Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The misguided furor over the latest fee hike at Cal State and what's with all the flies in Bako?


* ... CAL STATE FEES: It's unfortunate that Cal State trustees had to increase undergraduate fees by 5 percent this year, but I have little sympathy for those crying foul. Times are tough, the state is broke and the 1960 California legislature's promise of a tuition-free college education is now nothing more than an historical curiosity. The total university fee will rise to $4,230 per year, and while that's not cheap, it is still a bargain by any standard. Consider this: the average annual tuition for a public school in the U.S. is more than $7,000 a year, and it's almost $26,000 a year for private schools. For Cal State students, the increase comes to about $200 a year - a small price to pay for an excellent California education.

 * ...  BAKO LOVE: Reader Michelle Humecky passed along a "bravo" to civic booster Sheryl Barbich's list of everything that is right about living here. Now prevention services facilitator for the Kern County Network for Children, Humecky lived in Orange County for a few years before returning to graduate from CSUB. "It is great to enjoy the fresh faces around town ... (and) when going to the movies or eating out people still know your name. I also am thrilled to see the connection between public service agencies and private business... we are all in this together, and what happens on the east side of town impacts what happens in Seven Oaks! I have great expectations for the future of Bakersfield!"

 * ... KISER TO OXY: Heard the other day that Brian Kiser is leaving Rio Tinto Minerals and heading to work for Vintage Production California, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum. Brian worked at the U.S. Borax Plant in Boron for 17 1/2 years, the last 7 1/2 with Rio Tinto. He was there during the recent strike as part of the management team and is looking forward to giving up the long daily commute from Bakersfield to Boron. Brian is married to Tracy Walker-Kiser, owner of H. Walker's Men's Clothing Co. If you are involved in our community at all, you have seen this couple working at fund raisers and attending community functions. As Tracy told me: "It's going to be weird and exciting for us. He now has the opportunity to stay up late and sleep until 6 a.m." Congrats, Brian.

 . * ...LORD OF THE FLIES: Okay, so what is it with the fly infestation lately? I've got so many flies around my house I fear I'm turning into Jeff Goldblum's character in the 1986 movie "The Fly." A few  flies this time of year are to be expected, but this season seems particularly bad. They are swarming over patios and porches on every side of town. I'm looking for a good remedy to get rid of them. Thoughts?

 * ... SPOTTED: Is it really acceptable, even in casual Bakersfield, to wear your flat-brimmed black baseball cap during dinner at one of our nicer restaurants? 

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're a Bakersfield old-timer if  "You remember where Brock's Big Top was, and why." (In the parking lot of the Westchester shopping center while the damage at the store from the 1952 earthquake damage was being repaired.)


Peter Wonderly said...

I'm afraid the wearing of hats, of whatever style, is still considered to be bad form - finer restuarant or otherwise. While standards everywhere are falling, there are some points worth sticking to. Such thoughts will be considered by some, of course, to be hidebound and reactionary. Nevertheless, there it is.

Anonymous said...

Those hats make these boys look stupid but you cannot teach good taste. Maybe they will all grow out of it but where are the parents in all this.

Anonymous said...

It was not a strike in Boron. It was a lockout. It was the choice of management, not the workers.

Anonymous said...

It's unreasonable to think that the cost of a higher education can remain unchanged when everything else is going up. I feel for these students but as you say California tuition seems reasonable when you consider what you get for your money. Maybe these kids should stop whining and appreciate what they have.

Pat B.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comment about the hats, but etiquette should not be expected only at "nicer" places. Here's the rule: men, do not wear a hat inside. Period. When you go inside, take the hat off.

Anonymous said...

At U.S. Borox in Boron it wasn't a strike. It was a lockout.
Yea, I remember the Brocks Big Top. One of my wife Joyce's first jobs was working at Brocks back in the late 1960's.

Steve Montgomery

Stephen A. Montgomery

Anonymous said...

I think men wearing hats in a restaurant are NOT cool. There is no purpose for doing so.
Poor manners? Or just lazy?