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September 6-12, 2009


Field trips of dreams for northwest kids Pg. 4 Boost for Raiders Pg. 5 Creative juices flow for young writers Pg. 6

Stomping out ALS

Sixth annual walk to ‘D’Feat’ disease, pg. 3


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


SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009

Share stories, photos, blogs in


Kamala and Don Kruzka with friends from the Omnipresent Puppet Theater.

Couple performs bedtime stories with puppets — COURTESY OF GASLIGHT MELODRAMA


he Omnipresent Puppet Theater has announced that they will be performing two shows this fall at the Gaslight Melodrama Theatre, 12748 Jomani Drive. The puppets will be performing Jack and the Beanstalk, Saturday, Sept. 12 and 18 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Hansel and Gretel, Nov. 7, 14 and 21 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $6. The Omnipresent Puppet Theater is a labor of love by husband and wife team, Don and Kamala Kruzka.

Don, as the head puppeteer, brings over 15 years of professional experience to his work. From writing scripts, to building the puppets, to performing in the shows, Don does it all. Kamala holds her MFS in theater education and brings her experience as a theater educator to the puppet shows. From their first Bakersfield performance in 2006, The Omnipresent Puppet Theater has gained the reputation for being a popular choice for children’s entertainment. For more information, please call the Melodrama box office at 587-3377.

Have a great story to tell? How about a nice photo of your kids you’d like to share? Or maybe you have a blog that you think is interesting or inspiring. Well, we’d like to get it into The Bakersfield Voice, our citizen journalism newspaper distributed to more than 75,000 households each week. It’s easy to do, just go to our Web site:, create a FREE profile and begin posting your stories, photos and blogs today. If you are not sure about grammar or punctuation, don’t worry. We’ll help you by editing it before putting it in the newspaper. So, how do you get it into print? Well, the best thing to do is post early and often. The Bakersfield Voice prints on Thursdays and is distributed on Sundays to some Bakersfield households, along with scores of racks at local businesses. The best way to get something into print is to post a couple of weeks before you’d like for it to get into print. And although we can’t guarantee that your stories or photos will get into The Voice, you can increase your odds by getting your postings done by the following deadlines:

Issue Run dates

Sept. 20 - 26 Sept. 27 - Oct. 3 Oct. 4 - 10 Oct. 11 - 17 Oct. 18 - 24 Oct. 25 - 31 Nov. 1 - 7 Nov. 8 - 14 Nov. 15 - 21

Posting deadline to The Voice Web site Items must be posted before Weds., Sept. 9 Items must be posted before Weds., Sept. 16 Items must be posted before Weds., Sept. 23 Items must be posted before Weds., Sept. 30 Items must be posted before Weds., Oct. 7 Items must be posted before Weds., Oct. 14 Items must be posted before Weds., Oct. 21 Items must be posted before Weds., Oct. 28 Items must be posted before Weds., Nov. 4 If you’d like to advertise:

Please contact The Voice Sales Manager, Jaime De Los Santos, at 716-8632.

NJB basketball registration Sept. 7 & 8 — COURTESY OF NJB BASKETBALL


ational Junior Basketball League will be holding Winter 2009-2010 registration. Walk-up registration will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Sept. 7 and 8 at Stockdale Christian School, 4901 California Ave., or register online at:



Happy 12th Birthday, Joey Waters!



Olivia Garcia Vice President / Content

Jaime De Los Santos Sales Manager 7168632

Teresa Adamo Associate Editor Sandra Molen Contributions Coordinator

ART Kent Kuehl Designer

OFFICE Marisol Sorto Office Administrator 716-8640

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.



Get in step to fight ALS! BY LORNA AND MICHAEL MCWILLIAMS Community contributor

he Sixth annual “Walk to D’Feat ALS” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Park at River Walk to help raise money for local patient services and awareness of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease in Kern County. Last year, over $100,000 was raised, which is used to fund a local support group and services for ALS patients and their families. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a devastating, degenerative neuromuscular disease that can strike without warning or family history. Sixty-



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

SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009

4 5 6

Out in the field

School field trips have become rare, so these moms planned their own for their kids.

Club ‘raiding’ Bakersfield

Football season is about to kick-off and the Bakersfield Raiders Booster Club is ready!

Getting creative

Your Creative Corner returns! Local girls write about their lives. Post your “Creative Corner” story at:


About the cover

Michael Gagner and Mike's Miracles team at the 2008 walk.

one years have passed since Lou Gehrig’s death from ALS, yet there is still no known cure or effective treatment for this illness. It remains a 100 percent fatal disease that continues to strike down even the healthiest men and women in their prime. As the disease progresses, a person’s body can become totally paralyzed while the mind and senses remain unaffected. Simple tasks such as talking, walking, and eating become increasingly difficult and then impossible as the body’s muscles waste away. The financial burden to the families of persons with ALS can be up to $200,000 a year and the emotional cost is incalculable. “Walk to

D’Feat ALS” will be a three-mile walk in the Park at the River Walk. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and this Walk will help raise funds for local patient services while creating awareness of ALS and the ALS Association. There are sponsorship opportunities available and we are forming teams of walkers now. If this disease has affected your family or you know of someone who has ALS, please consider walking in their honor or memory. See for information on donating, volunteering, or forming a walking team. You may also contact Lorna or Michael McWilliams at 589-0303. Get in step to fight ALS!

The Michael Gagner family, members of team “Mike’s Miracles,” participate in “Walk to D’Feat ALS,” an annual fundraiser for ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Your photo could be on our next cover! Photos and stories for the Sept. 20 issue must be posted by Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.


AKC event at Yokuts Park will go to the dogs! BY JOANNE ROWLES Community contributor

he American Kennel Club has declared Saturday, Sept. 12 “AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day” and announced hundreds of events to be held nationwide, including one right here in Bakersfield! The goal of the event is to educate first-time owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and to help current owners enhance their relationships with their dogs. AKC Responsible Dog Ownership and to help current owners enhance their relationships with their dogs. AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day helps bring attention to the fact that dog ownership, while immensely rewarding, should not be entered into lightly. It’s crucial to understand the commitment involved and to learn as much as you can about dogs and their specific breed before bringing home a new four-footed family member. This year’s event is hosted by Responsible Dog Owners of Kern County and Anderson Acres. It will


resources in the area. be held at Yokuts Park, Saturday, Sept. 12 from SEVENTH ANNUAL Dog experts will be on 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. hand to assist with RESPONSIBLE DOG AKC-affiliated dog locating a reputable OWNERSHIP DAY clubs as well as many breeder, training, other dog and pet-relatadvice on health, nutri• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ed organizations will tion, socialization and • Saturday, Sept. 12 participate. how to find low cost • Yokuts Park (off Kern Activities will spay/neuter programs. River Parkway) include AKC Canine Everyone is encourGood Citizen tests, fly- • Details, 845-8955 aged to attend this ball, tracking, obediFREE event. Rememence, rally, agility and ber, though, all dogs conformation demonstrations, low should be on leashes — and please, cost micro-chipping as well as vacno aggressive dogs. cinations (both bargains!), adop— Responsible Dog Owners of tions, licensing, police dogs, child Kern County organized to bring safety around dogs, disaster preparedness for your pets, raffle, pet people of all ages and cultures photographer, Country Canines, together at a place featuring the Blessing of the Animals, and the many organizations and resources very popular doggie fashion con- dedicated to enhancing the humancanine bond through responsible test! Also, this year Miss Millie and dog ownership. — Anderson Acres is a full-service Cocoa will be on hand for face painting and other child friendly pet care facility in Kern County activities, and Byron Rhodes, a car- that features boarding, grooming, icature artist, will be there to draw training and transportation. It’s caricatures of people and their been owned for more than 20 years by Janice Anderson, who along dogs. This event is an ideal way to meet with her staff, “Treat your pets like canine experts and learn about family.”


AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day brings attention to the commitment needed for pet ownership.


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SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009



A “really cool” field trip to The Bakersfield Californian’s printing plant. A group of moms from the northwest arranged for their kids to tour a variety of local businesses.

Day tripping! Moms bring back field trip fun — and learning — for their kids BY GINA RASMUSSEN Community contributor


n this day and age, field trips have become a thing of the past for some of our kids. Budget cuts and time constraints due to the pres-

sures of state testing has taken away the valuable learning experience outside of the classroom, which comes from a field trip. This summer, a group of moms from the northwest came together and planned some really cool field trips for their kids.


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Our group went on a field trip to a variety places in and out of Bakersfield. We kicked off the summer with a fantastic field trip to Dewar’s and learned how candy and ice cream are made. After learning how the famous Dewar chew was made, we sampled a freshly made peanut butter chew and ended the trip with a scoop of ice cream. Next, we went to WinCo Foods and learned about all the different departments in the store and even did some food sampling! They gave us cheese and ham from the deli, honey and almond butter from the bulk foods, cookies from the bakery and finally, a slice of pizza and a soda from Leonardi’s. The kids and parents were full

after this experience. We cooled off during the summer at The Ravine Water Park in Paso Robles and rode the train to Hanford and back for only $7 through Amtrak’s Kids’n Trains program. Our final destination was The Bakersfield Californian, where we learned how the newspaper was printed from start to finish. The kids were amazed when they saw the huge rolls of paper stacked so high and all the printing machines running all at once, printing our local newspaper. Thank you, Dewar’s, WinCo Foods, Amtrak and The Bakersfield Californian for a wonderful hands-on learning experience for our kids this summer.

Nature contest for Voice Enter TBV’s newest contest, “Nature’s Beautiful Moments.” Send us your best nature photo and a short story (no more than 200 words) about what inspired you to take the shot, where you were and what you find most beautiful about nature. If your entry is selected, you will win SIX tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (a $200 value) — talk about a great venue in which to capture nature! Details, go to:


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

SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009





inda Larma and Daughters Academe of Dance held its annual summer dance recital as a fundraiser for the Kern County Child Abuse Prevention Council. The three recitals were held to packed houses at the Gaslight Melodrama Theater Aug. 8, with over 100 children participating in the show. Admission to the show was an item of canned food or a hygiene product. “The summer dance recital was not only a lot of fun, but it provided lots of food and hygiene products for our pantry,” said Karen Cooley, executive director of the Kern County Child Abuse Prevention Council. “We get requests for these items every week and thanks to the dance studio, we are able to fill those requests immediately.”


The Bakersfield Raiders Booster Club president, Raider Ron, celebrating the club’s 25th anniversary. For more information on club membership, call 588-8441.


ome and join the only NFL Oakland Raiders sponsored club here in Bakersfield — The Bakersfield Raiders Booster Club, established in 1984. We are a non-profit club that donates all money raised from its great raffles to the Bak-


Jack Prince and Olivia Ayla enjoy the stage.

Educator of the Month

Educator of the month

ersfield Children’s Cancer Society. So don’t wait any longer, come and join fellow Raider lovers for a great time with a club that is going stronger than ever in its 25th year as an NFL sponsored club. For more information, contact Raider Ron at 588-8441. Go Raiders!

Mr.About Rhodes Thinking a New Career? Nominated by Guadalupe Hernández

Do Something About It!

Mrs. Sara Silva Nominated by Alexandra Hensler My teacher, Mrs. Sara Silva, is a great spirited and wonderful teacher! She always helped me whenever I have a question and really helps you understand everything by also giving fun examples. One time all of us had a state report to do, so to help us, Mrs. Silva taught us to make a fun poster and gave us time and help to do it in class and in computer lab. Mrs. Silva has a really adorable and sweet daughter, Megan, so she also treats us like we are family, which makes us all feel warm inside. The great part about that is she still says, “It’s OK” and comforts us, but still tells us we need to still do our work. Sometimes she will take us out for P.E. and we To submit yourMrs. nominee for Educator the Month, can just have fun. I really love Silva and of she is the best teacher I have ever had! go to: www.northwest then click on “Post Something!” and contribute a paragraph about why you appreciate and would like to recognize your nominee. Be sure

I wouldtojust like to say name, thank you for being a great teacher include the educator’s school, department and picture. The contest is open toMrs. Sileducators inreading! the Southwest area. Entries can also be e-mailed to: va! Also, thank you for Each month the winning entry $50 gift certificate, compliments of GW School Supply and The Northwest Voice. Sponsored by

■ If you have a teacher you think is great, nominate them for Educator of the Month by going to: and posting an article. Nominations should tell us in 50 words or less why your teacher is the best and MUST also include their first and last name, school, department/grade and a photo in a jpeg format. Winners will be featured in the print edition of The Bakersfield Voice for a month and will receive a $50 gift card for school supplies, compliments of GW School Supply and TBV.

I’d like to nominate my twin daughters’ kindergarten teacher Mr. Rhodes who teaches at Discovery Elementary School. At the beginning of the year, I was so skeptical after having learned that they were going to have a male teacher for kindergarten. He has superseded all of my expectations as to what a great kindergarten teacher should be. My girls love Mr. Rhodes. He teaches them lots of cute and silly songs. He builds up their self-esteem. He is just so marvelous with my girls!

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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

SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009


The grass is always greener ... BY CLARE LIN Community contributor



he eldest of four children, I often find myself at a loss when people ask me what it is like living with so many siblings, not for lack of a story to tell, but rather, I am bereft of a proper starting point as befitting the mix of chaotic emotions and learning, which the experience has brought me.

Most people have realized, simply through experience and interacting with others, the fact of life that we human beings always yearn for what we do not have. Thus, those individuals who have no siblings may entertain the image of a “big, happy family” and siblings to play and/or talk with, while those, like yours truly, who lack a specific type of sibling (older or younger in particular) will dream of having an attentive older brother or an adorable younger apprentice-figure. Of course, in real life, these happy fantasies generally don’t play out quite the way many imagine them. As for myself, I’ve found that my two brothers, at ages 5 and 2, are constantly active and take “making a mess” and “go and play for a little while” to completely different levels. They consistently patter into my Continued on page 7

Back to school — no worries! Just call on support system BY ALEX TORRES Community contributor


here did the summer go? It’s back-to-school time, something us students have been dreading. I step out onto the campus with my brand new shoes and my favorite faded blue jeans — who knew what school was going to be like with the budget cuts this year? I see all of the freshman walking around frantically, and smile remembering how it was my first year in high school. I walk over to my friends, and we begin comparing schedules to see what classes we share. As a high schooler, the summer is a great time of relaxation and a sort of detox, because once school starts things get hectic. There are so many kids on campus and things are crazy between school, sports, and home responsibilities. I go throughout the day seeing all the friends I missed from summer, and I even meet some new friends in my classes. Meeting the teachers and learning

about all of their expectations is always the hardest. You sometimes hear things from people that had that teacher in previous years, but you don’t know whether those things are true or not. I step into each of my classes a little warily, expecting the worst. I see at least one person I know, and smile knowing that I won’t have to go through it alone. It is kind of a surprise hearing about all of the things we will be going without this year. We receive our lists of things we need to buy or have for each class, and it surprises me how many of these items were provided in the past years. I look around me, and I notice that the amount of kids in my classes are overwhelming! I start to worry that things will be different this year, and that things will be harder at school. As the day ends, I realize that my worrying that morning had been for nothing. I had all my friends, great teachers, and a lot of help available if I needed it. School might be different because of budget cuts, but I have confidence that we will make it through.


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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

SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009

YOURCREATIVECORNER Continued from page 6

room and, like miniature typhoons, leave things dirtied and disordered, strewing little toys and puzzle pieces every which way. On the other hand, my sister, who is 11 years old, may often seem like an even greater source of annoyance, as, due to her decade’s worth of experience and newfound teenage confidence, it’s much too easy for her to nag and irritate me to no end. As many elder children are quite aware, sometimes younger family members can aggravate one without saying a single word at all. More-

over, aside from the challenge posed by merely coping with the “little terrors,” an unbelievable amount of responsibility is apportioned to the eldest, not only in physically helping with the young ones, but also in setting the best example and in being a guiding counselor. It should come as no surprise that, every once in a while, I lose my temper and bewail the unfortunate fate of being in the “big sister” position. However, an image sometimes comes to mind, of a time in the future, when I will visit each of my siblings and chat with them over a

light snack while marveling at the miracle of our own children, our current occupations, and the long and wondrous journey of life and history it took for us to get to that one point in time. At that moment, I am confident that I will experience an overwhelmingly sweet satisfaction from having surmounted the countless obstacles of time and age. So ... how’s it like living with so many siblings? In reality, it’s not as bad as I usually make it out to be. After all, it will all pay off in the end.

Gymnast wins gold medal in Junior Olympics COURTESY OF AMERICAN KIDS SPORTS CENTER


rigitte Alexander, 17, placed first overall, earning the gold medal in Tumbling (age 15 -years-and-over girls division) at the USA Gymnastics National Junior Olympics Championships held in San Jose, Calif. June 22 - 28. She also placed fourth overall in Trampoline and landed in a three-way tie overall score for eighth place in DoubleMini Trampoline. Brigitte is a member of the American Airbourne Trampoline & Tumbling Team at American Kids Sports Center of Bakersfield. Brigitte is a 2009 graduate of Frontier High School. Teammates Michelle Estes, also 17, (age 15-years-and-over girls division) placed 18th in Trampoline, 22nd in Double-Mini and 28th in Tumbling. Lindsay Relerford (age 11 girls) placed 16th in Double-Mini, 28th in Tumbling, and 32nd in Trampoline. Elly Honaker (age 9 to 10 girls) placed sixth in Trampoline, sixth in Double-Mini and eighth in Tumbling, Justin Powell (age 11 to 12 boys) placed fifth in Double-Mini. All participants attending nationals must achieve qualifying scores in each event. The American Airborne team is coached by Matt Williams. The 2010 USA Gymnastics J.O. National Trampoline & Tumbling Championships will be held in Virginia Beach, Va. Brigitte Alexander

TBV’s August Athlete of the Month: Andrew Blanco The Bakersfield Voice’s Star Athlete of the Month for August is Andrew Blanco. Andrew, 10, continues to play baseball while on chemotherapy for leukemia. Andrew’s name was picked from among the other Star Athlete nominations for August. The Athlete of the Month receives a $50 gift card for sporting equipment, compliments of Sports Authority and TBV. Nominate YOUR star athlete today! Go to:

Snowball - 775017

Hi! My name is Snowball and I am a 10-12 month old, male, white, domestic short hair mix. I will be neutered before I can go home. I came to the shelter because my owner was no longer able to spend timewith me and they wanted me to find a new loving home. I am a very sweet and affectionate kitty that LOVES to be with people. Don’t forget tomention my ID number - 775017!

Monty - 777138

Hi! My name is Monty and I am a two month old, male, orange and white domestic short hair Tabby mix. I will be neutered before I can go home. I love to be with people, play with toys and relax in shoeboxes. I would do best in a home with older children. Don’t forget to mention my ID number 774841!

These pets may be adopted quickly! Please visit the KERN COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER at 201 S. Mt. Vernon Ave. to see all of our adoptable pets. For more info call 661-868-7144 or visit our website at

This week’s Star Athlete: Rhoda Hernando Nominated by Han’s Tae Kwon Do


Rhoda Hernando is a 17-year-old, 3rd Degree Kukkiwon Black Belt at Han’s Tae Kwon Do Academy. She has been practicing at Han’s Tae Kwon Do since she was 6 years old. She practices daily at Han’s and is an excellent Tournament Team Manager. She is a positive rolemodel and mentor to our younger members. She likes sharing her experiences with our upcoming stars and dreams of going to the Olympics someday. She will be competing in the upcoming U.S. Open in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rhoda is a senior at Stockdale High School and is very involved with school activities. She is in Link Crew, Student Ambassador, Conflict Mediator, Science, PacRim, M.A.S.H., and HOSA clubs. When she graduates, she plans to attend college at University of Southern California, majoring in physical therapy.

■ 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.


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

SEPTEMBER 6-12, 2009

The Bakersfield Voice - 9-6-09  

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