Friday, September 23, 2011

McCarthy: time to ease regulations on small businesses so they can expand and grow

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip and a Bakersfield Republican, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill in his own words:

 "As many of you know, I started my first small business, a deli called “Kevin O’s,” 26 years ago in Bakersfield. I had limited culinary skills, but people liked my sandwiches enough that I hired a few employees, and after a while sold my business and used the money for college. In today’s regulatory environment, I wouldn’t even consider taking the risk to open Kevin O’s.
 That’s one reason I introduced the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act (H.R. 2940). This bill would make it easier for entrepreneurs to access capital by repealing a Depression-era Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation prohibiting ‘general solicitation’ for companies seeking capital from a broader class of investors, including institutional investors. This regulation limits the pool of potential investors to those with whom an entrepreneur has an existing relationship, unless that entrepreneur goes through the cumbersome and costly process of registering with the SEC. By nullifying this rule, my legislation would open another door for small business owners in Bakersfield to attract capital to create jobs and expand.

 "HR 2940 is just one of the many bills my colleagues and I are working on to ease the regulatory environment that is stalling hiring and contributing to our stagnant economy. On Friday, we passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, which would require an analysis of specific EPA rules to determine their impact on the economy , as well as delay other costly rules that could increase electricity prices up to 24 percent annually. Now is not the time to increase costs on families and businesses, and I will continue to fight to ensure the government does not saddle you with unnecessary costs.

"Just as important as promoting private investment is ensuring your taxpayer dollars are used responsibly. That’s why I am concerned with California’s high-speed rail project. There are simply too many unanswered questions, and the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) recently-released Environmental Impact Report (EIR) only raises more. The EIR shows the rail line would have profound impacts on our community, and I want anyone with concerns and comments to have the opportunity to share them. That’s why I sent a letter to the CHSRA last week requesting a 30-day extension of the public comment period, so people have until November 12 to make their voice heard.

 "This Saturday, I’m participating in the official grand opening of the Bakersfield Vet Center. The men and women who have sacrificed to defend our nation deserve our unending support, and with the opening of this center, they now have greater access to information and resources. I am also gearing up for my annual U.S. Service Academy Forum. This forum is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about opportunities available to them through a military education. The forum will be held at the Kern County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers on Saturday, October 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Please contact my office at 327-3611 to RSVP.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gov. Brown signs into law a Rubio-sponsored bill to speed renewable energy projects, and a reunion at East High

 * ... GREEN LAW: Gov. Jerry Brown signed into a law Thursday that expedites the process fore reviewing and issuing permits for renewable energy projects within the Department of Fish and Game. The sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Michael Rubio, was on hand to witness Brown sign the bill during a brief ceremony in Fresno. He called it "critical" legislation to speed the permitting process. Meanwhile, Rubio is busy raising money for his run in the newly created 21st Congressional District, where Republican Fresno farmer David Valadao - a state Assemblyman - is also running. This should be a spirited race and one worth following. (file photo below of Michael Rubio)

 * ... HAPPY TRAILS: A large group of KBAK 29 employees gathered at the Prairie Fire bar at The Padre Hotel recently to celebrate the retirement of longtime employee Nancy Clarke. She retired after 32 years at KBAK and - as her coworkers told her - hardly looks 32 herself. She kept FCC reports for KBAK and directed and purchased programming for both KBAK and KBFX.

* ... EAST HIGH: East Bakersfield High School is looking for alumni to participate in video interviews about their time at the school. Karen Roney says it's all part of gearing up for the school's 75th anniversary. "If you have memories to share about experiences and/or favorite teachers please call Rick Van Horne at EBHS (661) 871-7221 to schedule an appointment time. Video interviews will be done on Monday, October 3 from 9 am until 3:30 pm in the Administration building.

 * ... SPOTTED: Able bodied, 30-something blonde, dressed to the nines and driving a shiny black BMW, pulls into a handicapped parking space at The Marketplace. When confronted by another woman, the blonde curtly responds "I'll only be a minute" and then flips the woman off. Such class.

 * ... MEMORY LANE: Another walk down memory lane, thanks to Victoria Brewer Sexton. She recalled the retailer Harold Brewer Women's Wear, Inc., located on the corner of F and 28th streets. (One reader had identified it as Harold Brown's) "Rosemary's occupies that building now and has for many years. Harold Brewer was my father and he started his specialty clothing business in 1954 and closed the doors in 1967.... I also have fond memories of the Carnation Company with its ice cream soda shop in front on Union Avenue. The Union Avenue Plunge was a treat for me, and that was a high tower we jumped off. The Terrace Drive-in was a high school memory."

* ... GOOD SERVICE: Reader Joe House added these thoughts about good service around town: "Bright House Networks. When I call I get someone from Bakersfield not India, and if they can`t take care of it over the phone they will send a service tech out quickly even on weekends. Also Memorial Hospital gave my wife the best of care."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bakersfield Christian gets a new headmaster and Memorial Hospital recognized as a top performer

 * ... BCHS: Big changes over at Bakersfield Christian High School where Stephen Dinger has been named interim president and chief administrator, replacing Daniel Cole. The board expressed its appreciation for Cole's years of service but gave no other details on why he was leaving. For the past few years Dinger has served as superintendent of St. John's Lutheran Church and School. While at St. John's the school was recognized as a Blue Ribbon campus. Bakersfield Christian's roots go back to 1979 when it began as a K-12 school affiliated with a local church. Back in 2002 the school purchased 50 acres at the corner of Stockdale Highway and Allen Road, on which it built an impressive campus.

 * ... 100 CANDLES:  Sending special birthday wishes out to Edna Harp, who will turn 100 this Saturday (September 24.) Edna spent most of her life in Delano and lived independently until about six months ago. Her grand daughter, Jana Furman, said there will be a special lunch at Hungry Hunter. Edna already has received a congratualtory letter from the White House. "You should join us for lunch so you can meet her and watch her waltz! Have you ever been to a birthday party for someone who is 100?"  Jana asked. Happy birthday, Edna.

 * ... MEMORIAL: Kudos to the folks over at Memorial Hospital, which was just recognized as one of the nation's best performing hospitals. There are lots of ratings lists, but I am told this recognition by the Joint Commission is the real deal and in fact is the first time the commission has listed the nation's top performing hospitals. The commission cited 450 hospitals in 45 states with outstanding performance. Chandler Regional Medical Center in Arizona, like Memorial a Catholic Heathcare West Hospital, also made the list.

 * ... MARINE: My spirits were lifted when I received this note from Delano resident Joan Collins. "My nephew (Corporal John Klein) is a Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton and was driving home to Folsom, Ca., on Sept. 3 and had car trouble in Bakersfield. He had his 2-year-old son with him. He stopped at Pep Boys and while there Jose Correa and Hermek (?) Dhaliwal worked on his car and got him back on the road. Our thanks go to Mr. Erick Dyer who paid the bill. John arrived safely at his mom's house to celebrate his birthday."

* ... TRIATHLETE: Richard Meyer is one of those guys who seems to defy the laws of aging. At 59, Meyer is one of our area's most consistent and successful triathletes. According to his training partner Mike Toland, himself a gifted athlete, Meyer competed in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, Olympic Distance in Burlington, Vermont, and qualified for the 2012 World Age Group Championships on Team USA in New Zealand. "Richard and I have been chasing each other over California’s tri courses for over 20 years and it always a pleasure and a challenge when we participate in the same race. He is exemplary as an athlete and as a person," Toland said. Meyer is president of Meyer Civil Engineering, Inc

 * ... REUNION: There is a reunion luncheon of the American Business Women's Association Pacesetter chapter. The group is trying to find past and current members to attend the event, planned for Saturday, October 29, at the Hilton Garden Inn. If you are interested in attending, email the group at The group raises money to provide scholarships to women attending either Bakersfield College or Cal State Bakersfield. Call Sandy Paglia at (661) 304-4207 with further questions.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when you move away and "instead of missing people, you miss Smith's Bakery and Pyrenees Bread."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Harley Pinson throws his hat into the ring for the Fourth District supervisor race and another successful Bakersfield Triathlon

 * ...HARLEY'S RUN: Longtime community leader and petroleum attorney Harley Pinson has entered the race for the Fourth District seat on the Kern County Board of Supervisors. I've known Harley for years and we are fortunate to attract quality people like him who are willing to serve. He's a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and the McGeorge School of law and a longtime volunteer in many community causes. Harley told me he already has picked up the support of some impressive local folks, including Ray Dezember, former Aera CEO Gene Voiland, former Mayor Mary Kay Shell, insurance consultant John Pryor, Bryan Batey and Taft Mayor Randy Miller. His wife, Cindy, is also a graduate of UC Santa Barbara. They've lived here for more than 30 years and have two grown children. The post opened after the retirement of Supervisor Ray Watson.

 * ... CAL RADIO: I'll be chatting with supervisor candidate Harley Pinson Monday on Californian Radio SmartTalk 1230 at 10 a.m. He'll be laying out his goals and expectations as he joins the race to succeed Supervisor Ray Watson. Later in the hour, I'll talk to local writer Lisa Kimble Edmonston about bad manners and what we can all do about it.

 * ... TRIATHLON: Hats off to Kerry Ryan and the folks over at Action Sports for putting on another successful Bakersfield Triathlon. I headed out to Lake Ming Sunday morning to watch the runners and cyclists come in, and was pleased to see a huge turnout of families and spectators. And of course, it's always nice to see large crowds of peole who take their health and wellness seriously. Ryan said he had about 200 entrants.

 * ... REPORT CARD: Bakersfield received the grade of a D minus in report listing the most, and least, educated cities in America. We ranked 81st on the list, which was assembled by Men's Health magazine. The magazine used graduation rates, school enrollment and education levels for adults over the age of 25 in compiling the list. The most educated city in the country? Madison, Wisconson, followed by Plano, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C. Houston was right behind Bakersfield at No. 82.

 * ... REUNION: Marlene Morales, marketing chief over at the Chain Cohn Stiles law firm, reminded me of the recent reunion of the 1981 Bakersfield College football team that beat Taft College in the Shrine Potato Bowl before 19,000 fans in Memorial Stadium. Teammates flew in from Hawaii, Texas, and Utah,  while most still live here. "These football players have become productive and successful business men that demonstrate great character and integrity. Too name of few alumni that were in attendance that evening... Mike Cody, Kevin Legg, Phil Anderson, Jim Starkey, Willy Reyneveld, Rick Van Horne, Dave Thorpe, Jim Maples, Mike Jelletich, Vyn Goodmon, Wayde Kirschenman, Mike Ramey, Jerry Montgomery, Wyatt Ross, Paul Putnam, Andre Smith, Paul Damron, Dean Manning, Gene Coughlin, Randy Ariey, Mike Ming, Clint Hunt, Curtis Allen, Brian Silvius, Richard Jones, Mike Renzi, Danny Wilson, Phil Turner, Todd Jackson, Mark Bebout, Rob Hallum, Eric Roth, Coach Gerry Collis, Coach Paul Damron, Coach Harvel Pollard, Forgive me if I forgot anyone (It's been 30 years)...Marlene Morales, 1981 Cheerleader. Go-Gades-Go!"

 * ... BAKO TO BALBOA: This note from Pat Toon Harrison popped up in my mailbox: "What a pleasant surprise when I received your article, written by Linda Smith, about my father's music store. I am the 80 year old daughter of Jack Toon. He was in the music business fron 1934 until he sold sometime in the early 1950s.My good friends, Larry and Glenda Verdin, sent the article to me. Our family moved to Balboa (Newport Beach) in 1952, but I have stayed in touch with several Bakersfied High friends from the 1948 class. Bakersfied is truly a town of special people!

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Harvey Brockmeyer, a retired Bakersfield High agriculture teacher, says you may really be an old timer if you remember the school farm out on old Stine road. The area is now a gated community but Brockmeyer says residents still use the bridge on Stine Road as its entrance. "The slightly undulating farm land farther west was an ideal spot for BHS's agriculture class to use for its unit on survey and leveling. Still further to the west is now West High School; f ew know that this fine school rose out of the ashes of Bakersfield High's old school farm's  trash heap!"