Sunday, June 12, 2011

New study reflects the depth of poverty in the San Joaquin Valley, and more tributes for Hans Einstein

  * ... VALLEY RATING: Had a nice chat the other day with Della Hodson, head of the local chapter of the United Way, about issues facing Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. She directed me to a new report that established the American Human Development index, which measures communities using a broad number of factors including health, education, poverty, housing, salaries and other key factors. It turns out the San Joaquin Valley scored a low 3.8 on a scale of one to ten (ten being the best), a reflection of our lower demographics, high illiteracy rate and high number of first generation immigrants. If the Valley were a state, it would vie for last place on the index with West Virginia. Yet another reason why supporting the United Way and other local charities is so important.

 * ... HANS EINSTEIN: There's little doubt that Dr. Hans Einstein, one of the nation's leading experts on Valley Fever, has touched a lot of lives during his long and distinguished career in Kern County. After I posted a piece on Memorial Hospital naming its new front entrance pavilion after Einstein, I received a nice note from Pamela Mahan who recalled a moment 50 years ago when the doctor showed her son such kindness. "My son was in the hospital and his roommate's doctor was Dr. Einstein. Whenever he came to visit, he always made a little time to talk with my son. It was a lovely gesture. I met Dr. Einstein at a funeral a couple of years ago and told him how much his kindness meant to us. He replied that keeping in touch with people is what life is all about. He is an absolutely lovely man."

 * ... MORE HANS: I stopped by the ground breaking for the Einstein Pavilion over at Memorial Hospital and it was a nice tribute to this special man. Hospital President Jon Van Boening always puts on a good party (champagne, wine and shrimp were in abundance) and a host of local business people showed up to lend their support. Spotted in the crowd were attorneys Rob Noriega and Barry Goldner, Tracy Walker-Kiser, Brad Hannick, David and Catherine Gay, Greg Gallion, Harry Starkey, Mayor Harvey Hall, Supervisor Karen Goh, Dr. Tommy Lee, Dr. Madan Mukhopadhyay, Russell Judd, Gregg Gunner, Barry Zoeller and Don and Donna James.
 * ... GO IRISH: Heard that Nicole Madrilejo, a 2010 Garces Memorial High graduate who just finished her freshman year at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected as a cheerleader  when she returns for her sophomore year. She will help lead cheers for football and various other sports  for Notre Dame through next school year. Nicole is the daughter of Dr. Nelson & Mae Madrilejo of Bakersfield.

 * ... DISCOVERY SHOP: The Discovery Shop, a retail resale shop that supports the American Cancer Society, is looking for volunteers to help staff the store. Hal Wygant, a retried manager of a finance office, said the shop is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, mostly seniors, and many of whom are cancer survivors. "These gracious ladies are responsible for accepting donations, sorting the items, sometimes repairing and make the items presentable in the retail store." Even if you have only a few hours a week to volunteer, they could use your help. The store is located at 5420 California Avenue. Call (661) 324-1359 if you are interested.

 * ... WHO KNEW? Did you know that the Bakersfield area boasts three of the top ten highest oil producing areas in the nation?

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