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By Alberto Muro


The season of winter sports returns to the state of California, and just in time as popular resorts have received reports of heavy snow during the beginning weeks of November. In Southern California, a popular resort known as Mountain High opened its doors to the public on November 13.


Employees at Mountain High were at the entrance greeting people with a smile. Although booths were open for season passes, tickets, and lift tickets, they remained empty since a majority of people arriving came prepared, and without hesitation lines to the lift filled up.


Since it was opening day at Mountain High, a DJ was spinning music which in a sense gave people their own soundtrack to race down the mountain. Despite being considered a safety hazard, some riders already came with their own headphones.



Taft College student Jose Salamanca looked forward to the snowy conditions at Mountain High and kept up to date with the weather reports. Jose says he has been snowboarding for 3 years, and this will be his fifteenth trip to Mountain High. Prior to the opening day, Jose said he could not wait to test out his new board, “I have just ordered my board last month, and have been anticipating to test out the durability of it.”


When asked about the fundamentals of snowboarding, Jose mentioned his previous experience with boards, “Snowboarding to me shares its similarities with skateboarding which helped me greatly adapt to the environment; I mean even the falls share the same pain aspect.” It was surprising to see the toll that falling in snow had, and Jose did not let a botched landing ruin his day by the look of his bloody smile he was ready for more.



Snowboarders were not the only people scaling down Mountain High. Fans of skiing also took to the slopes and maneuvered carefully down the mountain, and just like the snowboarders, they too had smiles on their faces. The Mountain High experience is inexpensive and is a great environment for people to learn about winter sports.

By Hector Gutierrez

Panda Pic 1

Panda Express opens its eighth location in Bakersfield on the southeast corner of Brundage Lane and Oswell Street.

The Panda Restaurant Group hired CRM Architects and Planners to frame and establish the new location which covers exactly 19,359 square feet of land next to Taco Bell, according to a CRM foreman.

The restaurant itself however will cover 2,280 square feet leaving the remaining area for 29 on-site parking spaces.  This location will also include a drive-thru to compete with the two fast food restaurants next to it. On the other hand, this location will feature a 70 foot sign visible to Highway 58 which is something the other two restaurants lack.

Panda Pic 2

This was a big issue for the city because 35 feet is the limit for that particular zone in Bakersfield. Luckily, the city granted its proposal as long as CRM constructs proper roadway along Oswell Street.

Panda Express has begun advertising for employees the first week of November and is expected to open its doors December 16th of this year.

The area is expanding after Wal-Mart opened one of its neighborhood markets just behind where the new Panda Express will be located.  Considering Jack-in-the-Box and Taco Bell, Panda Express will be the third restaurant within a one mile radius of this highly populated area.

Neighborhoods to the south of Brundage Lane are expanding as well which will only create a higher demand for more businesses to accommodate to.

CSUB wrestler looks to set up a take down.

CSUB wrestler looks to set up a take down.

By Michael Clites

Penn State traveled across the country for a meet with Cal State.  The overmatched Roadrunners fought hard throughout the duel, but the Nittany Lions proved why they are the number one team in the country. With All-American coach Cael Sanders in their corner, the Penn State Nittany Lions truly dominated every match they wrestled in.


The first two matches were won by Penn State in a majority decision. Following those was the pinning of Bakersfield native, CIF State Champion, Coleman Hammond. This was Hammond’s first time being pinned this season as he went against the number four ranked wrestler in the country, Zain Retherford.


As more matches went completed, and more points were racked up by the Penn State team. As the night was beginning to be wrapped up, the Roadrunners only had a few more matches to try and get just one point on the score sheet. But this would prove to be difficult as one of the final matches was against number one ranked Morgan McIntosh at 197 lbs. McIntosh has never once been taken down in his NCAA career and looked to remain perfect against CSUB’s Reuben Franklin. Doing so, the match was won by McIntosh in decision with a final score of 12-3.


The score was 35-0, with Penn State leading by the time it was the heavyweight’s turn to take the mat. CSUB’s Matt Williams faced Penn States Jan Johnson in this heavy bout, knowing his team desperately needed some points to avoid being shutout in their own house. This wouldn’t be an easy task, but in the end, Williams got it done. Matt Williams scored points with riding time and escaping his opponent. The final score for the bout would be 4-0, Williams.


Although avoiding a shutout, the CSUB wrestling team was simply out wrestled the whole night, only getting one takedown against the entire Nittany Lions team. A learning experience indeed for Cal State’s wrestler.

by Alberto Muro


It was in late October that the World Health Organization announced that processed meats such as bacon caused cancer. That announcement had little effect among those that admire bacon, and Bakersfield’s annual Bacon and Craft Beer Festival was that place to be for bacon lovers.


Hosted by Bakersfield’s own Lengthwise Brewing Company, the Bacon and Craft Beer festival was held at Stramler Park. Patrons tasted food from 20 different restaurants in Bakersfield and sampled drinks from 30 breweries throughout California.


Patrons also had access to life size games such as Jenga, Connect Four, sack tosses, and beer pong. There was a sand volleyball court set up, and it did not remain empty as teams were divided between men and women. There was strong competition.


To everyone’s surprise, the beer pong players were able to keep things in order as the activities commenced and not one single glass was broken. Music tunes from an early 2000s playlist echoed throughout the venue, and it kept everyone in a nostalgic peaceful mindset.


A message of responsibility.

The restaurants that served the patrons handed out their pork themed dishes, Don Perico’s handed out their bacon wrapped shrimp, Eureka! dished out their bacon sliders, and Lucille’s BBQ made their pulled pork sandwiches.


An out of the ordinary yet surprisingly delicious treat came in the form of ice cream. Local Bakersfield ice cream business La Rosa gave patrons a chance to try their bacon flavored ice cream.


The main attraction did not just focus on craft drinks and pork products. After waiting in an enormous line of pork enthusiasts, Lengthwise Brewery finally unleashed the roasted pig on attendees. Slathered in juices and giving off quite the aroma, the pig gained quite the media frenzy as people snapped photos.


One notable feature about Bakersfield’s Lengthwise Brewery hosting the event is that the proceeds will be going to charity. Similar to VillageFest in September, Lengthwise and other breweries made it possible for people to enjoy themselves in the name of charity.

By Ashley Renteria


Ever heard of the card game 7 plus 11? It was invented by current Taft College student Lourdes Gentry.

“7 plus 11 is a whole new game that is fun and easy to play. The player wins using their best 5 cards in hand to make the best 7 plus 11” (7 and 11, not 18).

Gentry invented the game in the beginning of 2013 and finalized the copyright in May of 2013.

“The idea came to me when I was trying to help with marketing on another game. I was driving and out of nowhere I decided to make my own game”.

Gentry said the numbers and idea 7 Plus 11 popped into her head and she immediately pulled into a gas station to start writing down the math and ideas.


The game 7 Plus 11 is a combination of Blackjack and Poker.

“The crazy part of this is that after I finished I realized I was in a 7-11 gas station”. The name she chose for her card game was purely a coincidence to being created in the 7-11 gas station.

Gentry said while she was enrolled in a business course, her professor gave them an assignment for marketing a website or company and she thought her game would be perfect for it. She created a website for her game where you can learn how to play, purchase a deck of cards, or contact Gentry for question, complaints, or comments.

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Gentry said she is working on creating a contest for people to create their own how-to instructional video for the game that she will feature on the website.

By Ashley Renteria

Taft College’s Fall Student Art Exhibit is Back!

IMG_0092 IMG_0091

The art show will be open from November 10th to December 11th every Monday 12-4 pm, Tuesday/Thursday/Fridays from 9am-2pm and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.

The art gallery located in the Tech Arts Room 11, exhibits student’s works of art such as still life drawings, portrait, and 3D art.

Laura Saltiban's "Pop-Eye"

Laura Saltiban’s “Pop-Eye”

Brock Miller's "Hunting Season"

Brock Miller’s “Hunting Season”

Cordell McDowell's "Reverie of Nihility"

Cordell McDowell’s “Reverie of Nihility”

By Etelvina Castillo

Community colleges are often looked down upon. Many Taft College students say to have been questioned when they say they attend a community college. Taft College is one of the best community colleges in the area, and I am not just saying that as a current Taft College student.

WalletHub did research on the nation’s community colleges and ranked them based on cost of financing, classroom experience, education outcome,s and career outcomes. Based on the criteria, Taft College ranked 5th overall, and it is the only community college in California that is in the top ten.

WalletHub provides the tools and information for people to make the best financial decision by ranking companies, products, and services. For the first time, WalletHub conducted a research on the nation’s community colleges.

I went out to speak to current Taft College students and asked them why they chose to attend a community college over a four year university and if they knew about the ranking of Taft College in WalletHub’s research of 2015’s Best & Worst Community Colleges.

Irvin Lara is a freshmen at Taft College and he said he is very glad to have chosen a community college over a four year university. The main reason why Irvin chose Taft College is because it was a better economic choice and less impacted than Bakersfield College.

Ana Morales came from Sacramento City College to Taft College, and she has said it has been by far the best decision she has made. Morales said, “Because of a small campus and the help offered at Taft College, I am able to graduate in two years, something I probably would have not been bale to accomplish at Sacramento City College.”

Both Lara and Morales were very surprised when I told them Taft College had ranked 5th overall as one of the best community colleges in the nation. Morales said, “I didn’t expect such a small town to have such a great college; I am surprised but at the same time I am not because from a personal experience I can say that Taft College offers a lot of financial and educational help.”

Next time anyone asks you why you go to Taft College, be proud and say because it was ranked 5th in the best community colleges in the nation.


By Michael Clites

          The fall semester of college is always one of the more expensive semesters for students nationwide. Mostly because students that aren’t close to home have to pay their way back. For some, their home isn’t that far from campus and could rely on driving back for Thanksgiving and or Christmas. But for those who have to hop on a plane and fly back for the winter, the trip back could get a little pricey.

A round-trip plane ticket to say, Canada, could cost nearly up to eight-hundred dollars. Why in the world would anyone need a plane ticket to Canada? Well, there are over fifteen Taft College student athletes who are Canadian and head home almost every winter. Having to head home for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas twice a semester at around eight-hundred dollars isn’t exactly therapeutic to a college student.

One way to help save your wallet for the trip home would be to purchase a plane ticket as early as possible. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are annual and have the same week dedicated to them. So, if students knows that they will be going home for the holidays, they should just buy their plane tickets far in advance.

As compared to the eight-hundred dollar round trip bought the week before departure, a ticket bought a year before could be as little as three-hundred dollars (depending on where one is going). This is more than fifty percent off the last minute purchase others choose to do.

Another smart way around the country is signing up for a “frequent flyer” membership with an airline. Airlines across the nation offer this membership to help flyers save money when flying back home. The requirements are simple: the more you fly, the more you save.

So, whether you plan on flying or driving, one thing is for certain. Always plan ahead, and budget your finances accordingly because it is no mystery that the holiday season is the most devastating to your wallet.

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