Saturday, March 12, 2011

McCarthy: President's policies prohibit nation from developing energy sources needed for independence

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
 "This week all eyes were on the Senate to see if they would vote to significantly cut government spending and put us on the path to reduce our deficits and provide the economic certainty needed to grow the economy.‬

‪ "Even though in February the national deficit hit an all time record of $223 billion, Democrats in the Senate still were calling to continue the status quo by keeping in place the record high spending that our country has seen over the last few years.  This is not sustainable and it is past time for the Senate to get serious about the job the American people sent us here to do – cut spending and get people back to work.  I believe now is the time for Congress to get serious about tightening its belt and managing its budget, just like families back home do each month.‬

‪ "The American people need to know the truth about our nation’s current fiscal situation and should be afforded the opportunity to have an open and honest debate about how federal spending is hurting families across this country.  There are two paths we can take as a country: Senator Reid’s plan that continues spending at current inflated rates and continues to have our debt burden our economy, or the path we have proposed in our budget measure that rolls back spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels.  Moving forward, my colleagues and I will continue to offer policy options that get people working by removing economic uncertainty and putting us back on a path to prosperity.‬

  "As gas prices continue to rise, we are reminded again of the President’s actions that have made it more difficult for our country to become more energy independent.  Although we have an abundant supply of natural resources in our country that we can utilize to meet our energy needs, we do not have the policies that allow us to take advantage of these resources and our innovative culture to develop new sources of energy and create jobs here at home.  To help Washington and the Administration pursue policies that will create new jobs in our domestic energy industry, my colleagues and I this week launched the American Energy Initiative:  By increasing production and innovation for oil, natural gas, solar, wind and other sources of energy, we will create jobs, meet our energy needs and make our nation more secure.  We should start now by reducing the very real and exceedingly burdensome regulatory rules that stifle domestic energy development and production.‬

‪ "The future of the country depends on whether we are up for taking on the big problems today. Otherwise, we will face even bigger problems tomorrow.  I’ll continue to fight for you and your family to ensure a brighter future for our nation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bakersfield family witnesses the tsunami roll through Hawaii

 Bakersfield residents Rob and Judi McCarthy had just arrived at their second home in Hawaii when the earthquake-trigger tsunami rolled through. The McCarthy beachfront home is located on Puako on the Kohala Coast. The neighborhood is located between Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea resorts. The home is fine but they were forced to evacuate and slept in their car. Judi, who is chair of the Kern Community Foundation, used Facebook to inform me that "all coastal areas in the state evacuated last night. Watching another tsunami surge right now. Trees floating by. Rob rescued a sea turtle that was sent into an inadvertent lagoon that previous surges created in a neighbor's yard." The family home appears dry though lawn furniture was swept to sea and the yard is littered with rocks and dead fish."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bako ranks near the bottom of socially networked cities, but is that a bad thing?

 * ... DO YOU TWEET? Do you spend too much time on Facebook and find yourself on Twitter at all hours? If not take heart, because you're not alone. At least not here in Bakersfield. A story in USA Today on the most socially networked cities lists Bakersfield near the bottom of a list of 100 cities that are engaged on the internet. The top networked cities? Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle. Down near the bottom with Bakersfield were Lubbock, Texas, Stockton, Laredo, Texas, and El Paso. Dr. Kenneth Secor, a fellow Rotarian, told me he thought it was just fine that we rank so low. "Personally,  I think it's great," he said, "as it indicates that we have a community where folks still talk with one another face to face!"

  * ... CHAINLAW: The law firm of Chain, Cohn and Stiles has a way of luring young guns back to Bakersfield. The latest to join the firm is Mathew N. Malerich, a graduate of Garces Memorial High School, UCLA and the University of San Diego School of Law. Matt's father is Dr. Mathew M. Malerich, who has been practicing in Bakersfield for more than 30 years. Chainlaw marketing director Marlene Morales told me that five out of the six lawyers at the firm are all local products who returned to town.

 * ... BEALE PARK POOL: Contributor Jerry Kirkland fondly recalls the old Beale Park pool that served as a "baby sitter" for generations of young Bakersfield kids. Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Kirkland said the Beale pool was the original home of the Bakersfield Swim Club, formed in 1947. "At the beginning and end of each school year, the high school used the Beale pool for P.E. classes and, of course, the swim team practiced there... Life guards during that era, many of them teachers, included Stan Segal, Rena Russell, Margo Robesky, Bob Bone, Gib Shimmel, Carl Berra, Margaret Sworder, June Uhalt, Shorty Martin, Ray Roberts, Ray Scott, Andy Hinderliter, Wally Bertrand and of course, the ubiquitous Russell brothers."

 * ... DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that the Lightspeed Building at 19th and G streets was originally built for Standard Oil in 1902. Fire nearly destroyed the building in the 1990s but owner Rob McCarthy restored it to its former grandeur.

 * ... DRIVE-INS: Reader John Pryor picked up on the conversation regarding the drive-in restaurants that were once so popular around town. In addition to Bloomfield's Drive-In, he said "there was Michener's Drive-in at about 18th and M streets or so - where KC (BHS) Drillers tended to go. In between these two was Baxter's Drive-in on Union Avenue at about 19th Street, if I remember correctly. Baxter's was started by WWII veteran Harold Baxter and his wife, Vita. He was still young when he returned from the war with purely - and very prematurely - white hair said to have been a result of his combat experiences. His wife designed colorful and imaginative outfits for their car hops purported to have out shined both Bloomfield's and Michener's! I can't remember if Baxter's car hops were on skates but perhaps other readers of your blog from that era can add to this previously untold story."

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Reader Neil Cameron says you are really a Bakersfield old timer if you can remember Whitmore's Drive-In at the Garces Circle. The drive-in was owned by his parents, George (who was blind) and Della Whitmore. During World War II, it was a favorite for the folks stationed at Minter Field for the for people traveling on Highway 99. The frontage was taken by eminent domain to make  room for the overpass. Tex's Barrell House later stood on the property and Deja Vu is now located there.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

So who knew Bakersfield High School was haunted? And how much do you know about Truxtun Beale?

 *... WHO KNEW?: A group of local residents is starting a campaign to encourage everyone to appreciate Bakersfield and all its quirks. They're busy sending me quirky "who knew?" tidbits and here's the first. Legend has it that Bakersfield High School, 118 years old, is haunted. Years ago a couple would cut class and be spotted kissing at the top of the Griffith Stadium. They were later killed in a car accident and to this day, coaches report seeing the image of that couple embracing at the top of the stadium after football games.

 * ... TRUXTUN BEALE: How much do you know about Truxtun Beale, namesake of both Truxtun Avenue and Beale Park? He was born in San Francisco, graduated from Pennsylvania Military College in 1974 and studied at Columbia Law School. Instead of becoming a lawyer, he became manager of his father's Tejon Ranch, a position he held for 13 years. In 1891 he was appointed United States Minister to Persia and a year later, minister to Greece, Romania and Serbia. When his father died in 1893, Beale assumed ownership of Tejon Ranch. In 1912, he sold the ranch to a syndicate of investors headed by Harry Chandler and Moses Sherman. He was married twice, first to Harriet Blaine and later to Marie Oge, granddaughter of Salmon P. Chase, former governor of Ohio and U.S. Treasurer under Abraham Lincoln. Beale died on June 2, 1936, at his country home near Annapolis, Maryland. Thanks to local history buff Larry Kirkland for helping with this mini biography.

 * ... BARKER OUT: Jim Barker, president of Hillcrest Air Conditioning, is leaving town to take a job in Boise, Idaho. Barker told me he will be vice president of new business development at a similar company owned by a personal friend. "Bakersfield has been so good to us but this seemed like an opportunity to take on a new adventure," he said. "It's a great town for the outdoors and the fishing is incredible." Jim and his wife Sarah know Boise well since their daughter is a junior at Boise State University. 

* ... DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that the Tegeler Hotel at 19th And H streets was originally five stories high? The fifth floor was removed after being damaged in the 1952 earthquake. When it was built in 1914, it had a basement cafe and a rooftop garden lined with palm trees.

 * ...  ARTS: With all the budget pressure on our local schools, it's good to see folks coming together to keep vital programs alive. One of those efforts involves the Friends of the Fine Arts (FoFA) at Bakersfield High School, which is having its annual fund raiser March 19th at Juliana's Art Studio and Gallery, 501 18th Street downtown. This is a worthwhile event to support the arts, and you can do so for just $30 a ticket. That includes a light dinner by Valentien and one glass of wine. Lawanda Smith, a fabulous jazz singer, will provide the entertainment. There will be a silent auction involving some terrific gifts. For tickets call (661) 619-2831 or (661) 327-5429.

 * ... FUND RAISER: I erred in a recent post about a fund raiser this weekend for the Henrietta Weill Child Guidance Center by implying it will include a dinner from Cafe Med. Truth is, a Cafe Med dinner is one of the auction items but the $75 ticket will still get you a wine tasting and food by the Guild House staff. Call Toni Ross at 661-322-1021, ext. 186, for tickets. The event is this Friday.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're a Bakersfield old timer if you remember "when hundreds of taranchulas crossing Seventh Standard Road at Enos Lane in the 1950s." Thanks to loyal reader Doris Patrick for that one.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Abandoned track homes a sign of the economic times and NBA great Bill Russell is spotted at a Starbucks

 * ... OUR SHAME: One of the worst aspects of this Great Recession can be seen off Highway 178 and Morning Drive where a once promising housing development sits neglected, vandalized and seemingly forgotten. Three homes on Morningstar Drive, presumably model homes, have been ransacked and gutted of sinks, doors, plumbing and built-in cabinets, their windows shattered by vandals or bored teenagers. And down the street, littering the empty cul-de-sacs, some in our community have  taken to dumping their old couches and trash, making a bad situation worse. Pat Johnson, a county employee who lives in the area, has called city code enforcement numerous times to no avail. Is there just so much of this that the city can't get to all of it?

 * ... SPOTTED: Bill Russell, the All-Star center for the Boston Celtics and one of the greatest professional basketball players ever to take the court, was spotted at the Starbucks off Olive Drive last week by Rick Kreiser, owner of Carney's Business Technoloy Center. "I asked him if he was here to play golf and he said, 'nah, just passing through," Kreiser said, adding he recognized Russell instantly and was impressed by his multiple All-Star rings adorning his fingers. Apparently Russell has local connections because he has been spotted in the past at Bakersfield Country Club.


 * ... FUND RAISER: Looking for a good cause to support while enjoying some excellent wine? You might consider the Henrietta Weill Child Guidance Foundation's annual wine tasting this Friday, March 11, at the Guild House downtown. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. David Dobbs and his staff from Imbibe Wine and Spirits will be pouring wine from Spain, Argentina, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and the United States. There will be hors d'oeuvres prepared by the Guild House staff and a dinner from Cafe Med. The cost is $75 per person and all money will go to a great cause. Call Toni Ross at (661) 322-1021, Ext. 186, to make reservations.

 * ... GARRISON OUT: It looks like Scott Garrison and Lightspeed Systems have parted ways.  Garrison had been serving as president of the local technology company until last week. In a memo to employees Garrison said he was leaving to place a "greater emphasis on my personal life" and had accepted a "less demanding position" as director of business development at Stria, a document imaging company.

* ... MEMORIES: Nothing like a walk down memory lane to get your morning started. Thanks to contributor Al Sandrini for the following: "There are many other places I remember that nobody has spoken of in your column. The Crystal Inn (I think at Planz and Union Avenue); a miniature golf course (next to Green Frog on Bernard Street); Babe Lazane's golf driving range was next door to the batting range on 34th Street; a nine hole golf, three par course on Columbus, just west of Union Avenue that was run by John Anselmo, who gave lessons to Tiger Woods after he moved to Orange County; trolley tracks down Chester Avenue (the trolley was supplied with power from the power house where Salvation Army is located at 19th and Union); cattle pens at the corner of California and Oak, just west of the overpass. The Santa Fe had their caboose tracks on one side of the pens and the loading tracks on the other. Conductors must have loved the smell of the old cabooses the next day."

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: From local physical therapist Kyle Lacy: You know you're from Bakersfield if "you remember getting chased off the artificial ski run at Bakersfield College when you were going down it on your skateboard in the mid 1970s."