Saturday, April 9, 2011

McCarthy: Congressman Ryan's proposed budget a realistic attempt to put America back on the right track

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and House Majority Whip, submits his view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
 "This week, news of a government shutdown dominated the airwaves. It’s truly unfortunate we’ve come to this point. House Republicans have made every effort to avoid shutdown and continue working toward a
resolution. Remember, the only reason we’re here today is because when Democrats controlled the majority, they failed to propose a budget. The American people recognized this failure, and voted for a new
course in November. Republicans took the majority in the House with government only funded through the beginning of March, and got right to work trying to clean up the Democrats’ fiscal mess. On February 19,
we passed H.R. 1 to fund government through the end of the year and make necessary cuts to help get our nation’s fiscal house in order.

  "Not only did Senate Democrats reject H.R. 1, they failed to propose an alternative. Still, House Republicans have continued to work to avoida shutdown and reduce spending. We passed two short-term measures to save the American taxpayers $10 billion and keep government running. ow we’re at the precipice of a government shutdown yet again, and my colleagues and I’ve put forth yet another option to give Democrats another week to get their act together while ensuring funding for our troops and the Pentagon through the end of the fiscal year. Our nation owes its liberty to the brave military men and women who risk their lives every day to protect our freedom. House Republicans want to protect our troops and it’s shameful that Senate Democrats want to put politics before our armed forces. My colleagues and I will not sit by
as the other side does nothing. We remain committed to avoiding a shutdown and are working toward a resolution that changes the culture of Washington.
  "Meanwhile, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a budget proposal for the next fiscal year that takes the discussion from billions of dollars in spending cuts to trillions. This budget represents a choice of two futures. We can either choose to honestly address our spending problem, put America on the path to prosperity and get people back to work, or continue down the road to fiscal disaster. Chairman Ryan’s
budget chooses to recharge the light of the shining city on the hill, and I wholeheartedly support it.

  "The Wall Street Journal called Congressman Ryan’s budget “the most serious attempt to reform government in at least a generation,” and they’re right. It cuts $6.2 trillion from the President’s budget over
ten years, reduces our deficit by $4.4 trillion and caps spending at pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels. This is exactly the prescription economists and even the President’s own debt commission have recommended to get our economy back on track. In addition, our budget fully repeals and defunds Obamacare.

  "Our nation has serious challenges and you deserve the truth. We must eliminate the budget gimmicks and accounting tricks and have a fact-based discussion. I’ll continue to update you on the progress
here and I encourage anyone with any questions to contact me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tackling our litter problem, a pure act of kindness and a walk down memory lane with local readers

 * ... LITTER: Is there anything more annoying than how some people use our community as their personal waste basket? How many times have you come across a  local park trashed with yesterday's picnic supplies, or watched as someone casually tosses a soda cup out the car window?. Dianne Hoover, director of city Recreation and Parks, has the unenviable task of trying to get the community to rally around an anti litter campaign called "Litter: It's beneath us." Here's a good way to start: this Saturday is the Great American Cleanup day in Bakersfield when volunteers will help clear our community of litter and graffiti. It's a small step, but an important one. If you want to help, call (661) 326-3539.

 * ... LOCAL KID: Eleven-year-old Buddy Shepherd is into mini sprint car  racing and recently won the  main event at the Plaza Park Raceway in Visalia. Buddy is a pretty good racer, so that was not entirely unexpected, but what happened next was. Turns out a special needs youngster attends almost every race and sits in stands with his father, wildly waving miniature flags mimicking the real flagman. After Buddy was presented his trophy, he walked into the stands and presented it to the young man. "This was a pure act of kindness and class on Buddy's part," said Randy Raymond Sr., owner of Raymond's Trophy and Awards downtown. "The crowd went nuts and gave Buddy a standing ovation." That kind of kindness is not taught in schools, but comes from the heart and his family. Buddy, a fifth grader at Cesar Chavez school, is the son of Kellie and Dick Shepherd Jr., who own HS Body Works and Towing here in Bakersfield.

 * .... MEMORY LANE: Mike Hutson wrote to talk about the miniature golf course located at Goodman and Alta Vista Drive in East Bakersfield, adjacent to Shakey’s Pizza and across from Rosalie Stubbs Dance Studio. "The actual name was Alta Vista Miniature Golf Course and a wonderful gentleman named Lee Sullivan was the owner-operator. Mr. Sullivan was a postal worker who would open each day at 4 p.m. after his normal shift at the Post Office. A number of the 'regulars' was a group of us that hailed from Washington Jr. High and later BHS.  (In the 1960s and 1970s, the La Cresta-Garces area was in the BHS district).  While we enjoyed frequenting 'Sullies' often, it was not so much for the miniature golf, but rather the pinball machines. The games were 5 cents per play or 5 games for a quarter. Certainly the video games of our childhood!  The Lynn Company’s very own 'Hippo' Hanson and Elite Painting's Dave Wilkerson were the resident pinball wizards.  Many a weekday and virtually every weekend was spent fine tuning our pinball talents on games like 'Sweethearts' and the 'River Boat.' When our gaming funds were challenged, Mr. Sullivan would redeem as many empty Coke, 7Up and Dr. Pepper bottles we could get our hands on. While the foundation and structure of the property are long gone, the memories remain."

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: LaVone Walker writes that she loves my  "articles on Bakersfield heritage and history. When I was growing up in Bakersfield in the 1950s my dad would take us roller staking every Friday and Saturday night at the Starlight  Roller Rink on West Kentucky, close to Union Avenue. The rink had a mirrored ball. Jim Huber, the owner, would turn the lights out and turn on the mirrored ball. It was  so romantic to hold your partner's hand and skate to the 1950s music. Later, the Starlight hosted concerts with Fats Domino, Ricky Nelson, the Everly Brother and many other. Jim later opened Stake Land on Ming  Avenue. His daughter was the Women's World Rollerskating Champion."

 * ... CREAMERY: From reader Pat Glenn: "With all the discussion of Wayne's Drive-in, does anyone remember the Peacock Ice Creamery just east of Union, on either 18th or 19th street? It was named for Wayne Peacock, a big dairyman in the area." 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bako Bits: Non profits hard at work in a Bakersfield spring and a tribute to a Marine

  * ... MAKE A WISH: Hats off to the  caring students at San Joaquin Valley College's Associated Student Body who raised $9,000 for the Make-a-Wish  Foundation. The money will go to cover the cost of a Disney cruise for the family of 6-year-old Kaleb, who has undergone two liver transplants. Foundation director Cathy Anspach told me the students became aware of Kaleb's struggles and went to work raising money through car washes, food sales, raffles and other events.

 * ... STOLEN FLAMINGOS: Remember the pink yard flamingos that were stolen out of yards recently? They were placed there by the girls Challenge Team at St. Francis Parish School to raise money to help fight cancer. Principal Cindy Meek contacted me to say she received an apology letter from one person who had stolen some flamingos out of a yard in Westchester. "She did not realize they were a fund raiser and she sent a cashier's check for $200 which we are donating to Relay for Life," Cindy said. "No word about the flock that was stolen off the corner of 21st Street and Spruce or the one stolen in the Bakersfield Country Club."THe Challenge Team "flocks" yards with the plastic flamingos in the home that homeowners will donate to the fight against cancer.

 * ... RADIO: Have you heard about "Californian Radio" on American General Media's 1230 AM station? Starting this week from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. you can hear columnist Lois Henry, Opinion editor Robert Price, Executive Editor John Arthur and myself five days a week. It's all part of AGM's rebranding of the station as SmartTalk1230 featuring consumer news, local news, opinion and financial news. The station will also feature Dennis Miller, Lou Dobbs, Dave Ramsey, Wall Street Journal Radio and Red Eye Radio, among others. We hope you tune in, or better yet, give us a call while we're on the air.

 * ... TRIBUTE: Received this touching note from Rick Isle on April 1: "My mother, Evelyn (Evie) Isle called me today to share that 66 years ago today, my dad Roy Isle, led a group of US Marines onto a beach on Okinawa.  A year later, September 9, 1946, he married mom here in Bakersfield. Dad passed away Jan. 11, 2000.  I bet those Marines were thinking of April Fools."

 * ... SPRING: You know it's Spring in Bakersfield if you find yourself anxious for the weekend to visit  White Forest Nursery or Bolles..

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're a Bakersfield old timer if you "remember the annual football games between Kern County Union High School and Phoenix high school in Arizona. The rivalry ended in the 1950s due to cost." Thanks to Anthony Bernal for submitting this one.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Fiddler children establish an endowment at CSUB and more on the old Bako eateries

 * ... REMEMBERING CLAUDE: Claude Fiddler, the long-time Chevron geologist who died last year, left a lasting legacy in his generosity to the community in ways he never broadcast. And now his children have donated $100,000 to Cal State Bakersfield in the form of the Claude Fiddler Endowment to fund research in geology and other related fields. One can not help but be impressed by the commitment of this family to giving back, and certainly Claude and his late wife Shirley passed it on to their children, Linda and David. For those of us who knew Claude and Shirley, it is not surprising that their children have picked up where their parents left off in living a life that embraces community and the spirit of giving. What kind of legacy do you want to leave? 

  * ... SPOTTED: Kudos to the trim, bearded middle-aged man spotted on Alfred Harrell Highway across from the soccer park Saturday morning. His late model Camry was parked on the side of the road and he was alone, picking up trash in a public right of  way. Why? Because he cared enough to do so.
 * ... OLD HAUNTS: Reader Jean Gillian submitted this nugget about old Bako eateries: "Wayne's Drive-in also had an inside cafe. Their chili size was the best high cholesterol meal one could eat. You could also pick up their donuts, milk and ice cream to go. Across 5th Street was Reed and Bell Root Beer stand with iced mugs for your drink and the best hamburgers you can imagine. The owners went on to open the Carriage House with wonderful food. Let us not forget Helen Lovegreen's Southern Kitchen at Chester and 6th Street.  Delicious chicken, home made biscuits and pies and you could also have your fortune told. Further down Chester was Mr. and Mrs of Radio Fame. Interesting place. So many places to eat and it was good!"

 * ... MORE WAYNE'S: Another post on Wayne's came in from Dick Ferris: "I must correct the March 28th writer. Yes, Warren's was a favorite for burgers. In fact you could get five for $1 in the late 1940s. However Wayne's Drive-In was a few blocks north and was most certainly a drive-in. I will never forget Wayne's, because my grandparents bought me a chocolate shake that was so good I had them buy me another one. Bad decision, because I got sick and decorated the parking lot with both of them. While I am at it, has anyone remembered Reed and Bell Root Beer Drive In across the street from Wayne's on the northwest corner, and Budge-in on the other side of Chester? The Ferris family spent many happy times at the many Bakersfield drive-ins."

* ... MORE GOOD DEEDS: Happy to put the spotlight on a group of kids out at Seven Oaks who have made a habit of raising money for local worthy causes. Dave Morton, vice president of AC Electric, said it started last summer when his 12 year-old daughter Juliana announced that she wanted to have a bake sale to raise money for the St. Vincent de Paul Center. Julianna, her sisters, 14-year-old Katherine and 9-year-old Caroline Morton, and her best friend Annie Stone set up shop on Thornwood Drive between the 5th and 6th holes of the Islands Course at Seven Oaks.  They raised $357. That led to more bake sales for the Bakersfield Homeless Center, SPCA and most recently, Relay for Life. Over the month these young ladies have raised and donated more that $2,000 all on their own. They have since adopted the name "Sugar Coated Angels." And that's a feel good story.

*... WHO KNEW? Bob Weir, founding member of the Grateful Dead, sang about Bakersfield in a single on his first solo album in 1972. The song was called "Mexicali Blues"; the album was "Ace."