* … SHALE: The government's stunning announcement dramatically cutting the amount of oil believed to be in the Monterey Shale could have widespread consequences for Kern County. Oil
* … GOOD FORM: This note from Joan Muller made my day. "I recently had to deal with finding kittens in the wall of my house. Mama kitty had gotten into the attic (which will be fixed) and had her litter of three babies. The kittens fell in a hollow spot which was about a 10 foot drop from the attic into the wall. Not having the means to extract the little ones from the wall I called my cousin Brook Muller for help. He was at church choir practice when I called but stated he would be over as soon as he finished. He showed up as promised at 9 p.m. with his saw and had to cut out three small portions of the garage wall before we finally found two little kittens which were starving and scared While I put them in a pet carrier and gave them food and water Brook put the cut panels back in place, swept the floor and put all the boxes back where I had them. I found the third one the next day. I just wanted to give a HUGE shout out to my wonderful cousin who gave of his time and talent to help God's defenseless creatures! He is a blessing to his family and this community!"
* … THEFT: Add downtown to the growing list of neighborhoods where a resident has awakened to find his struck on blocks, the wheels and tires stolen in the night. This time it happened to a late model Toyota truck. Trucks in Stockdale Estates and La Cresta have suffered similar fates.
* … CHUTZPAH: My use of the word "chutzpah" recently drew this response from reader Terry Beals: "While the mayor of Porterville is surely outspoken and ill informed, his unfortunate comments don't rise to a level of chutzpah. As a youngster I was told that a definition of chutzpah is difficult to create; but that the following description could suffice. A man convicted of killing both of his parents pleads for mercy from the judge, ... because he is an orphan. That is CHUTZPAH."
* … SNUFFY: Dan Cooper wrote with this inspirational tale of Snuffy, a small white dog rescued from death row. "Our family moved from Reno to Bakersfiield in 1937, and we brought Snuffy with us, a small white dog with a mean streak. We lived on Orange Street. Snuffy bit the mailman and was picked up by the authorities to be held for 10 days, and if not adopted, put down. We did not want him back. The mailman asked us about the dog… On the last day, we later found out the mailman adopted the dog. The dog that bit him. We drove by his house, and there was Snuffy on a chain. Lucky dog, kind hearted mailman."