* ... COMMERCIAL WOES: Matthew E. Starr, senior vice president over at Grub and Ellis/ASU Associates, wrote to bring some perspective about the local commercial real estate market. "The national office vacancy rate (17.9% and the end of the first quarter 2010 according to Grubb and Ellis research) continues to rise as does the local vacancy rate; however the local office market is in a position to experience an accelerated recovery. The office market vacancy rate for the greater Bakersfield area was 11.39% as of the end of the second quarter of 2010 ... This includes all submarkets and all classes of space. This is a dramatic rise from the all time low vacancy rates city wide early in 2007, but it shows that things could be a lot worse. New construction of office properties is at a virtual standstill and if growth in the economy continues and resume expansion, the office market could be poised to tighten quickly. This of course depends upon the vitality of the employment rebound. I just wanted to let you know that things are not all doom and gloom with the local office market." Thanks for sharing, Matthew.
* ... BEANIE'S: Reader Lydia Lostaunau wrote to remember a place called Beanie's across from Jefferson Park. In her words: "In 1953 you could buy lunch (hot dog, potato chips and a Coke) for 25 cents. Beat eating in the cafeteria. Best burgers in town, the top of the bun was shiny with the grease from the grill. Ken Ken's was good for its crushed ice in the soft drinks. Andre's on Niles had the greatest chili burgers, served open-faced. I could go on but it's dinner time. Love your blog." Thanks, Lydia.
* ... AL QAEDA: From reader Pierre Cardo: "A woman in a KGET 17 story about shoplifting was quoted as saying that Bakersfield shoplifting rings were supporting Al Qaeda. I nearly spit out my dinner ... say it ain't so!"
* ... CASINO NIGHT: You might want to put August 14th on your calendar for the second annual TIL Casino night, the major fund raiser for the Transition to Independent Living program at Taft College. That's the program that receiving the Community College award for innovation. It will be held at the Bakersfield Jam facility. If you are interested, contact Sheri Horn Bunk out at Taft College.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're a Bakersfield old timer if you remember what sport caster Bob Elias said at the end of every broadcast: "You don't have to play a sport to be a good one."