Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Coming home: Making a list and celebrating all the local kids who chose Bakersfield as home
* ... THOSE WHO CAME HOME: I received a lot of feedback after a recent post about young people who have returned to Bakersfield after graduating from college. So many of our best and brightest leave and never come back, opting for more exciting venues with larger and more diverse peer groups and more professional opportunities. But there are many who do come back, as I was reminded by Kelly Giblin, a former East Rotary president and administrator at the LeBeau Thelen law firm. Working at that firm alone are Nicholas Mears, Bakersfield High graduate who went on to William and Mary; Melissa Brown, Stockdale High and UCLA; Kevin Thelen, Garces Memorial High and UCLA; David Bynum, Garces Memorial and University of San Diego; and Andrew Sheffield, Bakersfield High and Cal State Bakersfield.
* ... AND A FEW MORE: As the days wore on I received more emails about local kids who chose to come home, including Adam Icardo, a Cal Poly grad working in the family farming business; A.J. Antongiovanni, UCLA and now at Mission Bank; Dan Clifford, a University of Oregon grad working at Clifford and Brown; Ryan Hansen, Pittsburgh and now a manager at Frito-Lay; Vince Fong, a UCLA Bruin running point for Rep. Kevin McCarthy; Brian Grant, a product of Colorado State and now working at Tejon Ranch; Sarah Trichell, a Fresno State Bulldog employed at W.A. Thompson; and Chad Manning, Purdue University sales manager over at Jim Burke Ford. My special thanks to Joe Hay, a proud grad of Notre Dame and now commercial sales manager at Burke Ford, for helping me compile this list.
* ... A DUKIE CHOOSES BAKO: I also received a nice email from Jerry Matthews of Bakersfield, who reminded me that his son Jason Matthews graduated from the prestigious (my word, not his) Duke University a couple of years ago and is now working for Colliers Tingey. Jason is a graduate from Stockdale High School. His mother is Sandy Matthews.
* ... EXPIRED TAGS AT EVERY LIGHT: Bob Stine, CEO of Tejon Ranch, shot me an email wondering about all the folks driving around Bakersfield with expired tags. I've certainly noticed it and like Stine, wondered how all these people get away with it. Stine thought it may be yet another economic indicator of bad times and wondered how much revenue the state was losing when folks simply refuse to register their vehicles. Next time you are at a light, check out the car or truck in front of you.
* ... FIXING HIGHWAY 46: It was good to see work finally getting under way to widen part of Highway 46, so named "blood alley" for the seemingly never ending string of fatal car crashes. Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) was on hand Tuesday for the groundbreaking to widen an eight-mile stretch of Highway 46 from just west of Highway 33 to Brown Material Road near Lost Hills. It can be a terrifying ride along that stretch and this is certainly welcome news.