Starbucks offers a wide variety of pumpkin spice flavored drinks and treats to satisfy autumn taste buds.

By Shelby Parker

Staff Writer


Fall is officially here, which means the leaves are changing colors, cooler weather is coming, and for a lot of college students, it means that magical time of year when all the festive coffee drinks are back at Starbucks.

Desirae Catharill, a freshman on campus, says she likes the Pumpkin Spice Latte and also enjoys the cake pops. Cathirell added that what she loves about Starbucks is you can taste the espresso in their drinks, which is something you don’t always get at other coffee stores.

Barista at Starbucks for eight years, Febe Medina, says that during these months, the most popular drinks are the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Caramel Brule. In addition to Fall favorites this year, the famous coffeehouse has come out with new drinks and treats.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is an espresso drink with the popular spices of fall, including, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. It’s topped with whipped cream and pumpkin spices, for decoration.

The Salted Caramel Mocha is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. It is drizzled with buttery caramel, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of premium sea salt and sugar.

The Chocolate Chai Tea Latte is a blend of black tea, creamy mocha, steamed milk and the famous spices. Just like any other Starbucks drink, it’s topped with whipped cream.

Medina also adds, “Our syrups, especially in our popular drinks, are high quality ingredients,” and they try not to use artificial flavoring in any of the drinks they make.

She also says that people like to add White Mocha and Peppermint White Mocha to their drinks around this time of year.

Juana Martinez/The Runner Starbucks' baked goodies on display for hungry customers.

“The store is busier during the holidays. Everyone is happy and Starbucks is also the perfect place to spend time with their loved ones. Starbucks invest a lot in the atmosphere of the place,” Medina says. The franchise does a great job of capturing the essence of fall and all of the most important elements, which explains why it’s busiest during the colder months.

Rene Chow, a junior in the communications department, says that though she doesn’t spend very much time in the store, she does pick up a drink “a lot more” during those months, usually before class or whenever one happens to sound good. She said her favorite seasonal drink is the Salted Caramel.

Also, back on the Fall menu, according to the Starbucks website, is the famous Pumpkin bread, along with the Pumpkin scone, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, which are all made with real Pumpkin. Starbucks has even partnered with the San Francisco bakery, La Boulange, which will now be providing another variety of pastries and treats, like scones, muffins, Danishes and more appropriate for the season, Pumpkin sugar cookies.


Shelby Parker
Staff writer

Halloween is less than two weeks away, but why wait until the Oct. 31 to celebrate the occasion? There are plenty of activities to do around town in the days leading up to the holiday. You don’t just have to be a kid to get into all of the fun, you just have to be a kid at heart.

Image from Get into the Halloween spirit with some spooky activities.

For those of you who like to go out, but don’t necessarily have plans made just yet, there’s a lot to explore in the city of Bakersfield. There is the Scary for Charity Halloween Bash held from 7:00 p.m. until midnight on Oct. 26 at the Marriott Hotel. There will be entertainment, including DJ Yogi, towering monsters, dancing, silent auction, costume contest, hors d’oeuvres and a raffle. Tickets are $55 pre-sale and $60 dollars at the door.The proceeds will benefit the Jamison Center and Kern Partnership for Children and Families. It is a 21 and over event.

Talledega Frights is back and is considered to be “Kern County’s most frightening Halloween attraction.” It has moved to The Kern County Museum, and it looks like it’s going to be their biggest year ever. A couple of the favorite scenes are back, like Hillbilly Hell and Green River Asylum, but have been revamped and are even more realistic than before. New to the attraction is the Zombie-X interactive experience that allows you to help Kern County fight off the zombies that seem to have invaded. However, if you chicken out or just aren’t up for the thrill and gore, there’s also Halloween Town, which is great for all ages. There’s a rock climbing wall, bounce house, hay ride, pumpkin patch, pedal karts and more. The cost for Talledega Frights is $20 and includes Halloween Town. The event runs Thursday-Sunday nights. If you’d like to know more about the package deals, you can check for more information.

Scream in the Dark is also another Bakersfield favorite that is back for another year. It’s a spooky haunted house that will have you running for your life. It runs through the week from 7 p.m. til 10 p.m. and weekends from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Admission is $10.

If you’re looking for something a little on the safer side to do with the kids, the Kern County Museum is hosting a family friendly event. There will be 30 different trick-or-treat stations, light show, midway carnival, safe Halloween hunt, and a costume contest. Tickets are $10 for the public and only $8 for members. The event will take place from 5:00-9:00 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31.

As for the plans of CSUB students, Tiffany McKeever, said that her night will consist of going “party hopping”, adding that Halloween is her favorite holiday. She already has her costume planned out, as well. She said, “I’m going to be Storm from X-Men and my boyfriend is going to be Thor, because we’re big fat nerds.”

Not all CSUB students are planning on going out, though, and prefer to take it easy at home instead.

Brittany Stanford, who is a communications major said, “I’ll be staying home making traditional treats, like popcorn balls and candy apples,” and that she’ll be watching the most terrifying movie that she hasn’t seen yet, by the name of “Audition.”

If this is the route you’d like to take, there are plenty of Halloween classics to stock up on, while making treats found on Pinterest.

  • Halloween
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Friday the 13th
  • Psycho
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • House of Wax
  • Rosemary’s Baby
  • Dracula

But, if scary movies aren’t your thing, movies like, Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus are usually playing on Disney Channel.




The red carpet was rolled out and ready to go Friday, Nov. 8 at the Fox Theater, as Hollywood came to town for the first ever “Outside The Box” film festival. It is a three-day event that ran through Sun., Nov. 10, previewing and debuting films of all different genres.

Rick Davis, the co-producer of the festival, as well as the president of the Fox Theater Foundation said, “Bakersfield has been home to local film festivals for years,” but this is the first national fest that has been held in town.

With so many travelers coming to Bakersfield, it was a great way to showcase the city and all that it has to offer.

Davis said, “People coming from all over the country helps our image.”

He adds that it’s also helpful from an economic standpoint, because tourists are staying in the hotels and eating at local restaurants here. He joked about the old saying, “Bring ‘em here, make ‘em happy, run up their Visa, send ‘em home.” So far, it seems to be working.

There were 44 entries from all different parts of the country, including people from Southern California, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Alabama, Utah and even Toronto.

Several celebrities also participated in the event, like Michael O’Hara, Joe Mantegna from “Criminal Minds” and Joey Travolta, brother to John Travolta and an actor himself.

Travolta had showcased a movie at the Fox Theater last year. He runs a practical film workshop to help people with developmental disabilities and teaches them the art of filmmaking. That includes working with cameras, lighting, and scripts. So, he thought they would come up with something that was “the size of a hamster,” and it ended up turning into an event, “the size of a herd of elephants.” They wanted to bring a first rate film festival to the area, and it looks like they succeeded.

The night started off with a history of Hollywood and a look back at how the city has changed. Peggy Darling from Spotlight Theatre told the story of how her grandfather’s barn was used to help Cecil B. Demille make the first motion picture, “Squaw Man,” and turned it into the first major studio, Paramount. She described “Hollywood” at the time as being a very small country town.

Joey Travolta also showed his movie, “The Heart of Tango”, Friday evening. It is a documentary that follows four young men, three who have autism and one who has Down’s Syndrome, as they are paired with four other strangers to learn the dance style of tango. It’s a beautiful film on how the art of dance can help people connect with one another.

Lastly, Joe Mantegna’s film, “Choc’late Soldiers from the USA” premiered. It told the story of 140,000 black American soldiers and some of the struggles they faced during their time of service to our country at that time.

Davis said that he hopes the audience “furthers their appreciation for creativity” after this weekend and also adds that “a world without art would be a pretty boring place.” This was the perfect event for people to express their passion and creativity.

“The driving force is the passion, and this is the start to get to that Hollywood level,” Davis said.


Shelby Parker
Staff Writer

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to break out the festive sweaters, gather around your loved ones and park yourself on the couch for a Christmas movie marathon.

One of the wonderful things about Christmas is not only does it fill us with cheer and glee, but it also reminds us of valuable lessons about what’s really important in life. Often, we learn those lessons from these movies, mixed with a little bit of chaos that helps put things back into perspective.

Here are some of my favorite holiday films to help remind you of the spirit of Christmas:

Christmas Vacation
Chevy Chase is always running into some sort of problem in his Vacationmovies, and this tale is no different. Clark Griswold and his wife Ellen invite both sides of the family to their house for Christmas, which involves a cat in a box, a squirrel running loose in the house, redneckcousins coming for a visit and a bonus from work that might not have been just what he had in mind. This will surely make your family feel much more normal with plenty of laughs in between.

Cover of "Elf (Infinifilm Edition)"

Cover of Elf (Infinifilm Edition)

Will Ferrell takes on the role of Buddy, the delightfully charming and oblivious elf who makes his way from the North Pole to New York in search of his father. He ends up finding him, but suddenly realizes that he isn’t exactly the most cheerful guy around. Buddy spreads Christmas cheer all around, through his quirky and childlike ways, and is able to help everyone else remember what the spirit of Christmas is all about.
“You sit on a throne of lies,” is one of the best lines in the movie.

Santa Clause Trilogy
Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen, is a businessman who isn’t exactly thrilled with Christmas. His son spends the night on Christmas Eve, and hears a noise on the roof. They quickly discover it is Santa Claus. When he falls from the roof, Scott must now fill the shoes of the big guy himself. The rest is history, as he starts to realize he has to take the place of Santa and bring joy to many kids all around the world, while also bringing him closer with his own son.

Polar Express
This animated film shows the transition of having faith in Santa Claus to growing older and how believing isn’t quite as simple as it once was. A young boy gets awakened in the middle of the night by a magical train that appears in front of his house and takes him on the trip of a lifetime to the North Pole, where his belief in magic and the impossible might just happen to be restored.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
In the Dr. Seuss 1966, we are reminded that this time of year, anything is possible. The Grinch is a greedy, selfish creature that doesn’t want anything to do with Christmas and wants to keep it away from all townspeople, as well. He’s mean and loves keeping to himself, until he starts to see the errors of his ways, and that he just might have a heart, deep down in there after all.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Kids of the 90s will appreciate and remember this film with Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jessica Biel. Jake is a college student who doesn’t want to go home for the holidays, until his dad says he’ll give him the Porsche, if he can make it home by 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. That might be the original goal, but as Jake finds out along his journey and race against time, there are far more important things in life than cars.

White Christmas
This 1954 classic, starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney is one of the greatest holiday films of all time. After World War II, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis decide to come up with a song and dance act, which matches them up with two beautiful women. They decide to put on a Christmas show at a lodge, where their former commander is the owner, which leads to many mix ups and kooky moments, with a lot of songs to keep things fun.

This is just the beginning of a long list of holiday films that have been touching audiences all over for the 50 years or so. When in doubt, Lifetime and Hallmark are always showing some of their original movies, whether cliché and predictable, they’ll have you in the mood for Christmas in no time.


By Shelby Parker
Senior Columnist

Photo Courtesy of Amber Chiang and Charley Chiang Amber and Charley Chiang smile on their wedding day May 22, 1994.

They say that when you aren’t looking for love, that’s usually when it finds you. In the midst of focusing on school, career and family, sometimes the stars align and the one person you didn’t know you needed walks into your life at the right time.
Amber Morgan was a communications major at California State University, Bakersfield, and meeting the love of her life wasn’t a concern on her mind, nor was being in a relationship a main priority.
Her mother had gotten pregnant and married at a young age, and told Amber, “Always know what you want to do,” when it came to her life. Amber made a promise to her mom that she wouldn’t get married in her teens. She worked on The Runner throughout her college years from 1992 to 1996.
Charley Chiang was a business major at CSUB, who joined The Runner staff in 1990. He was “unofficially” on staff for two years, as he was also enrolled in the Copy Editing and Page Layout classes. He was also interested in someone else.
However, one day in August 1993, seemed to change all of that.
“While walking down DDH minding my own business, Amber and Lori Evans, who was the staff photographer, walked up behind me and Lori pinched my butt,” said Charley. “I liked Lori at the time, so I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t really think much of Amber at first. We officially met while I was in the Copy Editing class.”
It wasn’t exactly love at first sight for these two, but like many, over time their friendship became something more.The pair had never met before that day. After, they went to a few group outings, but never talked until a birthday party for their co-Editor-in-Chief, Laura Hodgson, in Kernville presented itself. They were the only ones who showed up, which gave them plenty of time to get to know one another. Charley was a city boy from Taiwan, who had then moved to Los Angeles. Amber was from the desert, and was fascinated with the stars, and spent some of their time together, pointing out the constellations in the night sky.
“Amber and I spent about an hour talking just talking and getting to know each other under the stars and away from the party. I guess it was then I realized she might be the one.”
After only two months of dating, Amber was diagnosed with mononucleosis. All of her responsibilities had overwhelmed her, affecting her physically. Charley admits to feeling guilty about her getting sick, since mono is known as the kissing disease.
“Charley helped me however he could – bringing me food, helping me keep up on my coursework and just generally keeping me company. That selflessness is something I will always remember,” said Amber.
It was during that time that Charley got the idea to ask her to marry him. They had only been dating two months, but when you know, you know.
“I figured in her weakened state, she’d be more likely to say ‘yes,’ but I didn’t pop the question until after she had recovered,” said Charley.
Charley picked out a diamond ring, asked Amber’s dad for his permission to marry her and got on one knee on her front porch. Although Charley said she wasn’t totally surprised because they had been talking about it, Amber thought otherwise. Since she had made the promise to her mom about not marrying in her teens.
Amber waited until three days after her 20th birthday to get married. They have now been married 21 years, and have two children.
“It was a lovely wedding! I am very proud of them in their careers and as parents of two great kids,” said Judith Pratt, who was adviser of The Runner at the time.
“My life would not be the same had I not worked on The Runner. Thanks to Judith, to this day I still don’t use the words ‘that,’ ‘unique’ and ‘very.’ I also learned that love will find you when and where you least expect it,” said Charley.




By Shelby Parker

If you haven’t noticed by now, Bakersfield doesn’t always offer the same opportunities that larger cities, like Los Angeles does. However, that’s not to say that there’s “nothing to do” like many often complain. I was born and raised here, and while I used to be one of the many counting down the days to move away, because we didn’t always have the most exciting events, I’ve grown to appreciate the city for what it is. Over the past few years, I’ve seen many improvements from hipster café’s to swanky restaurants. If you’re looking for an entertaining Friday night with friends or a relaxing Saturday afternoon, look no further than downtown Bakersfield. There’s a little of something for everyone!

Arts District

This section of town has acquired the reputation of drawing the hipster crowd. There are coffee shops, thrift stores and art galleries. What more could you ask for?


Dagny’s is a locally owned coffee company by Mike Walters and Jackie Lawlor. The shop offers the perfect environment for studying or meeting with friends, while sipping a cup of joe or eating one of the many bakery treats, such as a cookie, cake or scone. It’s very casual and comfortable with couches and tables inside, or grab a seat on the patio when the weather permits. The shop even offers a nice selection of wine and beer. According to barista, Saige White, 22, some of the popular drinks are the monthly coffee, which is always changing, the mochas and the refreshing white iced tea.

Fox Theater

The historic Fox Theater opened on Christmas Day in 1930, bringing the elegance and style of Hollywood to Bakersfield. It was once home to the big screen, but closed in 1977 after 47 years of movie magic. In 1994, they reopened their doors and have been entertaining crowds with film festivals, concerts and more. The theater gives a more intimate setting and a romantic feel for all of the eras that have come and gone.

 Live Theater

Bakersfield has a great local community of theater. Shows are always taking place at The Empty Space, Spotlight or Stars Theater. Check out a play or a musical production, which is a lot more enticing than going to see another movie and supports the local arts.


Why go to Los Angeles, when there are plenty of local boutiques that provide the same quality of clothing? Fashionista Boutique at the Fox is just one of the shops that carries designer brands and top of the line attire.


The downtown area comes alive at night with clubs, live music and restaurants that could even be compared to those in New York City. Lighting and atmosphere makes all the difference with these

The Padre

The Padre is easily one of the nicest places in town, even if you aren’t staying in one of the guest rooms. Aside from the hotel, there are several restaurants to choose from, including the Belvedere Room, Brimstone, Prairie Fire and Farmacy Cafe. There are also options for private dining, should a special occasion occur. For a more casual setting, join your friends on the patio for drinks and conversation, especially while the weather is lovely and accommodating during this southern California winter.

The hotel also holds special events including The Happiest Hour from 3-6 on Mondays and during the month of November

 The Mark

Another high-profile restaurant that is quickly becoming another hot spot in town is The Mark.

For those of us that have lived here awhile, There are many hidden treasures that the city has to offer, sometimes it’s just a matter of looking a little closer.


Friday nights are popular for going out on the town. But, with hectic work schedules and long days, sometimes you just need a night in. Being more of a homebody myself, I tend to opt for quieter evenings. If it has been one of those exhausting weeks, and you just don’t feel like getting dressed up or going out to dinner, make dinner yourself and invite some of your closest friends. It’s perfect during midterms or final exams, or even if you’re trying to save money. Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring, and doesn’t have to be spent alone. These are just a few ways that you can spend the evening, but surely you can get creative and come up with something, if nothing else seems appealing.

Game Night Call me old-fashioned, but I love games. There’s nothing better than getting a group of your closest friends (or family) while screaming “Yahtzee” at one another. You can’t go wrong with a classic board games, such as Clue or Monopoly. If you’re into more modern games, try something like Quelf, acting out stunts and crawling under tables or Cards Against Humanity for something more outrageous. If that’s not you’re style, make your own trivia night – like the episode of “Friends” where Monica and Rachel lose the apartment to Joey and Chandler.

Get Crafty With so many DIY blogs and websites like Pinterest, there’s no excuse for not getting in touch with your crafty side. If you’re like me, you’re constantly creating boards on Pinterest or thinking of a million different ideas you’d like to try. But, life gets in the way and you never do them. Set aside a Friday night and start some of those projects you’ve been wanting to. If you don’t want to do it by your lonesome, invite your guys and gals over to experiment together. A couple of my favorite sites that include DIY projects, crafts and lifestyle tips are: and

A Night in the Kitchen It’s so easy to grab a large pizza or zap popcorn in the microwave. But, there is nothing more rewarding than baking a dessert or fixing a dish from scratch on your own. I personally love making desserts, especially around the holidays, as it gives me a chance to be festive and creative. Pinterest is filled with random recipes and over the years, I’ve tried a few. Cheesecakes in mason jars are a personal favorite of mine.

Binge-watching Apparently binge-watching is the new “thing” that everyone does. Thanks to Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus or On Demand, it gives you a chance to start a new series that you might not have otherwise had time for. My friends and I used to get together and we’d introduce each other to new shows. One night was “Dexter,” the next was “One Tree Hill” and another, it was “The Walking Dead.” We were already spending time with one another, so why not try something that your friends are into? On the other hand, if everyone else is busy or you’re bored out of your mind, pick a show you’ve always been curious about and see what it has to offer. Over the summer, I started catching up on “New Girl,” and it was a great decision.

Watch a Bad Movie on Netflix If you’re just looking for a one-time thing, watch a really cheesy movie on Netflix. It doesn’t take up quite as much time as adding your own commentary. Isn’t that usually more entertaining anyway? While it’s great to have simple nights, like some of the suggested ideas, always remember to not get too comfortable doing the same thing week after week. Sometimes it’s great to get out and explore the city, meet new people and try new things. That’s what college is about.


As college students, there’s a good chance you know what it’s like to live on a budget. Since most of us will eventually be paying back our loans or are on financial aid, we have to save money however we can. Sometimes that might mean skipping out on Starbucks in the afternoon or turning down that movie a friend invited you to.
So, what does a big portion of your money usually go towards? Textbooks.
Here are a few tips to avoid paying outrageous prices and losing your sanity, while trying to find the books you need:

Wait to buy books until the first week of school 
When I transferred from to California State University, Bakersfield last fall, I had already ordered my books by the time the first day rolled around. I like to plan ahead. However, after getting to class, it seems there had been a mix-up with what books I actually needed. I then had to send them back and wait for the bookstore to get more copies in.
Sometimes the books change or the bookstore doesn’t get the memo about the updated list. When this happens, it can become more of a hassle to exchange and wait for the book you need. It’s good to look over the list, but it’s also good to weigh other options.

Some professors don’t actually use the textbooks 

We’ve all had those classes where we’ve spent $150 on a textbook, only to find that you never actually open the text. Some professors will strictly take exam questions from Powerpoint presentations, never having assigned any reading from the required text. Prior to class starting, ask around to see if former students used their books in the past.

Emily Cole/The Runner The CSUB bookstore displays fully-stocked shelves of this fall quarter’s textbooks on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.

Check elsewhere for cheaper prices
Although it is convenient to buy directly from the bookstore and pick them up when ready, there are cheaper alternatives to finding books. A lot of people, including businesses, know how hard it is being a college student and try to work out better deals.
It’s also a good idea to check with your friends and classmates who have taken the classes before. If you don’t find luck there, there’s a Facebook page dedicated to students buying/selling/swapping books. No one is going to understand the textbook pain more than fellow students,

Simplify the process as much as possible
We all know about sites, such as or Chegg. But, how many times have you had to go to each site, only to feel more frustrated in the end, with which site is actually cheaper? What if there was a site that did all of the work, so you didn’t have to?
Students can search site to find the best possible textbooks.
“I went to USC (University of Southern California), and at the time that I went, the bookstore was selling 99 percent of the books that were used on campus.
They had a lousy availability for textbooks and there were only a couple of sites that you could buy from,” said Jeff Sherwood, Chief Executive Officer of Big Words.
“I programmed the website to be able to include the inventories of all textbook sites in one spot to figure out the cheapest combinations,” said Sherwood.
Here’s how it works — Type your book into the search engine, add it to your “book bag” (or shopping cart) and push the comparison button. It only takes around 10 seconds, comparing the 50-60 textbook sites. When someone has to buy four or five textbooks, they use all different combinations.
While the website is primarily used for textbooks, there are different discounts for almost anything.
The company also has a new iPad and iPhone app that will be launching soon.
“College students today are a lot more savvy and have a lot more options. But, at the same time, if you go to Amazon or or if you go to Chegg, you’re gonna get a good deal, but you’re not necessarily going to get the cheapest copy of every single book that you want. Because no individual store can always have the cheapest prices,” said Sherwood.
Sherwood said the U.S. Government Accountability Office decided to find out why textbooks were becoming so expensive.
According to the report, college students at four-year universities are spending $1187 a year on books on average. Sherwood said using this website, students will be able to save about $1,000 a year on average.


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