Michael Mastromatteo gets the audience singing at a dueling pianos event at the Padre Hotel in July.

Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

To do: Every Friday and Saturday, The Padre Hotel, 1702 18th St., hosts Dueling Pianos inside Prospect Lounge. This request-driven event encourages the audience to shout out its favorite songs as two piano players and singers perform face-to-face on the stage. You must be at least 21 years old to attend. The Padre suggests arriving early to secure your spot. 

To listen: Crimson Skye is performing at 7 p.m. at Cafe Smitten, 909 18th St. 

To watch: "Legally Blonde: The Musical" is showing at 7:30 p.m. at Ovation Theatre, 1622 19th St. The show runs every weekend in August, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and either 2 or 6 p.m. every Sunday.



In September of 2016, Bakersfield lost more than a baseball team, it lost a part of American culture that is played out on the stands as well as the playing field. From left, Sebastian Alvidres, Samuel Melvin, and Maxwell Alvidrez appear to enjoy one of the last Blaze games at Sam Lynn Ballpark.

Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

I always try to communicate how an event affects people, whether it's a windstorm, a holiday or in this case a pro baseball team playing its last games in Bakersfield.

— Henry A. Barrios


Eclipse glasses

Pick up safe viewing glasses or learn more about the upcoming total solar eclipse at events on Saturday.

Courtesy of NASA

If you've got kids, this weekend is likely all about back-to-school planning. But everyone should take a break Saturday for some eclipse talk. Members of the Kern Astronomical Society will be at Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with solar telescopes discussing the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The Buena Vista Museum Of Natural History & Science, 2018 Chester Ave., will host an information session as well starting at 10:30 a.m., which will include a small giveaway of eclipse-viewing glasses and lesson from local NASA solar ambassador Roberta Parnell. The Delano Library, 925 10th Ave., will also hand out glasses, share safe viewing tips and offer space arts and crafts for the kids. Since children will likely be in school during the eclipse, which peaks at around 10:20 a.m., this is a chance for families to have some science fun together.

— Stefani Dias


Denise Natividad

Denise Natividad, the mother of Leslie Balderrama, who died after being struck and killed by a drunken driver in 2015, donated $2,500 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kern County, following the settlement of her wrongful death lawsuit.

Courtesy of Chain Cohn Stiles

Denise Natividad, the mother of Leslie Balderrama, who died after being struck and killed by a drunken driver in 2015, donated $2,500 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kern County, following the settlement of her wrongful death lawsuit. 

Chain Cohn Stiles, the law firm that represented Natividad, matched the donation. 

“When we became victims of a DUI crime, MADD Kern County became our advocate and worked hard to make sure we had a voice, and treated our family with compassion,” said Natividad. “We’re able to give back now and help another local family who unfortunately will have to deal with the aftermath of the actions of a drunk or drugged driver.”

Matt Clark, Chain Cohn Stiles attorney for the Natividad family, added, “The crash that claimed the life of Leslie Balderrama was incredibly tragic and 100 percent avoidable like all DUI crashes. Our law firm is honored to continue to help MADD Kern County, and it’s touching to know that Leslie’s family feels the same way.”

The law office said the $5,000 will go toward the fourth annual Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash, MADD Kern County’s annual event that raises funds to help victims of local DUI crashes, raises awareness of the DUI epidemic in the community, and helps fund MADD Kern County programs.

“Our wish is to get to a point where MADD Kern County’s services aren’t needed,” said Carla Pearson, victim services specialist with MADD Kern County. “Until then, we’re grateful for the support from Denise Natividad, which helps us continue to advocate for victims, and fight to end drunk and drugged driving in Kern County forever.”

If you want to partake in Bakersfield’s Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash, it will be held Sept. 23 at the Park at River Walk. You'll see Leslie Balderrama's family out there supporting MADD Kern County. 

For more information on the event, head to


Here are our top stories based on web traffic at

1. Former sheriff's deputies sentenced to probation for conspiring to sell drugs they stole: Two former Kern County sheriff's deputies, Logan August and Derrick Penney, who conspired with another law enforcement officer to sell drugs they stole from evidence lockers, were sentenced to probation. They will do no prison time.

2. LOIS HENRY: Taxpayers spent $25 million for affordable housing that's become a 'hellhole': Over the years, taxpayers have invested $25 million (conservatively) into the Camellia Gardens, Camellia Court and Camellia Village complexes through various forms of deferred-payment loans, tax credits and property tax exemptions. Lois Henry says there have been reports of roach infestations, rats and trash in the hallways, urine in the dryers and worse. Henry looks into what's going on at the housing facilities. 


Margarita Adata decided to take her twin boys, Francisco, left, and Ricardo Tapia to the newly remodeled AMC 6 in Bakersfield to celebrate Francisco leaving to U.C. San Diego to study political science. Ricardo was also to leave soon to U.C. Irvine to study computer game science. They say they like the plush recliner-type seats of the newly remodeled theater.

Henry A. Barrios/The Californian

3. Cheers! Remodeled AMC 6 ready to screen films, serve alcohol on Friday: TBC previewed the reopening of AMC 6, which was previously a discount theater showing second-run movies. In addition to first-run movies, the theater offers plusher seats and sells beer and wine.

4. AMC 6 reopens on California Avenue with reclining seats, upcoming treats: AMC 6 opened Aug. 4. On the theater's opening day, it was showing "The Dark Tower," "Dunkirk" and other new features in its upgraded auditoriums at 4200 California Ave. The smaller auditoriums seat about 40, the larger about 140.

5. Heart-stopping mountain lion encounter caught on video: Two local hikers had a nerve-rattling encounter with a mountain lion on a High Sierra trail in California's wilderness.


“The effort level throughout the summer has been outstanding; not a lot of guys have missed more than a couple of days. I can tell you, our guys will be physically fit, they’ll be mentally prepared and they’re going to play with a lot of passion.”

— Jeff Chudy, head football coach at Bakersfield College, on the upcoming season.

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