Resurrecting the Values of a Forgotten People

By Alberto Muro & Denae Ayala

Art and reading students at Taft College worked together to create artistic pieces of literature.

For the spring semester, Professors Debora Rodenhauser and Kamala Carlson combined their classes for a literature project that consists of two minds utilizing their critical thinking skills.

Students from Professor Carlson’s reading class had to read “The Lakota Tribe,” and in their own words, they had to write a response about the Native American culture. When finished with their response paper, they got together with Rodenhauser’s art students to begin their collaboration.

Each of the student’s art pieces represented the culture and tradition of Lakota people. Love, respect, emotion, and truth are just a few characteristics that are represented in the art work.

“The art work and the written work reflects the values of the Lakota Way people,” stated Rodenhauser.

Art History Professor Gaysha Smith has been running the Art Gallery for the past two years; the friendly persona of Professor Smith’s attitude has accompanied many shows here at TC.

Smith has actively been involved in the art shows and provides a comforting atmosphere for people to come out and support the art/reading students.

“It was a good collaborated effort,” Smith commented.

Diego Salgado and Hannah Glover presented their piece of work titled “Humility.” The word derives from the idea of being humble. Diego was able to relate to the word and had no problem writing about it, “I was raised to always be caring and treat people right, so writing about humility felt like a reflective paper about myself,” he said. With her extraordinary creativity and patience, Glover created a rabbit’s skull with plaster material. Hannah says, “To me the rabbit symbolized a humble animal, although this project took me three days to complete, I was able to remain focused.”

Students Andrew Hinojosa and Laura Russell relied on brush strokes and created two pictures on one canvas for their project called “Sacrifice.” On one side of the picture, there was a Native American woman holding her child and waving to warriors leaving for battle.

The bottom half of the portrait has a soldier hugging his family member as he prepares to board a bus to fight a war. Hinojosa talked about the importance of sacrifice and how it often takes a toll on the human spirit.

“I had a buddy that was in the Army for 6 years, and the sacrifice he made was not being able to see his kid grow up,” he said.

The student project provided insight for spectators to learn about the importance of culture appreciation.

The Taft College Art gallery is located in the Technology Building, T-11 and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Monday- Friday.

6th Annual Growing Opportunities Career Fair

By Alberto Muro

Representatives from Central Valley agricultural companies come to Cal State Bakersfield campus March 8.

The 6th annual Growing Opportunities Career Fair was held in the Student Union Multi-purpose Room at Cal State Bakersfield on March 8. The event was designed for representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to distribute information regarding potential employment and internship opportunities for students.

Tractors were aligned outside the Student MPR  welcoming anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in agriculture. Agriculture in California is a powerful economic force, and the state is also one of the largest distribution centers for fruit and vegetables for the United States. Government land management agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and Natural Resources Conversation Service were on campus offering opportunities to preserve the fertility of the farmlands and forests through out California.

The Animal and Plant Health Service were at the career fair to distribute information about invasive aquatic weeds with capabilities of damaging the rivers and invasive pests damaging California farmlands.  Abel Williams, an employee for the Animal and Plant Health Service, was there to talk about his experience dealing with invasive plants, “I have been chasing the Giant Salvinia since 1983,” he says.  Mr. Williams also spoke about the dangers that the invasive plant presents; as it matures, it becomes a thick floating mat capable of damaging boats and preventing light from reaching other plants.


The design that goes into creating a well established environment for crops to strive requires the ingenuity of engineers. With that said, vineyards throughout California require the right equipment in order to stand strong against the harsh elements. Jim’s Supply Company  utilizes their resources to help create sturdy environments for farmers. Jim’s Supply Company has been in Bakersfield since 1959, and they are looking for internships that are customer orientated since they will be exposed multiple aspects of the business from purchasing to logistics to management to sales.

Other local businesses such as Bolthouse Farms, who are known throughout the San Joaquin Valley for their quality consumer products and carrot distribution, offered various information regarding internships and employment opportunities. Although Bolthouse Farms is based in Bakersfield, the company was bought back in 2012 by Campbell Soup. Current and future Bolthouse Farm employees and interns will now become part of Campbell Fresh (C-Fresh) Division along with their benefits and systems. Their current career website is still listed as Bolthouse for the time being, and once on that site, if Bakersfield does not offer a desired position, then you can look at openings throughout the United Sates.

Thanks to the Growing Opportunity Career Job Fair, agriculture and biology students found interest in  Central Valley agriculture and the land management industry learning that their set of skills will contribute to stabilizing their environment and a fulfilling career.

Avoid Negotiating With Cyber Criminals

By Alberto Muro

The birth of the internet was accompanied by the advancement of technology which allowed house holds to become connected to the world wide web. People around the world were also introduced to the new concept of electionic mail (e-mail) which became a reliable means to transmit messages within moments.

The development of the internet also introduced online users to the threat of malware attacks. Unlike viruses, which cause system corruption and the destruction of data, malware is rouge hardware that is designed to commandeer computers and inflict damage to online users by gaining access to their personal information.

Online security software soon began appearing in household and company computers to combat the threat of online attacks. The most noteable software, Norton Anti-virus, is one of many examples of exclusive hardware designed to rejuvenate your computer to its previous function condition.

As online security increases, the threat of malware attacks shift their focus through other means. Often, people forget that they are vulnerable online despite having up to date software security. Online criminals have shifted their malware attacks through personal e-mails, and the most common victims are people with little knowledge about online security.

Now imagine opening an e-mail attachment that your bank apparently provided, and after downloading it and opening the file your computer screen locks and goes dark. Moments later a large emblem to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appears along with text information stating that you have been involved with illegal activity. It is a frightening scenario that causes panic even though the computer user has no prior convictions, at the end of the message there is a demand to pay a fine within 72 hours or you will be arrested.

It sounds like your computer is being held hostage, which is exactly what is occuring thanks to that “urgent” e-mail attachment from your bank. This kind of newly developed malware attack is called Ransomware, and what happens is that attackers access your computer and render it useless against any intervention unless you send money to the email provided.

In order to prevent attacks such as ransomware, do not click on links or websites that are unfamiliar or unsafe. Enable pop-up blockers as they prevent uneccesary windows from opening and allowing malware to enter your system. Be sure to back-up your files as ransomware often requires one to reformat their computers. Most importantly, do not install unfamiliar software or extensions as they are created with the intention to cause harm to computers.

60th Annual Whiskey Flat Days

By Alberto Muro

This Presidents Day weekend saw the return of the  60th annual Whiskey Flat Days in the city of Kernville, California.


For 60 years, Kernville hosted a 3 day celebration of western themed festivities for adults and carnival rides for the youth. Live music kept the patrons dancing as the streets filled with spectators and western enthusiasts.

Kernville is located near the Sequoia National Forest, so there was no shortage of vendors selling handcrafted wooden souvenirs such as signs, necklaces and accessories. Vendors also sold vintage western attire, flags, handmade clothes, and a wide variety of food.

Live bands played for the sea of visitors flowing through the streets of downtown Kernville. There was an unplugged trio that consisted of a double-bass, acoustic, and a violin playing on the outside of a corner store. The other live band played upbeat tunes in the park with electric equipment and could be heard throughout the event.

The carnival at Whisky Flats provided entertainment for the youth with rides that rose to an elevation of 10 feet. The carnival rides were set up next to the Kern River, so patrons had the opportunity to view the entire event with the sound of the roaring river.

The western theme of Whisky Day Flats became noticeable as shops in downtown Kernville echoed with the sound of boots stomping on the wooden floors and prop firearms knocking against the stools. The old-time saloon days made a comeback for Whisky Flats Day and thankfully no duels were initiated.