Thursday, May 24, 2012

A new pilates studio opens in downtown Bakersfield and The Bakersfield Californian Foundation announces grant recipients

 * ... PILATES: A new business devoted to pilates has opened up on 21st Street in a stunning loft building that formerly housed the "Little White Dress." It's called "Poise Pilates and Barre" and is the brainchild of partners Christine Travis and Callie Spitzer. The 30-year-old Travis, a Garces High and later Santa Clara University graduate, and 27-year-old Spitzer, who graduated from Liberty High and later Cal State Long Beach, have known each other for years and decided to invest in a beautiful, state of the art pilates studio. It's good to see two young entrepreneurs bucking the economic downturn by putting their capital at risk while offering a healthy lifestyle service to our community. They offer individual or group classes and my guess is Poise Pilates and Barre will be a hit. The business is planning a June 7 open house and ribbon cutting. (photos by Rebecca Rossini)

 * ... RETORT: Paula Robertson has worked for Stockdale High School for 22 years and was shocked when she saw herself mentioned (not by name) as the driver of a school van who was texting on her pink phone at a traffic light. "Yes I was on my phone but only to check the time because this particular van does not have a clock," she said. "I know better than to text while driving." Another reader, Riley Parker, spotted her on Stockdale Highway and thought he saw her texting. "I am 55 years old and I know better," Paula said. "I want to set the record straight."

* ...  ONLY IN OILDALE: Workers in the Oildale branch of the Chase bank were evacuated Thursday when a suspicious package was found. They were allowed to return when the package was found to contain an old pair of women's panties and a book on Barack Obama.

 * ... OVERHEARD: A woman walking into a local Starbucks on a recent morning: "I hope today isn't a repeat of yesterday. I was hit up three times for money and the last guy told me he was just released from Corcoran!"

* ... GIVING: I consider myself lucky to work for a family whose mission is to give back to our community, and recently The Bakersfield Californian Foundation gave out a new round of grants to deserving organizations. Among the recipients are The Cat People, Marley's Mutts, CALM, Pet Food Pantry, Kern County Library, Bags4Kids, BARC and the Friendship House. Those grants ranged from $1,700 to $6,500. The Foundation also donated $15,000 to Ready to Start; $15,000 to Lightwave Education; $9,800 to MARE (for the Summer Literacy program partnering with Migrant Student Outreach); $9,025 for the Boys and Girls Club summer reading program; and $4,000 for First Book. Add to that were miscellaneous donations of $20,000 to the Kern County Nut Festival; $5,000 to AngelDogs; $5,000 to the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic Stable Skills program; $3,200 to the College Dream Fund; $1,000 sponsorship to the Buena Vista Museum's Spectacular World of Science event; and $17,252 to the Kern Historical Society, for their historical plaques. That's some $125,000 that will do an awful lot of good around town.

* ...  ERA OF THE WINGER: Darrell Winger wrote to note the success of his children in the annual math field day competition in which son Zachary Winger won the 8th grade triathlon games.
"This marked the third year in a row for Zachary to win his event," he said. "This also meant that for the fifth year in a row a Winger family member has won the triathlon games at the competition. Zachary's older brother Alex won the competition three years in a row as well. A very proud family accomplishment!"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Obesity rates skyrocket along with the percentage of young people with diabetes or pre diabetes

* ... DIABETES: The next time you are out and about take a look around; chances are you will see a lot of people who are morbidly obese. And now comes more proof that we are losing the battle for sensible eating and exercise in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes and pre-diabetes among young people have jumped from 9 percent in the year 2000 to a full 23 percent in 2008. If you have Home Box Office (HBO), make sure you tune into the multi part series "Weight of the Nation," a scary look into how obesity leads to premature deaths across all socioeconomic levels.

* ... SMALL WORLD: Chelby Cooke, the Bakersfield Christian High School tennis phenom who is headed to Santa Clara University, will be in good hands once she lands there. According to local Realtor John Mackessy, the university's women's tennis coach is Ben Cabell. "His grandfather, John Mackessy, was a long time member, past president, and respected 'Nooner' of the Bakersfield Racquet Club and probably responsible for Ben's first tennis racquet. His mother is Alison Mackessy Cabell, an East High, Bakersfield College and Stanford alum. Our family is very proud of Ben and he is thrilled to have Chelby on his squad." (Californian photo)

 * ... THE BUZZ: Political observers are wondering just how wounded the Karen Goh campaign is after the latest dustup over her using Monsignor Craig Harrison's endorsement on her campaign literature. The "endorsement" was explained away as a mistake but it triggered a firestorm of controversy that simply can't help Goh's campaign for 5th District Supervisor. Meanwhile, opponents Leticia Perez and Tim Tarver are smartly staying away from the issue. (file photo of Karen Goh)

 * ... OVERHEARD: A middle aged man telling a friend, "Now that the Lakers and Clippers are out of the playoffs, all I can look forward to is USC football in September."

 * ... BAD FORM: Another example of questionable behavior comes compliments of reader Riley Parker. "At about 1:45 today (Monday) I was west bound on Stockdale Highway at Coffee Road, stopped at the signal. In the lane to my left was a large van with the logo of Kern High School District on the door. There were about seven or eight passengers on board. The blond driver, a female old enough to know better, was so busy texting on her pink phone that she almost sat through the signal. She continued texting until she was well past the intersection. This person should be removed from her position of responsibility for a van load of special needs students. It’s nice that they have a four digit number displayed on the rear door."

 * ... SPOTTED: A bicyclist stops on the street behind the Petroleum Club and relieves himself on the sidewalk as cars pass by in the middle of the day. Really?

 * ... DID YOU KNOW? From the New York Times: Did you know that doctors are now telling people to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after a meal? The reason: Acid left from a soft drink or a meal will erode the enamel, and brushing will accelerate that. Always wait at least 30 minutes after a meal to brush.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bakersfield College athletics gets big boost with fund raiser at the Campbell home, and another lesson in bad form

* ... BC ATHLETICS: Hard to beat the spring-like weather we enjoyed this weekend, and it proved to be a perfect setting for the annual fundraiser for Bakersfield College athletics at the beautiful home of Joe and Jana Campbell near Bakersfield Country Club.  Gino Valpredo and his crew from Luigi's provided the steak dinner (Big Mike Ariey was helping on the grill). I chatted with Gerry Collis and football coach Jeff Chudy there and left impressed with the wide and deep community support Bakersfield College enjoys. Among those I spotted were Tom and Cindy Anspach, Chad Manning, Vernon and Janis Varner,  newlyweds Michael and Jan Tivnon, Steve and Terri Haupt, Kevin and Tess Antongiovanni, Carl Bowser, Patti Houchin, Jack and Byron Campbell, Bruce and Jane Haupt with daughter Elyse, Steve Holloway and so many more.

* ... BAD FORM: Today's lesson on bad behavior comes from Brian Foster, a businessman who works on Patton Avenue. He found what appeared to be a dead cat in front of his business and called Kern County Animal Control, who responded promptly by sending a truck out several hours later.  "The officer got out of the truck, inspected the situation, got back in the truck and drove off. I assumed he would be back later to do the 30 second job. The next morning, the mess was still there. Wednesday morning came to work and it was still there. I called KC Animal Control and informed them of what I witnessed on Monday and the dispatcher commented, 'I hate when they do that.'" Foster eventually cleaned up the mess himself. "My wife and I are animal lovers, rescue our share of strays and find them homes. I know that Animal Control is taxed and stretched thin but this came down to sheer laziness and disregard. Jeers on the KC Animal Control worker!"

  * ... DONATION: Hats off to the law firm of Chain, Cohn and Stiles for its $200,000 donation to the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Hospital. Managing partner David Cohn told me he is impressed "with this world class burn center right here in Bakersfield. They do so much good and now victims don't have to go out of town to get first class care."

 * ... CAL RADIO: State Sen. Michael Rubio is proposing putting a limit on the percentage of out of state students allowed in the University of California system. It's no secret that universities are catering to out of state students who pay much higher tuition, and in California the percentage of non-resident students is skyrocketing. Rubio will be my guest of Californian Radio KERN 1180 on Monday. Later in the hour we will talk about the obesity epidemic with Dr. Raj Patel of Preferred Family Physicians. Join me at 9 a.m. when we discuss his proposal. (Los Angeles Times photo of the Berkeley campus.)

 * .... MINTER: Sentimental Journey is one of only five flying B-17s left in the world, and the fully restored Flying Fortress will be at Minter Field over the Memorial Day weekend. This Saturday, the Air Museum will hold a deep pit beef dinner in the evening, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the museum hanger. Tickets are $20 per person and proceeds will benefit the museum's operation and projects.

 * ... SHOPLIFTING: Will Winn writes that he dropped into a dollar store recently and was welcomed by a security guard.  "The store manager said the shoplifting had become so bad they had to take extreme measures! At the 99 cents store!  This seems to be going on all over town, including a convenience store in the south where the owner was forced to defend himslf and killed two alleged shoplifting thieves."