love, parenting children is enting skills and sup“when they identify you port with the many as dad, and they children in our commurespond to you as a dad, nity who need it. and want to be part of Fatherhood takes the family.” effort and is an endless, Fatherhood is defined worthwhile and signifiby Tim Popplewell as, — Tim Popplewell, cant role that may often “raising kids to be sucFoster Dad appear unappreciated. cessful and decent Yet, day in and day out our foster and human beings, and when they leave this adoptive dads care and provide for house, they are able to stand on their their children to ensure a better life for own two feet.” them. Although paternity plays no role With that in mind, he continues on his in the relationship, these fathers take journey as a dad, boldly taking on each on the responsibility courageously, rec- challenge and making the difference in ognizing that every child deserves a each of their lives. loving family and a place to call home. Tim Popplewell is raising hope and One dad in particular who has gone empowering community. above and beyond the “fatherhood call If you would like more information on of duty,” is Tim Popplewell. Tim has becoming a foster or adoptive parent, been a dad with Aspiranet for the past please call Aspiranet at (661) 323-1233.

BY MARINA R. HERNANDEZ Community contributor


“These kids are family, and it’s not that tough to become attached and keep going when you think of them that way.”

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Tim Popplewell has been a foster dad for 10 years, working with nine children. He and his wife, Julie are regular foster care parents and have become legal guardians to four of their children.

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Torrie is a 2 year old female Torti. She is playful and inquisitive. Torrie would make a great addition to any home.

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The Bakersfield Voice, June 28, 2009  
The Bakersfield Voice, June 28, 2009  

The Bakersfield Voice, June 28, 2009