Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bakersfield comes up dead last in a quality of life survey, Emily Falke says farewell and more recollections of old time Bako

 * ... MUSEUM FAREWELL: Had a chance to stop by the Bakersfield Museum of Art this week to attend the send-off for Emily Falke, the long-time curator heading to Santa Barbara to become director of education and exhibits at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Emily said she had already moved into a small house in Santa Barbara and was looking forward to the new challenges, but would miss her friends here. Among those attending the farewell were many former and present members of the museum board, as well as artists, including Melissa Fortune, Melissa Grayhek, Art Sherwyn, Susan Hersberger, Beth Brookhart Pandol, Napier Hill, Joe and Mimi Audelo and of course museum executive director Bernie Herman.

 * ... LIFESTYLE RATINGS: Earlier this week The Californian reported that Kern County has the 15th weakest economy in the state, and now comes some more sobering news. According to, Bakersfield ranks dead last on a list of "quality of life" in the nation's 67 largest markets based on factors like education, income, unemployment and home ownership. (read the entire report here) For example, we rank last among major markets in terms of adults with advanced degrees (4.6 percent) as well as those with a bachelor's degree (14.3 percent). Our  poverty rate of 16.6 percent was also worst in the survey and our average household income of $46,400 was fifth from last. There is no doubt that these figures come as no surprise, given our reliance on migratory workers for farming and the fact that California has a higher percentage of new immigrants who tend to be poorer and lesser educated. And the statistics certainly don't factor in things like civic pride and goodwill and the willingness of people to pitch in for the common good. So while the statistics don't lie, at the end of the day it's just another survey that only tells part of the story.

 * ... IN AFRICA: UCLA student and Highland High graduate Stephanie Hammons is in South Africa for a month volunteering with Youth with a Mission (WYAM) and Ten Thousand Homes. The groups assists local orphanages, schools and villages and also helps with food distributions in South Africa. She apparently also got to take in the World Cup soccer match between Australia and Serbia.

 * ...  REMEMBERING OLD BAKERSFIELD: Retired school superintendent Al Sandrini wrote to correct another reader's recollection of the old Coachlight Inn. He said the Coachlight Inn was never on Stockdale Highway. "The Coachlight Inn was always located just north of 34th and Union Avenue... The building on the corner of Stockdale Highway was Ewing's Stockdale Inn. This was the same owner who owned the Tam 'O Shanter. This building was moved to the corner of Oak and California Avenue ... near the Santa Fe Railroad's roundhouse.... The original Coachlight Inn was eventually torn down when the north side of 34th Street was completely overhauled. Besides the Coachlight, there was a Kenny Shoe Store, a gas station and some office buildings. These were replaced by a Burger King, Los Hermanos and Matia's Basque Restaurant, owned and operated by Frank Matia before he moved to Rosedale. Oh by the way, I hate the term Bako."

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: A couple of offerings from correspondent Riley Parker: "You know you're a Bakersfield old timer if you had late night burgers at 'The Jumbo,' and your childhood mailing address was 'Kern Canyon Star Route, Box A.'"


Anonymous said...

Tell Mr. Sandrini it was Kinney Shoe Store, not Kenny. Thanks


I think it was Kenny's.
Don't forget Happy Steak on the NW corner of Union and 34th.