Thursday, February 4, 2010
(read the full account here) It will break your heart. Michelle Marie Maxwell, 42, was killed and her 15-year-old daughter, Michaela Maxwell, was injured when their car was hit by a truck driven by county firefighter Mitchell Green, according to police. (photo of Mitchell Green is from his Facebook page)
The historic Padre Hotel in downtown Bakersfield officially opened today (Thursday) to the public. Brett Miller, one of the co-owners, said the final permits were issued at 11 a.m., ready for a brisk lunch crowd and in time for the "First Friday" celebrations in downtown Bakersfield. The landmark hotel underwent an $18 million facelift.
* ... TEJON SUPER BOWL: Barry Zoeller, vice president of corporate communications out at Tejon Ranch, tells me the ranch will serve as a backdrop in a Super Bowl commercial this Sunday. The spot will feature an elephant, a black panther, a laughing hyena and a great backdrop of Tejon Ranch, likely doubling for the plains of Africa. Said Barry: "This is the second time Tejon Ranch has been featured in a Super Bowl commercial. In fact the 2000 'Herding Cats' commercial for EDS routinely makes the list as one of the top 10 Super Bowl commercials in the history of the big game." So be looking for a bit of the ranch during the game. (photos below are of the 2000 EDS commercial)
* ... FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY: Sherry Kelley, vice president of the Friends of the Kern County Library, reminded me that the organization's annual used book sale will be held March 10-13 at the Beale Library. All funds go to the Kern County library branches for programs and circulating material. The group is always looking for books and audio video material for its sales. It will be spring soon, so it's time to throw out those hard covers and donate to this worthy cause.
* ... BAKO OR BAKERSWEED: Jamie Butow, a work colleague who recently moved here from Visalia, had this to say about Bakersfield's many nicknames. "My cousin is flying out here today and texted me with a question while 'roasting' in Phoenix. She referred to Bakersfield as Bako. She lives and owns a hair salon in a very small Colorado town so I asked her where she heard the term. She said my brother (who lives in L.A.) calls it that, and a client of hers who used to live here calls it Bako or Bakersweed. Sounds like we're known as Bako all over!"
* ... THE BUZZ: If you want to see water in our river, don't forget to clip out, sign and mail the coupon in The Californian urging the State Water Resources Control Board to rule in favor of the city's bid to run unappropriated water down the historic Kern River. There are few things that would make a more positive impact on our community, and it could be done without harming farmers. So if you have not already done so, find the coupon, sign it and mail it in. It has to be received by next Tuesday, so do it today, or drop it off at the Californian Monday morning and we will handle it from there.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
* ... GOLDNER NAMED SUPER LAWYER: It was nice to hear that Barry Goldner, a principal in the law firm of Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb and Kimball, was named by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in Southern California. Goldner was specifically recognized for his work in business litigation. He is married to Theresa Goldner, county counsel, and they have one daughter, Rachel, a high achieving junior at Garces Memorial High School.
* ... THE BUZZ: It is time to put to rest the rumors that Trader Joe's is moving out of the Southwest for roomier quarters on Rosedale Highway. Kevin Deighan, who works for Trader Joe's in the corporate office and is in charge of real estate, told me flatly there is no truth to the reports. Not only that, but Deighan also said there are no current plans for a second Trader Joe's in Bakersfield.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
(view its website here) Miller is also owner of Moondoggies (view its website here) and Gringo's restaurants in San Diego. This is their largest investment together and it has been a huge undertaking, and the results are stunning. I think our community is ready for the Padre, but Miller and Downes must be careful about the tone their multiple bars set and try to avoid the rougher late night crowd that has brought bad publicity to other downtown eateries. A couple of ugly incidents could scare off the demographic they need to succeed and cause irreparable harm. If they can do that - while providing good service and food - they will be a hit.
* ... ANCHORS AWEIGH: Reader Wayland Louie wrote to correct me in my reference to the Navy fight song "Anchors Aweigh" at the funeral for Claude Fiddler, the retired Chevron geologist and Navy veteran. "Your updates on Mr. Fiddler's services were helpful. I must mention though ... you said one of his granddaughters sang 'Anchors Away' at his service. I believe you meant to say she sang 'Anchors Aweigh." Naval personnel and boaters 'weigh' anchor... If you look at the song lyrics for each title, you will see that one definitely is not a naval song." I stand corrected.
* ... MAIN DRAIN ROAD: Local farmer Dick Porter sent me a humorous email noting that only in Kern County would we have roads with names like Brown Material Road and Main Drain Road, "and they don't even intersect!"
* ... PARKING WOES? Reader Janice Holder wrote regarding the rumor that Trader Joe's may be thinking of moving to a larger facility on Rosedale Highway (a report the company says is not true.) Holder said she has "a love/hate relationship with Trader Joe's. Love the store, hate the parking. The parking spaces must be the absolute minimum size. Love to park at Sam's Club, Kohls etc. on South Gosford. Large, roomy parking spaces. If you haven't been there, you should check it out. Many vehicles are so large that minimum sized parking spots are no longer practical. And while we're at it, how hard can it be to take your shopping cart to the designated storage areas? I've seen perfectly "fit" people just push the cart up in between the cars and drive off leaving it to be some one else's problem.
"On another note, I often affectionately refer to Bakersfield as "Bakerspatch." We have Weedpatch and Pumpkin Center. Why not Bakerspatch? Can't be all that bad, I'm a transplant from the mid west and have stayed here for some 55 plus years. I have many great memories here." Thanks for the note, Janice.