* ... 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."