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CONTENTS 6 Politicos Will 2010 be the year minorities make their voices heard at the polls?

15 Gain Upground A group of longtime friends will bring their music to Bakersfield.

8 Meet Raider Ron Ron Cortez just might bleed Silver & Black — he’s that devoted of a fan!

16 Fanatical fans The spectacle of the Super Bowl is here & we found some Super Fans!

RESPECT. IT’S JUST PART OF WHAT YOU’LL EARN FOR A LIVING. Working for the U.S. Air Force has its rewards. Respect, for one. Not to mention a good salary, great benefits, a quality lifestyle and the chance to do something important with your

10 Model search

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Dreams do Come True.

EDITORIAL Olivia Garcia VP/Content Teresa Adamo Associate Editor Matt Muñoz Staff Writer Sandra Molen Staff Writer/Copy Editor




Specializing in: ON THE COVER: Back row from left: Romeo, Nicole Parra, Joe Jimenez, Olivia Garcia, Abel Sixtos. Front center: Peyton Edmondson. These Super Fans love their teams! We asked them to tell us why they are so dedicated. See the Q & A’s, starting on page 16. PHOTO BY: Jeremy Gonzalez

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Are you ready for some football?


ne thing is for certain. MÁS readers love their sports, and NFL is high among the list. To bid farewell to the football season and look to the 2010 Super Bowl taking place the day we publish, Feb. 7, MÁS Magazine set aside a feature focusing on a few well-known locals who have nothing but love for their teams. Imagine, loyal and rival fans from the Raiders, Chiefs, Chargers, 49ers, Cowboy and Colts teams joining together in one room! Crazy, but possible. Read inside to learn more about what our “Super Fans” had to say. I also had a chance to participate in the group, showing off my Chargers pride. I love watching games at no

other place than home. My husband and I, and our two older sons (football players themselves) gather around the living room, while our 1- and 3-year-old (he already recognizes the Charger bolt, off the bat) entertain themselves by watching our antics. We yell and cheer at great plays, and root for some of our favorite players (Sproles, Tomlinson, Jackson, Castillo, Rivers). We grumble over bad calls. We jump out of our seats at key touchdowns. And we freeze in the midst of long passes, hoping for that 20-plus yard completion. But I mainly love this team because it has strengthened my family in a new way, created some great memories and established a tradition that we can share in years to come.

Also, a reminder to college students out there — now’s the time to apply for financial aid to potentially receive assistance from federal and state programs, as well as grants, loans and oncampus employment opportunities. For students attending classes in spring and summer 2010, complete the 2009-2010 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online now at: prior to June 30. For students attending classes in fall 2010 or spring and summer 2011, complete the 20102011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online now at: And don’t forget that March 2 is the deadline to file for Cal Grants!

February 7, 2010

MÁS | 05


Vying for

votes Historically, minorities don’t participate in the political process, but will Kern’s hard times motivate a change in 2010? By Dianne Hardisty Special to MÁS

he 20th Congressional District, which includes Kern, Kings and Fresno counties, was identified by last year’s “Measure of America” survey as the poorest in the nation. Represented by U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno), the district came in “dead last” for poverty, poor health and school dropouts. Few who have worked with the poor in the southern San Joaquin Valley were surprised by the findings, which also explain


why minority communities, where new immigrants often struggle just to survive, see little participation in the political process. “It’s the hierarchy of needs,” said Kern County Supervisor Michael Rubio, whose 5th District includes some of the poorest neighborhoods of Bakersfield, Lamont and Arvin. “The first thing many people think about is, ‘Do I have a job today? Am I making a living wage? Do I have health care?’ They don’t have time to read campaign material. The Rubio hierarchy of needs means they have to fend for themselves first,” he said. “Many are too busy trying to survive and pay next month’s rent,” said Magda Menendez, administrator of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in Bakersfield. State Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter), whose 16th district overlaps the 20th Congressional District, agreed. He also blamed confusing ballots, which he said are cluttered with complex and sometimes contradictory propositions, for discouraging widespread voter participation. “People have to have a reason to vote, to come out and take the time to express their choices,” said Florez, who is running for California lieutenant governor. “I’ve spoken to people who simContinued on page 26

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Make it count Officials dispel fear & encourage participation in 2010 Census By Dianne Hardisty Special to MÁS

veryone — citizens, residents and undocumented immigrants — will gain, or lose from the results of the 2010 Census. Based on the count of people living in the United States in 2010, about $400 billion in federal funds will be distributed to communities. Public services, ranging from police protection to medical care, will receive federal support based on population estimates. And representation in federal congressional districts, as well as local government bodies, will be deter-


mined. For a variety of reasons, including fear of the government and the desire to make “political statements,” some people will not participate in this U.S. Constitution-mandated national population count. Some of the very people who may be tempted to avoid the Census are the ones who will lose the most from not being counted, noted Reyna Olaguez, U.S. Census spokeswoman for Kern and Tulare counties. These are the people who may be most in need of public services, or whose voices should be heard and heeded by elected government officials.

from other Latino leaders. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as representatives of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund held a press opposing the boycott and urging people to participate in the Census. They called having an accurate count of everyone living in the United States — regardless of their immigration status, or ethnic background — a “civil rights issue.” “A full count of immigrants will ensure that their communities get the resources they need to address the economic and educational needs of the residents,” said Rosalind Gold, senior director of policy research and advocacy for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Continued on page 27


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Latinos and Asian immigrants are among those most likely to avoid being counted. Olaguez explained some fear information collected on Census questionnaires will be shared with other government agencies. But federal law prevents this from happening. Answers and other information about respondents are confidential. The Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders has launched a boycott of the U.S. Census in an attempt to force Congress to reform immigration policies. “We urge members of Congress to pass a fair, decent and humane comprehensive immigration reform bill. Though such efforts have been stalled, we must continue to preach and insist: legalization before enumeration,” said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, the coalition’s president, in a January press release. This has sparked a reaction


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Raider Ron! In a nod to his alter ego & everlasting devotion, Ron Cortez, longtime lover of all things Silver & Black, is named ‘Fan of the Month’ in NFL publication. By Teresa Adamo MÁS staff

uck your head inside Ron Cortez’s walk-in closet and the evidence of his dual identity is in plain sight. On the left, a sea of olive green & khaki — a collection of standard-issued, California correctional officer uniforms. On the right, a tidal wave of Silver & Black — a collection of die-hard, all Oakland Raiders attire. During the week, this husband and father of four is Sgt. Cortez,


08 | MÁS February 7, 2010

Ron Cortez, shown here in the spare room in his northwest Bakersfield home, decorated in — what else — Oakland Raiders memorabilia.

but by the time NFL game day rolls around, look out! So devoted is this huge Raider lover, he was named “Fan of the Month” in the December 2009 issue of “The Silver & Black,” a nationally published tabloid produced especially for the team’s most dedicated supporters. Like many a superhero, who makes a presto change-o from mild-mannered man to larger-than-life character, Cortez transforms into a secret (or maybe, not-so-secret) alter ego of his own — known as “Raider Ron!” His ensemble is a mish-mash of various Goth-like, warriorthemed Halloween outfits purchases each year at those temporary, super-sized costume stores, along with various trinkets and, of course — Raider Ron’s signature jet black wild wig with its frizzed-out style. Raider Ron first came to be about 10 years ago. Cortez had seen other fanatical fans at the games, dressed in their “creative” garb and it looked, well, fun. Along with a group of 40-50 other Raider devotees who, as they

Cortez’s other identity, “Raider Ron” is on the far left of this motley trio of diehard Raiders fans. Cortez adds a little something extra to his costume each football season. COURTESY PHOTO

say, “costume out” while cheering and screaming for their No. 1 team at the live football games, Raider Ron’s game gear is ever evolving. “I just add something new to it each year,” Cortez, 54, explained. “I’m always adding to it, even now.” Though his Raider Ron persona started a decade ago, Cortez has been an avid Raiders fan for about 30 years. He enjoyed catching a game on Sunday, just as so many other football lovers do. But eventually, Cortez went from fan to fan frenzy, then on to a whole new level. It started when he moved to Sacramento and first began following the Silver & Black. By the time Cortez came to Bakersfield, he was a very enthusiastic enthusiast of the Raiders. He and his wife, Liz joined the local Raiders Booster Club in 1997, and about two years later — in yet another added identity — Raider Ron became President Raider Ron, representing the Bakersfield chapter. The non-profit club is part of a national, NFL-sanctioned organization and is one of 28 others throughout the U.S. The Cortezes have traveled to cities all over the nation — Miami, Houston, Kansas City, to name a few — for various meetings and conventions representing Bakersfield — something they thoroughly enjoy and hope to do

even more of once Cortez retires. During football season, club members gather at Crossroads Pizza on White Lane to watch the game, have a good time with friends — and enemies, too, as all football fans, even those who root against the Raiders, are welcomed — and fundraise. And why not? At least that was the premise for booster club members: to combine their meetings for fun and football with raising money for good causes and giving back to the community. At first, the yearly donations were in the range of $400-$600. Nowadays, it’s more like $3,000$5,000 and growing. The club’s charity of choice: the American Cancer Society Kid’s Club of Bakersfield. The boosters have also donated to local coat drives and battered women’s causes. On Dec. 12, 2009, California State Sen. Dean Florez (DShafter) recognized the Bakersfield Raiders Boosters for their generous charity work and 25th anniversary of the club. The official proclamation hangs proudly among Cortez’s vast collection of Raiders souvenirs. There’s no exact count of how many pieces of Raider memorabilia Cortez now owns. He just knows it’s a lot. Proof positive: When Cortez walks into The Raider Image store in Oakland, the store employees greet him with, “Hi there, Bak-

ersfield!” “Oh sure, they know us — they should, we’ve been up there enough!” said Cortez, smiling at the memory of those shopping trips and whole-heartedly agreeing that, during those sprees, he’s like a kid in a candy store. So it comes as no surprise that the Cortez home is a haven of Raider décor. It begins right at the family’s front door, where a Raiders doormat welcomes guests to this casa of all things Raiders-related. As Raider Ron & his wife, Liz, open the front door of their northwest Bakersfield residence, just beyond the entry is what was designed as a formal living room. “Who needs a formal living room? We wanted to use this part of the house for an area that we would really enjoy, something that we would really use,” said Liz Cortez. So the couple converted the space into a game room filled with Raiders touches: the stained-glass light fixture hanging over the Raider pool table, the signed football jerseys framed and hanging on the walls, the autographed photos displayed behind the bar area … and it goes on. A spare room houses a Raiders drum set, Raiders luggage and a closet full of Raider Booster Club supplies and raffle prizes given at their meetings.

A small guest bath features a rather fancy, shimmery Raiders shower curtain with miniature helmets for the hooks and soft, fluffy, Raiders hand towels. The walls of Cortez’s home office are completely filled with Silver & Black memorabilia, much of which has been given to Cortez as gifts. “Everyone knows that Ron loves to get Raiders things as gifts, but it’s getting pretty hard to find something he doesn’t already have!” said Liz, though the couple’s son recently scored one rare item his dad’s collection was missing: a Raiders Potato Head. And back to that master bedroom closet, there really are basically two different wardrobe categories for Cortez: non-Raiders work clothes and all-Raiders play clothes! Understandably, Liz says the master bedroom itself is off limits to Raiders keepsakes — hey, a girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere! Of course, Raider Ron appreciates that his wife and family have not only encouraged his love — OK, borderline obsession — of the Raiders, they’ve also embraced it. “Yes, I know I’m very lucky,” Cortez said. “It’s just something that makes me happy, makes me smile and my family really supports that.” Secret (or not-so-secret) identity and all … February 7, 2010

MÁS | 09


MÁS Quinceañera Expo model search is underway! By Teresa Adamo MÁS staff

ou already know that “America’s Top Model” searches for young women with those fresh faces and a desire to walk down a runway with confidence and style. But did you know that MÁS conducts its own model search? That’s right — we need models for our Fourth annual Quinceañera Expo & Fashion Show at East Hills Mall, Sunday, April 11. The Expo takes a lot of planningso we’re putting the call out RIGHT NOW to girls, ages 13-17, who want to be part of this great event that features local vendors available for quinceañera-related services. If you’re interested in participating, here’s what we’re looking for in our MÁS Quince Models: • Demonstrates dedication to academics (3.0 GPA or better). • Active in school clubs, commu-


nity organizations, church groups and/or other volunteer service. • Available for appointments and full commitment to dress fittings, meetings, a photo shoot and a modeling training session. Attendance to all of these requirements is mandatory of our Quince Models, NO EXCEPTIONS! • We also require a parent’s approval; a parent must also agree to getting their daughter to all appointments on time. If a model misses an appointment, we reserve the right to replace her with another model. To be considered, please send an e-mail with the title, “Quince Models” in the “subject line” to: Please also include a recent photo and the following information: name, age, school, grade level, academic performance & extracurricular activities as well as what your cultural heritage means to you. A National Outreach Program for Veterans for the Rehabilitation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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10 | MÁS February 7, 2010

Don’t forget to include your contact information (a cell number would be appreciated) and your parent’s contact info, too! We are also searching for young men who would like to serve as our Quince Models’ escorts at the fashion show. If you have a male friend or relative who may want to join you for the fashion show portion of the Expo, please let us know in your e-mail how we can reach them as well. Deadline for all Quince Model applications is Sunday, Feb. 21! Apply today! Note: Former Quince Expo models will be considered, but new model candidates may be given precedence if there are not enough spots. Please understand that this is so other girls are given a chance to enjoy this wonderful opportunity — and by all means, we still want our former models to apply! ¡Muchas gracias!


BIG fundraiser! By Gerardo Marquez Special to MÁS

f winning a cruise to Mexico, a trip to Tahoe or being awarded the infamous “Party Pin” sounds like it’s right up your alley, then Big Brothers Big Sisters has the event for you! Bowl For Kids’ Sake is coming to Bakersfield in March. This event gives the Kern County community the opportunity to help our youth reach their full potential and achieve their goals and dreams. By helping raise crucial funds for the event, the program is able to help prevent gang participation, drug use and teenage pregnancy in our community as


a result of professionally supported one-to-one relationships. A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive shows that as adults, children who were mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters are more likely to have a four-year degree, earn higher household incomes and volunteer in their community when compared to their peers. Local statistics show of the kids matched for at least a year with a Big Brother or Sister: • 100 percent of improved their self-confidence and trust • 95 percent increased their academic performance • 97 percent improved classroom behavior • 94 percent improved peer relationships

Bowl For Kids’ Sake to benefit local Big Brothers Big Sisters group — sign up today!

BOWL FOR KIDS’ SAKE Benefits: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California When: March 6, 12:30 p.m. Where: Regency Bowling Center, 820 Real Road, Bakersfield More info/to register:

So how does Bowl For Kids’ Sake work? It’s simple. First, gather a team of five friends, coworkers, classmates or family members. Then, each individual bowler raises a minimum of $70 in pledges online or using paper pledge forms. Each bowler gets two bowling games, shoe rentals, an event T-

shirt and a goodie bag . Plus, award winners will be selected as the recipient of “Highest Score,” “Try Another Sport,” “Twinkle Toes,” “Best Dressed Team” and the rowdiest will be given the infamous “Party Pin.” Top fundraisers could win: First Prize: Four-day Baja Cruise Second Prize: Two nights at Harrah’s/Harvey’s Lake Tahoe w/$50 dining certificate Third Prize: Four tickets to Sea World Top Fundraising Team: Pizza party — For more information or to sign up your team, go to: or contact Jessica Ortiz at (877) 343-7812 or by email at:

February 7, 2010

MÁS | 11

VALENTINE’S GIFT GUIDE Give your Valentine a gift with

love & cultura By Gabriel Ramirez Special to MÁS

es, it’s true that Valentine’s Day is about flowers, hearts and chocolates, but who is to say it can’t also be about paintings, mariachis and hand-painted jewelry boxes? How about spoiling your Valentine with a trip to a salon? While flowers and chocolates will always be associated with love, this year might be the year to get your other half something that not only says, “I love you,” but also, “I know what you like and who you are.” Culturally-inspired gifts not only step out of the red, white and pink color scheme, but they also demonstrate that you have put thought into what makes your media naranja tick. Plus, who represents love more than Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, right? We’ve compiled a list of some culturally-inspired gifts that might get you more than hugs and kisses this Valentine’s Day:


FOR MUJERES: Item: Tigua Doll Jewelry and Jewelry by Juanita made with precious and semi-precious stones, which include freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. Price: $60 - $299.99 Vendor: Kuka’s Folk Art

Item: Culture books Price: $5 - $25 Vendor: Crafts by Amistad Item: Latin food cookbooks Price: $24.95 - $39 Vendor: Casa Bella Rustic Furniture and Décor

Item: Hand-painted Mexican tin heart mirror with wings Price: $24.99 and up Vendor: Kuka’s Folk Art

Item: Complete bar with rustic cantina look Price: $1,350 Vendor: Casa Bella Rustic Furniture and Décor

Item: Hand-painted jewelry boxes with Diego and Frida art Price: $12 Vendor: Crafts by Amistad

Item: Haircut and eyebrow trim Price: $25 Vendor: Ciao Bella Salon & Color Studio

Item: Pashmina rebozos Price: $10 Vendor: Crafts by Amistad Item: Latin-inspired colorful paintings Price: $40 - $400 Vendor: Casa Bella Rustic Furniture and Décor Item: Rustic ceramics made in Guadalajara, Mexico Price: $20 - $175 Vendor: Casa Bella Rustic Furniture and Décor Item: Spring hairdo, which includes cut, color and possible extensions Price: $35 cut, color starting at $60 and weaves starting at $95 Vendor: Ciao Bella Salon & Color Studio

FOR HOMBRES: Item: Wrought iron wine bottle holder Price: $44.99 Vendor: Kuka’s Folk Art Item: Original painting by local artist Alberto Herrera Price: $500 - $2,400 Vendor: Kuka’s Folk Art Item: Black Frame of Zapata, 46 inches by 24 inches Price: $75

12 | MÁS February 7, 2010

Vendor: Crafts by Amistad

GIFT SUGGESTIONS WERE PROVIDED BY: Kuka’s Folk Art Owner: Ruth Darrington Location: 1609 19th St. Phone Number: 325-0000 Web site: Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays Crafts by Amistad Owners: Eva & Joaquin Patiño Location: Phone: 588-0586 Web site: Casa Bella Rustic Furniture and Décor Owners: Rosa Orozco & Olivia Sanchez Location: 6712 White Lane Phone: 833-1800 Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday Ciao Bella Salon & Color Studio Owner: Julie Todahl Location: 1412 17th St. Phone Number: 477-1663



Put the va-voom in your Valentine’s Day style! Denise Ornelas, a former Miss Teen Kern County Latina, is a local beauty salon owner. Send your question for Denise to: alluringdenise@ or leave your question at: 395-7487

Dear Denise, Valentine’s Day is almost here and my husband always takes me out to a special dinner and night on the town! Of course, I want to look my best for my beloved Valentine. But the same thing always happens to me when I get ready for a special evening — I get the outfit, accessories and shoes all planned out, no problema. Then, I never know how to do my hair! Up, down, curly, straight? Are there any guidelines on what ‘do looks best with certain fashions and for certain occasions? Signed, Hairdo Challenged P.S. I have shoulder-length hair with some layers.

Dear Hairdo Challenged, I luvvvvv Valentine’s Day, too! Time to celebrate amor! The most important thing when it comes to a special occasion hairdo is to make sure you are comfortable with whatever style your trying to pull off!! I remember one time I had this picture in my head of what I wanted my hair to be like for a special Valentine’s date with mi esposo, and by the end of the night, it looked I had Elvira Halloween Hair instead from all the dancing we were doing! If your hair is shoulder length, you have plenty of options. For an evening dinner date, wearing something dressy and sexy (and in roja, of course!), I would try a simple updo or half up half down with some loose curls. If your Valentine wants to take you to a romantic brunch, wear

your tresses in a style a little less complicated and keep it simple. It’s also always fun to add a little heart accessory (a heart necklace or bracelet) with your outfits, get a few hearts painted on your nails and even add a heart or two in a hair accessory. Want to get a little wild for your Valentine? Add some hairpieces for length or even color! And if you still have a hard time with making a ‘do decision, you can always ask your hair artist! I am really lucky in that department, because all of my hairstylists are awesome and hook me up when they know I need help (like everyday … lol!). So have a romantic Valentine’s Day and celebrate love with the one you love! Remember to stay beautiful inside and out! Denise

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MÁS | 13


‘Mixx’ it up with

Noe G By NOE G. Contributing Columnist

Do you know of a comedy show, play, nightclub or other event that you want to share with MÁS magazine? E-mail it to: noeg@ or tadamo@

ello, and welcome back to In the Mixx! Wow, can you believe we’re in February already, the month of love, ha-ha. Spring is on its way and I’m loving this weather.


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January was a cool month, kinda quiet after all the holiday headaches. The Fluffy and Funny guy, Gabriel Iglesias rolled through The Fox for two sold-out shows, thanks for showing him love, Bakersfield!



Jomani Dr.

Local super attorney H.A. Sala was appointed the new president of the Kern County Bar Sala Association — big congrats to him. Oh and to all the fellas out there, don’t forget this is the month of love, you know Valentine’s Day, so start planning your date with your ruca, lol, before everything is all booked up! Tejano bands, Conjunto Califas and Los Tremendos Cinco rocked a local club to a packed house. Late Birthday shouts to the homies — Joey Castaneda, Big Rick Escalara, Felicia Tijerina, Bella Rios, hope you had a

good one! OK, let’s move on, get In the Mixx and see what’s happening this month.

Come out & lounge with me! Join me every Friday night as i spin all your feelgood musik inside The MI GreenRoom Lounge inside the Marriott Hotel, 801 Truxtun Ave., mixing 8 p.m. ‘til last call, no cover, 21+, dressy attire , it’s not a club, it’s a lounge. So come chill, relax, mingle and dance, if you want to. Noe G will be in the mixx mixing Motown/Oldies/Old School/Salsa/Classic Rock/80s90s/ and more. More info @ 661-323-1900.

Super Love Jam is back The Valentine’s Super Love Jam returns, and on the ticket this year is Zapp, Bloodstone, one of my favorites — GQ , Sly Continued on page 24

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s w h Q


Getting down with

Upground! Upground is an East Los Angeles band that offers a cohesive blend of genres into one distinct sound. Their musical roots and character began in East LA, where the still youthful group — comprised of mainly childhood friends — formed a connection. Group members have assorted tastes in music, and early on, mimicked bands such as: The Beatles, Bob Marley, Los Lobos, The Misfits, Led Zeppelin and Tito Puente, amongst others. Such differing musical influences created an energetic fusion of Reggae, Latin, Ska, Cumbia and Rock. Upground has opened for War, The Killers, Los Lobos, Tierra and Ozomatli. They will appear in concert here in Bakersfield, Feb. 13 at Fishlips. For more info, go to: Upground took some time to share more about their band with MÁS — here’s what they had to say: Q: What is your name of your

band and who are the band members? A: Upground — Adolfo Mercado Jr.; Danny Estrada; Aaron Perez; Everardo Garcia (EV); Joe Quinones; Chris Manjarrez (Bolilio); Eric Carrillo; Anthony Medina Q: How did you guys get started? For how long? A: We were friends in junior high & high school (Garfield High in East Los Angeles) and most of us were involved in various music programs from school, jazz band, orchestra and marching band. We were exposed to music very early on and influenced by the local East LA bands on the scene, such as Ozomatli, Quetzal and Quinto Sol. Q: What kind of music do you play? A: Everything, we are an eight-member band and our individual influences and backgrounds vary from classic rock, hiphop, cumbia, reggae, etc., so we fuse this all together. We don’t really have a “genre” or

specific box to identify us. We get called everything from a ska, reggae, swing, cumbia, rock band ... so it’s hard to say. Q: Why are you coming to Bakersfield? Is this your first visit? If not, what do you think of Bakersfield? A: We were invited from Noe G from Hot-94 to play the Valentine’s Show at Fishlips. We’ve been to Bakersfield a few times in the past — the fans are really cool and supportive, always showing us love. Q: How has Latin music influenced your band? A: It helped us find our identity. With that, we formed ourselves musically, which is why and how we started to add cumbia and salsa to our set. Prior to that, we were playing mostly just reggae and way back when, even hip hop. Now we know who we are musically. Q: What message do you have for Bakersfield? A: To stay positive, keep moving forward and continue supporting and introducing live music to your community. Q: Favorite Latino musicians or bands, and why? A: Being that there are eight of us, we all have different styles

and influences. But we do agree on the following: Carlos Santana, War, Ozomatli, Quetzal, El Chicano, Los Fabuloso Cadillacs. Q: What is the message behind your songs? A: On our second album, “Feel the Vibe,” it was about being aware of ourselves and being conscious of our community. We have a song called “night stick NO,” which is about police brutality that was influenced by something one of us witnessed. Then there’s “big mistake, which is about a friend who started using drugs and he influenced that song. On our upcoming album, “Stay Cool” is sort of the follow-up to knowing what’s going on, but not letting it overpower you, staying positive, “Stay Cool.” Q: Any big projects coming up? A: Yes, our third CD, “Stay Cool” — the music is finished, the artwork is in progress. — Massvmixx presents “BAILA,” a pre-Valentine’s Day Get Down, featuring from East LA, Upground. Also performing will be Bakersfield’s Vanity Avenue with WAR’s very own Marcos Reyes. Opening DJ set by Noe G! Come out Saturday, Feb. 13 at Fishlips. Doors open at 8 p.m., $10 cover and drink specials all night! February 7, 2010

MÁS | 15


Super Bowl! Super Fans! 16 | MÁS February 7, 2010

Well, it’s that time of year again — right about now, MÁS readers are probably gathering with friends & family for another Super Bowl fiesta! We figured as much, and since our February issue comes out on Feb. 7, Super Bowl Sunday, we thought, “Why not feature some Super Fans?” So between gorging on those hot wings and nachos, washed down with a cold beverage of your choice (cerveza, perhaps?), we hope you’ll enjoy this look at some local football lovers who know what it’s like to root for your team — win or lose, in good times and in bad ones, too. Because, after all, isn’t that what true Super Fans are all about? And to all the Super Fans of MÁS out there, here’s hoping for a good game, good food and good times! Let’s get this party started!

Peyton Edmondson Name: Peyton Edmondson Occupation: Student Favorite team and why: Indianapolis Colts because they are my daddy’s favorite team and I’m my “daddy’s girl.” Favorite player and why: Peyton Manning. Well, I’m named after him and he’s just the best! How did you become a fan of your team: I was born a Colts fan. Rival football team and why: I don’t really have one. But no one at my house likes the New England Patriots. Favorite Sunday football moment: I don’t have one ,but my mom and dad tell me that on the Monday night I was born, the Colts played the Bills. And, of course, the Colts won. Why does your team deserve to be Super Bowl winners: THEY ARE THE BEST!

Joe Jimenez Name: Joe Jimenez Occupation: Interim CEO KCHCC Favorite team and why: Cowboys — I love America and they are America’s Team! Favorite player and why: Troy Aikman — In 1989 (his rookie year), he went 0-11. During the 1990’s, he led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Rings, six straight Pro Bowls and 90 wins, which is a record for any quarterback, in any decade. He was a great role model, on and off the field, and continues to be part of the game as a commentator on Fox Sports. Second favorite is Primetime (Dion Sanders), always exciting to watch! How did you become a fan of your team: Childhood team. Tom Landry and his hat; Roger Staubach in Shotgun formation and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. At the age of 10, it didn’t get any better then that! Rival football team: ALL NFC EAST teams, but particularly the Eagles. ‘Cause the Giants, Cardinals and Redskins really don’t have the game to hang with us ... they’re more like AFC teams, if you know what I mean. Favorite Sunday football moment: Fourth-quarter, twominute warning, ‘Boys up by 20 — GAME OVER! Why your team deserves to be Super Bowl winners: AMERICA’S TEAM, BABY — END OF STORY! Continued on page 18 February 7, 2010

MÁS | 17


Abel Sixtos Name: Abel Sixtos Occupation: Owner of McMurphy’s Bar & Grill Favorite team and why: The 49ers! Growing up as a kid, everyone around me was Dallas this and Dallas that. I’m the type of guy that goes for the underdogs, and at that time, the ‘Niners were a rivalry. So at about 8 years old, I picked my team and stuck with them ever since. Favorite player and why: Joe Montana — for the simple fact that he was the best! Rival football team and why: To me, it would be Arizona (Cardinals), only because

we’re in the same division. Why does your team deserve to be Super Bowl winners: Because we have a good team and a really good coach. Some people might disagree, but to each his own. I’ll be cheering them on, no matter if we’re winning or losing. Favorite Sunday football moment: The Sunday of “The Catch,” the winning touchdown reception by Dwight Clark off a Joe Montana pass in the NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. I was pretty young, and that’s when I really started to like the 49ers.

Nicole Parra Name: Nicole Marie Parra Occupation: President, NMP Consulting, Inc. Favorite team and why: Oakland Raiders — My father, Pete Parra and brother, Peter Parra loved the Raiders. Growing up watching Raider football games in the 1980s was what we did after going to church. It was not a good time to visit the Parra house when the Raiders lost. Favorite player and why: I have many ... Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, and Marcus Allen. They all demonstrated to me “Commitment to Excellence.” I also loved watching Marcus Allen on fourth-down, inside the 5-yard line, jump over his opponents to score a touchdown! How did you become a fan of your team: I also became a fan because I love going to

Romeo Name: Romeo Occupation: Morning Show Host on Hot 94.1, Monday-Friday, 6 to 10 a.m. Favorite team and why: The Kansas City Chiefs are my team. I got stuck with them years ago, when I was a Joe Montana fan. Favorite player and why: Joe Montana — he’s just the best quarterback to play the game and my dad raised me on the San Francisco 49ers. How did you become a fan of your team: When the ‘Niners traded Joe Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs, I just left went

18 | MÁS February 7, 2010

with him and never left. Rival football team and why: The Oakland Raiders, for no other reason than the fans just deserve all the misery that the team brings them! Favorite Sunday football moment for you: Every Sunday is my favorite. Just hanging out with fans of football, drinking beers and eating wings and fries. And going through the highs and lows of your team winning or losing a close game. Why does your team deserve to be Super Bowl winners: Just so the “Probation Nation” has to live with it for the year!

the Oakland Coliseum. Hanging out with folks from the Raider Nation is fantastic. It is also great that there are so many Raider fans in Bakersfield, where I grew up. Being a Raider fan, you take a lot of verbal abuse from folks like Romeo, but just ask him ... When it comes to giving back to the community, you can count on Raider fans. I am pleased to report my nephews, Peter Parra (4 years old) and Luke Parra (2 years old) are Raider fans, too! Rival football team: Chargers and Chiefs Favorite Sunday football moment: Watching the Raiders win Super Bowls in the 1980s. Greatest Sundays in my life! Especially seeing my family so happy. Why your team deserve to be Super Bowl winners: “Just Win, Baby.”



Finding the greatest love of all y Mujer, girlfriend Whitney had it right, the greatest love of all is to love yourself. Ay, pero, pobrecita Whitney; she was sidetracked and seemed to only sing her song for much too long. But, now girlfriend got it back and has the greatest love. I used to be a big Whitney fan, but when she had all the drama going on with Bobby, I was no longer a full-fledged fan. After she re-emerged and did her interview with Oprah, I started to pay attention again and found myself intently listening to her music, the words this time, not the melody. I know much too many mujeres who don’t love themselves enough and give into what they believe to be love. There are many philosophers, psychologists, artists, poets, lyricists and playwrights who have espoused the “true” meaning of love, mostly romantic love, si verdad. They sometimes disagree and other times agree, but they all seem to say that the feeling, love, is indescribable. If you


find yourself for a loss of words, then it must be “true love,” verdad? ¡Ay ‘tan loco! News flash, mujer! That’s euphoria, not love. I disagree that love is indescrib“Ay Mujer” is written able, and if by Deborah Ramirez, you find a proud Chicana de yourself for a Bakersfield. loss of words to explain how you feel, then spend some time in Family Court and you’ll see the result of what you once couldn’t previously find words to describe, what you believed love to be.

OK, so lo siento, mujer. I’m trying to rub off the calluses and it seems out of character for me, I know, I know ... Pero, I just have more knowledge than I’d like on certain subjects. Just take it from someone who knows what love isn’t. Learn to love yourself and don’t allow anyone to tear away your dignity. Hold your head up high. Remember what others have done for you, but never walk in their shadows. Realize that they sacrificed for you so you’d have a better life. Your children are your future. Teach them well and they will lead you away. They are beautiful and so are you. Live as you believe, and you will realize more than you could ever describe. Find the strength within yourself, and you’ll experience the greatest joy of all, the love you’ll feel from others once you have the greatest love of all. Find the gift that keeps on giving.

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MÁS | 19


Network Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

February 2010


Over 100 business professionals gathered for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s first mixer of the year, which was hosted by First Mortgage Corporation, located at 4630 California Ave.

First Mortgage mixer starts out 2010 with great success & fun! — Contributed by KCHCC

he first business networking mixer of the year … what a success! Over 100 business professionals attended the Jan. 13th event hosted by First Mortgage Corporation located at 4630 California Ave. Incoming KCHCC Chair, Ramona Herrera introduced the chamber board members present and Michael Valverde, Mortgage Banker with First Mortgage Corporation. Michael spoke to chamber members and guests about the many mortgage programs and banking needs the corporation provides. After, guests were treated to appetizers and refreshments. It was a great evening of networking! First Mortgage Corporation is an independent residential Mortgage Banking firm with branch offices located throughout the West. Founded in 1975, FMC is a direct-lending mortgage banker approved as a lender and/or loan servicer by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA); the Veterans


20 | MÁS February 7, 2010

Administration (VA); the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae); the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac); the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae); the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA); the Nevada Housing Division; the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS); the California Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS); and many other major secondary market institutions. With more than 350 employees, it has assisted more than 70,000 families with their mortgage needs. FMC enables families to enjoy the American Dream of Homeownership … “It’s the only thing we do.” FMC has a longstanding tradition of providing unparalleled customer service and a reputation built on adding value to the home loan process. That’s why FMC should be considered …“YOUR FIRST LENDING RESOURCE.” For more information, contact Michael Valverde 3213300 or stop by their Bakersfield location at 4630 California Ave.


Thank you to our membership renewals and welcome to our newest members. We appreciate your support.

A letter from Chair Herrera


Dear Members and Friends,


Thank you for renewing your membership! • Sylvia Lopez, Attorney at Law • Staples Energy & Associates • San Joaquin Bookkeeping & Tax Service • Rodriguez & Associates • Perez Asphalt Construction Ltd. • Mish Funeral Home

• Haddad Dodge/Haddad Kia • Gregory A. Stainer, M.D., F.A.C.S. • Faith in Action, Kern County, Inc. • Camino Villa Real Insurance Services • Bank of America

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER Blue Ribbon Transportation and Limousine Service Contact: Jeff Russinsky and Sig Hoffman 1130 24th Street Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661) 322-5466


SAVE THE DATE Thursday, Feb. 11 Business Mixer hosted by MÁS Magazine Four Points by the Sheraton 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. For info, contact 395-7487. Wednesday, Mar. 10 Business Mixer Spring Hill Suites by

Marriott 3801 Marriott Drive 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. For info, contact 3774000. Wednesday, Apr. 14 Business Mixer hosted by Personal Express Insurance 5301 Truxtun Ave. Suite 100

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. For info, contact 6344617. Friday, Apr. 30 KCHCC Spring Social & Casino Night Hosted by Golden West Casino 1001 S. Union Ave. For info, contact 6335495.

appy Valentine’s, everyone! I’d like to thank Michael Valverde and his team at First Mortgage Corporation, located at 4630 California Ave., for hosting the first business mixer of the year on Jan. 13. It was a successful networking mixer, well attended by members and friends. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next business mixer scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11, hosted by MÁS Magazine at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel located at 5101 California Ave. Thank you to all of the board members and membership who came out to the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Feb. 5 for Agave Mexican Grill & Cantina located at 250 Oak St. Congratulations and best wishes to Arturo and Omar Ruiz — they have been serving Kern County residents throughout the years with great food and


service at their La Mina restaurants. On Jan. 23, the Chamber’s Board of Directors held its Strategic Planning Session. The session entailed setting goals and time tables for the planning of fundraising events, such as our Menudo Cook-Off held in June, monthly business mixers and increased membership, just to name a few of the agenda items. We are very excited and looking forward to another successful year. The board of directors would like to welcome our new chamber member listed in this month’s newsletter. We also appreciate renewed memberships, thank you for your continued support. Wishing all of you continued success, may we all keep looking forward for a positive 2010! Sincerely,

Ramona Herrera Chair Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce State Farm Insurance

KCHCC BOARD Mission Statement:

2010 Executive Board

To create, promote and enhance business opportunities for our membership and provide business, cultural and resource linkages with emphasis on the Hispanic community.

CHAIR- Ramona Herrera

2010 Board of Directors Michael Urioste Adam Alvidrez


Adriana Lopez

Ruben Gonzales


Chris Bernal

SECRETARY- David Alanis

Donna Hermann

CHAIR-ELECT- Jesse Bonales

Fran Trevino

Blodgie Rodriguez Donna Hollingsworth

PAST-CHAIR - Joe Jimenez

Hilary Baird

Administrative Asst.

Cyndi Imperial

For more information visit: or call the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce office at 633-5495.

Joe Serrano February 7, 2010

MÁS | 21


Community events at CBCC — Courtesy of Michelle Chavez, CBCC

• CBCC Families Fighting Cancer Valentine’s Day Dance, Saturday, Feb. 13, 5 to 9 p.m at CBCC, 6501 Truxtun Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93309 • CBCC Families Fighting Cancer invites you to our Valentine’s Day Dance to be held at the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, 6501 Truxtun Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93309. Frugatti’s will be catering an Italian dinner and there will be dancing, raffles and more! Tickets are $10 per person, if purchased before Feb. 8; $12 per person after that. To purchase tickets for this charity event, please call Michelle Chavez at 862-7145. Space is limited — 100 percent of the proceeds benefit Kern County patient programs and services. • CBCC Prostate Screening Clinic Saturday, Feb. 20 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at CBCC, 6501 Truxtun Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93309 • Call now to make a free appointment at (661) 862-7145. Each appointment will only take 15 minutes. Prostate cancer is the No. 1 killer of men. If you are over 45, you need to be tested once a year. Early prostate cancer detection can save your life! Put your fears aside and get screened. Taking care of your family means taking care of yourself. Sponsored by: CBCC Families Fighting Cancer in conjunction with local urologists.


The 2010 Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at their strategic planning session held at the home of Board Director Jan Bans Jan. 23.

Board of Directors gather for strategy & planning session — Contributed by KCHCC

he 2010 Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors gathered last month for a strategic planning session to review goals and objectives regarding business services and fundraisers for the coming year. Chair, Ramona Herrera led the session and reviewed the chamber’s by-laws, board responsibilities, and mission statement. The board discussed the vision and values of the chamber, and strategic focus for the year. “I feel very strongly about the level of commitment set forth by this year’s board,” said Herrera. “We are extremely excited and looking forward to another successful year.”


2010 Event and Business Committee Chairs: Event Chairs: Spring Social and Casino Night - David Alanis; Latino Food Festival and Menudo Cook-off - Jay Tamsi; Hispanic Trade Show - Michael Urioste; Golf Tournament - Joe Jimenez. Committee Chairs: Business Services Donna Hermann; Chamber Membership Ruben Gonzales; Public Relations and Marketing - Jay Tamsi and Joe Jimenez; ByLaw and Parliamentarian Committee -Jan Bans, Joe Jimenez, and Chris Bernal; Government Relations - Adam Alvidrez and Hilary Baird. — If you would like to get involved in a committee, event, or become a sponsor, contact the chamber office at 633-5495. For a list of calendar of events, visit our Web site at:




AT&T donates $20,000 to BC Money to go toward foundation for career education & hands-on training — Contributed by Jan Bans

T&T announced early December, a $20,000 contribution to the Bakersfield College Foundation to enhance career and technical education programs. The funding will support development of facilities and training courses for the college’s Student Intern Program and Job Readiness Academy, which provides students with handson experience in career-related work. AT&T’s contribution is part of its ongoing efforts to support education and help address high school success and workforce readiness across the country. The Bakersfield College career and technical education programs offer pathways into a variety of fields, including agriculture, natural resources, health services, engineering, and industrial technology.


Many of the students enrolled are from low-income, minority communities, who are often the first in their families to attend college. AT&T has made it a priority to support educational programs that serve these communities. “We are very grateful for AT&T’s generosity and dedication to public education,” said Mike Stepanovich, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation. “Many of the students we serve have limited opportunities, and this will allow more young people to prepare for meaningful careers.” AT&T has committed $100 million in philanthropy through 2011 to schools and non-profit organizations that are focused on high school retention and better preparation for college and the workforce. “AT&T has long recognized that we all benefit from a better educational system

and a capable workforce,” said Jan Bans, AT&T External Affairs — Kern County. “In this economy and with California’s education budget cuts, many young Stepanovich people are having a difficult time getting the education and career preparation they deserve. AT&T is pleased to do its part for programs like those at Bakersfield College to help under served populations.”

Need for life insurance spans all ages & all stages By Ramona Herrera State Farm Agent

ike Thompson died in a car accident, leaving behind his wife, Amanda, their two boys, and stiff financial challenges. After that, Amanda recalls, “I put the house up for sale and we moved in with my mother.” About six months later, she purchased life insurance on herself telling her agent, “I don’t want this to happen to my children.” Amanda’s story illustrates how being without life insurance can leave families vulnerable to financial hardship. However, the need for life insurance is not limited to families. When you’re single with no dependents, you may not need much life insur-


ance. But you should at least have enough to cover final expenses, so your parents or siblings aren’t burdened with these costs. Once you’re married, you share a life and a home with someone else. Now if the worst happens, your spouse may be left with a rent or mortgage payment he/she can’t afford. At this point, it’s time for both spouses to get individual life policies. When you have children, you have their future to think about. Life insurance can help your spouse keep up with child care and other expenses, as well as save for education and retirement. In retirement, life insurance becomes an important part of your estate plan, allowing you to pass wealth to future generations or a charity. There are two basic categories of life insurance — term and permanent. Term insurance can be purchased in

large amounts for a small initial premium. It is well suited for short-term goals. Coverage lasts for a specified term. After this term has ended, it expires unless renewed by paying higher premiums. Permanent life insurance provides a death benefit while the policy is in force. The premiums are initially higher than those of term insurance, but in many cases, they can be cheaper over the life of the insured. Permanent life insurance usually builds up a tax-deferred cash value and is well suited for long-term goals. Whichever option you choose, make sure your policy coverage keeps pace with your life stage — now, and in the future. — State Farm Insurance provides articles such as this one to its agents to communicate their services. February 7, 2010

MÁS | 23

Continued from page 14

Slick & Wicked and Barbara Lewis. Also, Bakersfield’s favorite MC Magic. All this going down Feb. 12 at The Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Tickets are $25.75 $35.75 at or the Rabobank Arena box office. Doors open at 7 p.m. See you there, ese!

Dance, dance, dance! Massvmixx presents “Baila,” a pre-Valentine’s Day Get Down — come dance to cumbias/salsa/ska reggae and some cool, Latin funky beats. Saturday, Feb. 13, inside Fishlips Bar 1517 18th St., featuring from Los Angeles, Cali “Upground,” also Bakersfield’s “Vanity Ave,” plus an opening DJ set by Noe G. Doors open at 8 p.m., 21+, $10 cover, cool drink specials and a good time ... so come out and dance like no one’s watching info at 661-324-2557

Mariachis at the Fox Monterrey productions and Budlight presents once again

Mariachi Vargas de Telcalitlan, Mariachi Los Comperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Estrellas de Guadalajara de Rueben Ramos in concert Feb. 12 at The Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Tickets are $40-$80 at or call 661-322-5200. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and for you borachos, they will be selling alcohol, and sodas for the ladies ... More info at 661324-1369.

Get your Martes gordo on at Fishlips Feb. 16! The most grande party to kick 2010 into gear is coming on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 16! Also known as “Mardi Gras” in French, Fishlips, 1517 18th St., is once again hosting this hugely popular event. There will be all-you-caneat authentic Cajun-style cuisine, along with live music by Mento Buru, Soulajar, Joel Jacob, and DJ Mikey providing the funky soundtrack. The party kicks off at 7 p.m. and costs only $10. It gets packed, so make your reservations now

Joel Jacob at: 324-2557. ■ Now for my night club quick reviews, i mentioned that i would be reviewing some of the clubs we have in town, so here you go real quick, first, Club Cabana Palms, its too dark in there get a better light show and the music selection could be better! Second, Replay, i like Replay but your bartenders S%ck! Third, Que Pasa (Valley Plaza) cool venue,

but too many guys and the same girls every week! There you go, your monthly night spots review, if you disagree, shoot me an e-mail ... it’s all good, lol ... That’s just my opinion nd no one else’s. Check out the homie Matt from Mento along with Miranda Whitworth on “Bakotopia Radio,” on local station KRAB Radio (106.1fm) or at every Sunday night, from 9 to 10 p.m. The show features local bands’

We Deliver Fun For All Ages

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Business Mixer Thurs., Feb. 11th 5:30p - 8:30p ß Four Points by Sheraton 5101 California Ave. Bakersfield Appetizers by Four Points Music by MÁS columnist, DJ Noe G in the Mixx

ß Members - $3 ß Non-Members - $5 Hosted by:

For more information please call (661) 323-0331

24 | MÁS February 7, 2010

Birthday Partys • Company Events • Church Events School Events • Fundraisers • Festivals and Street Fairs

• Bounce House • Combo Units • Dry Slides • Water Units • Obstacle Courses • Carnival Games • Rock Walls • Table and Chairs • Catering • And More. Fully Insured Clean & Sanitized

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music, in-studio guests and lots of cool giveaways — tune in every Sunday night for the only local music show in town! ■ Musica you should have in your iPod or car, here are my top three jams for this month: 1. “On To The Next” nJay Z F/ Swizz Beats. 2. “I Wanna Rock” Snoop Dog 3. “Speak French” Jamie Foxx F/ Gucci Mane. There you go, my top three — buy

Mento Buru

s t thi oun ing disc r B r fo ad

them and play it loud! Oh, here’s a back-in-the-day one for you, “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie ... shhaaaa! lol! ■ Well, until next time, be cool and remember don’t drink and drive — be safe and have a cool month. Peace, love and lots of musika ... Noe G! New E-mail: RIP Matthew Romero, always in our hearts.




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26 | MÁS February 7, 2010

ply feel that the ballot is too complicated and it feels like it’s somewhat of a test that you would get in school.” “There are too many important issues affecting minority communities for people not to participate,” said Nicole Parra, who represented Kern County’s 30th Assembly District until she was termed out of office in 2008. Now a Fresno-based government consultant, Parra noted that the Central Valley struggles with persistent poverty issues. The valley’s average per capita income is 32.2 percent lower than the rest of the state; college attendance is 50 percent below state average; and the unemployment rate is among the highest. To mobilize “voters, people need to feel like they make a difference, they are part of a team,” said Parra. “Most importantly, voters want to know that the elected official cares about their needs and their concerns.” The Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) has been meeting with Kern County activists in hopes of encouraging minority voters to participate in this year’s critical elections. “It’s a matter of empowering people to get involved with their government at the national, state and local levels,” explained Danny Lee, president of APAPA’s Central Valley Chapter. Les Fong, vice president of APAPA’s Central Valley Chapter, said his organization is planning to hold a May 2010 town hall meeting in Bakersfield to bring local and state candidates before Kern County voters. A voter education program also is being developed. Fong, a Stockton advertising executive, can be reached by email at: According to estimated U.S. Census data, Latinos in 2008 comprised 47.1 percent of Kern County’s population, with nonLatino whites comprising 41.1 percent. Blacks were 6.4 percent, with the remainder of Kern County’s population of 800,458 being comprised of various other minority ethnic groups.

Yet, non-Latino white voters have the political clout in California. The Public Policy Institute of California reported last fall that while Latinos make up about 32 percent of the state’s adult population, they are only 17 percent of the registered voters most likely to turn out in elections. By contrast, whites constitute 47 percent of California’s adult population, but 68 percent of the state’s likely voters. Many Latinos and other ethnic minorities are not citizens and therefore not eligible to vote. U.S. Census estimates for 2008 indicate about 68 percent of Kern County’s 155,938 foreign-born residents — and that population figure includes children and immigrants who are legally in this country — are not U.S. citizens. But even removing the citizenship factor, Latinos and most ethnic minority groups in California and Kern County have a low voter turnout rate, according to researchers and political observers. Lee explained that many new citizens come from countries that have repressive governments. Voter participation is not understood or considered relevant. “They are not involved. They stay within their families. They keep to themselves,” he said. Recent gains by Latino politicians, who have been elected to local and state offices, should not be overestimated, warned Florez. “Yes, you have Latinos who are taking on greater and more significant roles in government, but that was not always the case, even 10 years ago,” he said. “There is a nascent rise in political power among Latinos … (but the Latino community) is growing astronomically in California. “We are entering a period where California will become the most integrated, multi-cultural population ever in the history of the world and it’s all been accomplished relatively peacefully,” he said. Minority participation in the political system is “a big deal because this integration is important to our survival as a society.” Citing the findings of Bakersfield researcher Jesus Gar-

cia, Menendez of the MAOF noted Kern County has 113,000 “high propensity voters” — people who have voted in three of the last five elections. Of these, 35,000, or about 32 percent, are Latino. Of the 10,000 new voters in Kern County, 4,000 were Latinos — 43 percent registered Democrats, 20 percent Republican and “a whopping 30 percent were declined to state. (That sends) a big message to the Democratic and Republican parties, don’t you think?” she

said. Rubio suggests the political clout of minority communities could be awakened in 2010. While people are focused on survival, “in times of great stress, as we currently are in, pressure builds for change,” said Rubio, who is running for the 16th state Senate seat and hopes to replace the termed-out incumbent. The 2010 elections could be about that change.




NO GANAMOS NO COBRAMOS Oficinas Legales de Richard Sadeddin

Segunda Opinion En Caso Existente

Continued from page 07

Census questionnaires will be mailed out in March and are to be mailed back by April 1, Olaguez said. Between April and July, Census workers will go door-to-door to households that did not return questionnaires and seek responses. This year’s Census questionnaire contains only 10 questions. It is much shorter than the forms used by the Census in

2000. That year, some households received a lengthy American Community Survey, which included lifestyle questions. The hiring of part-time enumerators for the door-to-door phase of the Census will get into high gear in February, said Olaguez. Enumerators will work flexible and part-time hours from April until July, earning about $11 to $19 an hour.

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MAS Magazine - February 2010  

MAS Magazine in Bakersfield and Kern County's PREMIER monthly English language Latino publication! Available FREE! Don't miss this next issu...

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