California State University, Bakersfield Professor Stafford Betty recently released his latest book, “When Did You Ever Become Less by Dying? Afterlife: The Evidence,” examining what can be a difficult, sensitive and often debated discussion among many.

The nominations for the third annual Bakersfield Life magazine's 20 under 40 People to Watch contest are steadily streaming in. I want to thank readers who have entered submissions. However, there is still time to nominate local residents who you feel should be recognized for their efforts i…

Christmas is only a few days away and while many of us are busy planning gatherings and exchanging our gifts of appreciation to friends and families, local charities are also hoping to be included on the to-do list.

About 10 Bakersfield Young Marines learned a critical piece of military history and the significant role of the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II when they got a chance to meet with the veterans in Window Rock, Ariz.

Family, friends and supporters of those in the armed services and veterans are encouraged to attend the fourth annual Military Ball, a full-dress uniform and black-tie affair, sponsored by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Military Order of the Purple Heart, Local Chapter 604. The Military Ball wil…

Blodgie Rodriguez may have her hands in many community activities, but she is one who seeks little spotlight. The Bakersfield Realtor is often behind the scenes helping put events together and fundraise for worthy local causes. And even though her typical day may begin early in the morning a…

Many people look to the New Year with new goals and hopes. Local charities are feeling much the same. Several charities in town, which rely on local support to exist, are hoping that the goodwill of area businesses and residents continues well into 2014 to help fund vital programs that benef…

The recent suicides of celebrities Lee Thompson Young, 29, who played in the 2004 film, "Friday Night Lights," and Glee star Cory Monteith, 31, has moved the topic of suicide into the spotlight and mainstream discussion. However, those with star status are not the only ones affected by the n…

If there is one group that hasn't given up on our youth and teachers, it's the ninth district of Department of California's Veterans of Foreign Wars.Veterans of different wars who dedicate their time and volunteer for great community efforts represent the ninth district, which encompasses mo…

Many of you might have gotten your hands on the December holiday edition of Bakersfield Life recently. And if you haven't, then I encourage to stop by one of rack stands to pick up a copy. For a list of rack locations, visit www.bakersfieldlife.com/rack_locations.

Scam or fraudulent incidents can catch many consumers by surprise, and businesses are not immune.That's why the Kern County Fire Department has teamed up with the Better Business Bureau and a California fire marshal investigator to hold a seminar on fire protection fraud this week.

An educator, a businesswoman and a longtime nurse were recently highlighted at an awards ceremony as the three Latinas of the Year by the nonprofit Latina Leaders of Kern County. The annual award is based on nominations, which are then reviewed by the organization's board that narrows the re…

On Saturday, about 45 local teenagers participated in the 2012 Devil Pups Challenge in hopes of being selected as a finalist for an upcoming summer program that will take place at the Marine Corps Camp Pendleton base. The name "devil pups" is derived from "devil dog," a popular nickname for …

I recently finished reading "Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton, and the New Deal," by UCLA history professor Devra Weber, and I was reminded of the times I spent interviewing Spanish-speaking farmworkers and listening to their stories of struggles, dreams, fears and hopes.

We often come across surveys -- on air, obesity, you name it -- that put Bakersfield to shame. Yet these observations cannot measure a community that gives unconditionally. Last month, I wrote about a group of Fremont School runners in serious need of uniforms and track shoes. The elementary…

One of the most life-changing moments in my life occurred almost 20 years ago in a Dallas hotel, which was hosting a national newspaper association conference. I was about 22 years old, a junior at Fresno State and among a group of about 15 diverse college students from parts of the South, M…

RIO BRAVO RUMBLE: I started my Saturday morning by attending the Rio Bravo Rumble, organized by Brian Monroe and Glinn & Giordano Physical Therapy. I have to say it is one of my favorite runs to do each year, and I'm not saying this because I have gone to Glinn & Giordano for physica…

BACKPACK DRIVE: Talk about creativity. Allure Beauty Salon owner Denise Ornelas is on a mission to collect as many backpacks for underprivileged children, and she's been using Facebook to entice potential donors. The goal is to collect 500. To reach that number, she's been offering some of h…

POLICE AWARDS: One of the events I always look forward to every year is the Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation police awards dinner where you get to meet and appreciate many of our local heroes who, day in and day out, work hard to protect our communities. The foundation, which supports …

RESERVE AWARDS: You may have run across one of them and assumed they were just another sheriff's deputy. And they are, in that they undergo academy and field training to do the job and wear the same uniform, but one large detail that sets reserve deputies apart is that they are not paid. So …

At 16 years old, Elizabeth Schull is already in command. She is a Young Marine and carries the rank of sergeant major, which puts her in charge of the Bakersfield unit — about 80 youth strong.