Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bakersfield quietly pulls its application to become a host city for the 2013 Tour of California, another casualty of the culture of doping in professional cycling

* ... TOUR: The folks behind the effort to bring the Tour of California cycling race back to Bakersfield have quietly withdrawn their request to be a host city next year. Sources close to the effort told me they are backing off in part because of the doping scandal that led to Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Sponsors like Nike have dropped Armstrong, and last week Rabobank said it too would drop its sponsorship of a major European cycling team. (Rabobank was also a huge sponsor of the Tour of California and had a big presence at this year's time trial event on the Panorama bluffs). An insider told me that raising money to bring the tour back was hard enough, and the doping scandal was the final nail in the coffin. "We'll just let 2013 pass and then take another look in 2014," I was told.

* ... SCARED: Here is something to remember on Halloween. New research seems to prove the old adage that you can literally be "scared to death." That's right, researchers now believe that some people have "acute, sudden heart failure" when they suffer a severe traumatic experience. And this is happening in otherwise perfectly healthy people. "These include victims of muggings and break-ins who assailants never touched them; children who died on amusement park rides; car accident victims who sustained only minor injuries and a man who jumped off the roof" of a hospital but suffered severe heart damage even before hitting the ground, said a story in The Wall Street Journal.

 * ... SPOTTED: Two old box springs and mattresses, along with an equally grungy brown recliner, are unceremoniously dumped in Jastro Park over the weekend.

* ... CHRISTIAN: Bakersfield College has a new president and she will be taking over during a time of tremendous challenge for community colleges. On Monday, new president Dr. Sonya Christian will join me on Californian Radio (KERN 1180) to talk about her plans on leading the school. When she takes over full time in January, she will become the school's 10th president. Tune in at 9 a.m. and call in with your questions to (661) 842-5376.

 * ... THEFT: My earlier piece on theft at airports by security personnel drew this note from Michael Tasos. "Greetings from North Georgia. Interesting point about airport thefts. A few years ago, while vacationing in Maui, my son and I were going to play golf. When I reached into my bag, I found that my 5, 7, and 9 irons, as well as two wedges were missing. I asked my son if he had been messing with my clubs before we left and he had not. I contacted Delta and they paid for the stolen clubs immediately. You're right, theft must be rampant. I also found the random assortment of clubs that were pilfered to be quite odd. I guess someone was building a set."

 * ... RIP: George Antonio Borba, the patriarch of the dairy-farming Borba family, died last week after a long battle with cancer. Borba is a familiar name in Kern County, thanks to his family and his sons moving their dairy operations here almost a decade ago. Borba was president of the California Milk Producers Cooperative. He was 80 years old and lived his entire life in the Ontario and Chino area.

1 comment:

Stephen A. Montgomery said...

Good morning Richard!

This morning I tuned in Californian Radio specifically to hear your interview of BC's new president Dr. Sonya Christian. Your comment that there wasn't enough time to ask an important question of her should be a wakeup call and alert of what's wrong with Californian Radio as it is currently formatted and today's commercial radio in that it relegates what should be a substantive discussion to little more than an information desert.

Like you I, too, would like to have heard answers to questions not asked. I didn't give a rat about all the verbal fluff the station management required you to fill the rest of the time with and I have no interest in the services and products the advertisers were hawking.

As a vet I actually found offensive that real estate guy playing the vet card in his pitch. When I heard him say, "Let us thank you (veterans) for your service by letting us..." My thought was, "Oh, SHUT UP!" I also thought hearing him, an Anglo, say, "Si habla EspaƱol" with an American English accent to be a bit condescending. Why didn't they have one of their Spanish speaking agents speak that line? It, like the other advertisers sponsoring the program all sounded tawdry.

I certainly don't need to belabor the fact today's commercial radio's purpose is entertainment and ratings for the advertisers. Good for them, good for those who want to be lightly entertained. Good for those who seek to be affirmed in their beliefs and inflamed about what they already hate. It's bad for those who seek information, reason and knowledge.

It wasn't always like that. I have old CBS studio recordings of an interview of my grandfather who was a leading osteopathic physician and surgeon in his day. Made in the 1940's it was recored on 78 RPM platters and was a substantive interview of his discussion on the treatment of cancer and then advanced practices of getting surgery patients out of bed and moving to speed healing. It was a solid 20 minutes of substance, no commercial interruptions, no fluff and no pointless chit-chat.

Yes, those who want to be lightly entertained no doubt changed stations but that was called public service on the basis that real information needs to be made available to those who want to be informed. The fact they are the minority shouldn't be the governing factor.

That's why public radio is so important and why TBC should consider the far more informative and engaging format of Valley Public Radio's "Valley Edition" as a far more viable format. Then you could have asked the important questions rather than engage in pointless and forgettable banter.

The world of ideas shouldn't be limited to who get the most ratings meaning the realm of ideas shouldn't be limited to the popular right wing talk radio shows just because they can attract the larger audience, Mitt Romney's beliefs and ideology regarding NPR, PBS and Big Bird not withstanding.