Sunday, September 2, 2012

Oh to be Irish in Bakersfield! And what is with our community's obsession with pit bulls?

 * ... MORE IRISH: Bakersfield has always had a strong pipeline sending kids to Notre Dame, and Janet Saltvick Nelson is among those parents who beam with pride at everything Irish. Her daughter, Katie O'Sullivan, graduated from Cal State Bakersfield and went on to Notre Dame to earn her Ph.D. in geology.  "She was born and raised here in Bakersfield and is a product of the Bakersfield school districts. As her single mother of all those years, raising her here in Bakersfield, I have always told her she could accomplish what ever she wanted to and she has. That is what she wrote as her dedication to me in her dissertation. I think the thing I am most proud of is that she and I have accomplished getting her through nine years of college with absolutely no debt. It can be done. Her entire extended family and friends that have supported her are thrilled to call the future Dr. Katie M. O'Sullivan, a Bakersfield native." That deserves a job well done to you, mom.

* ... PITBULLS: I am aware of the argument that pitbulls are like any other dog, but I am among those who are simply uncomfortable getting too close to a strange one. And so is Christian Zoller, a reader who wrote that he encounters a lot of the dogs up on the Panorama Bluffs. "Just within the last week, on two separate nights,  I have been alarmed to see that numerous people are exercising their unusually muscled pit bulls by running and walking them up and down the bluffs. Some of the dogs have bar bell plates around their collars. Many are left off of their leashes. The paths are very narrow in places and can be very difficult to avoid being near them, especially the ones that are not on a leash. I hope you can inform your readers of this potentially dangerous condition. Many families run and walk on these same paths."

 * ... BLUFFS: And speaking of the bluffs, it's always discouraging to see the mounds of trash (usually fast-food wrappers but also the occasional diaper) casually left in the gutter by those enjoying the Panorama Bluffs.

 * ... SPOTTED: In front of Hoggz Surf Shop a young woman gives her boyfriend an affectionate kiss before they hop on bicycles (sans helmets) and head out on the bike trial. Memo to boyfriend Matt: remember what paramedics call bicycle riders who don't wear helmets? Organ donors.

* ... ROTARY: Another shoutout to our community's Rotarians, this one from Vija A. Turjanis who supervises a children's team at Kern County Mental Health.  "We work with very high risk youth many of whom are in foster care and have had extremely traumatic life experiences.  I read your column regularly and was pleased to see that you recognized the Twilight Rotary. Please recognize Bakersfield West Rotary as they have been sponsoring my team since 2005. The way they sponsor us is by an event called Child Spree where they usually provide 30 kids with a $100 gift card for school clothes (shopping spree at Kohl's), back pack complete with school supplies and a hot breakfast.  This year they sponsored 40 of our neediest youth at Child Spree.  It is events like Child Spree that boost these youth self-image/esteem by preparing them for the new school year, but moreover by letting them know that there are people in the community who believe and care for them. "

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: From Evan Jones: "You know you're from Bakersfield if you've ever stood in line for Huell Howser's autograph."


Anonymous said...

Recommendation for walking the bluffs among the pit bulls: carry a baseball bat.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Yay! Diaper report!