Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Anger at the sweet pension deals for public employees and a local kid heads to the Ivy League
* ... PUBLIC TV: Fresno-based KVPT (Valley Public Television) seems intent on gaining a foothold in Bakersfield and the South Valley. First, it appointed former First Five commissioner Esther Brandon to its board of directors, and now it has engaged the Arts Council of Kern to do some research into how the station is perceived locally. And that is precisely the problem. Most viewers cannot distinguish between Los Angeles-based KCET public television and KVPT. Both have strong signals here and both stations are carried on local cable outlets. And at least to date, neither has done much south Valley programming but KVPT seems intent on building a stronger relationship here. Only time will tell if KVPT's effort is focused on raising more money here or actually focusing more content on south Valley issues.
* ... IVY BOUND: Always happy to share news of our high achieving kids, and here's one story that should impress everyone. Gordon Morris Redmond, a product of West High School and Bakersfield College, is headed to the Ivy League and Columbia University. He actually earned his AA at Orange Coast College, and he did it while working at Trader Joe's and finding time to donate bone marrow for a 40-year-old mother with young children. He is the youngest of 11 children to parents Stan and Janice Redmond. His sister, Camille Grider, wrote to say her family is loyal to St. Francis Parish. "Now today," she wrote, "Bakersfield has a 27-year-old intelligent, selfless, determined product attending a wonderful Ivy League school in New York City this fall." That's what I would call an inspiring story.
* ... FIRST FRIDAY: It's time for another First Friday celebration downtown. What better way to spend a warm evening in the Dog Days of summer than taking in the art galleries and a meal at one of our downtown eateries? Make sure the old standbys like the Metro Galleries, the Padre Hotel, Mama Roomba's and Uricchio's Trattoria are on your 'to do' list. Metro Galleries on 19th Street will feature some new works of art by Gita Lloyd and Nicole St. John as well as a continuation of Barbara Reid's "Seasons of Her Life" exhibit. (Barbara Reid art shown below)
* ... MORE EAST BAKO: Reader Donald Kurtz, owner of Donald Kurtz Investigations, continues with a few memories of growing up in East Bakersfield. "Used to get my hair cut by 'Gus' the barber. Hasham's automotive a hot rod shop. Baker and East 19th Street, a great place to hang out during the Winter Nationals. You also had a couple of five and dime stores with lunch counters and a candy counter! Got one of my first jobs working at Mayfair Market on Kentucky Street. East Bakersfield was the 'place' especially for kids growing up in the 1950s."
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Submitted by reader Riley Parker: You know you're a Bakersfield old timer if "you celebrated your 21st birthday with a Picon Punch at Woolgrower's."