Saturday, April 17, 2010

McCarthy: tax and spending endangers the futures of our children. Time for control.

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy  (R-Bakersfield) gives us his week in review from Capitol Hill. In his words"

 "The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore wrote in a recent essay: “a society that cares about the future of its children does not run up massive debts for those children to pay off in the future.”   Now let’s put that principle in the context of Congress.  Did you know that Congress is required by law to pass an annual Federal budget resolution or blueprint for setting spending and taxation levels in the upcoming year by every April 15th?  In fact, the House has never failed to pass a budget resolution since rules requiring one were put
in place in 1974.
  Unfortunately, this year is different.

  April 15th came and went, and now Democratic leaders are considering altogether skipping the annual requirement of debating and passing a budget resolution.  Why Congress thinks it gets a pass on making tough
budgeting decisions when American families are doing just that to make ends meet is beyond me.  So if House Democrats choose this route, one should wonder if they have any plans to tackle the estimated $1.5
trillion deficit this year, or are they just going to go along with the President’s suggested budget proposal? The President's proposal, which is his blueprint for the upcoming year, would increase government spending to $3.8 trillion for FY 2011 and result in annual deficits of no less than $700 billion over the next decade.
  Additionally, the Federal publicly-held debt would expand to $20.2 trillion or 90% of GDP by 2020.  This is unsustainable and is why my colleagues and I sent a letter to the Speaker asking her to ensure the  House considers a budget resolution for the sake of the American taxpayer.  If there is no blueprint, how can we seriously address spending, deficits, and the debt?

  "Washington’s outrageous deficit spending is like sweeping dirt under the rug.  Last week both the Congressional Budget Office Director and Federal Reserve Chairman warned our current fiscal direction as a
country is “unsustainable” and tough choices lay ahead for Congress. Unfortunately, Democrats are poised sweep more dirt under the rug--I say it's time to clean house.

  "Our country’s future depends on Congress changing course--away from its unaccountable and irresponsible tax and spend policies that endanger our children’s future and the continuing strength of our country.  My colleagues and I look forward to engaging all Americans in the near future to produce solutions that are not from Washington to put our financial house in order and get our economy back on track.
  "I’ll be sure to let you know when this new initiative is launched because I want your input.

  "It was good to see Nick Bikakis from Bakersfield, a veteran of the Gulf War, he and his family were visiting Washington this week.  Call my office for tours if coming for a visit.  This weekend is the State Forensics Competition at BC and I look forward to meeting all the bright high school students who are taking part.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Captured Blog: The Pacific and Adjacent Theaters in WWII – Plog Photo Blog

Captured Blog: The Pacific and Adjacent Theaters in WWII – Plog Photo Blog

UC California reports toughest year ever for graduating seniors while the TSA cracks down on snow globes. Say what?

* ... UC ADMISSIONS: It wasn't surprising to read that this turned out to be one of the most competitive years ever to get into one of the nine University of California (UC) campuses. Between state budget cutbacks and the sheer number of graduating seniors, the UC system admitted just 71.6 percent of applicants, compared to 75.4 percent two years ago. The UC system has always been the crown jewel of the California colleges, but there are plenty of other worthy schools out there. Consider some of the kids over at the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Taft Union High School. AVID teacher Debra Popejoy noted that because of financial constraints, most of the AVID kids will be attending junior colleges, but others are headed to four year institutions. Among them are Mayra Aguilar and Emmanuel Medina going to Loyola-Marymount University,  Chesney Doak and Hannah Koerner will be attending UC Davis, and Stephannie Heerdink, Brian Parsons and Hailey Smith will be attending CSUB. Also, Stewart Bandy is going to Humboldt State while Kathy Lopez will be attending Azusa Pacific.  Jared Miller will be attending CSU Monterey Bay while Will Palmer is heading to Cal Baptist.  Lastly, Alberto Uribe is going to UC Merced. Congrats to all these kids.

 * ... BANANA SLUG? Reader Laura Wolfe emailed me that her son Matthew had been accepted to the University of California at Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. Laura is a UC Santa Barbara graduate and pointed out other family members graduated from UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Francisco. Laura says Matthew is heading for Santa Cruz and "I'm okay with that.!"

* ... SNOW GLOBES: If you plan on any air travel, leave that snow globe at home or risk the wrath of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). Former Bakersfield resident Mary Lou Fulton posted a Tweet the other day noting a sign at the Orange County airport warning passengers against carrying aboard snow globes because they might contain potentially hazardous material. Huh?

* ... ART SHERWYN: Our town is full of interesting characters, and one of the more intelligent and delightful ones is Art Sherwyn, a long-time art teacher, tennis coach and accomplished artist. On Thursday, April 29, Metro Galleries downtown will sponsor an "Evening with Art Sherwyn" during which he will share his perspectives on making art. Sherwyn's paintings will be on display (and I assume for sale) but the real draw here is Art himself. He is a fascinating story teller and intellect who has multiple talents and interests. The cost is $30. You can call the gallery to reserve your spot. 

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "you know who is engaged to whom by reading the Olcott's ad in The Californian."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

World War II veteran recognized with "honor flight" and St. Francis Parish School celebrates 100 years

* ... HONOR FLIGHT: An old cycling friend of mine, Dwayne Daniel, wrote to tell me about a very special group of people who got together to honor his father, World War II veteran Van Austion Daniel. His father served in the Pacific as an infantryman and driver and was awarded the Bronze Star. He will turn 88 years old in May and hasn't flown commercially in over 60 years. But now he is being flown to Washington, D.C., to visit the WW II monument as part of Honor Flight, which recognizes veterans for their service with free trips. The American Legion Post 26 has set up transportation and accommodations at LAX the night before the flight, and some 50 motorcycle riders will escort his father to the base of the Grapevine on their way down, and on their return trip. Dwayne cited Bob "Boomer" and Vicky Montgomery of the American Legion Post for helping make it all happen. Dwayne will accompany his father on this special trip.

 * ... HEADED TO PENN: Ryan Marschang, son of local attorney Linda Monje, is headed to the Ivy League and the University of Pennsylvania. It turns out that he was only one of 43 kids accepted to a joint degree program (engineering and economics) at Penn's prestigious Wharton School of Business. He was also accepted at Harvard, UC Berkeley, Texas A and M, Northwestern, Duke and the Air Force Academy. Thanks to local attorney Richard Monje, Linda's husband, for passing this along. Another local kid making us all proud.

* ... ST. FRANCIS: The folks over at St. Francis Parish School are gearing up for a huge 100th anniversary celebration the weekend of April 24-25. Some of our community's most prominent members are part of the St. Francis family and the dinner-dance on Saturday night promises to be quite the event. Tickets are $25. Those interested should call Judy Jacobs at the church office at 661-327-4734. There will be a 9 a.m. mass celebrated by Bishop John Steinbock on Sunday. Apparently almost 700 people have already confirmed for the weekend, so get your tickets now.

 * .... BIOLA GRANDMA: Doris Winham wrote to say she attended a "Grandparent's Day" down at Biola University where granddaughter Taylor Witcher-Page is a freshman. "There were about 450 other proud grandparents from 20 different states. It was great to tour the campus, attend seminars and take part in a day in their lives."  Taylor's mother is Brenda Witcher-Page of Bakersfield and her father is Edward Page of Midlothian, Va. This is the first I have heard of a "grandparents" day at a college or university, but makes sense to get the whole family involved.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "you do your spring shopping at White Forest Nursery and South Kern Machinery."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unique Bakersfield postcards by Felix Adamo

 If you're looking for something unique that represents Bakersfield, consider some of these note cards by local Californian photographer Felix Adamo. They are available for sale at Dagny's coffee house downtown. They are striking, unique and tell the story of Bako well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bakersfield windstorm: where's the Chamber of Commerce today? Where's the rain?

 Let's just say that Sunday didn't turn out to be a Chamber of Commerce type day. The gusty winds ushered in the dreaded Bakersfield wind and sand storm, swirling so much particulate matter in the air that breathing was like eating sand. Below, some pictures across down, from Rosedale Highway to Stockdale Highway to downtown. Pray for rain.

Bako bits: Luigi's to celebrate 100 years and another bar opens at the Padre Hotel

 * ... LUIGI'S: I was at Luigi's Restaurant and Delicatessen the other day and heard from Gino Valpredo that the popular landmark eatery is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Gino said a huge celebration will be held Sunday, October 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Part of 19th Street will be blocked off and the restaurant will be serving some of its most popular dishes. This is one event that promises to be a hit.

 * ... COLLEGE BOUND: Another Stockdale High School student has been accepted to some of our top universities. Akash Jain, son of Anurag and Shelly Jain, has been accepted to Duke University, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley and UCLA among others. He's interested in bio-engineering and reportedly scored an impressive 2250 on his SAT.  

 * ... PRAIRIE FIRE: Stopped by the new Padre Hotel Friday night for the opening of Prairie Fire, the hotel's impressive new second floor outdoor bar and restaurant. It features a long bar, high seating, fire wall and plenty of room to circulate under the stars. My bet is it will be a huge draw for weddings. Jane Haupt was there celebrating her birthday with a group of friends playing bridge, the museum's David Gordon and pal Sue Deininger showed up, and I heard former Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter and his entourage made an appearance later that evening. Even Padre owner Brett Miller was there overseeing things before flying back to San Diego.

* ... GLEANERS ANNIVERSARY: Looks like the Golden Empire Gleaners is getting ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Executive director Pam Fiorini says they are looking for clients to share what impact the Gleaners had in their lives as part of the celebration. The Gleaners is also looking to to finish the job of replacing its roof, at a cost of about $80,000. Give Pam a call if you'd like to help, at 661-324-2767,

 * ... MONSTER TRUCKS: Reader Donna Painter wrote in to share her own pet peeve: those huge monster trucks that look like they would run you over in an accident. "One day I looked in my rear view mirror and saw only a big bumper and almost the undercarriage of a pickup truck. If one of those monsters hit me from any direction, they would decapitate anyone in my vehicle. Notice the semi rigs have a drop-down bar that prevents anyone from going underneath them. Why don't they require that for those raised pickup trucks? I think this is a safety issue that someone needs to take up."

 * ... GAUCHO REUNION: A big reunion of UC Santa Barbara alumni is being planned by Elaine McNearney. The event is planned for Saturday, April 24, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will include food and wine pairings. The cost is $25 per person. Among those on the planning committee are Sharon Mettler, Laura Wolfe, Joan Kerr, Suzanne Bunker Kishimoto, Terry Meyer and Patty Smale. To RSVP call McNearney at 661-703-4353.
 , Lui

* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "you are no longer surprised when you know half the people in the room at lunch at Luigi's."