• Cotton candy grapes, shown here in a vineyard near McFarland in 2013, are the result of years of cross-breeding techniques used in creating designer fruits.

    THE DISH: A bunch of good news for grapes

    Health magazine gave a shoutout to locally grown cotton candy grapes in a recent list. The candy-sweet green variety grown by the Grapery made the publication’s list of “five delicious veggies you’ve never heard of — and need to try.” Along with the taste, the grapes are lauded for their heart-

  • The night sky in early July.

    NICK STROBEL: Ready for close encounter with mysterious Pluto

    The big day is almost here. The big day, of course, is New Horizons flyby of Pluto! (What other big day is there in July 2015?) On July 14, New Horizons will fly by the Pluto-Charon binary system and their multiple satellites frantically taking pictures and gathering data from its suite of

  • Two customers wait in line for lunch at Tacos Mi Casa.

    PETE TITTL: Best Bakersfield taco trucks a parking lot away

    Food trucks are not new — they’ve been around as long as working people have needed food brought to the job site — but they’ve been growing in popularity over the past five years, especially in Southern California. We happened to be in Santa Barbara about a year ago when Four Seasons, the high-end

  • Let the little ones make like minions as part of Barnes & Noble's Get Pop-Cultured Campaign this month.

    Pop culture poppin' out all over this month at Barnes & Noble

    Where do Stormtroopers Minions, Harper Lee and fangirls have a place to come together this summer? Barnes & Noble has the answer with the return of its Get Pop-Cultured promotion, which begins Thursday. Begun last July, the event celebrates beloved books, characters, movies, artists,

  • "A Real Cowboy" by Iva Fendrick, part of her show “Faces, Places, and Flowers in Vases,” opening Friday at Dagny's Coffee Co. Many of the places in the show are real as are the faces, including her cousin Bill Rankin, the subject of “A Real Cowboy.”

    A patri-art-ic start to holiday at First Friday

    Art stops for no holidays — at least this Fourth of July weekend. First Friday returns downtown on the day most 9-to-5’ers will be given off for the holiday. “Being the holiday weekend, it will be interesting to see how crowded it is downtown,” said Iva Fendrick, whose show, “Faces, Places and

  • After the city had announced there would be no fireworks show at the Park at River Walk this year due to lack of sponsorships, several companies offered to step in and help. The day's festivities start at 6 p.m.

    Go Fourth and celebrate: Kern's fireworks displays are here ...

    With the Fourth of July just around the corner, it’s time to start making plans for how you’ll celebrate America’s independence. If personal fireworks aren’t your thing, seven free community fireworks events will take place throughout Kern County Friday and Saturday. Shafter, Buttonwillow and Taft

  • Ellie Sivesind will perform a number from "The Wild Party" as part of "The Role I Was(n't) Born To Play III" fundraiser at The Empty Space.

    STEFANI DIAS: Theater may seek expanded 'Space'

    The Empty Space lets freedom ring this weekend with “The Role I Was(n’t) Born to Play III,” its annual fundraising musical revue. Kristina Saldana, the show’s creator/director and theater’s financial director, said that this year’s show revisits 14 musicals that have been performed at the theater:

  • Aliens attack the White House in “Independence Day.”

    Drive-in double feature honors military

    Among this weekend’s Fourth of July festivities is an all-American double-feature by Cinertain Drive-In. The Military Appreciation Night on Friday will include “National Treasure” and “Independence Day,” to be screened on Cinertain’s inflatable screen at the Sam Lynn Ball Park, according to a

  • The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band will perform at the Fox Theater July 10.

    CESAREO GARASA: Shepherd loves the blues, but genre doesn't define him

    When Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s first album was released in 1995, he was an 18-year-old self-taught blues-guitar prodigy with a shocking amount of raw talent and ability. Twenty years later, he’s a 38-year-old bona-fide guitar hero and elder statesman of the blues, paying respect to the music that

  • HERB BENHAM: Don't take hospital elevator to Code Blue

    You are destined to spend a certain amount of your time in emergency rooms. It might as well be written in the Book of Life. Pack light, bring a novel and wear comfortable shoes. Last week my mother-in-law fell and broke her pelvis. I’d like to blame it on her husband, John (lucky son-of-a gun

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Hard to get me on stage, harder to get me off stage

    Amy Adams sang first. You know Amy Adams. “American Idol” finalist Amy. Singer extraordinaire Amy. N-one-wants-to follow-her Amy. I have to go on after her? Sorry. My publicist won’t allow me to do that. This was last Saturday at the Crystal Palace for the Media Music Jam, a concert featuring

  • The Belvedere Room at the Padre Hotel has stayed on top of its game with an updated menu and classy atmosphere. It was named to a BuzzFeed list of must-try restaurants in California.

    THE DISH: Belvedere Room lands on BuzzFeed list

    Bakersfield made another list, but this time we’re happy to be there. The Belvedere Room in the Padre Hotel made a list of 16 California restaurants every foodie must try from website Buzzfeed and its brand publisher Visit California. Offering “fine dining at the southern end of California’s

  • David Dennis, who introduced Taft High to the computer age and coached an Olympic athlete, has retired from the school where he had taught for 27 years.

    HERB BENHAM: The older the violin, the sweeter the music

    I like people who obliterate the idea of age. Ignore it, step over it and do what they do in spite of it. I appreciate the rest of you too but I want you to buck up. Take a walk to the stop sign and back. Start now. I’m talking about Albert Lee, who performed last week as part of Rick Kreiser’s

  • Dining Out with Pete Tittl

    PETE TITTL: La Colonia hard to find but worth the search

    There are restaurants in Bakersfield you can best classify as the culinary pioneers: Bill Lee’s, Rice Bowl, KC Steakhouse, Mexicali, Sinaloa — the ones dating to the ’70s or even farther back. They’ve inspired enough regulars to keep the doors open in what can be a very fickle business. A peer in

  • Architect David Milazzo at the California Triangle Building, which he designed. Located at California and Lennox avenues, the building is 66,066 square feet and four stories tall, with a mechanical room on top.

    Once seen as obtuse, fans see Triangle Building from new angle

    The California Triangle Building that houses Bank of the West and other tenants is a landmark today, but when it was in the planning stages in the late 1970s, some were a little wary. “I went to (city) planning with the design, and it was immediately characterized as a wedge of cheese,” said

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Ice makers, like people, get tired

    The ice maker quit. Ice makers are like fountains. They’re temperamental creatures and would as soon quit on you as work with you. “They get tired,” said Dave the appliance man. “It should be making a rack an hour. If it isn’t, it’s tired.” “Tired?” I understand that. I get tired, too, and one

  • A bamboo-print screen is part of "Metal Works," an exhibit by Alisyn Palla, which will hold its reception Thursday.

    STEFANI DIAS: Metal exhibit rests on the cutting edge

    Crafting good arguments might be enough for most attorneys but Alisyn Palla is a bit different. She brings a hard edge to the local art scene, cutting and welding metal into sculptures, cutouts and more. A selection of her work is currently on display as “Metal Works,” an exhibit at The Empty

  • Buck Owens and Annette Funicello at a rodeo parade in Bakersfield on May 19, 1984.

    CD brings Annette and Buck together

    A mutual admiration between Buck Owens and Annette Funicello in life carries on after death. That was the message at a ceremony Tuesday organized by Funicello’s widower to honor Owens’ right-hand man for his help mastering a CD of two Funicello recordings. Donations associated with the CD benefit