Friday, August 16, 2013

Veteran Californian photographer Casey Christie captures a bobcat crossing the road. Some of the awesome nature that is in Kern County

 Bakersfield Californian photographer Casey Christie spots a bobcat, twice, in one week. Listen to his narrative and enjoy these beautiful pictures.

McCarthy: Simplify and tax code and allow for the production of reliable energy sources. These are keys to the next great American century

  House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 "This century is poised to be a new American century. I believe there are two areas that if addressed and reformed, will unleash the enormous economic potential that currently exists in our country - we must reform our tax code and allow for the production of abundant and reliable energy sources.

 "Simply put, we must simplify and reduce the complexity of the tax code.  A 72,000 page tax code that requires Americans to spend 6.6 billion hours in compliance is not only unacceptable and unfair – it drags down our economy. We need a tax code that allows hardworking Americans to keep more of what they earn in order to maximize economic activity.

 "How many of us know small business owners or families that spend precious time and resources trying to comply with thousands of do’s and don’ts that are in the tax code. Let us start with capping the rate on individuals and businesses to 25 percent. Right now in California, a local business that is competing in the international market will pay a total combined tax rate of 43.84%. That is higher than any of competitor around the world. It is my hope that we will have real proposals to consider in the near future that puts America on a level playing field with the rest of the world.

 "Second, America should lead the way in energy production.  Many may not realize this, but since last November, our nation is the number one petroleum producer in the world and the United States produced more than Europe, Central America, and South America combined.  We should establish a goal of becoming energy independent by 2020.  To achieve this, we need to expedite the permitting process to allow for additional production in existing areas of production of oil, natural gas and renewable energy, build the Keystone XL pipeline, and upgrade our electricity infrastructure to support our energy needs.

 "In California alone, the benefits of additional energy production would be enormous creating hundreds of thousands of jobs by 2030.  Nationally, a recent report noted the potential of 3.6 million new jobs could be created by 2020 as a result of increased energy production, 600,000 would be from oil and natural gas, 1.1 million would be generated to meet the demand in related industrial and manufacturing sectors. No community understands the need to lead the way in innovation and energy production more than Kern County.

Prosperity does not happen by accident, it’s created by the hardworking people in our community. It is time for government to stop making life more difficult, and time for government to get out of the way and allow all Americans to thrive.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hundreds march on Rep. Kevin McCarthy's office to press for immigration reform: great political theater but was it effective? And get ready for the fifth annual Latination at The Metro Galleries

 * ... IMMIGRATION: It was some interesting political theater this week when protesters marched on Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office to press for immigration reform. It was a mix of local residents and folks bused in from other communities, and many of them were wearing the red solidarity colors of the United Farm Workers. I can't help but wonder if turning this into a UFW rally might backfire politically in McCarthy's conservative district. If you really want to get McCarthy's attention, it might be more effective to gather some of the big name local growers who support real immigration reform (they view it as an economic necessity) and have them meet quietly with the congressman to press their case.

 * ... LATINATION: One of the most popular art shows in town is coming up on Friday, September 6. It will be the fifth annual "Latination," a celebration of art and culture that always attracts some world class entries. It's the brainchild of Don Martin, the owner of Metro Galleries art center and the creator of the First Friday events. This year there will be a kid's category as well. Downtown will certainly be popping so make your reservations now at one of the many locally owner eateries downtown (Uricchio's Trattoria, Chef's Choice Noodle Bar, The Mark, The Padre Hotel, Muertos etc). Valley Republic Bank is sponsoring this year's Latination. The deadline for entries is August 27.

 * ... PARKWAY TRASH: Well that didn't take long. The Westside Parkway has been opened less than two weeks and already the litter has started to appear. Plastic bags, dozens of paper towels and a broken red plastic chair were among the items I spotted on a recent cruise down the freeway. Said reader Janice Yackovich: "It's disgusting to see this beautiful new freeway littered in such a short amount of time. Do some irresponsible citizens not even care about keeping Bakersfield beautiful?"

 * ... GOOD FORM: Juli Marta is a teacher at Longfellow Elementary School and shared this story that reflects well on our community. She was shopping for school supplies at the Target on Rosedale Highway recently when something unexpected happen. "While the checker was on the phone I was unloading the items from my cart. The checker began to ring up my items while she waited on hold for the customer in front of me. My bill came to $45. The lady in front of me asked if I was a teacher and I told her I was. She proceeded to take out a hundred dollar bill and insisted on paying for my purchases! She said that she was not a teacher but had many educators in her family. I was so flabbergasted I feel like I may not have properly thanked her. It was so nice to have someone acknowledge the importance of teachers!"

 * ... BEALE MARKET: Another memory about the old Beale Park grocery store known as Gus's. Said Stephanie Forsythe: "Gus's was a favorite haunt as a kid. We could take pop bottles in and get candy... Jerry (Kirkland) mentioned driving through the area and seeing the store is now an overgrown field, so I thought I would share what happened to it since I still live on the same street I grew up on. The store was eventually turned into a dwelling, long after Gus and his wife Sally passed away, and sadly a few years ago it went up in flames... the people who had lived there had their PGE turned off, so they illegally hooked up a hose directly to the gas meter and POOF it went up. I could see the flames from my home and went to see what was burning. As I stood and watched the blaze, I watched my childhood memories burn with it. It was a sad night for me, and I remember thinking while I looked at the others watching, that I was probably the only one there that night who knew about Gus and his little store."

 * .... MEMORIES: Retired Kern County Superior Court Judge Jerold Turner asks if anyone remembers the old AW drive-in restaurant on Chester Lane west of Oak Street, situated exactly where Highway 99 now cuts through.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Longtime Kern County Superior Court Judge Jerold Turner retires and remembering the old Beale Park grocery store

 * ... TURNER: Kern County Superior Court lost one of its most tenured judges this month with the retirement of Judge Jerold L. Turner. Turner is a true Bakersfield native, born at Mercy Hospital and attending school at Franklin Elementary and Foothill High before heading off to UCLA. He eventually
came back to Bakersfield and went to Bakersfield College and later earned a degree in history from UC San Diego. He started his career at Vizzard, Baker, Sullivan and McFarland and later worked at Young Woolridge. He became the court commissioner in 1990 and was elected a judge in 1992. He will now be "of counsel" with Thomas Anton and Associates.

* ... SPOTTED: A group of people are urging their friends on social media to boycott the downtown Maya Cinemas for allowing a group to set up a table in front protesting police brutality in the death of David Silva. Silva, if you remember, was the man who died in the custody of Kern Sheriff's deputies in front of Kern Medical Center. Emails are being distributed saying this is a slap in the face of Kern County law enforcement.

 * ... PARKWAY: Carl Nicita wrote to respond to another reader who warned others about speeding on the new Westside Parkway. Said Carl: "Just wanted to send a quick comment regarding a contention by a reader that BPD is trying to 'increase it's coffers with more revenue' from traffic tickets on the new Westside Parkway. I beg to differ. It's not about revenue. It's their duties as traffic officers to protect the public and enforce driving regulations. Unfortunately receiving a citation maybe the only way a driver will get the message to drive safely."

* ... BEALE PARK: Jerry Kirkland wrote that reader Mike Stewart "stirred the memory cells of many of us who spent our formative years hanging out at Beale Park during the 1940s and into the early 1950s. The little store that he refers to - I think it was called Beale Park Grocery - was owned by a funny old guy named Gus Ergo who lived directly across the street from his business, most often referred to as just Gus's. You could call in an order and it would be delivered by Gus himself in his black delivery van. My brother, Al, worked for Gus as the delivery boy for a short time but, although a gifted athlete, he was a terrible driver and probably got fired. During the war there were lots of shortages, one of them being Fleer's Bubble Gum - the penultimate chew. Gus seemed to come up with a case of Fleer's on a fairly regular basis and when that word got out, the race was on for those of us at Roosevelt School, knowing the supply would not last long.  I found myself in that neighborhood a few years back and wandered down E Street. The little store is long gone, of course, but I saw where it had been, the empty lot badly overgrown, the old foundation barely visible among the weeds. Different times."

 * ... MEMORIES: Lamar Kerley wrote to ask if anyone else remembers a business called Cactus by Mueller out on Rosedale Highway. "Even as an adolescent I loved plants and was quite taken by their succulents and cactuses. In the early 1970s before all of the bridges were built, going out there was quite a drive, a long trip my mother was not fond of doing."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cyclists show some really bad form on the Kern River bike trail, a shout out to the Westside Parkway and a local connection to country crooner Marty Brown

 * ... MARTY BROWN: Margaret Lemucchi shared this bit of surprising news regarding the sister of country singer Marty Brown.  "Imagine the surprise at Timothy Lemucchi's law office when Tim's
paralegal, Angie, mentioned that Marty Brown, the country composer/singer who is quite a favorite on NBC's America's Got Talent, is her brother. Angie is a recent transplant from Maceo, Kentucky, where she and Marty grew up. Angie assists Tim ably with his personal injury law practice. Marty's next appearance on the show will be the first week of September."

 * ... PARKWAY: An enthusiastic shout out to the new Westside Parkway compliments of Paula Dunaway. "I have cut 15 minutes off my morning and afternoon commute. But, driver beware:  the Bakersfield Police Department who does traffic patrol the parkway is definitely trying to increase its coffers with more revenue. I don't think any of your readers wants a increase of insurance or the large fine for getting a speeding ticket. Instead, follow my lead in entering the parkway, hitting your cruise control at exactly 65 and enjoy the ride!"

* ... BAD FORM: Shame on the driver of the gray Honda Civic who chose to dump his ashtray full of cigarette butts while sitting at the stop light at Oak Street and Truxtun. Really?

 * ... MORE BAD FORM: And who told the group of six to eight cyclists that is safe to ride on the bike trail near CSUB going 30 mph and faster on a Sunday morning? They sped past slower bikers and walkers without verbal warnings, obviously very pleased with themselves. It is a multi use bike trail boys. If you want to go fast, get on the street, or go do some hills.

* ... JESUS SHACK: Hats off to the folks over at Jesus Shack who put on their annual back to school event, serving more than 600 families and 1,300 kids with backbacks, school supplies, haircuts and free medical exams. Donors to the event included Carl's Jr., Sobe and Fastrip.

 * ... ANDRES: Marlene Morales, marketing director over at Chain, Cohn and Stiles, submits this memory from the classic drive in restaurant Andre's: "Known for their signature Big Boy burritos, French burgers, fried pies, crinkle cut seasoned French fries, pastramis, deluxe cheeseburgers, and the slushes that come in so many flavors. The only bad thing: we have to save up calories in order to indulge. But it's worth it and the childhood memories that come along with them too.

* ... MEMORIES: Elinor Grant says you may really be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember the cricket invasion in the 1930s."Going anywhere, shopping, out to eat, wherever you went there were crickets everywhere."