Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Central Valley, Noriega Hotel get some positive ink and more kids come home to roost

* ... A TOAST TO THE CENTRAL VALLEY: It's always nice to see the Central Valley get some positive reviews from time to time, particularly given the bad rap we have with our neighbors to the north and south of us. The Valley has often been called the "other California" because we always take a back seat to our sexier neighbors in SoCal (LA, San Diego) and NorCal (San Francisco), even if those of us who live here recognize what wonderful communities we have. So it was nice to get some recognition from "Californiality," one of my favorite blogs written by Mark Lorier(read the entire thing here). A couple excerpts:

"While agriculture is king, this Valley has great cities like Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Modesto, Stockton, Redding, Visalia and a hundred great towns. High rise buildings, wealth, luxurious shopping, museums, art galleries, wineries, live theaters, concerts, professional sports, world-class dining and refined culture are all here.  It's a gigantic society with all of the amenities.

  "I hear older residents lamenting about how young people leave the Central Valley after receiving degrees from local universities.  Many of these young folks are lured away by great offers elsewhere, and why not?  They're smart, ambitious, talented young Californians with a high-quality California college education.  Anyone would want them! 

 "What these young folks may not know is that, with the way things are headed in this era, California's Central Valley will grow in importance and stature as humanity moves into a tumultuous future."

* ... NORIEGA HOTEL GETS SOME INK:  It was also nice to see the Noriega Hotel and the Central Valley get some ink in The New York Times recently. The Times did a roundup of Central Valley eateries and chose Noriega's for its Basque cuisine. (read the entire post here) Said the Times:

  "The history of the southern San Joaquin Valley can be read in its food. Old Town Bakersfield is home to a handful of Basque restaurants, a legacy of sheepherders who moved to the valley in the late 1890s, after years of working for others. According to Nancy Zubiri, author of “A Travel Guide to Basque America,” 95 percent of the sheep in Kern County are now owned by people of Basque descent. Farther north, in Hanford, Portuguese dairy farmers still make Old World-style cheese. Recent Laotian immigrants operate Thai and Vietnamese restaurants in Visalia."

 * ... A COUPLE MAKES BAKO HOME: Wayne Kress, a principal over at the commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, added his newlywed neighbors to the list of kids who have come home, Chris Travis and Christina Beechinor Travis. He said Chris graduated from the University of Arizona and now works in sales for Lightspeed Systems and Christina earned her degree from Santa Clara University and now works for Aera Energy.

 * ...BULLDOG COMES HOME: Proud mom Mary Santomen, who works at Golden Valley High School, emailed me about her son Samuel Blue. He studied engineering at Bakersfield College for two years, went on to graduate from Fresno State and is now back home working for Meyer Civil Engineering Company, which had a role in the Mill Creek project development.

* ... HEAVY DOSE OF CONSERVATISM: Local attorney George Martin isn't breaking any new ground with his lineup for the next Bakersfield Business Conference, now set for next October 9. Former Bush administration White House player Karl Rove has joined the lineup, along with Dick and Lynne Cheney, Barbara Bush, Mitt Romney and event keynoter Sarah Palin. Martin is following a predictable path here, assembling a lineup that looks a lot like Fox News but one that is guaranteed to be a hit with Bako's rock hard conservative audience. The real key will be the venue, and that hasn't been determined. Martin has always provided an incredible outdoor setting for the business conference, in the past turning the Cal State campus into a lush green setting looking like the infield grounds at the Churchill Downs. He wants to land the Park at Riverwalk, but it's not yet a done deal.

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