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By Sam Overton

spectre poster

This year, one of the most highly anticipated films of the year was the twenty-fifth James Bond film, Spectre. The film, directed by Sam Mendes and written by John Logan as well as being rumored to be the last starring Daniel Craig, was a deep psycho-analysis of the haunting life that James Bond has lead through his recent films.

The film touches upon the heartbreaking moments of his past, mostly focusing on the deaths of the two women he loved the most: Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) from Casino Royale, and M (Judi Dench) in Skyfall, and the ties that they have to the leader of the ominous group Spectre, lead by Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).

But there’s something about this film that seems all too familiar. It seems to have followed the same recipe that most James Bond have had since the beginning of the franchise. Bond kills people, sleeps with a woman, kills more people, gets in a sticky situation, sleeps with a woman, and kills people until he wins in the end. Something we have seen now for about twenty-two of the twenty-five films.

spectre scene

This film, however, does bring a little bit of nostalgia to it. Bringing back the past, as well as the old formula for James Bond films that we all know and love, thus making it a still widely successful film that is enjoyable for fans of the series. But if you’re expecting the same emotionally rollercoaster that was given in Skyfall, this might not be the film that you’re hoping it is.

 By Sam Overton

Guests dress in 1920's attire

Guests dress in 1920’s attire


This Halloween, the Padre Hotel played host to a party that invited guests to transport themselves back to the 1920’s. Filled with gangsters, flappers, and a wide variety of other characters, the night was a joyous adventure into the past.

The hotel, all ready an iconic part of Bakersfield history, was thrown back into the golden age of the town, the hotel having been built in the ‘20s.

Big Jim Ravioli shot and killed

Big Jim Ravioli shot and killed

The party was hosted by the Fairy Godmother Foundation, a volunteer fundraising group. Their goal is raising money to help engaged couples who have had to postpone their ceremony due to devastating medical risks.

The night was all fun and game . . . until somebody was murdered.

Big Jim Ravioli, the notorious mob boss, was shot in the middle of the room, as the power was shut off, causing the guests to have to ask themselves “Who did it?” And it’s up to them to find out who the culprit was before the night was over.



On November 2nd, a dust storm caused driving conditions to be very poor. This would eventually cause a 20 car pile up on the Southbound 99. Some motorists originally estimated that there were over 70 cars involved.

It was reported that a resident of Bakersfield received a phone call from a friend that was trapped in her car under an eighteen wheeler.

Fortunately nobody was injured in the chaos, and southbound 99 was opened just a few hours later.


By Hector Gutierrez


The sequel to Hotel Transylvania, Hotel Transylvania 2, did not disappoint viewers in theatres this fall season.

Based on its story line and character narrators, it is easily the best animated film to hit the box office this year.

Dracula, narrated by Adam Sandler (who has starred in many timeless classics such as: Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky, Click, 50 First Dates and Big Daddy), has trouble accepting that his grandchild, Dennis, might not have any vampire in him.


Dracula and his crew (who consist of narrators David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key and Bruce Buscemi) spend a whole night trying to scare the vampire out of him. Unsuccessful, Dracula accepts his grandchild as a full-blooded human and has to accept his departure since Dennis’s parents Johnny and Mavis decide to relocate and raise their child as a full blooded human.

In a rapid change of events, Dennis finally conveys his vampire side in an effort to save his loyal friend from a human-eating monster who accompanies Vlad.


Vlad (narrated by Mel Brooks) is an old-fashioned vampire who completely despises humans and is not even aware his grandson Dennis is human. Dracula, son of Vlad, stands up to his father to accept Dennis and all humans.

This whimsical and entertaining animated film is perfect for the family. The moral of the film is to accept all for who and what they are.


Funny and inventive in its entirety, Hotel Transylvania 2 is perfect for all ages and is still in theatres until November 26th this year.



On behalf of the entire Taft College Faculty and Staff, We would like to THANK YOU for your service to our country.


We would like to recognize those in our TC Family including:


John Dodson

Sharyn Eveland

Andy Huckins

Brian Jean

Mike Mayfield

Dave Reynolds

Tom Ware

Robert Meteau

Tina Mendoza

Bruce Ferguson

Doug Taylor

Dan Goodman

Anthony Cordova

Jon Carrithers

Dr. David Cothrun

Richard Holden



ScanThe students in the Literary Magazine Club have partnered with Black Gold and the Cougar Corner Bookstore to host a spoken-word poetry competition on Saturday, November 14, at 5:00pm. The competition is open to anyone. Professor Bill Devine, published poet Mark Fisher, and student editor Clarissa Alderete will judge the contest. First prize will be publication of the winning poem in The Taft Independent. Other prizes will include a gift card to the Cougar Corner Bookstore and copies of A Sharp Piece of Awesome.

Anyone may compete in the contest. Those wishing to read a poem should arrive by 4:45pm to sign-in. Black Gold is located at 508 Center St in Taft. Please help spread the word!


By Ashley Renteria

In October of 2015 Taft held its Oildorado celebration which occurs every 5 years.

Part of the celebration includes a pageant in which an Oildorado Queen, Princess and Miss Congeniality were crowned.

Current Taft College students Madi Rubadeau and Emily Davis competed in the pageant, Madi won the title of Oildorado Queen and Emily Davis won title of Miss Congeniality.

Taft Union High School student Laken Bumgardner won Princess.


Photo Courtesy of Taft Midway Driller/ Doug Keeler

Madi provides insight to what it’s like being the official Queen of Oildorado 2015.

“To be Oildorado Queen means to represent our town to the highest quality I can. To me personally though it means to not only just represent our town but my family, and my sponsor. Being sponsored by Alpha House is such an honor and to win queen with them supporting me was really special. Also it means being an adequate role model, which I strive really hard to be and hope that I can inspire someone to believe in themselves” Madi expresses.

While being queen doesn’t necessarily require her to carry out any specific duties or jobs, Madi said she is expected to keep up a good reputation and to attend events that are asked of her.

Madi was asked to attend the Kern County Race Path on October 17th as the trophy girl and was accompanied by fellow Maid of Petroleum Allison Milner.


Photos from Kern Raceway



Along with being a guest appearance at the race path, she attended the Miss Bakersfield pageant on October 24th as a guest representative with her mother as her main supporter.

“I will reign as Oildorado queen for 5 years when I will retire my title and hand it down to the next deserving young woman. Until then I’ll keep living up my small town fame.”

Day of the Dead

by Alberto Muro

Male Dancer

The death of a loved one is a heart breaking experience, and to overcome the feeling of sadness people have developed methods to hold onto memories of their deceased. Memorabilia is common, and there are many traditional ways which people honor their deceased.

Dia De Los Muertos Alter

For thousands of years November was observed in Latin American culture as a month to honor the deceased. The ongoing tradition of honoring the dead is called “Dia De Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead).

Family Alter

During Dia De Los Muertos, family members and loved ones get together to build a shrine and decorate it with items that brought joy to their deceased. Food, beverages, and music albums are some of many items that are placed at the shrines.

Dia De Los Muertos Alter

Festivities are common during Dia De Los Muertos, and it allows communities to come together and celebrate the lives of their deceased. Face painting that resembles a skull is a widely recognized feature about Dia De Los Muerto, and the creativity behind each face reflects on the cherished memories of the deceased.

Folklorico Dancers

Mexican folklore dances are also a notable trait of the festivities during Dia De Los Muertos. The dancers are dressed in colorful attire where the men wear hats, scarves, and boots while the women wear colorful dresses with bows in their hair.

Two dancers

Children are also an important aspect of the dancing tradition by wearing full body skeletal suits and skull masks as they engage in perfectly choreographed steps.

Skeletal Dancers

Dance director and host of a Dia De Los Muertos event Cruz Ramos and her daughter Muriel Ramos have partaken in the tradition in Bakersfield for the last 23 years.

Cruz/Muriel Ramos

Every year Cruz is on a mission to ensure that people enjoy their time at the Dia De Los Muertos festival. When asked about her motivation behind hosting the tradition, she said, “The love for our people that have left us and gone, and that includes friends because there is something in their lives that impacted us, and we learn something from them and in my case the love for God.”


Often people are misinformed about the tradition of Dia De Los Muertos, and although it’s a couple of days after Halloween, it has no affiliation. People that have not attended the event receive a history lesson about Dia De Los Muertos. Cruz is no stranger to newcomers curious about Dia De Los Muertos, she says, “They get educated, and they find out what they thought it was or what they heard. It has nothing to do with witchcraft or superstition. It’s a fact of life, we are born, and we are bound to die.”


Beverages, food, dancing, and familial bonds stand out at Dia De Los Muertos events, and at the end of the day, Cruz enjoys partaking in the tradition that her ancestors celebrated. We often take the time to mourn our deceased, but attending a Dia De Los Muertos event is a different story.


Sadness is replaced with celebration which Cruz pointed out “loved ones of the deceased are joking, there’s also laughter a lot of laughter and joy.” At the end of the day, those that we miss dearly want us to be happy, and Dia De Los Muertos is one of many traditions that people celebrate the lives of their deceased.


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