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2015 Classified Appreciation Resolution


photo of softball field

Softball Field Idled for 2015 Season

photo bandy

Athletic Director Kanoe Bandy

By Mickey Van Horn

This year couldn’t have gotten any worse for the Taft College softball team. During an announcement for the upcoming season, Athletic Director Kanoe Bandy announced that the TC softball program was going to be suspended for the year.

This decision came solely based on recruiting issues and lack of players. The last time Taft College suspended a sports program was nearly 11 years ago in 1994 when the entire athletic program was suspended as a result of a financial crisis. Softball and baseball were the first sports that were reinstated in the spring of 1996.

“We couldn’t just let this season happen, especially when our softball team roughly had 11 players currently on the roster. It came to our attention that we had to do something about it. We had a board meeting with the President and Vice President of Taft College and discussed how we would make our decision. It didn’t take long for us to realize that It wasn’t fair to the girls on the team”, Kanoe Bandy had said during an interview.

You may wonder what’s next for the softball program heading into next fall. Kanoe said with authority that they will be back in time to play ball next fall. “We just need this time off to get our recruiting back and make this team stronger.”

photo softball field

No angels in the outfield.

Sexual Assault Seminar

Women of Week-M.Oja, T. smith

photo by Blackwell

Maggie Blackwell’s “Tool Pusher Trailer”

Blackwell in gallery

Artist Maggie Blackwell at TC Gallery


By Cougar Echo Staff: Josiah Birkbeck, Lisa Ybarra, Mickey Van Horn, Michael Clites, Nick Kawano, Bruce Gray, and Brenda Magana

Maggie Blackwell, local artist, took time to speak with the Cougar Echo Staff about her current exhibit at the Taft College Art Gallery. The showing features paintings of regional subjects of local interest including oilfield equipment and scenery.

Blackwell’s medium for this exhibit is pure-pigment chalk pastels on 600 grit archival sandpaper which magnificently reflects light adding to the vividness of the works. Works include studies in landscapes—Sequoia, Kern County, and Eastern Sierra—and Americana including motel signs and Airstream trailers.

She is also working on a children’s book featuring “Beulah” the Airstream Trailer, a character that evokes fond memories from her childhood and her experiences and travels following “the never-ending yellow line of the highway.” The artist started her career with oil-based paint, then went into water colors to protect her children from the fumes of the oils, and has been using chalk since 2001. She says she now owns over 3,000 pieces of chalk of varying colors.

GOING places . . . Taft College Alumni Exhibit # 3 also includes stonework/ceramic by Jovanne Ayala and is now open in the TC Art Gallery and will run until April 15th. Hours are Monday-Thursday 9AM to 4PM and Friday 9AM to 12PM.


“Balanced” by Blackwell


blackwell photo

Landscape by Blackwell

Donuts Flyer

Writers of Kern’s Annual Spring Conference will present four publishing professionals covering four pillars of writing success at the Clarion Hotel on Rosedale Highway, April 25, from 9:00-3:00

Each speaker’s expertise covers a cornerstone of the writing field for Kern writers, including: editing, screenwriting, fiction, and newspaper columns.

Master the editing skills every writer needs for a polished manuscript with editor and agent, Toni Lopopolo. Local Bakersfield Californian columnist, Herb Benham, will share tips for balancing the writing and family life. Authors Anonymous screenwriter, Dave Congalton, will share insights into his journey from unknown writing hopeful to Hollywood screenwriter. And fiction author, Allison Crotzer Kimmel, will reveal the building blocks behind a great story.

Writers of Kern is the county’s local branch of the California Writers Club, which has 1600 members in 19 branches throughout California. Writers of Kern’s annual spring conference brings publishing professionals and new writers together each year. Learn more about Writers of Kern at

Conference details: April 25, 2015, 9:00-3:00. Clarion Hotel, 3540 Rosedale Highway.

$50 entry for WOK & CWC members, $25 for students. Catered lunch @ $5.

Speaker Allison Crotzer Kimmel

Author Allison Crotzer Kimmel

By Jessica Guillen

There are many clubs on the Taft College campus that are full of fun and great experiences. Some can help educate us, and others are just for fun.

The Literary Club has been around, and publishing their magazines for five years starting in 2009. The club is made up of editors who gather stories and poetry pieces from anyone who is interested in submitting.

The magazine was originally named, “(A Turtle) Stabbed in the Face With a Sharp Piece of Awesome” by Ryan Vaughn. Later on, Vaughn and the other editors decided the title was too long because they did not think people would remember it and shortened it to what is now “A Sharp Piece of Awesome.” The main purpose for this club existing is to promote literacy all around Kern County.

Today, the club consists of the adviser Geoffrey Dyer, Kaelyn Butler as the secretary, Courtney Cloud as the editor-in-chief, Alexander Victoria is the publicist, and many other editors. The magazine takes submissions in November and publishes the following year.

While talking with Kaelyn Butler she mentioned, “Read! Consume art because it helps you grow with your own aesthetic taste.”

To become a member of this impressively awesome club, the easiest way would be to contact Dyer at his email:

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The I Can Afford College Crew


By Brenda Magana
On March 19, famously know website “” stopped by at Taft College. Representatives had set up a booth outside of the library where they were promoting an advertisement for what they are known best, their “ jingle.”
Students were welcomed to participated in this fun activity and where able to win prizes. In order to win prizes, all students had to do was sing the jingle.
For instance, I myself decided to give it a try and ended up winning a Subway gift card. Not only that, but I was entered into their online contest where I can win up to $1,500, $500 , or $250.
As good as that sounds, it doesn’t stop there. If my video is considered a favorite, I can be entered to win a new car! The deadline for video submissions is March 31, and voting will begin April 1-24th.
Do not miss an opportunity of a life time.
Apply know before it’s too late. Besides one never knows, and you might end up in the drawing to win a new car.

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