• International board-certified lactation consultant Christine Staricka gives feeding tips to new mom Eileen Price as she nurses daughter Cybil at Baby Cafe, an education and support group for nursing mothers.

    Officials stress resources for new mothers after death of newborn

    There's usually a lot of cooing and laughter in the back room of Planet Bambini. That's a baby store in Rosedale that lends space to Baby Cafe, a support group for nursing mothers. On Tuesday, the mood was more somber as new moms discussed a Georgia couple arrested last month in connection

  • HERB BENHAM: A meating of the minds for Dad's birthday party

    Dad's 90th is coming up and we're chewing on the menu. Food shouldn't be that important but given that people can be wild cards and turn on one another other like hyenas, food is something over which you have relative control, so why not fuss over it? People like to eat. It makes

  • Corinthian Gardens Health Care Center, located at 1611 Height St., is closing.

    Nursing home closure strands residents

    It took more than a year for Bakersfield City School District board member Andrae Gonzales to find his father, paralyzed from an autoimmune disorder, a local nursing home that could give him the care he needs. But the trustee, also founder of the local Children First nonprofit, found one:

  • Janie Scott is surrounded by her triplets: Brooklynn, left, Cambria and Autumn in their front yard. Janie and her husband, John, have three older children as well.

    HERB BENHAM: Mommy & me, me, me, me, me and me - meet Janie Scott

    "Believe" is tattooed on her right wrist. It's not so much a statement of faith in the divine, but faith in herself no matter how tough life can get, and it can get thick. Every so often you meet somebody who not only renews your faith in humanity but in the charm and strength of an

  • Owned by Jennifer Sanderson and Jeramy Brown, Valentien isn't afraid to switch up the menu, which continues to evolve. The pair have replaced the customary appetizers with a first-course selection of cheeses, and entrees typically change with the seasons.

    The Dish: Valentien's new menu, Moo ordering made easy, food fest alert

    Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar has just unveiled new menu items and the return of a seasonal dinner event. Valentien co-owner Jennifer Sanderson has tapped the products of Mojave's The Sanctuary at Soledad for a new locally sourced cheese plate. Run by Julian and Carol Pearce, the

  • HERB BENHAM: Saving his smiles for gramps

    Sue emailed during a recent visit south to say that Andrew had smiled at her. I was happy for her. I think I was happy for her. "Andrew smiled at me," Sue said in her email. "Did he really?" I snapped in return. "Yes, he has the cutest dimple," she said. He

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: A mother's life echoes phases of the moon

    Ever since I was a little girl, the sight of the moon has lured me. I remember tracking its mysterious monthly phases with my chin on the windowsill when I was supposed to be asleep; I still note its rising and setting in the night hours. I like the words associated with the moon: waxing, waning,

  • Bakersfield Californian reporter Courtenay Edelhart floats at Salt7even is a new business to Bakersfield where people can go and spend time floating in near body temperature water in a isolated, sensory-deprived environment to relax and relieve stress.

    Business sells floating in salt water to reduce stress

    Everybody knows floating is relaxing, provided you're not sharing a pool with screaming children. But would you pay to float in salt water for an hour in a quiet isolation tank? Basically, a hollow black cube free of light and sound? A Bakersfield couple is betting you would. About a month

  • Congressman Kevin McCarthy was painted by Ray Turner as part of the artist's "Population" series of portraits. “The people I painted in Boston — man, do they feel like they know they’re from Boston to me," said Turner. "I think I can boast that I won’t ever be fooled by a body of work as to where that person is from, even though there are so many, hundreds of them. I might be fooled by two or three, but I’ll know that’s Akron, that’s Bakersfield, that’s Boston. It’s a very intimate process.”

    The faces of Bakersfield: Stunning portrait exhibition at BMoA

    Pasadena artist Ray Turner can't describe a Bakersfield face but he knows one when he sees it, and he has seen, up close and in great detail, about 50 of them over the last year. Turner paints faces, hundreds of them, from communities around the country and has been doing so for the better

  • Symphony picks 'great closer' to season

    The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra closes out a remarkable season with one more remarkable program Saturday evening. Like the rest of the performances this year, this season's final concert includes a standout soloist, something to challenge the listener and showcase the orchestra: the BSO

  • Winning mac, cheese recipe: We've got it!

    Those not at the Macaroni & Cheese Festival on April 18 missed out on some of the best variations on the classic from local restaurants and businesses. But you don't have to wait until next year to taste a winning dish. The second annual event, held at the Cal State Bakersfield

  • Photo by Erik Haarsager: The cast of "Little Shop of Horrors" is ready to rock The Empty Space this weekend. From left: Tim Fromm, Kelsey Morrow, Liz Williams-Borud, Alex Mitts (seated), Jennifer Sorkin, Nick Ono (front) and Aubrie Calloway.

    'Little Shop' a big undertaking at theater

    Part of the American musical theater canon, "Little Shop of Horrors" has something for everyone: romance, lively musical numbers, a sadistic dentist and a man-eating plant. That menacing Venus fly trap-like plant will take over The Empty Space this weekend for the opening gala and

  • John Harte / Special to The Californian
 Debbie Peters, Valentin Gomez, Maria Gomez and Katie Verhoef (from left) work the table of Wasco-based Supreme Almonds of California at the2014  Kern County Nut Festival on the grounds of the Kern County Museum.

    Nuttin' but nuts at museum

    If the three-digit temperature kept you from venturing out to the Kern County Nut Festival last year, you weren't alone. Attendance was down by 3,000 people from the 10,000 who ventured out to the inaugural -- and much more temperate -- festival the year before. "Last year, it was the

  • From left: Tye Hungerford, Hayli Baker and Tyler Wilson work on art projects in Mary Bradford's class recently at North High School in Oildale. Bradford said the show will bring together student and community artists as well as local art lovers.

    Students draw on history of Oildale for inspiration

    North High art students and teacher Mary Bradford see the beauty in Oildale, and Thursday they will be sharing that perspective with the community in an art show. For the second year, Bradford has organized an art show for her students that also accepts work from the larger community. Last

  • The whole "Wrinkles" cast joins in singing "€œIâ€'m Proud to be an American"€ during rehearsal. The show runs through Sunday.

    'Wrinkles' returns, but it's not the same old story

    In its fourth year, "Wrinkles" pulls off an impressive feat by assembling a cast of more than 20 local performers all age 55 and older -- with one exception. "One person who's helping with tap dancing, Marvin Ramey, is probably in his mid-30s," said director Beverly

  • Roger Kalia is a finalist in Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra's search for a new conductor.

    Sixth BSO finalist: 'Leading but staying out of the way'

    Conductor Roger Kalia compares himself to an athletic coach, with an orchestra as his team. "I'm there basically to encourage them to perform at their best," Kalia said. "I'm leading but staying out of their way." Kalia is the sixth and final candidate under

  • Tim Williams directs the Liberty High School choir. Opera is often seen as high-brow, but Williams said that shouldn’t be the case. He explained that before movies, opera was popular entertainment, meant to appeal to the masses, and that performances were not “the hoity-toity thing they’ve become.”

    Merry widow pushed to marry in this opera

    You won't have to dress up in a gown or suit and you won't need any fancy theater binoculars to enjoy an opera production this weekend and next at Liberty High School. The school's choir department will perform "The Merry Widow" this Friday and Saturday and on May 15 and 16.

  • For weeks, moths everywhere and now barely one besides the moth at work beating its wings against the windowpane. What happened? I asked Scott Begin, vice president and manager at Citizens Business Bank, who is a banker by necessity but an entomologist by training, having graduated from UC Davis