Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from BakersfieldObserved: celebrating a year of living in Bako

 * ... THE ALEXANDER GIRLS: John and  Kay Alexander emailed me to let me know that their three girls - Victoria, Elizabeth, and Kathryn - all graduated from Highland High, Bakersfield College, and UC San Diego.After a post-law school stint in Washington, D.C., Victoria returned to Bakersfield to work for Clifford and Brown, LLC, and married John Trichell of the W.A. Thompson Trichells. Elizabeth deferred an acceptance to UOP Dental School to teach biology at Foothill High, where she met her future husband, Gavin Bell, a Garces grad. Kathryn, who teaches social science at West High, also married a local boy, Zak Karlen, who is a director at Bolthouse Farms. As they told me: "Lucky us: we see our children and grandchildren almost daily. Thank you for letting me add my two--or three--cent's worth."

 * ... SAVING FOR COLLEGE: Lost amid the holiday shuffle was a news release from state Treasurer Bill Lockyer urging families to open a California Scholarshare account to start a college savings program for their children or grand children. This state sponsored 529 savings account allows folks to put money away after tax and watch it grow tax free. Fidelity manages the investments. If you are a parent or a grand parent, there isn't a better gift for the children in your life to give them the gift of a college education.

 * ... BAKO OR BAKERSFIED? Reader Darlyn Baker offered a little poem for the debate over using the term "Bako" for Bakersfield. Here's her take: "Bakersfield vs. Bako in your column is fine. Bakersfield is too long. Bako saves time. Embarrassment is not the intent nor pun. When using Bako, to me it sounds like fun."
 An anonymous reader was not so kind, remarking: "The term Bako instead of Bakersfield is a reflection on the person(s) who use it, and they probably use terms like Frisco and dude and 'I'm like' quite a bit.  I think that it is an ugly term.  It is the same as saying a woman is a 'babe' as opposed to saying she is an attractive woman .. and that's my two cents!" 

 * ... RIP JAN JAY:  Was saddened to hear about the death Christmas Eve of Jan Jay, wife of Bruce Jay, the president and CEO of Valley Republic Bank. Jan had been in hospice care for several weeks while suffering from cancer. Keep her family in your thoughts. She had worked for years in the pediatric dental practice of Dr.  Daniel Launspach in town.

 * ... THE BUZZ: It was exactly a year ago that I started BakersfieldObserved as an online blog, hoping to catch some of the spirit of our community by recognizing people who work quietly to improve our town. I am most grateful to the hundreds of people who have responded and emailed, even when they don't agree with me. The themes that seem to resonate most are those that go to the heart of our self esteem: local kids who came back home when they could have lived elsewhere, nicknames for the town, and how others perceive us. Thanks to Johnny Carson and Hollywood's depiction of the Central Valley, we clearly are a tad defensive about how others view us, but one can't deny the basic goodness of the people who call Bakersfield home and work every day to improve our community. I dedicate this blog to them. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to those of other faiths.

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