Thursday, January 14, 2010

Race for 2nd District Supervisor heats up, more love for the SPCA and a shout out to Wolverine fans

 * ... SHORT TAKES: Ran into former Supervisor Steve Perez at the 24th Street Starbucks and he briefed me on his campaign for the 2nd District County Supervisor seat being vacated by Don Maben. Perez said his campaign is going well and that "there is a lot of concern" out there about the state of the economy and government in general. Perez is out there pressing the flesh, making calls and getting ready for the June election. Zack Scrivner and Mary Beth Garrison are also seeking the seat...
    - It was interesting to watch former Bakersfield Congressman Bill Thomas back in action yesterday grilling the nation's top bankers as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The New York Times referred to Thomas as the "cantankerous former congressman" from California and his rapier-like intelligence was on full display during the session that was featured live on CNBC.
 - I found interesting to read that one of the plaintiffs in the gay marriage case before federal court, Kristin Perry,  grew up in Bakersfield. Both the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury have noted how Perry had to hide her true feelings during her upbringing in the conservative Central Valley. Growing up conflicted about your sexual identity is hard enough, and I'd love to hear more about Perry's experience here. Perry and her partner now live in Berkeley.

 * ... SPCA FUND RAISER: I dropped by the local SPCA on Gibson Street again the other day (donating some hard cover books for its spring book sale) and was asked to pass along some information on an important fund raiser next month. I am always impressed by the dedication of the staff there, and it's nothing short of heart breaking to see the hundreds of unwanted dogs and cats awaiting adoption. While I was there one young woman brought in a sweet black female lab she found in her Rosedale neighborhood, and I wondered if she was lost or simply discarded by someone who lost his job. So if you are looking for a good cause to support, consider attending "Furry Paws and Foggy Nights" from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Petroleum Club on Friday, February 19. It's $85 per person (you must RSVP by February 12) and includes dining, music and silent and live auctions. The SPCA is looking for sponsors and folks to donate auction items, so consider helping this worthy cause. Want to help? Call Chuck Nordstrom at 323-8353, extension 10.

 * ... HAIL! TO THE VICTORS: Just when I thought I'd heard the last from local Ohio State Buckeye transplants came two notes from local residents Daniel A. Nichols and Mark Smith, arguing  it was time to hear from Ohio State arch rival Michigan Wolverine fans. "Most of my father's family is from either Ohio or Michigan, so it usually splits up the family for the Big Game," said Nichols. "I bleed Maize and Blue (University of Michigan colors) and I am sure there are a lot more Wolverine fans out here in Bakersfield. I hope some decide to speak up for the cause. Go Blue!" Smitty (as he asked to be called) agreed, adding he grew up 10 miles from Ann Arbor and learned from a young age to support the Wolverines. "Enough with the Buckeyes already! How about finding out about some displaced Wolverines located to beautiful downtown Bakersfield!" Out of loyalty to my own daughter who is a sophomore at Michigan, here's to the Wolverines.

 * ... THE BUZZ: Mike Allen, who left the Spanish radio group after 30 years recently, has landed at crosstown rival American General Media to spearhead a new drive to grow the Hispanic radio audience. Allen, a fixture on the local radio scene, lost out in a management shuffle and later resigned. His new position will put him in direct competition with his old employer, Lotus Broadcasting. Rogers Brandon, president of AGM, said Allen would serve as Director of Business Development for the group's Hispanic stations in both Bakersfield and Santa Maria. That means he will oversee sales for KEBT-FM La Caliente, Bakersfield's premier Hispanic station, and all special events for both KEBT-FM and KRQK-FM La Ley, the Central Coast's leading Latino radio station. Allen had been general manager at the station for over 30 years prior to his departure.

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