Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A final tribute to Wendy Wayne and to a life well lived. And, Elliott Kirschenmann prepares to succeed Sue Benham on the City Council

* ... R.I.P. WENDY: A final word on the remarkable life of Wendy Wayne, the community activist who died this weekend at the relatively young age of 64. I was among the lucky who considered Wendy a friend, and I stood in awe of her ability to rise above pettiness and to give herself to others so unselfishly. In a world that has grown uncivil and harsh, Wendy represented a soft voice of reason and understanding. She was attentive in a way that made everyone feel special. Our society has grown sloppy about being attentive - to family, to friends, to strangers - but Wendy embraced it by becoming a world class  listener.  I last shared a glass of wine with Wendy about a six weeks ago, and even then, with the cancer slowly winning the battle for her life, she turned her attention toward me and peppered me with questions about my life and children that made me feel like the center of the universe. We can all learn a lot from a life well lived. Remember Wendy today by reaching out to a friend or loved one.

 * ... WARD 2: I had lunch the other day with Elliott Kirschenmann, the young businessman who hopes to replace Sue Benham as Ward 2 City Councilman. Elliott is just 28 but has served two years on the City Planning Commission and he is already walking the precincts meeting his neighbors. He went to Bakersfield College and then on to USC where he earned his degree. Keep an eye on Elliott as the November election nears because this is a young man on the move. The only other declared candidate so far is restaurateur Terry Maxwell.

 * .... BENHAM: And speaking of Sue Benham, longtime Republican Karen DeWalt wrote to thank Sue for her years of service. "I have contacted City Council member Sue Benham on numerous occasions for a variety of problems that needed to be addressed in the Westchester area. Sue handled all of these promptly and kept me informed  as to when it would be resolved.  I want to thank her for her years of service. She will be missed."

* ... DID YOU KNOW: Did you know that if you lived in Arvin in the 1960s and wanted to call a number in Bakersfield with a prefix of 399 that it cost you a 20 cent toll charge? Thanks to Mary Louise Durham for submitting that.

* ... OVERHEARD: A local businessman is heard reminiscing about "The Judge," the 1969 Pontiac GTO that took the country by storm. Today, the most prominent product called "The Judge" is a Taurus handgun that shoots both .45 caliber rounds and a .410 bore shotgun shell.

 * ... NORTH HIGH: There is an effort under way to create an Athletics Hall of Fame for North High School. The group behind the effort is trying to raise $5,000 to cover the costs of a web design, hosting,  awards and dinner. Interested? Call Karen Langston for more information at (661) 619-6226.

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