Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bako Bits: Thanksgiving in Bakersfield, some really good form out at CSUB and a shout out to the Bakersfield Museum of Art

 * … GOOD FORM: Here's a feel-good story about how one person can make a difference. It comes from an anonymous CSUB professor. Enjoy. "I am writing to you today as an anonymous professor here at CSUB to tell you about an amazing CSUB student. His name is Nima Mashoon. I have never done this before but I could not resist. He is currently a masters biology student and I do have to say a great one indeed. He is always offering to help people in need and this quarter he’s gone far and beyond. He started talking about a canned food drive to help the homeless and less fortunate this
holiday season, as 'every person deserves a warm meal.' Well with his diligence and hard work his small canned food drive has been spreading like wildfire. He has reached across campus and what was supposed to be a small drive has turned out to be over 1,200 items with more to come. Even with this he still seeks for more items so he can help as many people as he can. I can truly say that I have never seen a student that has been so great in all my years of teaching here. He is a great person and I would want nothing more than for everyone to recognize him and what he is doing. He has been an inspiration for not only faculty but also other students and me alike and maybe he can reach even more people."

 * … GOOD FORM: Deanna Haulman gave a big shout out to the "delightful young man that is often found working the drive up window at Taco Bell on F Street.  He greets the drive up cars with 'good morning sunshine.' We found out the other day he also works across the street at the Chevron station and is going to school majoring in accounting.  He is not only a great asset to his current employers but any company that hires him in the future. Heads up human resource directors watch out for this guy and snap him up quickly before another company does."

 * … PIE RUN: It was a record turnout for the Thanksgiving morning Pie Run out at Hart Park. More than 400 walkers and runners showed up this year, bringing with them piles of cupcakes, scones, cakes, breakfast muffins and breads. Pie Run founder John Rous told me the crowd gets larger every year, and this year they were treated to a spectacular sunrise. All the left over food was donated to local homeless shelters. (sunrise photo by Don Martin)

* … MUSEUM: Sometimes it takes a newcomer to the area to truly appreciate everything that Bakersfield offers. Kathy Harlan and her husband moved to Bakersfield in March, and are now enthusiastic supporters of the Bakersfield Museum of Art. "Every time we have visitors, I show them around and they are always impressed, too. Currently there are three great exhibits, one is a California modern landscape painter, another is pop art ceramics and paintings, and Alfredo Arreguin’s tile-like paintings. Each is very different but equally enjoyable. The price is great, too, for less than a movie ticket. I mentioned to an acquaintance that I was a docent at the BMoA and she asked, 'The Kern County Museum?'  No, the museum of art downtown. She looked at me like I had two heads!"

 * … TRASH: Reader Gerhard H. Schmidt wrote to suggest I stop writing about trash around our  community. "The people that are the culprits obviously don’t read the paper. The suggestion of photographs documenting offenders sounds good. However, in the past, when this came up, I believe there was some response from the police department, that only if an officer saw it, could there be any action taken. But many offenders might well use the internet. Is there some web site where pictures could be posted, showing the actions of these people?  Only some way that shows this behavior as shameful could work for change."

 * … MORE TRASH: Yet other readers, like Walter E. Stewart, thinks shedding more light on the issue is a good thing. And he added: "The south end of the alley between California Avenue and 14th Street… K Street and L Street … is a habitual pigsty. This is not way out in the boondocks… this is central Bakersfield. Why don't we rename it Bakersfield Trashfield?"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's Thanksgiving Day message of gratitude and thanks

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, gives us his Thanksgiving message.

 "As families and friends gather for Thanksgiving, let us all reflect on the many blessings in our lives.  Many of us will be traveling around town, throughout California, and across the country to see loved
ones and enjoy the tradition of turkey and gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and a little football. As we count our many blessings, we should all do our part to remember and help those who are less fortunate as that is the true Thanksgiving spirit. What makes our community great is its giving spirit and the willingness to help those in need.

 "While we gather with our families this week, let us also remember to be thankful for the brave men and women in uniform who are away from their families defending the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy. Generation after generation, our nation has been blessed with courageous individuals who serve and sacrifice for all of us.

 "Judy and I and our entire family want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving thanks as we all prepare for Thanksgiving, North Rotary reaches out to those in need and a last reminder of the Pie Run

* … THANKSGIVING: So many things to be thankful for this time of year. Among my blessings are: two successful daughters who are both employed and out there making it on their own; good health and a job that keeps me challenged; wonderful friends; a sweet gray tabby named Latte who never fails to greet me when I arrive home, and neighbors who always have a roaring fire with champagne when the nights get chilly. Expecting or wanting anything more would seem greedy.

* … ROTARY: Here's a big shout out to the men and women at Bakersfield North Rotary who are providing full turkey dinners for 350 need families. The food baskets are brimming with traditional holiday fare including a turkey, pie, stuffing, rolls, various canned veggies and five pounds of potatoes. Now in its 12th year, Rotarians, along with the help of North High Interact students, will assemble baskets and distribute them on Wednesday at the Standard School gymnasium.

 * … GOOD FORM: And while we are in the spirit of Thanksgiving, this note comes from Crissy Keller of West High School :"During the season of thankfulness, I want to take the opportunity to be truly grateful for such a genuine person. Craig Odom recently wrote in about an individual paying for his anniversary dinner and displaying such genuine kindness; however, I feel he should be recognized for already 'paying it forward'… in not only good form but in GREAT form. Craig stepped up this school year to volunteer as an assistant varsity volleyball coach with only one purpose of being an advocate and supporter of student athletes at West High. He saw a need to not only assist with coaching duties but also the opportunity to impact and influence the lives of our lady Vikings in a positive, enthusiastic manner. In my opinion, Craig has definitely paid it forward tenfold. A huge thank you shout out to Craig for being such a selfless, humble, exceptional, kind-hearted, and dedicated role model."

* … SPOTTED: On Facebook: "Note to self. Pajama bottoms and slippers are welcome at the DMV."

 * … MOOSE: Reader Jim Delmarter posed this question:"Has anyone seen the 'moose' overlooking the westbound California Avenue on ramp to northbound Highway 99?  It is actually a pine tree with the upper branches resembling the antlers and snout off a moose."

 * … PIE RUN: One last plug for the annual Thanksgiving Day "Pie Run" at Hart Park. There is no better way to start the day than a brisk walk up the hills at Hart Park with a few hundred of your neighbors (and not to mention their dogs) while returning to a roaring fire with plenty of food. Walk starts promptly at 6 a.m.

* … CHUCKLE: And finally, there is this from Mary Moreland: "Years ago when our twin grandchildren, Bryn and Thalia, were coming to Bakersfield with their parents Margalo and Will Weissman from the Bay Area for Thanksgiving they were delighted that they were going to stop at Paris, France for lunch. They were only slightly disappointed to find out that they were lunching at Harris Ranch."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Former Centennial hurler Jarret Martin put on the 40-man roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and preparing for the annual Pie Run on Thanksgiving morning

 * … DODGERS: Hats off to Jarret Martin, the hard throwing Centennial High School graduate who has been put on the Los Angeles Dodgers' 40-man roster. The move protects Martin from being acquired by another team, and puts him on a major league contract. Martin graduated from Centennial
in 2008, was drafted out of high school by the Orioles but decided to pitch for Bakersfield College for a year. The Orioles drafted him again in 2009 and ended up trading him to the Dodgers. His last stop was the Arizona Fall League. Jarret is engaged to Allie Wiener, a CSUB nursing student at the top of her class. His mother, Dana Martin, is a freelance writer, author and editor. (photo of Jarret Martin and mother Dana courtesy of Dana Martin)

* … OUR TOWN: I had a chance to catch up the other day with Jennie Warren, one of the owners of Bakersfield Plumbing, a family business that has served our community well for many years. It was three years ago that Jennie's longtime husband, Jerry, died suddenly two days after Christmas. The ever gregarious Jerry and his company served my family well for many years, and now Jennie and her son Tony continue that legacy. I have lived in some of the world's largest cities where life affords one more "cultural" amenities and excitement, but only in Bakersfield do vendors and small business people become more like friends than a faceless repairman.

* … GOOD FORM: Craig Odom and his wife, Mary Ellen, were dining at Tahoe Joe's last week to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. What happened next was unexpected. "We were enjoying our meal and having a pleasant conversation with a former student of mine from Shafter High School, who is an employee at Tahoe Joe’s. My wife and I are both teachers. A younger couple with three daughters was sitting in the booth behind us and must have heard our conversation about our anniversary and us both being in education. The meal and the conversation came to an end and I expected to pay the bill for our meal. Our waiter told us that another patron had picked up the tab and wished us a happy anniversary. We were fortunate to find out that it was the husband of the younger couple sitting behind us. We were both overwhelmed by his act of generosity. I introduced myself and we thanked him for being so kind. I made him a promise that we would soon pay it forward. Thank you Bo and we look forward to passing along your generosity to us and wish you and your family a happy holiday season. "    

* … PIE RUN: One of our community's signature, fun events happens Thanksgiving morning with the annual "Pie Run" at Hart Park. It all starts at 6 a.m. when a couple hundred walkers and runners, many with their favorite canines in tow, show up to walk the hills to kick off Thanksgiving. It's the brainchild of longtime runner and cyclist John Rous, who told me the only cost of entry is a contribution of a pie or cookies. Rous will be cooking hot dogs and tri tip to greet the runners and walkers at the end. Follow the lights to the campfire and prepare to start the run promptly at 6 a.m.

* … MOCK TRIAL: The Bakersfield High School mock trial team had a chance to meet Gov. Jerry Brown when he swung through town last Friday. District Attorney Lisa Green arranged the meeting for the Driller mock trial team. Among the team members attending were Jazmin Reyes, Jasmine Greenwood, Emily Hazelton, Miguel Hernandez, Imani Jordan, Keshay Patton, Daijah Thomasson, Sophia Caputo, Peige Daniels, Yingyi Xu, Safiyyah DeSouza, Luis Martinez, Teresa Malis, Emma Doty, Mario De la Pena, Grant Schramm and LeJohnea Anthony.