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E D I TO R ’ S N OT E Appreciating our freedoms & our veterans
e put this issue of MÁS together on Election Day. By the time you read this, we will (hopefully) know who is the 44th president of the United States. What we do already know, is that by all early accounts, voter turnout here in Kern County — and across the nation — could be record-breaking! As wonderful as it is that so many people came out to the polls and made their voices count, one has to wonder — why can’t we Americans do this for each and every election? Some other questions to ponder and to follow in post-election analysis: Did the youth vote really make a difference? Did the minority vote tip the scales one way or another? What about those long lines at the polls — did they help or hurt either of the presidential candi-
dates? Only time will tell. Hopefully, voters — whether faithful or newly registered — will remember that the right to vote is not only an honor to appreciate, but it is also an honor to use. This week’s cover story features Augustine Flores, a Kern County veteran who helped defend freedom throughout the world, and in turn, ensuring our freedoms here — including our ability to cast those ballots! In fact, all veterans deserve our gratitude for keeping this country, and its liberties, safe. Among the local Veterans Day celebrations is a new event — a veterans dance hosted by the Young Mens Institute, 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8 at St. Francis Church. If you and/or a veteran you love would like to attend the dance, admission is $12. For more information, call 444-8211.
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November 7, 2008
NOVEMBER ■ 7 ■ 2008
6-8 COVER STORY As Veterans Day nears, a local vet reflects STAFF EDITORIAL Olivia Garcia Publisher email@example.com 395-7487 Teresa Adamo Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org 716-8646 Sandra Molen Copy Editor email@example.com Elaine Estrada Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org 716-8649 Marcel Guerra Staff Writer email@example.com Matt Muñoz Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Ivana Torres Staff Writer email@example.com Amalia Sanchez Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS IRENE CLANCY, NOE GARCIA, LAUREN HELPER, MARIA MACHUCA, SANDRA MOLEN, DENISE ORNELAS, RAY PRUITT, DEBORAH RAMIREZ, GABRIEL RAMIREZ, NORMA TAKAHASHI
ART Glenn Hammett Design Editor Eric Duhart Graphic Designer Orlando Galvan Graphic Designer Robert Nuñez Graphic Designer
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS HOLLY CARLYLE, MICHAEL LOPEZ, ORLANDO GALVAN, DANIELA GARCIA, JOSEPH GOMEZ, ROGER HORNBACK, TANYA X. LEONZO, GREG MARQUEZ, JACQUELINE PILAR, ROD THORNBURG
on his time in the U.S. Marines — and a charitable group plans a dance for those who’ve served.
5 NOTICIAS High school seniors: Time to apply for CSU or UC; Kern to participate in massive quake drill.
9 GENTE-VETERANS Readers honor their veterans. 10 GENTE More birthdays & anniversaries to celebrate!
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Cover photo: Augustine & Ruth Flores on their wedding day, June 23, 1951. Augustine Flores was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines. Courtesy photo. Volume 4, Issue 7 MÁS Magazine (USPS 000-000) is a weekly publication of Mercado Nuevo LLC with main offices at 1522 18th Street Bakersfield, CA 93301. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Rate is pending at Bakersfield, CA 93303. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: Mercado Nuevo Publications PO Box 2344 Bakersfield, CA 93303. MÁS is a weekly magazine focused on Hispanic people, style, culture and issues in Kern County. MÁS is a publication of Mercado Nuevo, LLC, a subsidiary of The Bakersfield Californian. For questions or for more information about MÁS or other publications of Mercado Nuevo, contact us: Mercado Nuevo LLC P.O. Box 2344 Bakersfield, CA 93303; (661) 716-8640 www.mercadonuevocorp.com or www.masbakersfield.com. The MÁS name and logo design are trademarks of Mercado Nuevo and cannot be used without permission.
November 7, 2008
N OT I C I A S
The earlier, the better By Amalia Sanchez MÁS staff
uring their high school senior year, young people find themselves occupied with many milestone events like homecoming, formal, prom, grad nite — and, of course, graduation. So where does college planning fit into a senior’s busy schedule?
Getting started To even begin college planning — though actual preparations through class choices, grades, extracurricular activities, etc. must take place well before senior year — the first step to take is to be aware of all deadlines, according to education experts. “The first thing I would recommend is for students to get an application, and skim through it to see what documents are needed in order for the student to have them ready,” said Juan Leyva, a counselor at Shafter High School. Seniors students can already start the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) application process by inputting information on their online application all this month, he said. Applications must be completed and submitted by Nov. 30. “Apply early, don’t overlook any deadlines and keep track of when they are due,” said Leyva, who has seen many students wait until the last minute and frantically try to gather information. Students applying for CSU admission must take the ACT or SAT before December, he said. UC applicants need the ACT — plus the writing, SAT and the SAT 2 tests, which are also required. If the student hasn’t taken these tests yet, they are allowed to include the dates they plan to take them on an admissions application, according to Leyva. Before even getting to the college application process, however, students who want to attend a CSU or UC must fulfill or have fulfilled the A-G requirements. If for some reason a student has not completed these requirements, don’t give up on college completely, Leyva said. “There is still hope for students to get into college, even if they have not fulfilled all requirements,” he said, explaining that there
Experts: Watch those deadlines when applying for colleges & scholarships
are several chances to make up these courses by either going to summer school or adult school by earning a C or better. Colleges also often have programs that can help students obtain these credits, according to Leyva. And remember, not all higher education institutions have A-G requirements — community (or junior) colleges are another worthy option where those stipulations are not necessary. “The basic criteria is to be 18 and older and have a high school diploma to attend a community college,” Leyva said.
Money matters Once the college application process is navigated, there is still a looming task to tackle: how to pay for it. Lack of money can be a huge obstacle to higher education as it was for Liliana Valdez, a sophomore psychology student at Cal State University, Bakersfield. Valdez held a part-time job, but that wasn’t enough to help her pay for her education, so she turned to scholarships. Fortunately, this helped Valdez finance her first year in college. She encourages other college-bound students to do this as well. “Fill out as many scholarships (as you can) — they can be a great help,” Valdez said. Students can obtain scholarship information and applications through their school’s career service technician or counselor. Valdez also suggests that students have letters of recommendation ready to go as most scholarships require them. Money for college can also be obtained based on the student’s financial need and eligibility through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA. The next FAFSA deadline is March 2, 2009.
Hang in there Although the process of applying to college — and financing it once you are admitted — can be stressful, officials continue to advise young people to stick with it. “Once you start the whole application process, it is not as overwhelming because you’ll have enough time to ask questions, to get everything done on time,” said Leyva. His final words of advice: “Don’t procrastinate!”
Historic quake drill includes Kern
hen you live in California, you hear plenty of talk about “The Big One,” as in a major earthquake. To prepare for what some experts say is the inevitable, millions of people will participate in The Great Southern California Shake Out — an unprecedented earthquake drill — at 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 13. So far, a total of 51,000 people in Kern County will be among the estimated 4 million registered Shake Out participants, according to Patty Galvan, a Kern County Regional Associate. This statewide event presents a scenario of a 7.8 earthquake — similar to the temblor which occurred in China earlier this year — along the San Andreas Fault in Southern California. Even though the simulation centers on a quake with an epicenter in Southern California, the drill
remains important for Kern County residents because such a natural disaster is very likely to have a significant impact locally, Galvan said. Because of this, Kern County schools, businesses, organizations, homes and government offices will take part in next week’s The Great Southern California Shake Out, she said. All residents are encouraged to learn about the importance of earthquake preparedness, along with “drop, cover and hold on” techniques. For more information, visit the following Web sites: www.shakeout.org www.dropcoverholdon.org www.kcprepared.com To officially participate in The Great Southern California Shake Out, you can register for free at: www.shakeout.org/register -Amalia Sanchez/MÁS staff
Before 1. Identify and fix hazards in your home. 2. Create a disaster plan. 3. Prepare disaster supply kits. 4. Identify and fix your building’s weaknesses. During 5. Drop, cover and hold on. After 6. Check for injuries and damage. 7. When safe, continue to follow your disaster plan.
November 7, 2008
honor duty and
Back row, far right: Augustine “Augie” Flores of Bakersfield poses with a few of his fellow U.S. Marines. Courtesy photo.
As local Veterans Day celebrations approach — including a first-time dance event — a former Marine looks back on his service to the U.S. 06
November 7, 2008
Staff Sgt. Flores and Ruth Flores on their wedding day, June 23, 1951. They were married at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Courtesy photo.
BY ELAINE ESTRADA
any Americans celebrate Veterans Day to honor soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines for their courage, commitment and bravery in wartime. But Augustine “Augie” Flores has a different take on this patriotic holiday. “The service for me was a great benefit,” said Flores, who spent more than eight years in the U.S. Marines between 19411951. “I didn’t just give, I also received.” Flores, a Bakersfield native who spent three tours overseas fighting in combat, was wounded twice during his tour in Saipan — the largest tropical island among the Marianas archipelago in the Western Pacific Ocean. “I recovered,” he said. “I could have come home, but I insisted on staying with my outfit.” This steadfast Marine’s story of devotion to his country mirrors that of many other veterans, who will be honored Nov. 11 as part of the national celebration for Veterans Day. Flores, 84, is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He is among 16 percent of Hispanic veterans living in Kern County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2007.
M Á S S TA F F Though shrapnel tore through part of his right arm and back during combat in World War II, Flores’ obligation and Catholic faith kept him alive, he said. Flores may have fought in combat, but nothing in life could have compared to his decision to join the Marines — the branch of military service that often refers to its members with nicknames such as jarheads, devil dogs, leathernecks, etc. “I was hungry and I wanted to be independent,” said Flores, the only son of seven children. “I wanted something exciting because life was very dull for me. Of course, there wasn’t a war going on back then.” On Sept. 9, 1941, Flores enlisted in the U.S. Marines — a challenge that would be far from dull. After boot camp, Flores trained in machine gun tactics where he learned how to handle and use a machine gun. “I did things that football players find difficult to do, in the training,” he said. “They tell you where to find sympathy there and it’s not nice.” All his hard work and training paid off when Flores became the machine gun section leader at Kwajalein, Saipan and Iwo Jima. Following his return in November 1945, Flores was dis-
November 7, 2008
“The service for me was a great benefit. I didn’t just give, I also received.” — Augustine “Augie” Flores
PHOTO BY ELAINE ESTRADA
Flores took this snapshot of some more Marine buddies.
charged. Two years later, he re-enlisted for an additional three-year term. And in February 1950, his term ended. No sooner than Flores’ return to civilian life, the military called him back to active duty for the Korean War. In October 1951, he was discharged — for his last time — as a staff sergeant. Prior to his second tour of duty, this leatherneck learned and taught cosmetology. “Well, my sister had a beauty shop and I thought about cosmetology,” Flores said. “I tried to open a beauty shop and one of my sisters was going to manage it. She decided to have her first child, and there went my beauty shop.” But as talented and Marine-driven as Flores was, he could not resist or fight against the charm of Ruth Lopez, who would become his wife. “She came over and fell in love with me right away,” Flores said. “I could defend myself in combat, but I couldn’t defend myself from her charm.” Defenseless against Lopez, the two married on June 23, 1951 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on California Avenue. In their southeast Bakersfield home, Flores and his wife raised their six sons and two daughters — who are all married with children of their own. A few years ago, as a gift, Flores’ family gathered a few of his military medals — including one of two purple hearts — and placed them in a shadow box that one of his sons gave him. When sharing those mementos, Flores is very proud and appreciative to have been awarded for his military service. “I think he should be proud of his medals and he should have them displayed for what he went through,” said James Flores, one of Flores’ sons. “I knew my dad was going to be proud to have his medals in the box.” Flores and his wife enjoy spending time with each of their 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren when they occasional-
November 7, 2008
Today, Flores and his wife, Ruth enjoy life in their southeast Bakersfield home. Mr. Flores will be the master of ceremonies at the first Young Mens Institute Veterans Dance, Saturday, Nov. 8. ly visit. “I just receive them when they get here,” he said. “I call them termites.” But being a part of the military and raising a family wasn’t fulfilling enough for Flores. He knew his motivation was still strong — so he joined the Bakersfield Police Department. He was a BPD officer for 5 1/2 years. After leaving the police department, he worked for the Kern County Probation Department, where he later retired after 28 YMI Veterans Dance years as a probation officer. ■ 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8 Today, Flores is a devoted eucharistic minister and part of ■ St. Francis Church Hall, 900 H St. the church choir at St. Francis ■ Admission, $12 Church on H Street. ■ Honor Guard ceremony When he is not singing or lectur- ■ Music by Los Moonlighterz ing, he commits himself to the gar- ■ Door prizes & 50/50 raffle den in his back yard on a beautiful ■ Details: Sal Lomas, 444-8211 sunny day. ■ Web site: www.theymi.org Flores is also the oldest member of the Young Mens Institute (YMI) at St. Francis Church, which he helped rebuild in 2003 when the chapter was failing. On Saturday, Nov. 8, Flores will be the master of ceremonies for the YMI’s first Veterans Dance from 6 to 11 p.m., at the St. Francis Church Hall. The idea for the event came from the motto of YMI — which is “God and Country,” said Rudy Gutierrez, the local YMI president and YMI Veterans Dance committee chairman. “I looked around and noticed that there weren’t many Veterans Day celebrations,” he said. “This being the case, I decided on the idea of honoring our veterans of the past and our many new veterans of the war in Iraq — I believe we need to be as supportive as possible to our young veterans.”
V E T E R A N – G E N T E
A special thanks To Josh A. Vilchis — who has served in the Marine Corps. You are a wonderful husband, father, son and our hero. We love you, Samantha & Gavin
We’re proud! The family of Cruz Rodriguez is very proud to have a true Vietnam Veteran in the family. Cruz toured Vietnam from 1967-1968. We love you!
J. Daniel Cardenas (Ramirez) Served two tours in Iraq; one in Afghanistan as part of the anti-global terrorist campaign. Proud to call you my little brother! — Your Big Sis’
Vietnam Vet This is my dad Charles D. Robinson at the Vietnam Wall Memorial. Today, my dad is the director of the only homeless program in Kern County for veterans. — Ashamad J. Robinson Sr.
With honor ...
We would like to honor our proud Vietnam Veteran — Robert V Payan. You’re our hero, Grandpa! Love, The Payan-Alvarez-Arredondo families
A shout out to all the men & women soldiers fighting for this GREAT country, including my son-in-law, Muneer Gonzalves; and nephew, Justin Bosch. — Michael Bosch
November 7, 2008
G E N T E
Happy 30th Birthday! To the best big sister in the world. Thank you for everything! Love, Martina
Happy 12th Anniversary! You are the best parents in the world! We love you so much! Chazz, Camryn & Ciolvanni
Happy 17th Birthday, Andrew!
Happy Birthday! To our Uncle Boo-Boo! Love, The Diaz kids
Happy 2nd Birthday! To Princess Aniya ... Love, Mommy, Daddy & Big Brother
Happy Veterans Day & Happy Birthday, US Marines!
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