Tag Archives: Kern County

Volunteers make the world go ’round

14 Jun

Volunteering is a past time that never gets old. Many people who are unfamiliar with volunteering may view it as a daunting, time-consuming task that offers no benefits. That idea is misguided.

American Red Cross Disaster Relief group Kern County- google.com

American Red Cross Disaster Relief group
Kern County- google.com

Former California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) student Leah Foster said, “Originally, I started volunteering as a part of my community service class for CSUB, but I liked it so much that I kept going back, even after CSUB kicked me out.”

Contrary to what some pessimists may believe, volunteering can yield many rewards. The best part about getting involved in your community is the sense of togetherness that can be established. Volunteering just once a week is enough to make a difference in the lives of people who are crave companionship.

A personal favorite of mine would have to be the American Red Cross. They offer many fields for potential volunteers to choose from. Bakersfield residents interested in this non-profit organization can contact their local Red Cross chapter to learn about positions in Disaster Relief through Case Management.

Another way to get involved is by donating time at the Boy’s and Girls’ Club of Kern County.

 CSU Bakersfield Athletic Communications The CSUB Baseball team and the CSUB Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have teamed up with Terrio Fitness, The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County and Frosty's Forest for the Roadrunner Holiday Challenge.

CSU Bakersfield Athletic Communications The CSUB Baseball team and the CSUB Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have teamed up with Terrio Fitness, The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County and Frosty’s Forest for the Roadrunner Holiday Challenge.

This is a great place to try to volunteer at. Like the Red Cross, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Kern County has an array of ideas that would positively develop the youth of this community.

The Boys’ and Girls’ Club can also double as a “baby-sitter” for children during the times when parents wish to regain their sanity.  Parents can bring their kids to a fun environment where they can socialize freely with other children, as long as they are within the rules and regulations of the organization.

Some suggested ways to give back to the community were listed on the official website. Volunteers can: offer assistance in homework, teach a teen a new hobby or craft, join outings as a Field Trip Assistant, or coach a sports team.

Not only does volunteering present the chance to make another person feel good; but it also leads to invaluable life lessons,  real-world experience and the chance to leave your stamp on the world.


Kern County goes nuts!

13 Jun

  This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Kern County will be holding its first annual Nut Festival.  This event was created and hosted by the Kern County Museum to help bring together Kern County residents and educate them about the tasty and healthy benefits of the various nuts grown locally.

Banner promoting the upcoming Nut Festival

Banner promoting the upcoming Nut Festival

This nut festival is a great way for friends and families of all ages to have some fun. June 14th, there will be a special VIP event just for adults. The next day, adults can bring their youth back to the museum to enjoy more family-friendly activities.

 Bakersfield resident and Nut Festival attendant Maci Atkins said, “I enjoy the Nut Fest every year, and I’ve been going for the past five years and I can’t for this weekend.”

  Events to take place include a “Run with Nuts,” where participants run a mile and back down Kern River Parkway Bike trail. Festival goers can also look forward to stage performances, art exhibitions, and culinary instructions taught by celebrity chefs. 

The nut festival also benefits organizations that seek to promote their cause as well as give back to the community. Though, most of the revenue will go to the Kern County Museum Foundation, non-profit organizations can gain revenue through volunteering or vending.

Not only can families grow closer, but they can work together to serve the less fortunate.

  Chair of the Kern County Museum Foundation Bob Lerude said in a Nut Festival promotion, “We are so excited about the Kern County Nut Festival and the impact it will have on our community; Not only will it be a fun, entertaining community event, but it will enable local non-profits to benefit as well, all the while supporting the educational efforts of the Kern County Museum.”

By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

Besides the Kern County Museum, other organizations and corporations participating during the upcoming weekend include: the Bakersfield Police Department, Kern Community Foundation, Bakersfield Museum of Art (which I didn’t know existed), Memorial Hospital, and Kern County Environmental Health.

  The Kern County Museum is located on Chester Ave. Pre-sale tickets are $10 for adults, five dollars for kids (5- 12), and free for kids under four. At the gate ticket prices increase  by two dollars.

For more information about the Kern County Nut Festival or sponsorship information, contact Sheryl Barbich at
661.301.6763 or Beth Pandol 661.302.8171.


Welcome to the Swap Meet: A great place of vast opportunities!

15 May

Main Entrance to the Swap Meet


The South Union Swap meet in Bakersfield offers a wide variety of new and used products and services as more than 300 vendors come out every weekend to be part of this outdoor market experience. After hearing several stories about how this place manages to offer used and new products at affordable and reasonable prices, and at the same time offer an entertaining experience, I decided to visit it for myself, and see what is really all about.  This is what I found out based on a vendor seller’s perspective.

Information about current admission prices includes the following:

Current Admission Prices (2013)

Sippin’ with Winton: A Bakersfield barista

13 May
Barista Andrew Winton can create similar works of latte art. From gimmecoffee.com

Barista Andrew Winton can create similar works of latte art. From gimmecoffee.com


A quick interview with Andrew Winton, a barista at Dagny’s Coffee.



Shooting the breeze in Bakersfield

10 May

Shooting guns is fun. Every since I first saw Arnold blow away the T-1000 by firing a shotgun with a single hand, guns have fascinated me. Not enough to actually buy a gun, I think they’re more of a hazard than they’re worth, but enough to want to fire one every now and then so a place where I can checkout a gun for an hour and take shots at a target is right up my alley.

Second Amendment Sports offers that. Located on 2523 Mohawk street, the store and range are one of the larger facilities of its type in Kern County.

Their most appealing part is the gun rental selection. My love of guns extends to what I see in movies so being able to use the same Beretta 92FS Neo used in the “The Matrix” or a classic “Dirty Harry”-esque Smith &Wesson revolver is a blast for me.

The average person can expect to pay about $20 plus gun rental fee, safety equipment fee and ammunition to use at the range.

Second Amendment Sports does offer various memberships though. Ranging from $20-$225 per year the memberships include discounts for guests, discounts on equipment rentals and discounts on purchases. Second Amendment Sports also offers discounts for members of the military, law enforcement officers and senior citizens.

For those who are a bit more serious about firearm ownership than I am, Second Amendment Sports also offers training on everything from basic handgun technique to precision rifle training.

There is also a gunsmith on site to help with any issues you may run into. For ore information you can contact Second Amendment Sports at 661-323-4512.



Second Amendment Sports Arizona Location. from Yelp.com

Skydive Taft gives Kern County a “sky high” personality

4 May
Taken from Skydive Taft's web site.

Taken from Skydive Taft’s website


Bakersfield’s entertainment value is very minimal when we compare it to cities like Los Angeles or New York. It has a lot to offer its more than 350,000 residents, such as food, shopping and rich culture. But what if you want to do something extreme or adrenaline filled?

Those seeking out thrill and excitement in Bakersfield will be sadly out of luck. However, by venturing to Bakersfield’s neighbor, Taft, Calif., you’ll find Skydive Taft, which opened on April 1, 1998.

A tandem skydive costs $189 per person. A discount is given to students, firefighters, police, and people in the military or on birthdays, for whom the cost is $169 per person. Skydivers must be 18 years or older.

Along with those prices skydivers can choose from group jumps that are $179 per person or groups of 10+ for $169 per person.

“It’s pretty affordable considering the type of sport that it is. We offer a lot of different prices and different price points to help people get excited about skydiving,” said Dave Crouch owner, of Skydive Taft.

“We get a couple hundred people each month, a lot of college students from different colleges around and different people from out of town,” Crouch said.

Skydive Taft has professional instructors and pilots committed to keeping skydivers safe from danger. Though Skydive Taft’s web site doesn’t state the type of experience they have however, Skydive is USPA Certified. Which stands for United States Parachute Association and they make sure that skydiving facilities and equipment are held to a certain standard.

For the inexperienced skydiver, they offer tandem skydiving. This is where people are connected to an experienced skydiver. Together they jump, and pull the chute and land safely on the ground.

“We offer a lot of options for different levels of skydiving experience. Of course, if you’ve never done it before, doing a tandem skydive in California will just about beat any other first-time experience,” states Skydive Taft’s Facebook page. “As you progress in diving levels, you can try more complex dives, learning new skills and keeping safety in mind as you improve.”

Skydive Taft offers many events that help promote the business and get people who would never think about skydiving up in a plane. One upcoming event on June 1 and 2 is the Grumpy, Gimpy, Old Farts Boogie. The fifth annual event will feature a live band, food, beer and a raffle for a free jump ticket. This event is not just for “old farts” younger individuals are invited as well.

With it being close to Bakersfield and offering prices that can tempt even the cheapest thrill seeker, everyone can enjoy this activity. Skydive Taft helps prove that Bakersfield isn’t just an oil town and neither is Taft, both of these small towns have hidden gems among them.

Taken from Skydive Taft's website

Taken from Skydive Taft’s website


Geeking out and about in Bakersfield

28 Apr

While Bakersfield’s most famous forms of entertainment are its country music, with artists like Merle Haggard being synonymous with the city, and its dining — particularly its affinity for sweets — the city does have other things outside of listening to sweet guitar twang and filling ones stomach with complex confections. On a lazy Saturday morning I find nothing more enjoyable than sitting down and immersing myself in a video game, comic book or just shooting the breeze with like minded individuals at one of these locations.

Gamestor: With three locations in Bakersfield Gamestor is the biggest non-corporate video game chain store in Bakersfield. The stores are set up as a combination video game store and lounge. While their selection of modern day games is decent its the chains dedication to retro-gaming that is their biggest draw. The stores carry consoles and games from the 1980s to modern day. For me, there was nothing more exciting than seeing a Super Nintendo Entertainment System sitting on a shelf next to a crate filled with slab gray cartridges. Even just thumbing through a pile of old games sends me back to the days of my childhood when I’d stay up until 5 a.m. playing through games like “Mega Man X” and “Final Fantasy III.” Gamestors selection gives me the ability to relive those days again.

The stores also repair video game consoles, iPods, iPhones and other electronics.

Leeters: Located inside the East Hills Mall, Leeters is one of the larger comic books stores in Bakersfield. The store has racks upon racks of comic books, an area set up for PC video gaming, pool tables, Dance Dance Revolution and areas for tabletop gaming.

The stores biggest draw is its lounge are. The store provides games for people to play free of charge. They range from more casual board and card games like Apples to Apples to more hardcore games like Warhammer 40,000. The store also regularly host tournaments for popular games and offers workshops to help get people into new and complex games.

Otto’s Video Games and More:  Located on White Lane Otto’s is the newest store on this list. While it doesn’t have the amount of sheer backlog  back catalog that the Gamestor chain does Otto’s have a very nice console gaming area, with very large screens, and a section set up for table-top gaming.
They are the largest supplier of Warhammer 40,000 in the area. Their table top and video game areas also offer more room than that stores mentioned above.

Correction: Information about Otto’s Video Games and More game release schedule was incorrect. Otto’s follows all official release guideline for its retail products.