Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The Bakersfield Racquet Club struggles to survive and will Andy Vidak agree to an on air debate with Leticia Perez in the 16th State Senate District runoff?
* ... THE BUZZ: It looks like the Bakersfield Racquet Club may be in financial trouble again. Members are telling me that money is so tight a purge of the staff is under way and members are being urged to sign up 100 new members to save the club. The storied tennis center, located on Pine Street off Truxtun, has been suffering from declining membership for years. Over a year ago a move by some
board members to revamp the club to widen its appeal was rejected by a core group of older members, leading to a lot of bad blood among long-time members and supporters. The issue: how does a club built around tennis (unfortunately not a growth sport) stay relevant and expand its audience? Stay tuned.
* ... STATE SENATE: Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez says she is ready to debate Republican Andy Vidak in their runoff for the 16th State Senate District. No word yet if Vidak will take Perez up on her offer to appear together on First Look with Scott Cox. Vidak narrowly missed winning the seat outright and the two are now headed for a July runoff. Perez, a Democrat, is positioning herself as a centrist who can work with the Democratic majority to get things done.
* ... BAD FORM: "How this for bad form?" wrote reader Car Nicita. "Yesterday my wife Beverly and I were taking our dogs for a walk in Challenger Park when we found someone had dumped an old dried up full size Christmas tree along Harris Road. The tree still had a stand attached! Wonder where they were keeping it until they decided June was the time to dispose of their tree?"
* ... ACHIEVER: Hats off to Ashley Langeliers, a Liberty High School graduate who went on to earn a degree from CSUB. On May 31, she received her PhD in clinical psychology from Alliant International University in Fresno. She currently works as the clinical manager at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Fresno. Her parents are Marcy and Joel Brust.
* ... CHAMBER: Congratulations to all the people and organizations who were recognized in this past weekend's Beautiful Bakersfield awards sponsored by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. The awards are an excellent way to recognize people who contribute to the betterment of our community, even if the annual banquet is a televised snooze fest in dire need of a makeover.
* ... BLACKBOARD: I received a call from Helen McCutheon, a loyal reader, who wondered where the original Blackboard honky tonk was located. The Blackboard, of course, was home to the birth of the Bakersfield Sound and enjoyed its hey day in the early 1950s. Its Chester Avenue location was razed in 2001 to make room for the expansion of the Kern County Museum. McCutcheon was a youngster but remembers when the blackboard may have been located farther south on Chester Avenue near a series of 35 to 40 small cabins, the original location before it was moved near the museum. Can anyone pinpoint where the original Blackboard stood? (historic photo of The Blackboard)