read one account of her testimony here) The local angle is that Perry grew up in Bakersfield and testified on growing up gay in the conservative Central Valley. She now lives with her partner, Sandra Stier, in Berkeley. First 5 was a voter initiative to improve the lives of young children in California via funding from a tax on tobacco.
* ... LOCAL SURGEON DIES: I was saddened to hear that Dr. John Lang, a well-known plastic surgeon, died of a heart attack in Hawaii a few days ago. I didn't know Dr. Lang but friends tell me he was a skilled surgeon and a wonderful person. Debbie Hanson, his longtime office manager, said Dr. Lang and his wife Dione were in Hawaii for a niece's wedding and enjoyed "just a super, fabulous week" with family and friends. He died last Monday, January 18th, the day the couple was to return home. They have one daughter, Kristyn, who is 30. Dr. Lang was 64. A mutual friend told me Dr. Lang was originally from Pittsburgh and was an enthusiastic Steelers fan. According to his website biography, he earned his undergraduate degree from Iona College and a medical degree from Georgetown University. He later did his residency in plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. His office was on 21st Street in Westchester. Keep his family in your thoughts and I will share details of his services when they are made public.
* ... ONE VOTE FOR B-TOWN: Edna Clark Hunton wrote me that she was born and raised in Wasco but routinely refers to Bakersfield as 'B-town.' "On the weekends when someone would ask what you were doing, the normal answer would be 'going to B-town.' Even now when I am in Bakersfield and filling out a form and they ask where you live (city) I always put B-town and then my zip. It is a lot quicker and everyone knows what B-town stands for. Love your column." Thanks for the feedback and the nice note, Edna.
* ... BAKO OR BAKERSFIELD: One of my colleagues here at The Californian is Steve Swenson, a longtime court reporter who is well known for sharing his opinions with anyone who cares to listen. Swenson has lived in Bakersfield for years and he simply hates the idea of using the term "Bako" as shorthand for Bakersfield. He told me it's "disrespectful, smacks of outsiders trying to nickname Bakersfield and is the equivalent of calling San Francisco 'Frisco,' which residents of San Francisco universally hate." What do you really think Steve?