* ... SICK BAY: Bruce Biggar is one of our community's longtime residents and good souls, not to mention a friend of mine, so I was concerned to learn that he just underwent surgery to deal with prostate cancer. The good news is that the surgery, performed at UCLA Medical Center, was a complete success. "Of course nothing is guaranteed but right now I am cancer free," he told me. A longtime architect at BFCG-IBI Group Architecture Planning, Bruce told me he is now "going to get on my soap box to tell men: monitor your PSA levels and get regular checkups." Other than losing a few pounds, Bruce is doing well and now walking regularly to retain his strength and stamina.
* ... THANKS: From reader Pamela Mahan: "God bless these 'quiet millionaires' such as Dr. Cornforth and his wife, Edna, who have donated a million dollars to San Joaquin Hospital for their cancer center. We should all appreciate what the private sector does to contribute to our welfare. We don't all have to rely on the government to take care of us."
* ... GRANTS: The Women's and Girls' Fund, part of the Kern Community Foundation, has annnounced a new four-year focus on grants supporting education and training for Kern women and girls. Through 2015 annual grants of $20,000 or more will be awarded to local non-profits. The new grant cycle has a deadline of Nov. 9 to apply. Go to http://www.kernfoundation.org/ to download application forms. Meanwhile, The Bakersfield Californian Foundation has an Oct. 14 deadline for grant requests focused on the beautification and general improvement of downtown Bakersfield. It's nice to live in a town where so many people are chipping in to improve our community. You can find the Californian grant applications on http://www.bakersfieldcalifornianfoundation.org/.
* ... OVERHEARD: A U.S. Airways flight from Phoenix to Bakersfield was recently delayed by more than 30 minutes because the crew ran out of seat belt extenders to accommodate a large number of out sized passengers. Oh my.
* ... SPOTTED: Memo to the middle aged woman driving the late model silver BMW with black convertible top on Gosford Road: thanks for using your blinkers but weaving through heavy traffic like a NASCAR driver can be hazardous to your health.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: James Taylor writes that you might be a Bakersfield old-timer if you remember "the Texas Kid fruit stand on 34th Street and Dudley's hamburger stand across the street from East High School. Had lots of spaghetti and beans there."