The Bakersfield Nut Festival has once again come and gone, enjoying another successful weekend despite facing a bit of stiff competition from another community stalwart, the Bakersfield Jazz Festival. As always though, the Nut Festival provided plenty of good times and good food to nut enthusiasts and casual fans alike throughout Kern County.
The third annual festival was once more held at the Kern County Museum, which has been open since 1941 and has remained a hub for education and entertainment. The nut festival’s brief history and association with the museum has only served to further cement the lasting legacy of the Kern County Museum within the community.
The festival was originally thought up as a way to simultaneously show appreciation for a beloved food and generate income for the local economy. It’s safe to say that festival organizers have succeeded on both fronts, offering open spots to both sponsors and vendors who are all gladly willing to partner with the event.
The nut festival has quickly become one of Kern County’s favorite annual events, due to the sheer amount of cooking demonstrations, live musical performances, games, and other great activities that organizers set up for festival goers. Last Saturday marked another successful installment in what appears to be an event destined to become a longstanding tradition for many Kern County residents, much in the vein of the Jazz Festival.
The Wind Wolves Preserve is located about an hour southeast of Taft. As described by the official website, the preserve “is an ecologically unique region where the Transverse Ranges, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley converge.” This coalescence makes for uniquely beautiful and natural scenes that Kern County isn’t typically known for. However, Wind Wolves isn’t simply revered for its beauty; the preserve boasts a sizable 93,000 acres of land, making it the largest non-profit nature reserve on the west coast. Hardcore outdoor enthusiasts and families alike can look forward to the many hiking trips and wildlife tours offered at the preserve, as well the various activities and events for children.
Wind Wolves features an array of ecological systems and varying altitudes, ranging anywhere from 640 to 6500 feet. This makes for an interesting combination of flora and fauna throughout the preserve’s expanse. The locale enjoys tule elk, kit foxes, California condors, and blunt-nosed leopard lizards, as well as blue oak, valley oak savanna, juniper, and ponderosa pine.
Despite the already enormous amount of land claimed by the preserve, The Wildlands Conservancy ownership group has aimed to more than double those 93,000 acres and eventually call the surrounding 230,000 acres the new Wind Wolves Preserve. They’ve gone all in on this proposal, even going as far as to hire experts and analysts who could vouch for the plentiful benefits of expanding the preserve. This commitment to ecological preservation has been the foremost priority of The Wildlands Conservancy at Wind Wolves as well as their other preserves.
All of the programs, events and activities at Wind Wolves are provided free of charge. These activities include hiking, bird watching, painting, and even movie showings for children in the canyon. One of the most exciting offerings include the full moon and black out night hikes, which are great for stargazing and learning about the constellations. Outdoor survival demonstrations are available for parents and their children and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the history of the area as well.
Taft locals searching for some affordable fun this summer should look no further than the Wind Wolves Preserve. Couple a variety of fun and engaging activities for kids and adults of all ages with a relatively close location and there’s plenty of reasons to keep coming back all summer long.
The Bakersfield Blaze, Kern County’s Minor League Baseball team, is off to a less than stellar start this season. Despite finishing last year with a 78-62 record and ending up with a First Half Championship under their belts, it seems they’ve been unable to capitalize upon last year’s success, reflecting a pattern of inconsistency in recent years.
However, the Blaze still boast a passionate fan base and a slew of fun events for the entire family to enjoy during those long summer nights to come. Even while on the road, the team offers many ways for fans to stay connected and engaged with away games.
Manager Eddie Menchaca has so far led his ballclub to a 14-18 record, where they’re currently in third place in the race to win the California League North division. The team is slogging their way through a five game losing streak and will have to contend with two tough teams, the High Desert Mavericks and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, in the next week and a half.
Despite their recent struggles, Menchaca and the Blaze organization are maintaining a positive outlook and a hope that they can still reverse their fortune. After all, the season is still young and the team is tied for third place in the division. They look poised to potentially make a run and overtake their rivals in the coming weeks and months.
For those who just can’t get enough of the Bakersfield Blaze while on their frequent road trips, bakersfieldblaze.com offers nightly play by play broadcasts so fans can keep up with every minute of the action. Sam Lynn Ballpark, home of the Blaze, also offers many incentives and promotions for fans who do make the short trek into downtown Bakersfield. The organization offers group discounts and has many partnerships with local businesses who buy up tickets for lucky employees.
The park itself has much to offer fans young, old, and in between, from fun zones for children to the beer zone and picnic tent for the slightly more mature crowd, as well as a merchandise store which affords fans the opportunity to represent their team no matter where they go. The park has plenty of seating options, all of them being quite affordable and offering a great view of all of the on-field action.
In addition to all of the features and benefits that the Bakersfield Blaze enjoy in their home stadium, they recently signed a two year partnership with the Seattle Mariners to become the team’s minor league affiliate. Add to that the failure of a venture aimed at building a stadium for the team in Salinas and Blaze fans have plenty to be excited about. While the team may be mired in a slump at the moment, the future is still bright for the Bakersfield Blaze.
The 29th annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival has once more come and gone, leaving no shortage of jazz fans already yearning for next years performers. The festival took place last weekend and likely saw thousands of Kern County residents arrive at California State University Bakersfield’s campus to enjoy good jazz, good food, and good company. Over the last three decades, many have enjoyed the Jazz Festival and all that it has to offer. However, many may not be aware of the incredible benefactors who made this staple of Kern County’s community possible.
Doug and Adele Davis were the originators and organizers of the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, beginning twenty nine long years ago. Doug Davis is a professor of music at CSUB and his wife, Adele, enjoyed a long and successful career as an elementary school teacher. Sadly, she passed away earlier this year due to complications stemming from an abdominal surgery. Though she is gone, the Jazz Festival continues her lifelong legacy and keeps her spirit alive.
While Doug has been instrumental in the festival’s continued success, he would be the first to admit that Adele was the lifeblood of the event and continued to organize the various staff members and booths with precision. Although the couple had stepped back and taken a more relaxed approach to running the festival in recent years, they still maintained a healthy involvement and ensured that the Jazz Festival would remain capable of providing entertainment to those who wanted it and opportunity to all those who deserved it.
Over the years, the festival has been responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships for aspiring musicians who attend Cal State Bakersfield. This past weekend alone, the 29th annual festival raised anywhere between $26,000 and $30,000 in scholarship money. This benefit, coupled with the fact that many alumni relish the chance to give back to their community by playing at the festival, show young students just how far they can go in their field provided they work hard enough. That was Adele Davis’ mission in life, to ensure the success of every child that crossed her path.
Even more remarkable than the Davis’ resolve to help students in any way they could, was Adele’s ineptitude as far as music was concerned. She could not read a note of music, nor could she play an instrument, but that did not hinder her passion for education and altruism.
The Bakersfield Jazz Festival has thrived for nearly thirty years and looks poised to continue its successful run, hopefully earning the chance to outlive and exceed the dreams and expectations of its generous founders, Doug and Adele Davis.
On Saturday May 9th, a very special guest visited the Westside Parks and Recreation District in Taft. This special guest is a legendary sports broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This special guest was none other than Vin Scully, the voice of Dodger baseball.
The reasoning for Scully’s visit was to honor the new Scully Field that was dedicated to him. The field is described as a “mini Dodger stadium.”
The legend’s appearance drew in very large crowd of Dodger fans of all ages, making the stands around the new field looking like a sea of blue.
The crowd was mesmerizing for Scully as he stated,” I will remember this crowd far more, much deeper than any crowd I have ever seen.”
But not only was it an honor for Scully to be accommodated by his fans, but it was an honor for his fans to be in the presence of him. Some of these fans drove hours just to get a glimpse of the legend himself.
It truly is an amazing thing that the City of Taft did in honor of Scully, guaranteeing that his name will surely never be forgotten for years to come.
A culmination of artistic events occurred Monday, May Eleventh when performing arts showcased in the Taft College Art Gallery while at the same time Taft College faculty displayed their own creations on canvas and photographic art. Professors Jean and Golling gave live performances in their area of artistic expertise. Jean performed his own compositions and famous works on his guitar. Professor Golling and Syddney Edwards, a student, performed a scene from “The Funeral” by Christopher Durang.
The art gallery was set up with folding chairs, spectators sitting in a semi-circle around a central area where the performances were given. Recording equipment was present allowing others at future times the ability to enjoy all that the show had to offer.
The Faculty Art Exhibit displayed art from Maggie Blackwell, Anna Dimayuga, Jonathan Elsdon, Erin Kaczkowski, Suzanne Acosta, Deborah Rodenhauser, Armondo Rubio and Gary Graupman. Art displayed varied in media from pastels on canvas to digitally viewed photographs. Rubio took inspiration from the romantic era painter Caravaggio. Applying Caravaggio’s methods in a more contemporary setting. Rubio commented on his work in the present digital age using the archaic methods, “. . . so it’s just taking an old idea, old techniques and furthering that idea with contemporary approaches.”
When the Baker Street Library in downtown Bakersfield first opened in 1915, the Morning Echo paper referred to it as “a monument to the civic progress and culture of Bakersfield.” That statement still rings true to this day, 100 years later. Many Kern County residents grew up making regular visits to this library and making memories there that would last a lifetime.
The Baker Street Library has enjoyed a long and storied history and will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary on Saturday, the ninth of May. The building took roughly two years to finish, from approval for its construction to its physical erection and cost about $26,000.
Although the library was opened on July 8th, the celebration is taking place this month in order to avoid the extreme summer heat. As much as Saturday’s event will be a birthday celebration, it will be a time to remember a national landmark and a toast to Baker Street Library’s survival over the past century. The structure has withstood budget cuts and the Kern County earthquake of 1952. The library was even closed at one point in its long history. Despite all of this, the building is still standing and still serving thousands of residents each year.
This Saturday will see Kern County residents from far and wide visit Baker Street to partake in the festivities from 12 PM to 3 PM. There will be activities and all manner of fun events for children. The best part? It’s all free for the community. Here’s to another 100 years.
A Sharp Piece of Awesome Release Party–Saturday, May 16, at 3:00pm at Dagny’s Coffee, located at 1600 20th St. in Bakersfield. Authors published in issue five of our annual student-edited literary publication A Sharp Piece of Awesome will read their works to celebrate and launch the release of the issue. Copies will be available for ten dollars, but the event is free.
Creative Writing Class Reading–Thursday, May 14, at 6:00pm at Black Gold, located at 508 Center St. in Taft. Students of our creative writing classes will read selections of their original poems, short stories, and memoirs. This is always an exciting event in which students gain experience reading their work to the public. Students will also present their original collections. The event is free.
Dr. John Eigenauer is one of the top professors at Taft College, but what many people don’t know is that he is also the author of many different articles about the dispositions of teaching critical thinking.
NISOD is an organization that specializes in enhancing teaching strategies for Community Colleges as well as the overall improvement of curriculum. On top of publishing his article, NISOD asked Dr. Eigenauer to do a “webinar” in which he did a presentation from his office here at Taft College that was broadcasted to over 150 people nationwide. Dr. Eigenauer has presented awards at the NISOD conference in Austin, Texas, twice and has also received an Excellence In Teaching Award himself.
The Article, which is titled ” Teaching Critical Thinking Dispositions” can be received on request from Dr. Eigenauer by contacting him at email@example.com.