Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Race for the open 16th District state Senate District heats up with heated barbs between frontrunners Leticia Perez and Andy Vidak, and a reunion is set for the old Kern County Union High School

 * ... PEREZ: With just a week to go the campaign for the 16th District state Senate race is growing predictably nasty. Frontrunners Leticia Perez and Andy Vidak have taken the gloves off, both airing scathing TV ads attacking the other. And now comes word that Perez had to apologize for using the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in a campaign flier distributed in Fresno. Perez called it an "image of inspiration" but apologized after a complaint was filed with the Fresno Archdiocese. Perez also was not amused by a popular video produced by the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government promoting more fiscally sound policies. And finally, Perez abruptly canceled a scheduled appearance on KERN's First Look with Scott Cox video simulcast after The Californian endorsed Vidak. If Perez and Vidak end up in a runoff, as is widely expected, we'll all have two more months of this to entertain us. (file photos of Perez, Vidak)

* ... GRANTS: The Bakersfeld Californian (family) Foundation has awarded $225,413 in grants to Kern County nonprofits involved in community enrichment projects throughout Kern County, including beautification efforts, small scope historical preservation projects and general community improvement. Among the recipients were The Bakersfield Museum of Art, Golden Empire Gleaners, Saint Vincent de Paul Center, Fox Theater Foundation, Covenant Community Service, the Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield, The Cross Family Center and the Kern River Parkway Foundation, among others.

 * ... REUNION: There is a very special reunion planned this Saturday: the 75th anniversary of the 1938 class of Kern County Union High School. At this point, organizer Ada Davis says 38 classmates have been located and about half of them will be attending with friends and family. The first reunion of the class was held back in 1958 when 376 members of the graduating class of 630 attended. Many of these folks are among the "who's who" of Bakersfield, and it will surely be a memorable event. The event is planned for 11 a.m. at Marie Callender's.

 * ... TENNIS: If you are out and about this (Wednesday) evening, you might want to run over to Seven Oaks Country Club for a special (and free) tennis exhibition. It's being sponsored by a local company that provides fracking monitoring services for safe and effective oil field development and is called "Hit the Target," as in in both fracking and tennis. Ellen Bartling, a former standout tennis player at Stockdale High School and now a graduate of UC Santa Barbara working in the oil industry, is helping in promoting the event. The matches start from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

 * ... MEMORIAL DAY: Greenlawn Funeral Home is holding a special Memorial Day celebration at its Southwest location on Panama Lane. It will include an honor guard, Tehachapi police pipes and drums, the Blue Star Moms, speakers and even a Marine vocalist. There will be food and activities for children following the 11 a.m. event. A more traditional service will be held at the River Boulevard location in the Northeast.

 * ... CORRECTION: Dominic's Dugout, one of the Relay for Life teams, raised $45,000 for cancer research over a three year period and not all in the recently completed Relay event.

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