Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bakersfield High School Driller alum launch drive to support the football program, and lots of good deeds abound this holiday season

* … DRILLERS: There is a drive among alumni of Bakersfield High School to raise $25,000 to pay for Valley championship rings and to help the athletic program grow. I am told that almost $10,000 has
been raised already. If you are a Driller and want to contribute, make a check payable to BHS Athletic Booster Club and note "football" on the memo line. You can mail them to Bakersfield High School,
1241 G Street, 93301. The Drillers, 11-2, will face Mission Hills in San Diego in the first round of the state Division 1playoffs Friday.

 * … CRIME: Local plaintiff's lawyer Matt Clark was with his wife Molly, son Harry and their two standard poodles outside Baja Fresh at the Marketplace recently when "two young kids, in an older model, teal, Toyota pick-up stopped in front of the outdoor seating.  The passenger jumped out, ran up to a woman who had her purse sitting next to her on the ground, and took the purse. He jumped back in the truck and they fled. The truck had damage on the side, and numerous bumper stickers on the back. Harry remembers seeing the truck driving around on the opposite end of the shopping center, 30 minutes before the theft. Obviously, they were staking the place out looking for a target."

* … MEEK: Kudos to Harold Meek, the former Bakersfield car dealer who has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association. Meek is the first recipient of this new award. Meek and his wife Kay sold their shares in the Three-Way Automotive Group in 2008 when he retired from the business. The Meeks have long been active in our community, in both charitable causes as well as Republican politics.

* … GUARDIAN ANGEL: Shirley Machado shared this uplifting story of a stranger coming to her aid. "After visiting the tax office, I returned to my car parked in the garage and promptly spilled the contents of my purse. As dark as it was I thought I had everything and drove home.  My surprise came when a young man came to my door and explained that he was returning my wallet which I had never missed. He told me his name but I'm afraid It didn't register (I was too stunned). All I know is that he had to be my guardian angel in a black sweatshirt with MORRO BAY on it.  If you see him, he just might be your angel, too." Thanks for sharing, Shirley.

* … MORE GOOD FORM: McKinley Elementary kindergarten teacher Jolie Brouttier was driving down Union Avenue when she spotted a young girl in front of a local motel, in the cold with no socks. What did she do? She pulled over and gave the youngster a pair of socks. "Thank goodness Ms. B always carries extras," she said.

 * … AND THIS: Can you stand one more uplifting story from our week? Al Garcia was with a group of about 15 Vietnam veterans having lunch at the Roadhouse Grill when, to his surprise, a young man insisted on picking up the check. "Can you image how this made 15 to 18 of us feel?" Garcia said. "He wasn't a veteran and just wanted to do something nice." The good Samaritan identified himself as Chris Russell, who runs an oilfield construction business.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two dogs are reunited with their family thanks to the kindness of strangers, and another view on those puppies dropped off in the cold at the SPCA

 * … LOST DOGS: If ever there was a reminder of how caring a community Bakersfield is about its pets, it is the odyssey the Edmonston family has been on when two of their beloved dogs went missing in northeast Bakersfield back in September. Since then the family posted signs, placed ads, visited all three shelters multiple times a week, and bombarded social media. Then last
month, a total stranger scrolling through Craigslist for their own lost pet,  spotted one of the dogs and reached out. One down and one to go. Again last weekend, another Craigslister who'd seen the Edmonston's many posts contacted them about a stray someone else was trying to adopt out. Christmas came early for them, who now remind everyone to microchip and collar the four-legged members of their family. Back home, I'd bet these dogs end up on the Edmonston family Christmas card. (family photo of one of the Edmonston dogs)

 … ANOTHER VIEW: This note came from a reader responding to the case involving newborn puppies being left in the cold at the SPCA. "It is wrong, in my opinion, to continue to bash the person who delivered these puppies to the doorstep of the SPCA. We lack facts in this case.  Is it possible the mother died and the person did not know what to do?  Is it possible the person who delivered these pups found them on the side of the road?  Is it possible the person did not have 30 dollars per puppy to pay the SPCA to relinquish these puppies? We should focus on the fact that 15 puppies were not simply thrown in the trash bin...So I say great job to the person who at least tried." (file photo is of other puppies)

* … PURSE SNATCHERS: There have been at least two instances of purse snatching at local Starbucks outlets. In both cases, a young man wandered into a Starbucks, snatched a purse from a customer and fled. This happened at the Starbucks at the Marketplace and the one in the Town and Country Shopping Center. In the Marketplace incident, the man actually hit a woman who resisted.

* … SPOTTED: On a friend's Facebook wall: "Unless you are five years old, there is no reason for you to be in your pajamas in public."

* … MEMORIES: Linda Meadows Polston, whose grandfather was head of all Kern County airports, provided some rich history of the neighborhood near the airport. Said Linda: "I was only months old when my young parents rented an apartment which my mom always called the old Army barracks.  We lived on Charlana Street right next to the little green store which was owned by Neva and 'Pappy' Sprayberry called Choice Food. We lived there until I was 3 , then moved to USC student housing to live with my dad who was attending law school at the time.  I remember a small living area with white railings on each door step.  I believe the Sprayberry store you mentioned this summer was owned by Mr. Sprayberry's brother.  We moved back when I was 6 to Arvin Street, just down McCray a few blocks from Neva's store and I spent my childhood walking up McCray to their store to buy my weekly supply of new comic books or down McCray to St. Mark's Methodist Church  to Sunday School and the children's choir where Neva was the leader, and was very involved in every aspect of the church.  I went all through school with her daughter, Judy.  I have great memories of that area.  My grandparents ( the Meadows) lived across from the old airport terminal as my granddad was the Superintendent of All Kern County Airports, and we spent a lot of time at the airport just watching the planes coming in and out.  They had a big old house on an acre of land where Airport Drive deadended on China Grade Loop. "

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Crabtree Report says the local housing market is improving with demand up and prices rising.

 * … HOUSING: Good news for our local real estate market. According to the Crabtree Report, it appears that the "mini bubble" in waning and 2014 should bring more of a moderate recovery. Said market expert Gary Crabtree: "Based upon the above, the Bakersfield market is quite stable for the
winter marketing season.  Supply decreased slightly from last month and demand remains constant, leaving the market with a little over two months unsold inventory. (Historically, the Bakersfield market has averaged a 3.1 month unsold inventory from 1999 to present)." Crabtree said the demand for housing is creasing and the media price increased $5,000 last month and almost 27 percent over the same period next year.

* … BAD FORM: Hard to find an example of bad form worse than whoever dropped off a box of new born puppies in the cold at the SPCA. This message was posted on Facebook by the SPCA: "We want to thank the person who dropped off a box of 15 puppies (eyes not even open yet) at 12:42 a.m. outside the Bakersfield SPCA this morning in freezing temperatures in a damp box. Perhaps the time may come when you cannot take care of yourself an someone will return the favor of dropping you off in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures in an empty parking lot. Happy Holidays!"

 * … SPOTTED: From a Facebook post: "Child Protective Services needs to have a mobile office at Wal-Mart."

 * … SMALL WORLD: So you don't think it's a small world? Then listen to this from Barry Rosenfeld, who spent Thanksgiving with his wife Pat in Ireland. "On Sunday evening (December 1) we were admiring the lights, vendors and happy faces at the Christmas Market in the town square in Galway. And standing right in front of us were Barry and Theresa Goldner! They told us their daughter is a university student in Galway and they too were touring Ireland. But that's not all. The very next day Pat and I were in line to purchase tickets for the tour of the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin and sitting in the bar was Elaine McNearney. She was having a drink with her cousin from New Zealand prior to a family reunion in Ireland that week. Wow, it is a small world, after all."

 * … MEMORIES: Nelda Oldham remembers the old military housing near the airport. "I believe they are referring to a WW II Veterans' Housing Project of 90 units built following the war under the Veterans' Emergency Housing under Title V. Due to an acute housing shortage after the war, the government passed legislation to build these complexes. The one referred to was called Veterans' Square, was designed and built strictly for veteran families, was of minimum design with concrete floors, plywood walls, etc. and the demolition was provided for in the legislation following the lack of need. The Housing Authority County of Kern built and managed a number of these projects, the largest of which was located on the north side of 34th Street and totaled 140 duplex apartments.  I'm sure there are many people in Bakersfield who lived in this housing as children. I still remember the names of some of the managers so I, of course number among the old-timers."