Friday, May 4, 2012

McCarthy: California rates worst state to do business while Sacramento, and the Obama administration, push tax and spend policies

 "Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) gives us his weekly post from Capitol Hill.

 "This past week, California received the dubious honor of being named the worst state for business again. To end the hostile business climate in California and make our state a place where innovators can grow and succeed again, Sacramento needs to fight against unnecessary regulations, tax increases disguised as fees, and rampant deficit spending that crushes Californians’ entrepreneurial spirit.  As a native Californian, I want our state to thrive and be competitive with other states in the Union, many of which recognize the terrible business climate in California and successfully recruit businesses from our state. 

 "According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement this week, only 115,000 jobs were created nationwide in April.  These jobs numbers - coupled with slow growth in GDP the first part of this year – continue to show that we are in the process of the weakest economic recovery on record. With more than 12 million Americans out of work as we enter the 39th month of above 8% unemployment nationally – 15.5% here in Kern County – we are reminded that the President’s tax-spend-and-regulate policies are failing American families and small businesses.

 "Small businesses are responsible for 65% of all job creation in this country. Yet, in survey after survey small businesses say they’re not hiring due to the economic uncertainty resulting from skyrocketing gas prices, burdensome regulations and constant tax increase threats from the President and Congressional Democrats. We can also see that a growing number of American families and small business owners are increasingly dissatisfied with the consequences of Obamacare. Americans are sending a clear message: we still need more jobs, and we still need more economic growth.

 "My House Republican colleagues and I are listening to this message, and that is why the House has passed over two dozen jobs bills designed to give small businesses the certainty that they need to grow and start hiring again. Giving our small business owners more confidence in the economy also means that we must be good stewards of scarce taxpayer dollars. Instead of pouring more money that we don’t have into questionable projects like High Speed Rail, we need to encourage local private sector growth through legislation like the JOBS Act, which passed the House and was enacted into law in April. This bill is specifically aimed at helping new start-ups and small businesses get off the ground, access capital – something that I fought to include in it - and create more jobs.

 "Next week in Washington, House Republicans plan to debate reconciliation legislation—a fancy term for a bill to reduce spending and help get our fiscal house in order, while preventing over $500 billion in cuts to our military and national defense that could endanger our national security. Be assured that I will fight to ensure that our brave men and women in the Armed Forces have the resources and supplies they need to succeed, and that policies coming from Washington help remove government barriers to job creation, not stifle entrepreneurship and growth.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Californian Radio to discuss pit bulls: misunderstood sweethearts or vicious potential killers that need to be outlawed?

* ... PIT BULLS: Did you know that in any given year pit bull type dogs account for about 60 percent of all fatal dog attacks? And when you add in Rottweilers, the number jumps to 73 percent? So how do you feel about pit bulls? Are they misunderstood sweethearts or a vicious breed that should be outlawed or at least regulated? Is it the owner that makes them mean or is it in their DNA? I will be discussing the subject Monday, on Californian Radio KERN 1180, to talk about Bakersfield's unofficial mascot. Tune in to share your stories, good and bad, by calling 842-KERN (5376) The show begins at 9 a.m.

 * ... ROY CLARK: Roy Clark, who along with the late Buck Owens made the TV show "Hee Haw" famous, played recently at The Crystal Palace but it wasn't a performance that left everyone pleased. Caleb Melton posted his own frustration on The Bakersfield Californian/Opinion's Facebook wall when he said Clark rejected his efforts to get a picture of him. "Just wanted to say if anyone did or wants to see Roy Clark live don't do it, because he knows how to shatter a person's childhood memories and has no heart." Melton dropped by Clark's bus and asked if he could get a picture. And this was after he wrote a heartfelt letter to Clark telling him how much he meant to him. "All I got was a thanks but no... he even gave the heartfelt letter back to his band manger to give back to me. He could have signed it but he didn't even do that... Mr. Clark has forgotten that if wasn't for fans like me, he would be a no one. Now I know why Buck Owens wanted to stay away from Nashville."

 * ... BAD FORM: Local businessman Herb Walker shared his frustration with me about people who use our community as their personal trash can. Herb owns a building on District Boulevard that houses the local YMCA, and over the weekend someone used his parking lot to change the oil of their motorcycle, leaving behind three Coke bottles full of oil and other assorted trash. "Who on earth does this?" he asked. Apparently, a lot of folks around town.

* ... HONOREE: Want to feel good about today's youth? Then consider Wendi Wu, a senior at Independence High School who was chosen as the "Young Woman Defining Philanthropy" at the Women's and Girls' Fund luncheon this week. Check out her accomplishments: She is a member of Independence’s Energies and Utilities Academy, she has an impressive academic record and she has a long list of community service accomplishments.  She’s also one of 1,000 students nationally selected for a Gates Millenium Scholarship. As a Gates Scholar, Wendi will have a full ride through college, including the medical degree she will pursue. (photo of Wendi with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (left) and Judi McCarthy (no relation) of the Women's and Girls' Fund.)

 * ... STRANDED: Reader Richard C. Clason wrote to respond to an earlier post by a woman who wondered why no one stopped to help when she ran out of gas. "If all she did was pull to the side of the road and get out of her car there is no reason for anyone to stop to help.  If she were to raise her hood, the men of Bakersfield would have stopped to help at the universal sign.  I know the firefighters would have stopped to help under those conditions, as I retired from the Kern County Fire Department, and know the mind set of those folks. Perhaps the best advise I could give her was some I received from my father almost 50 years ago, 'IT DOESN'T COST ANY MORE TO KEEP THE TOP HALF OF YOUR GAS TANK FULL THAN THE BOTTOM HALF!'"

* ... BOMB SHELTERS: All the memories about bomb shelters being built following the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis brought this note from reader Glen Worrell. "The principal of the school where I was teaching and living (in the College Heights area) said he wasn't going to build a bomb shelter. He was just going (if necessary) to get a piece of plastic to cover the air vent, take his shotgun and cover the air vent. When someone came out to see what was wrong he and his wife WOULD get in the bomb shelter!"

 * ... DUCK AND COVER: Sue Anderson, a counselor at the Hort School, recalled the bomb drills when she was in private grade school. "We would all go into the church and lay under the pews, and were always cautioned to cover our head and get all of our limbs underneath the pew.  Looking back, it seems sort of naiive that we thought a church pew would save us from total destruction.  I had dreams about this for years."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Erotic fiction "Fifty Shades of Grey" sweeps through Bakersfield and remembering the late Paul White with a memorial ride and run

 * ... PAUL WHITE:  Last year our community lost a great man when longtime educator Paul White died of a massive heart attack while riding his bike up Round Mountain. The popular former principal and administrator at Panama Buena Vista Union School District was just 64 years old and his death shattered his many friends across town. On Saturday, May 12, the second annual Paul White Memorial Ride and Run will be held beginning at 8 a.m. at Yokuts Park. Margaret Scrivano Patteson said the cost is $25 before May 5 and $30 after that. Proceeds go to the Paul White memorial scholarship fund and to the American Heart Association. Contact Margaret at

 * .... THE BUZZ: Every once in a while a book comes along that takes off like wildfire, but I can't remember any as controversial as "Fifty Shades of Grey." The red-hot novel, written by English author E.L. James, enjoys an audience that is huge, hooked and a little reluctant to admit it. Why? The book has been dubbed "Mommy porn" because it deals with a manipulative billionaire who showers his young girlfriend with affection in return for total sexual submission, and you can fill in the blanks from there. The erotic fiction trilogy (there are three books in the series) has been embraced by women of all ages and if you ask, some of your best friends may even admit reading it. The trilogy sits comfortably in the top three spots on the New York Times best seller list.

 * ... SICK BAY: Mel Atkinson, owner of M.D. Atkinson property management, is at home recuperating after a cycling accident that left him with a broken clavicle. Mel was riding on the bike trail near Truxtun Lake over the weekend when he slammed into an 80-pound pit bull that was loose on the trail. He credits his helmet with preventing even worse injuries. He is now scheduled for surgery with Dr. Chris Hamilton at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI). The lesson: keep your dogs on a leash, wear that helmet and keep Chris Hamilton's phone number on your speed dial. (file photo of Mel Atkinson)

* ... SPOTTED: Jean Park was driving north on Olive Drive last week when the traffic came to a complete stop. In front of her were a mother duck and 10 ducklings crossing Olive Drive. "Hats off to the Varner Trash Company driver who stopped and made for a pleasant scene for a busy Monday morning."

* ... OVERHEARD:  From my friend Janell Graham: "So I ran out of gas earlier and I got three whistles and two fire trucks that went on by. Not 1 asked me if I needed help. Are there any real men left in the world? Sheesh."

 * ... EATERY: Todd Karli, news director at KERO TV, was in Cincinnati recently and stopped by the "Bakersfield" restaurant that features country music and walls painted with iconic scenes from our town. "I went there last month, a few weeks after it opened. Good atmosphere with a musical blend of Bakersfield Sound tunes and other country music.  It was a good spot to stop for an appetizer and beverage. The owners were thrilled that a few guys from the real”'Bakersfield visited their restaurant. (photos courtesy of Todd Karli)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

California Radio will focus on spending and the future of the Golden State, and what's with the Bakersfield police littering our streets?

 * ... GOLDEN STATE: What is your view of the future of California? Are we on track to become the next Greece? Will unbridled spending and public pensions spell the end of the promise of the California dream? Join me on Californian Radio KERN 1180 Monday when I will be chatting with David Bynum, an attorney at LeBeau-Thelen, about unfunded pension liabilities and their affect on the state and local governments. I also will be talking with Dr. Raj Patel, a partner in Preferred Family Physicians, about seasonal allergies and what we can all to do deal with them.

 * ... GRADUATES: This is the time of year when our children walk across the stages of high schools and colleges in graduation ceremonies that make us all swell with pride. So congratulations to all these graduates and the families that stood behind them in their quests. And special kudos to my own Hannah Beene, who graduated this past week at the University of Michigan, and all those teachers at McAuliffe Elementary, Tevis Junior High and Stockdale High School who guided her along the way.

 * ... FAN CLUB?: I wrote earlier about trash piling up on the bike trail following the Great American Cleanup, and it triggered this response from reader Kash Berry. "Go pick up the trash yourself you bum...  Don't complain about bags being left out..  complain about the shame that is your excuse for a newspaper and city. And when the Amgen (cycling) tour hits Bakersfield, all that the participants and spectators from out of town will notice is the worst city in California that stinks of bad air and idiotic people. Let the river flow! It might cover up the trash left out." Thanks Kash, but next time try to be more direct.

 * ... SPOTTED: Larry A. Fredeen describes himself as a "law and order" guy who has always supported the Bakersfield Police Department. But last week he witnessed some behavior he wanted to share. He was driving south on M Street and fell behind a Bakersfield police unit. At a red light, the officer rolled down the window and dumped a handful of peanut shells out his window, and then repeated it at the next two lights. "I spend hours (as do other good Bakersfield citizens) keeping the area around my home, street and a nearby 'city-owned' alley cleaned up.  (Just ask Harold Hansen, he's aware of my cleaning.)  I keep a trash bag in my vehicles, I never throw anything from them, and empty the debris in a proper trash can.  I have helped out on city clean up days, and the Great American Cleanup etc. I was appalled to view one of Bakersfield's finest littering our downtown streets."

 * ... BAKO: Local farmer Dick Porter and wife Becky were in Cincinnati recently when they came upon a downtown restaurant named 'Bakersfield.' Porter described it as "music saloon" which featured Bakersfield landmarks on the walls and a band that plays "outlaw country music." Painted on one wall is the Bakersfield arch and on another wall is the Fox Theater.

* ... NFL: Debby Schipper dropped me a note to add a few more names to the already long list of local athletes who played in the National Football League. "I wanted to remind you of John and Melvin Tarver who played for the Patriots and Broncos respectively. I went to Arvin High School with both of them and wanted to remind you of their achievments in the NFL! Carrying on their tradition, I have heard via Facebook that one of their nephews, Justin Cheadle, just signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. (Cheadle when to Bakersfield High School) What  fabulous family contributions Arvin has made to the NFL!"

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Spotted on Facebook was this: You know you're from Bakersfield when the best burger in town comes from a car wash (34th Street Car Wash) and the best bloody Mary is from a bowling alley (Westchester Bowl).