Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good news for car makers as sales rebound and thousands return to work; meanwhile the Escalade is the country's top stolen car

 * ... CAR SALES: There's good news for our nation's car makers who are experiencing a strong rebound after taxpayer bailouts and bankruptcies. According to The Los Angeles Times a "leaner, more aggressive auto industry is making a comback, hiring workers and ramping up manufacturing plans." The "big three" of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler alone have added 90,000 jobs since the lowest point two years ago. In fact, growth has been so strong that even in distressed Michigan, hiring has shaved the unemploymenet rate to 10.9 percent, lower than California's of 12 percent. Over at Jim Burke Ford, owner Dan Hay told me business had clearly picked up, thanks in large part to our region's healthy agriculture and energy industries. "We are fortunate to live in Bakersfield," he said. "Our customers seem to feel much more up beat than a few years ago." Ford, of course, never went through bankruptcy and never requested nor received a taxpayer bailout.

 * ... STOLEN CARS: And speaking of cars, it turns out the Cadillac Escalade is the most stolen vehicle in the country. The Insurance for Highway Safety said the luxury sport utility vehicle is more than six times as likely as the average vehicle to be stolen. Also making the "most stolen" list were the Ford F-250 crew 4WD, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew, the Ford F-450 crew 4WD, the GMC Sierra 1500, the Chrysler 300 and the Ford F-350.

 * ... NEW ANCHOR: KGET has found a new anchor to replace Robin Scott Mangarin. Rachelle Murcia, traffic reporter for KOMO in Seattle, is joining the KGET team to anchor the nightly news broadcasts along with Jim Scott. She joined KOMO in 2005 and has spent the last six years handling traffic.

 * ... SCHOLARSHIP: Proud grand parents Chester and Helen Troudy passed along this good news regarding grand daughter Stephanie Anthony Santa, a 2004 graduate of North High School. Stephanie is one of five national recipients to receive a $5,000 scholarship to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. where she will complete her final semester of nurses training. She is a student at Marymount University in Alexandria , Va , and will graduate in May 2012 with a BS/RN degree. Her parents are Sue and Paul Anthony.

 * ... RADIO TIME: Tune in to Californian Radio on SmartTalk 1230 AM Friday when iIwill be chatting with Congressman Kevin McCarthy on the crisis in Libya and the debt showdown, and later in the hour with state Sen. Michael Rubio who may be making a congressional run himself. (file photos of McCarthy, Rubio)

* ... PARKINSON'S: Mary Meaders dropped me a note to spread the word about support group for folks with Parkinson's Disease. With more than 200 folks in our community suffering from Parkinson's, there is clearly a need for a group like this. The group meets the second Tuesday of every month at the First Presbyterian Church downtown, located at 1705 17th Street. Meetings start at 2 p.m.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You may be from Bakersfield if you "remember picking pumpkins out at Al Bussell's ranch."

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