"Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield and House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his own words:
"Those of you who read this blog know the magnitude of our growing debt crisis. In Fiscal Year 2012, Washington took in $2.5 trillion and spent $3.8 trillion. Our national debt has surpassed $16 trillion and is now larger than our $15 trillion economy. This is unsustainable.
"Working families in our local communities find ways to cut costs and save money and the federal government must also. The House is preparing a new budget with immediate spending cuts that puts us on a path to balance the budget. And in a matter of weeks, the President will present his ideas in his State of the Union Address. I hope he tackles the issues most important to local families and small businesses I consistently hear as I travel around our communities.
"First, I hope the President acknowledges that we face a serious challenge from our burdensome spending-driven debt. Debt hurts our nation’s economic growth by hindering private investment, creating uncertainty, and increasing interest payments that could go to more productive investments.
"Second, I hope the President embraces growing our economy by joining Republicans to fundamentally reform our tax code. Not by raising taxes, but by making the tax code less complex, lowering rates, and broadening the base. Let America’s best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs compete, expand and make needed investments to grow and hire.
"Third, I hope the President recognizes the need to rein in regulations hurting small businesses. Just talk to local small business owners about California’s regulatory climate and you’ll hear how difficult it is to stay afloat. Unfortunately, we’ve seen major regulations balloon out of this Administration that could hurt the pocketbooks of hardworking Americans.
I stand ready to tackle these issues as we have over the past two years. It’s time for the President and Senate Democrats to join us in taking real action to cut spending, reform entitlements, and grow our economy. If we don’t act now, future generations will have less opportunities and more debt. That is a future I do not accept. Making the Senate pass a budget is an important first step.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
First design of Bakersfield's new minor league baseball stadium is unveiled and more blowback on the Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast
* ... RESTAURANT: Bakersfield is getting a promising new restaurant next Friday. The owners of Sushi Moon say they will open February 1 in the old Hourglass Building at the corner of Brimhall and Calloway Drive. Sushi Moon will feature fusion sushi and Korean barbecue, and I am told they also will carry a nice selection of Japanese and Korean wines.
* ... PRAYER BREAKFAST: There was a lot of response on my earlier post about the upcoming Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast and its emphasis on the Christian view of Jesus. One reader, who is Jewish, said it appeared to exclude those of other faiths, including our sizable Sikh population. And then there was this tart response from another reader: "Tell your friend, who happens to be Jewish, if he is so butt-hurt, he should start his own 'prayer breakfast. Your newspaper is pathetic."
* ... BANDUCCI'S: Retired oilman Lynn Blystone is one of those who remembers Banducci's Corner, and he even recalls the help there. "Our favorite waitress at the Double Tree, Inez Coronado. was a waitress at Banducci's Corner for 22 years and could tell you some stories."
* ... MORE BANDUCCI'S: Barbara Story wrote that Julia Banducci was her grandmother, and as a child she would help in the grocery store every Saturday. "At that time the restaurant only had the counter, no dining room. It was so busy that a dining room was added some time after the war. Dick Porter was right about all the business done during potato and grape seasons. The customers all had their special place to sit and their special lunch order. In high school and college I worked on weekends and summers as a waitress. We knew almost everyone that came in by name. My sister Judy and my daughter Melinda preferred to work in the kitchen. Our children Chuck, Patrick and Michael all had their first job at Banducci’s doing dishes, and as Chuck remembers pealing lots garlic. In that small kitchen my grandmother supervised the making of the raviolis as well as everything else. Melinda still makes raviolis and pickle tongue for gifts for the family at Christmas. Many, many pleasant memories like the fried chicken cooked to order with spaghetti, minestrone soup, home made pies, pickled tongue, pickled white beans, garlic beef dips to name just a few of my favorites. One could write a soap opera about all the happening that went on at Banducci’s Corner."
* .... OLD BAKO: Joaquin Resendez wonders if anyone remembers a restaurant called Spanish Kitchen that was located next door when Sinaloa was located in the Wool Grower's building. "They also served pyrenees bread with their salsa. I believe Wool Growers was located on 21st Street at that time."
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Is the Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast exclusionary by focusing on the Christian view of Jesus? And more memories of Banducci's Corner restaurant out on Weedpatch Highway
* ... SPOTTED: On a less serious note, Jeff Pickering, president of the Kern Community Foundation, posted this heart warming message on Facebook after brushing his 7-year-old daughter's hair. "Olivia (as I was brushing her hair): 'Daddy, how many hairs are on a human head?' Me: 'I don't know, why don't we count?' Olivia: 'Okay, but let's use your head so it will take less time.'" (file photo of Jeff Pickering)
* ... MORE BANDUCCI'S: Norale Boyle wrote to say her favorite meal at Banducci's was ravioli, made from three different meats roasted for several days beforehand. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone still had the recipe?" And former Assemblyman Trice Harvey called to tell me he was a health inspector at the time, and that the owners of Banducci's asked him not to come during lunch because they didn't want to bother the customers.
* ... MEMORY LANE: And speaking of memory lane, the recent closing of the Green Frog Market prompted Joe Fontaine to send me this: "A lot of people are lamenting the recent closure of the Green Frog Market. How many of them are Bakersfield old timers who remember its original location on the southeast corner of Chester and California avenues? My memory of that location for goes back to December 7, 1941. I was sent on an errand to the Green Frog that morning to buy a quart of milk. Everyone in the store was all abuzz about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I rushed back home to break the news to my family. How many Bakersfield old timers remember the Palms Liquor Store on the northwest corner across from the Green Frog? It is still there today but sadly the palm trees that graced that corner are long gone. That was years before the 'shoe' at 10th and Chester was built to house a shoe repair shop."
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Crabfest rakes in $250,000 in one night to benefit the St. Francis Parish school, and more memories of Banducci's Corner out on Weedpatch Highway
* ... INAUGURAL: What can we expect from a second term for President Obama? This is inauguration week and we will examine Obama's first term and the expectations for his second on Californian Radio KERN 1180 at 9 a.m. Monday. Former Kern County Supervisor Gene Tackett will join me in a wide ranging discussion of what we can expect over the next four years.
* ... BANDUCCI'S: More memories of Banducci's Corner restaurant, including this one from local farmer Dick Porter. "I have many memories of Banducci's as the grape and potato packers from Edison called it. Banducci's was located adjacent to land my family owned and farmed at the time. The big grower-packer families of Edison had specific tables staked out and always sat at each specific table every day to eat lunch and mull over their challenges and victories of the day. Lord help you if you innocently sat at one of the 'reserved' tables - and most of the restaurant was 'reserved' for every weekday lunch. I have many stories of all the characters and goings on during lunches at Banducci's. I won't name names but some families were very jealous of their privacy and would request that some tables be positioned further away from them. This, of course, led to little border wars right inside the restaurant. I never witnessed any lunch time drinking, but there was a small bar in the back of the restaurant that seemed to always be full. Lots of real characters and tough old time, and very successful, businessmen and farmers made Banducci's their clubhouse."
* ... TRASH: Steve Towle lives in La Cresta and witnessed a young man parked in the neighborhood and tossing fast food wrappers out his car window. Towle used his high definition video camera to record the entire thing, including the license plane. "What really disturbed me about this matter is when I tried to report it to the police and was told both by the communications center and the front desk that they would not take the report. I told them I understood if they were too busy and they could do it later, but their response was that they were not going to take it at all at any time. As of this writing I am awaiting a return call from the watch commander's office for further discussion. It’s just not acceptable to me that we have laws on the books and good evidence is being provided and those personnel that the taxpayer are paying to enforce them just choose to ignore them. If the police are going to start being selective about enforcement I think that the public should know about it. "
* ... DID YOU KNOW? Randy Martin, who runs Covenant Community Services up on North Chester Avenue, posed this question. "Does anyone remember when Sinaloa was located in the Woolgrower's building? According to Sonny from Mexicali the original Sinaloa was in the Basque district, which probably accounts for the Pyrenees bread and Basque salsa!"
McCarthy: Veterans Affairs Department not following through on its own goals; our veterans deserve better
House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"This week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released their findings to me. These audits confirm those complaints and indicate an overall lack of focus on the VA’s part and a failure to follow through with established internal goals. Of over 856,000 claims the VA has, 6 percent are backlogged with an average wait time of 318 days from start to finish. In the Los Angeles VA Regional Office, which serves Kern County veterans, 80 percent of the 25,322 claims are backlogged – one of the worst in the country. This is unacceptable. I have called upon Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to take immediate action to implement the GAO recommendations to begin fixing the delays in service.
"Those who have served our country deserve our recognition and gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families have made to ensure our everyday liberties here at home. As an elected official I take my responsibility to oversee the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits and care that they need very seriously. The Veterans Affairs Committee will hold hearings in February on the GAO’s audits and I intend to bring our veterans’ concerns to senior VA officials directly and ensure the VA is taking all necessary actions to implement reforms in the Department. Over the coming weeks and months, Chairman Miller and I will continue looking into these matters and develop additional legislative solutions to ensure that the needed structural reforms will be made, not only for our veterans locally but for veterans across our country.
"George Washington said, 'every satisfaction which can reasonably be requested should be given to those veteran troops who, through almost every distress, have been for so long and so faithfully serving the States.” I expect the VA to move quickly to ensure our veterans receive the benefits and services they have earned serving our great country, and I will continue to work to make sure this is done.