Thursday, September 6, 2012

Locally owned Olcott's home store will be closing and what's the problem with hailing a cab at Meadows Field airport?

 * ... IRISH: Dr. Shawn Shambaugh and his wife Teri were among the thousands who flew to Dublin, Ireland, last week to watch Notre Dame beat Navy in college football. They traveled with Mike and Marci Soper and Craig and Mary Kaye Hammon, and while there saw many local kids, including Notre Dame students Julia Berchtold and Brandon West and Ian Hagen (a graduate of Garces Memorial High) and David Dolinar (Stockdale High), both of whom are attending the Naval Academy. Said Shawn: "I can attest personally, we all can be very proud of these kids."

 * ... OLCOTTS: I was saddened to see that Olcott's, the large home furnishings retailer that has been a staple of our community for years, has gone out of business. Here's something to remember about locally owned businesses like Olcott's: online and other national and regional retailers can perhaps offer greater selections and competitive prices, but they can never replace the way families like the Olcotts have given back to our community in ways small and large. Every time we lose an Olcott's, the community loses a little of the fabric that makes Bakersfield special.

 * .... OVERHEARD: In a local dental office a woman is talking about her car being broken into off Gosford and White Lane. "I was picking up my friend and went into her house for maybe three minutes. When we returned my window was smashed and my purse was gone."

* ... MEADOWS: Ever try to catch a cab at Meadows Field after a flight? Well, it's not easy and in fact in some cases seemingly impossible. Take the case of Rogers Brandon, a local radio group owner and friend who flew in from Phoenix at 6 p.m. last Monday only to find no cabs waiting. Luckily he had called ahead and managed to grab a cab and spoke to the driver about why more cabs didn't meet flights Apparently, Yellow and American Cab (same ownership) have the concession for cab service from the airport. The concession is about $3,500 per year and it gives them the right to meet planes and prohibits all others from doing the same. The problem, according to my driver, is that Yellow and American cab rarely meet the planes, stranding people at the airport. If another company is called, as I did, they may circle the airport to pick up a fare. But only by appointment. The driver said that he regularly is called to the airport to pick up stranded passengers, delivers them and returns to the airport for more passengers. His record is four trips to meet fares from the same plane." The driver said he had approached airport management but was shrugged off. "Most residents do not use the cab concession and so you don't hear about it. But dozens from out of town plan to use the cabs everyday and, when stranded,  it reflects very poorly on our community."

 * ... SPOTTED: Christine Lollar was at the intersection of Fruitvale and Rosedale Highway Tuesday morning when she came upon a woman whose SUV had died. "It seemed like several hundred cars were behind us. I rolled down my window to call to her when to our relief (more her's than mine to be sure) a young man wearing a Bakersfield firefighter shirt walked up to her then proceeded to push her (quite the hill - pushing several thousand pounds - not the lady, the car) across Rosedale to the dead end portion of Fruitvale. I rolled down my window and bellowed 'thank you' receiving a dashing smile in return (not the lady, the firefighter). I will say I 'spotted' at least several dozen men in work trucks and business suits who didn’t help at all."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About the cabs at the airport: If the cab company could make a pile of money having drivers hanging around the airport waiting for people who don't already have rides, it would. Seems like an issue of supply and demand and the demand isn't there. Isn't it a business decision? The Californian can't make money, let's say, sending newspapers to Ridgecrest, but you SHOULD service the high desert because it reflects badly on the county and community. Is "reflecting badly on the community" a reason enough for a cab company to lose money? Does the lack of decent morning radio news coverage on Brandon's stations reflect badly on the community or does it just mean Brandon can't make money? Do the radio station and Californian make financial and business decisions based on how it will reflect upon the community? It would appear not.