Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sarah Palin and Bakersfield a dream team and a business born in the recession booms

 * .. LIKE THROWING RAW MEAT TO WOLVES: You have to hand it to George Martin, the local attorney who is bringing back the once wildly popular Bakersfield Business Conference. Martin scored it big by landing former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to be a headliner at the event, which is now scheduled for next October 9. Say what you will about Palin, but she is a red hot commodity right now and bringing her to Bakersfield's conservative audience is like throwing raw meat to a pack of hungry wolves. Meanwhile, no word yet on where the one-day conference will be held, but I hear Martin's first choice is the amphitheater at the Park at River Walk over off Stockdale Highway. The old venue over at Cal State Bakersfield appears to be out, partly because of the construction of the new student recreation center and the new bike path that winds around it.

 * ... A BUSINESS BORN IN THE RECESSION: If you're looking for some good news in the depth of this recession, consider Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchants over off Truxtun Extension and Empire Drive. The business, owned and run by David and Tami Dobbs, is beautifully done and features a full wine store as well as a tasting area where you can sample wines by the ounce. The couple bought the building in July 2008, gutted and renovated it and opened Imbibe in March in the absolute depths of the recession. How are they doing? Tami tells me they are well ahead of their revenue goals and could not be happier with their growing clientele. The couple (she graduated from Bakersfield High and David from North High) spent 20 years in the wine business in Glendale before moving back in 2006 to be closer to family. This is a true entrepreneurial couple who built a business through sheer sweat equity against all odds in a recession. More power and all success to them.

* ... OFF TO HAITI: I saw Evan Evans, a local Allstate insurance manager, at Starbucks on 24th Street Monday morning where he regularly meets for coffee with his old high school pal Harry Starkey, head of the Berrenda Mesa Water District. Evans told me he was off to Haiti with 20 other members of the Olive Knolls Church of the Nazarene to build and work in a clinic. Apparently this is a 10-day trip and another example how many folks in this community give back in untold number of ways.

 * ... BOBBY'S BRIGADE FUND RAISER: If you're  looking for a good cause to support, drop over to B Ryder's sports grill this Thursday for an event supporting Relay For Life. The event is named for the son of CeCe Cross who lost his battle with leukemia. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and includes trip-tip dinner, salad, beans, bread and a drink. B Ryder's is located at 7401 White Lane. Call CeCe Cross for details at 661-703-2050, or Vanessa Cierley at 661-246-8886. The event starts at 6 p.m.

 * ... RIP KURT YAEGER: I heard the other day that Kurt Yaeger, a local attorney who left town in the year 2000, had passed away in Riverside. Kurt and his wife Andrea Yaeger lived in Haggin Oaks and were avid golfers at Seven Oaks Country Club, where they were charter members and Kurt was the first head of the Board of Governors. Kurt was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and died at Loma Linda University Medical Center on November 10. He was 53. Keep Kurt, Andrea and their daughters Jacqueline and Elizabeth in your thoughts.

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