Sunday, October 16, 2011

Don Martin being courted to run for City Council while Seven Oaks gets hit with burglaries

 * ... WARD TWO:  It looks like longtime downtown arts activist Don Martin is being courted to run for the City Council to replace Sue Benham, who is stepping down after 12 years on the council. I've heard that Candi Easter, head of the local Democratic Party, has met with Martin to urge him to run in the November 2012 election. Apparently Martin is among a number of potential candidates being approached to run, and he told me he has yet to make a decision. The Ward 2 post covers most of downtown, where Martin lives and runs his art gallery, The Metro Galleries on 19th Street. He has been instrumental in the evolution of the downtown arts district and is well known in the community. Another potential candidate is Terry Maxwell, himself an owner of a downtown restaurant, who ran unsuccessfully for the post over a decade ago.

 * ... SEVEN OAKS: The Grand Island area of Seven Oaks has been hit with a number of burglaries recently, putting residents of this gated community on edge. I am told most of the break-ins are happening in mid morning, and that the favored entry point seems to be windows leading to the master bedroom. In some cases, alarms are not triggered because the introduders simply break the glass and crawl inside without ever opening the window. Alarm companies can wire houses with devices that are triggered by the sound of broken glass, and this may be an option.

* ... MORE BURGLARIES: Kevin Ormande is the manager at the Kern Security Systems and knows something about the rash of burglaries and car thefts sweeping our community. "Please tell your readers to use their home alarm systems even when leaving for just 'a few minutes' to run to the store or pick up children from school. If all possible park in your garage. In 18 years in the security business I have yet to heare of a vehicle being broken into inside a garage."

* ... GARCES POOL: Heads up if you live downtown or on the east side of our community: the new pool at Garces Memorial High School is now open to the public for early morning workouts. Swimmers can sign up for a daily, monthly or yearly pass to use the heated pool from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Lockers are available. The new pool is beautiful and provides a great morning workout. Call Billy Potter at Garces at (661) 327-2578 if you are interested.

* ... FUND RAISER: I had the chance to stop by a fund raiser for the local Ronald McDonald house over at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. It was held at Imbibe Wine and Spirits and chaired by Jeffrey Mestmaker, a local wealth advisor. I am always impressed by how many people in our community rally behind good causes. Mestmaker took the microphone to thank many donors, including HPS Mechanical, The Golden Empire McDonalds operators, Chevron Valley Credit Union, Alon USA, Peggy Darling in the memory of Curtis Darlin, Bakersfield Active 20/30 Club, Bon and Pat Engel in memory of Ryan Dobbs, Diane Lake Family in memory of Catherine Ann Lake, and Sandy Moffett in memory of Marshall Helm.

  * .... COAT DRIVE: Kudos to West Rotary’s New Member Committee for collecting over 500 coats, jackets and sweatshirts at the Antique Peddlers Fair last weekend. Headed by new club member Mark Bianchi along with Chip Casteen, PK Zander, John Shaw and senior members Brad Henderson and Jim Darling, the group's goal was 200 coats for Castle Elementary School. Because of the large response the group added Standard School and West Rotary’s sponsored elementary school in Ensanada Mexico.

 * ... BAD FORM: Speaking of Rotary, service clubs are rarely the venue for bad behavior but that was exactly the case at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield, also known as the downtown club. Turns out one of its members hijacked the invocation to launch a personal attack on the speaker, with whom he had a falling out over a business deal. He later apologized.

 * ... SPOTTED: A young mother with a toddler pulls up to a tobacco shop at Ming and Ashe, music blaring loudly, windows rolled down. She gets out of the car but leaves the loud music playing and the toddler in the back seat while she runs in to get some smokes. Class act.

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