* ... RUBIO'S FUTURE: County supervisor Michael Rubio is headed to the State Senate with a reputation as a moderate Democrat who can bring all sides together. It's certainly true that Rubio has shown leadership on the Board of Supervisors, but Sacramento will present a different test. In the sharply divided State House, will Rubio routinely vote with the Democratic majority whose policies are clearly out of step with the conservative Central Valley? And will that tarnish the reputation he has worked so hard to build and diminish his effectiveness? One thing is clear: this young rising star will be tested in a way he hasn't been before.
* ... BURGLARIES: Thousands of people are out of work with little hope of finding jobs, there is desperation in the air and we are entering one of the peak seasons for home burglaries and car theft. There are reports all over town of burglaries and break ins, from the gated communities of the Southwest to downtown to the east side neighborhoods. Police can only do so much, so this one is in our court. Get to know your neighbors, question strangers, use your alarm and stay alert. The holiday season is open season for those who are just a window pane away from ruining your day.
* ... GIRL SCOUTS: Reader Wilma Oaks wrote to express her dismay at the idea that Girl Scout uniforms and sashes could be made in China. "My mind goes to the next step - China baking our Girl Scout cookies. No! I want American made." Wilma, we can all relax now. Apparently the Girl Scouts did toy around with the idea of letting China bid on the uniforms but changed its mind when there was a public outcry against it. The organization now says only U.S. companies can bid on the uniforms.
* ... OLD BAKO: More from Bow Porter, who recently moved from Hawaii back to Bakersfield. "I lived at the upper end of Mount Vernon and worked at 19th and Eye as a draftsman for Continental Oil when it was above the drug store. I rode the bus to work. My stop was the first on the route and my bus driver would stop in front of my house instead of having me walk to the corner. He also stopped and waited at a bakery on Baker Street so I could buy cookies for my child's school event. This would have been in the early 1960s. Newberry's department store was across the street, with the best yardage available, as they had mill ends from popular dress manufacturers... most of my paycheck was spent there!"
* ... BECK'S: Received a nice hand-written note from Virginia Parks, who wanted to share her memories of a downtown bakery called Beck's. "Beck's Bakery was on 18th Street just east of the Padre Hotel. Also Beck's Bakery in the Food City Market on Chester Avenue in the early 1940s. I sold a lot of French break for 10 cents and a dozen doughnuts for 60 cents."
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield if "you know what a trap door spider is."