Friday, September 4, 2009

"Colors of China:" new show opening next week at the Bakersfield Museum of Art

Heads up on what appears to be an interesting new opening over at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Titled "Colors of China: Paintings, Calligraphy and Children's Art," the show will run from Sept. 17 through Nov. 11, long enough to give it good exposure to the community. I'm constantly impressed with the way our local arts community is using a blend of old and new media to promote its shows, on Twitter and Facebook, in e-mail blasts and of course in newspapers and local TV. Thanks to Beth Brookhart Pandol, the museum marketing director, for passing along this video of curator Emily Falke talking about the new show. Make sure to check it out. The museum is located at 1930 R. Street downtown near the Mexicali restaurant.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy: Town hall meetings a success, but most folks oppose Obamacare

Here's the weekly post from Bakersfield Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who just wrapped up a couple of town hall meetings on health care. If you have a question, post it under comments and I will ask Kevin to respond. Here he is:

"The August district work period has been productive as I spent most of my time traveling our communities, from Ridgecrest to Paso Robles, to listen to concerns and answer questions from local community members about health care reform.

"On Wednesday, I held another town hall meeting to listen to thoughts and concerns about the current health care reform bill (H.R. 3200) that will be the focus of Congress’ work when it reconvenes next week on September 8th. This town hall was held in San Luis Obispo County, and like the Bakersfield Health Care Town Hall last week, due to the growing number of RSVPs early on after the meeting was announced, we had to change the location to accommodate more people. Over 1600 attended and over 1000 of them participated in a quick yes or no survey on whether they support H.R. 3200. Here are the survey results:

Do you support H.R. 3200?
-Yes - 18.2 %
-No - 77.7 %
-Undecided - 4.1%

"The same survey was also given to the 3,000 who attended the Bakersfield health care town hall meeting at CSUB’s Icardo Center on Wednesday, August 26th. Over 1,300 responded with the following results:

Do you support H.R. 3200?
-Yes - 5.85%
-No - 90.03%
-Undecided - 4.12%

"From the survey results, it is clear that many residents are not in favor of the current bill moving through Congress that can lead to a government takeover of health care. Like I stated at the town halls, I am not opposed to health care reform, but I am opposed to the direction H.R. 3200 would take our health care system. August has brought a renewal in participation in our country’s political >process, and I believe that our Founding Father would be proud of this democracy in action. Members of Congress should return invigorated after listening to their constituents at town halls, and ready to work together on bipartisan health care reform that focuses on common sense solutions.
"One such example of a common sense solution is reforming costly medical liability abuse to decrease frivolous lawsuits and duplicative and unnecessary tests. This is a reform solution that I strongly support to lower costs, which is unfortunately not included H.R. 3200. From over 1300 responses at the Bakersfield town hall meeting, here are the results:
Do you support reforming costly medical liability abuse to decrease frivolous lawsuits and duplicative and unnecessary tests?

-Yes – 90.68%
-No - 2.74%
-Undecided - 6.58%

"I will take common-sense ideas like these back to Washington. I urge residents to stay involved and continue to make your voices heard. As we know, this is not just our country’s health care future, but also our health care future and our children’s health care future."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Short takes: From waterfowl hunting to a blog on white tablecoth dining to hopes for a better economy

Some short takes around our community:

* ... MORE MIXED SIGNALS: This is starting to sound like a familiar refrain, but every time we get some good news on the economy it's followed by yet more words of caution. Wayne Kress, the always optimistic partner in the local commercial firm CB Richard Ellis, sent a Twitter feed on a Washington Post story saying that manufacturing and housing - two sectors that have suffered the most in this economy - are now expanding. As the Post said, the development offers "fresh evidence that the economy has begun to grow." That's certainly good news and I join with Wayne in celebrating any bit of good news. But there is plenty of evidence to indicate that any incipient recovery will be a slow one, particularly if it is a jobless recovery. Even the Post story recognized this, quoting an economist as saying "the bad news is that it is still not creating any extra jobs, meaning that the U.S. is heading for yet another jobless recovery." Meanwhile, I had lunch with a local high-end custom home builder and his outlook was bleak, noting that the recent upturn in residential sales have all been on the low end and most of them foreclosures working their way through the system. He pointed me to a recent analyst study out of San Diego (I haven't found it yet) which apparently said it would take until 2016 (seven full years) for our residential market to begin to resemble the way it looked in 2005. Ugh.

* ... SERVING DOVE ON A WHITE TABLE CLOTH: Looks like local Bakersfield High grad Paige Hill is making good use of her masters in writing. The daughter of San Joaquin Bank president Bart Hill and wife Napier, Paige is wrapping up her masters in writing at the University of South Carolina and has started a blog about cooking. (check it out here at Paige, who got her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, lends her own personality to the blog and brings in her own personal experiences, including her familiarity with hunting and shotguns.

From her blog:
"It’s September first. The opening day of dove season. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not a vegetarian. My father is the resident hunter in our family, as my hunting license has only served to allow my downing clay birds at the skeet range. Some meats mark the seasons, like lamb in the spring and dove in the fall. As much as I impatiently await the days when I get to put on my brown leather boots when September nears, my tongue equally longs for the taste of game bird when the days grow shorter and colder. If you are a fan of duck, you will enjoy dove. If you are a fan of chicken, you will enjoy dove. If you are stuck in a chicken rut, treat your taste buds to something wonderful and unique. It is a bit lighter meat than duck, but more game-y in flavor and tender. Like other birds, dove can be roasted or broiled whole; but, if you want to leave the bones out of the equation (recommended) cut into breast pieces and sauté. You can ask your butcher for this service, too."

* ... PARADISE FOR HUNTING WATERFOWL: Speaking of birds and hunting, ran across an interesting story in the Ducks Unlimited magazine citing the Central Valley as one of the top 15 areas to hunt waterfowl in the country. It's easy to underestimate the popularity of bird hunting locally, and apparently we live in one of the prime locations. (read the full story here) According to the story:

"Acre for acre, the Central Valley of California supports more wintering waterfowl than anywhere else in North America. At peak times, this region hosts 5 to 7 million wintering waterfowl—more than 60 percent of the Pacific Flyway’s ducks and geese. As you would expect, the high ratio of birds to habitat results in some superb waterfowl hunting. This is especially true on private duck clubs in places such as Butte Sink, Suisun Marsh, and the Grasslands. Good public hunting is also available on several intensively managed national wildlife refuges and state wildlife areas in the region, which also support large numbers of wintering waterfowl.

The abundant species: pintails, mallards, wigeon, green-winged teal, Aleutian cackling geese, white-fronted geese, light geese

* ... MORE CHANGES AT CSUB: Yet another person is leaving the fund raising arm at Cal State Bakersfield, the third to leave that I know of (joining Laura Wolfe and Sheri Horn Bunk) That's the word from Athletic Director Rudy Carvajal, who sent an email to supporters updating them on changes. The latest to leave University Advancement will be Christene Kimmel, according to Rudy. In addition, he said Ashley Sodergren is moving to Stockton to work on Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, and Brian Powell has accepted a development position at James Madison University in Virginia, which is within driving distance of his hometown. Their last working day is September 11.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bako Bits: A kid goes east to school and thoughts for some local folks on the injured reserve list

Cleaning off my desk and checking on folks around town ...

* ... OFF TO FORDHAM: Is there anything better than seeing your children succeed? Duane and Corey Keathley have a lot to be thankful for now that youngest daughter Michele is off to school at Fordham University in the Bronx on a volleyball scholarship. Duane surprised Michele recently by flying to Buffalo, N.Y. to watch Fordham play Seton Hall, Boston College and the University of Buffalo. Michele made the starting rotation as a freshman and - get this - her roommate is Randi Ewing, daughter of former Georgetown and NBA great Patrick Ewing. Meanwhile, sister Kimberly Keathley is thriving as well, now a junior at Point Loma Nazarene down near San Diego. (Michele is on the left with Kim in picture below, courtesy of the Keathleys) Duane is a principal at CB Richard Ellis and is president of the downtown Rotary this year.

* ... ON THE INJURED LIST: Heard that old friend Leonard Bidart, one of the owners of Bidart Brothers Farms and a generous sponsor of local non-profits, took a nasty spill on his bicycle last weekend while coming down Lion's Trail near Caliente. Turns out Leonard broke his jaw in several places and underwent a long surgery at the UCLA Medical Center. He's apparently on the mend but it will be a long road back. Leonard is an avid cyclist and fitness nut and one of the all around good people of our community. Send some positive thoughts his way.

* ... ALSO RECOVERING: Also try to keep Marvin Steinert in your thoughts as well. Marv is one of our city's real treasures, personally generous, active in groups like the Stars Theater and downtown Rotary. Turns out Marv is suffering from a condition known as temporal arteritis, an inflammation or damage to blood vessels that supply the head area. Marv's eyesight has been temporarily adversely affected but he's under good care. (photo of Marv below)

* ... FALL FUND RAISING: If it's fall in Bakersfield you can bet you'll be attending a fund raiser sometime soon. And pity the school and non-profits who must be struggling in this horrible economy when so many folks can't be as generous as they would like. But here are a couple of good causes for you to consider: On Thursday, Oct. 1 Garces Memorial High School will hold its annual Fall BBQ. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m. Then a week later on Thursday, Oct. 8, Cal State Bakersfield holds its 31st annual Fall BBQ for the athletics program. Tickets are $25 sold before the event and $30 at the door. To order tickets or help with a sponsorship, call 661-654-3473.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Short takes around town: Another "First Friday" is upon us, another departure for CSUB fund raising, and a local kid makes us proud

Lots happening around our community so here are some short tidbits around town:

* ... ANOTHER OUT AT CSUB: There's been more turnover in the fund raising office over at Cal State Bakersfield. Sheri Horn Bunk is the latest to leave, opting instead to become Foundation Director over at Taft College. This follows the departure of longtime employee Laura Wolfe, who according to President Horace Mitchell was the victim of budget cuts. Still, the departures of Wolfe and now Bunk have many university supporters talking about new development head Beverly Byl and where she's taking the team.

* ... LATIN ART EXHIBIT: Make sure to redline this Friday on your calendar. After all, it is “first Friday” and downtown will be buzzing. The weather should be perfect (if a tad warm) and make sure to stop by Metro Galleries over on 19th Street to catch “Latination,” a juried show of art with an Hispanic theme. Some of this stuff is quite good and Don Martin, galleries owner, tells me there will be complimentary Mexican eats along with a no host margarita bar. The pictures below are by Patti Dolittle (red scarf) and Kim Jessup.

* ... BUSINESS INDUSTRY BREAKFAST: The 24th Annual Business and Industry Leaders Breakfast is set for Thursday, Sept. 17, over at the Petroleum Club. This is put on by the Golden Empire Gleaners and is always a good place to network with local business leaders. This year’s speaker: Sean McNally, vice president of corporate and government affairs for Grimmway Farms. Call 661-324-2767 for more information.

* ... JUST THINKING: Is there any weirder story than the arrest of Phillip Garrido in the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard? You have to wonder how this one case will affect California’s plan to partially relieve the budget mess by paroling thousands of prisoners early. And it has certainly raised questions about a system that paroles a man like Garrido, who served only 11 years in prison after a rape and kidnapping that landed him a 50-year sentence. Expect a huge outcry in the name of this poor girl who spent 18 years held against her will.

* ... LOCAL KID DOES GOOD: Always nice to recognize local kids doing well. The latest is Troy Harvey, a Bakersfield High and Bakersfield College grad and former Californian photography intern, who graduated Sunday from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. Troy is now in the job market and is contemplating whether to remain in Southern California or to return to Bakersfield. Thanks to former Californian photographer John Harte for the tip on Troy and the picture below.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kern's past captured in black and white: Joseph Clerou on Saipan, World War II

Came across this wonderful photo of young Marine Joseph Clerou when he was based on Saipan serving in the Pacific during World World II. Joseph was one of eight Clerou kids who grew up in Bakersfield (Romain Clerou is his brother). His son George runs Clerou Tire Co. Inc. over off East 21st Street. Sometimes a great picture is worth a thousand words, and this is one of them. Someone obviously sent Joseph a copy of The Bakersfield Californian to get the news from home. Note the headlines about the battle on Guam. The story on the selection of Harry Truman as Franklin Roosevelt's vice president candidate indicates this picture was taken either very late July or August of 1944 (Truman was nominated on July 21, 1944 when Roosevelt was going for his fourth term as president). Thanks to George for sharing this with BakersfieldObserved.

Saipan is located in the Mariana Islands and the battle for the islands raged from June to July in 1944. Those involved included the 2nd Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division and the 27th Infantry Division.