Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Bakersfield kindergarten teacher instructs her kids on the lessons of September 11, and a fund raiser is set for Saturday for the Fox Theater in Taft

* .... NEVER FORGET: Jolie Brouttier, a kindergarten teacher at McKinley Elementary School, posted this beautiful note on her Facebook page to remember the victims of the September 11 attacks.
"It is a day we will all remember and never forget. However my students, born in 2008, are unable to reflect on a day that they did not experience, nor would they understand. It is my job today not only to teach them but to instill and enlighten the beauties of being American. We cross our hearts, they pledge, and I reflect."

 * ... SPOTTED: At the Ramco gas station and market at the corner of F and 23rd streets a woman is gassing up her car, using her right hand to hold the nozzle and a cigarette at the same time.

 * ... ANIMAL CARE: Gene Bonas and his wife Robbie are animal lovers, and every year they send a nice donation to the SPCA and the animal control facility on Mt. Vernon. He always receives a nice thank you note from the facilities but has a better idea. "I suggested quite some time ago that each start a monthly pledge type donation program, such as the one conducted at The Mission of Kern County. I realized that, instead of one big donation, a monthly donation would total much more for the entire year. Although I received nice cards from both places, neither has yet to begin any kind of pledge program."

 * ... 25 HILL: The Fox Theater in Taft will be hold a special screening this Saturday for 25 Hill, a move directed by Corbin Bernson. His mother, of course, is the late soap opera star Jeanne Cooper, who grew up in Taft. The screenings will be held at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and proceeds will go to the Fox Theater digital conversion project. The movie is about the All American Soap Box Derby and a boy whose father died in Afghanistan. (file photo of Corbin Bernson)

* ... FATHER CRAIG: Monsignor Craig Harrison will be honored later this month at the annual Police Activities League (PAL) fund raiser at Seven Oaks Country Club. This is PAL's major fund raiser to support its efforts to help needy youth in Bakersfield. Monsignor Craig will be honored as PAL's Hometown Hero for all the work he has done to help our community. If you are interested in sponsoring a table at the Thursday, September 26 event, contact Naomi Vidales at (661) 283-8880.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Dolores Hoffman says you may be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember the martinis at Ewing's Tam O'Shanter were garnished with a small pickled green tomato instead of an olive. "Mickey was our favorite waitress, and dining at Tam O'Shanter was always very special.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The downtown arts district gets trees thanks to the generosity of The Bakersfield Californian (family) Foundation and building owner Tim Smale

 * ... IMMIGRATION: It looks like the crisis over Syria may derail the effort to address serious immigration reform before the end of the year. Pro reform activists have been pushing for a vote in the
House of Representatives this year, but the lingering Middle East crisis has diverted attention and could possibly push immigration off until 2014. And with congressional elections set for next year, House Republicans may not want to vote on immigration in an election year, meaning immigration reform may not be dealt with until late next year, if that. Stay tuned.

 * ... TREES: The downtown arts district is getting a new layer of greenery thanks to the generosity of two local business owners. Twelve huge clay pots that will hold magnolias and crepe myrtles have been placed along 19th and Eye streets, providing some welcome shade and further sprucing up the downtown area. This is all the work of Melissa Iger of the Tree Foundation of Kern thanks to a $9,000 grant from The Bakersfield Californian (family) Foundation. Don Martin, owner of The Metro Galleries on 19th Street, has worked with Iger to place and plant the trees. Farther down Eye Street, two mature trees were planted in front of a renovated building next to the Mama Roomba restaurant thanks to building owner Tim Smale, a local oil executive.

 * ... BAD FORM: It seems people will steal about anything. The folks over at Advance Beverage Co. are asking for the public's help in finding a 30-foot-tall inflatable green plastic Dos Equis bottle that was stolen during Village Fest. If you have information, call (661) 833-3783.

 * ... OVERHEARD: A woman is telling a friend about a seat mate on her flight on US Airways from Bakersfield to Phoenix. "So she sits down next to me and immediately takes off her shoes and props her filthy feet up in my space. The flight attendants need cultural instructions along with safety instructions. I took a picture of it but it didn't seem to phase her."

 * ... SPOTTED: Seen on a friend's Facebook post: "Just had to go to the DMV to renew my driver's license... Pull up, line is out the door, thank god that was the non-appointment line. I was in and out in 20 minutes, but I really feel like I need a shower, some hand sanitizer, a round of antibiotics and some brain bleach. OMG!"

 * ... BC BARBECUE: Remember to put the annual Bakersfield College barbecue on your calendar for Thursday, September 19. Sponsored by the Bakersfield College Alumni Association, it will be held at Stramler park from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mento Buru will be providing the music and proceeds will help the alumni association offer more scholarships to deserving students. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and $5 for children. Call the BC ticket office at (661) 395-4326 or buy them at the event.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

McCarthy continues to question the use of military force in Syria, and CSUB professor Gonzalo Santos to appear on KERN NewsTalk 1180 to talk immigration reform

 * ... MCCARTHY: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy continues to have "strong reservations" about the use of military force against Syria. The Bakersfield Republican told me there  "is nothing I take more seriously than issues that involve the lives of the men and women of our
military.  And as I continue to evaluate the intelligence information and hear the calls and emails from our neighbors, I continue to have strong reservations about the President’s draft resolution asking Congress to authorize the use of military force when there remains so many unanswered questions on the mission and the goals."

 * ... SANTOS: Gonzalo Santos is a CSUB sociology professor who has been involved in the push for sweeping reform of our immigration laws. On Tuesday at 9 a.m., I will talk to Santos on KERN NewsTalk 1180 (broadcast live on to hear his take on his meeting with Congressman Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy claims Santos threatened him, giving him a three-month timeline to pass immigration reform or protestors would shadow him and make his life painful. Santos told me McCarthy exaggerated his comments. We will talk about that and immigration reform Tuesday. Tune in.

 * ... KINDNESS: Kim Schaefer shared this act of kindness that she witnessed at the 24 Hour Fitness center on the east side. When she arrived at the gym, she found a large pit bull sleeping by the front door. "The concerned young lady at the front desk called Kern County Animal Control. Meanwhile two young ladies came out and were very concerned about the well being of the dog because of the recent headlines regarding KCAC. The girls took the dog and plan on adopting it. I thought it was very kind and wanted to this story about these terrific young people doing their part."

* ... POLLUTION: There has been a lot of give and take on this blog about whether idling cars contribute to air pollution. This idea from Greg Laskowski: "Let’s see.  It’s 108 degrees outside on a typical Bakersfield summer day and depending on the type of vehicle being driven the temperature in the car could rise to 115 degrees  If you have a pet, an infant, or a frail senior in the car with you, are you going to shut of your engine or sit in air conditioned comfort? Let’s be practical and use common sense here. That’s why we call this town Bako."

* ... ANIMALS: Apricot Lane Boutique over at the Marketplace is offering a special incentive to help the animals at the Kern County Animal shelter find forever homes. According to Tami Calderwood, a North High graduate and boutique owner, anyone who adopts a pet from Kern County Animal Control shelter in September before they close their doors will receive a voucher for 50 percent off their purchase. Now that is a good deal. It runs through the end of this month.

 * ... INTERFAITH: There is an interesting conference set at CSUB to discuss the role of religion in world peace. It's the 16th annual Bakersfield Interfaith Conference and it is set for Saturday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building. Admission is free and among the speakers will be CSUB's Professor Stafford Betty, who will give opening remarks on Gandhi.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy: continues to have strong reservations about the use of military force against Syria

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, shares with us his weekly report from Capitol Hill.

"This week everyone’s focus remains on the debate surrounding Syria. Over the Labor Day weekend, I traveled back to Washington to moderate a classified briefing for members of the House and Senate.  I also attended a meeting with other congressional leaders at the White House with President Obama. In
that meeting, we sat with the President and his national security team to discuss the ongoing situation and the intelligence information that is available.

"There is nothing I take more seriously than issues that involve the lives of the men and women of our military.  And as I continue to evaluate the intelligence information and hear the calls and emails from our neighbors, I continue to have strong reservations about the President’s draft resolution asking Congress to authorize the use of military force when there remains so many unanswered questions on the mission and the goals.

"I encourage all of our neighbors to please continue to share your thoughts with me as this debate continues.