Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dr. Jane Goodall, world famous expert on chimpanzees, will speak at Bakersfield College and get ready for another Cioppino Feed at Garces Memorial High

 * … GOODALL: Bakersfield College scored a coup when it announced that Dr. Jane Goodall would speak there on Tuesday, April 1.  Goodall is widely known as the world's foremost expert on
chimpanzees, and for her multi-decade study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. She will appear just shy of her 80th birthday. This will surely be a fascinating talk. General admission tickets are just $15 ($10 for students). She will appear at the Gil Bishop Sports Center.

 * … CIOPPINO: One of my favorite fund raisers of the year is coming up Saturday, March 29, at Monsignor Leddy Hall at Garces Memorial High School. It's the annual Cioppino Feed put on by Bakersfield West Rotary to support the Robert A. Grimm Children's Pavilion for Emergency Care over at Memorial Hospital. If you haven't been, this is a wonderful night of sumptuous clams and cioppino and wine. The cost is $100 per person. Call Howdy Miller for tickets at (661) 747-5380.

* … KERN BAR: Congratulations to Linda Sullenger, who has been appointed the new executive director of the Kern County Bar Association.

 * … VALLEY BAPTIST: And kudos also go out to a group of young adults from Valley Bible Fellowship, who spent last weekend sprucing up the bike bath near Gordon's Ferry.

 * … SUMMER: Speaking of the bike path, I have spotted three snakes sunning on the asphalt in the last week, a sure sign summer is right around the corner.

 * … REALLY? This note from reader Phillip Anderson speaks for itself: "Just what we need. With all the bad press that Bakersfield gets, yesterday I saw a GET bus with an advertisement on it that said "Come for vacation leave on probation."

* … SALAD BOWL: I received this valentine from Bob Myers, a 1954 graduate of Bakersfield High School who now lives in Lake Havasu, Arizona. "I read with interest your blog about the Mossman's and the Salad Bowl restaurants. I took a girl friend to the Salad Bowl on Union Avenue (am I correct in this?) in 1958 on our first date.  I had invited Miss Mary Lou Bundy to go with me to the movies at the Nile Theater and as we were approaching the theater I said to her, 'If this movie costs more than (some figure I don't remember) we're not going.'  It was, and we didn't go to the movie.  Instead I asked her if she was hungry, she said yes and we went to the Salad Bowl where I knew we could get good food at a reasonable price.  The romance blossomed and this year we will celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary. "

 * … MEMORIES:  And finally there was this from Anthony Cueto III. "Back in 1951 my father, Anthony Cueto, owned the Palace Hotel, which was located on 21st Street, between L and M streets. I remember visiting the place and going down to the basement where the laundry room was located. I can also remember my father pointing out the openings in the walls that led to the tunnels. I was quite small at the time, but it was something that I never forgot."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"If I Wanted America to Fail": a video worth viewing

Chevron video on renewing oil fields in the Kern River production area

A photo essay of the 1950s-era bomb shelters discovered in the Bakersfield area

 Bakersfield resident Stephen Montgomery shared these pictures of a 1950s-era bomb shelter on South Garnsey. The property is in the path of the extension of Highway 58 and likely will be paved over. Notice the pathway and the extent of the bomb shelter. These types of structures were common in Bakersfield during the early days of the Cold War. All photos courtesy of Stephen Montgomery.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Banning fracking in Kern County would cost us thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue, much like the devastating impact on the Pacific Northwest after the spotted owl devastated Oregon's timber industry

 * …  FRACKING: The recent incident involving Moo Creamery and a petition to ban hydraulic fracking is part of a larger effort that could have serious consequences for energy rich areas like Kern County. There is little doubt that environmentalists and anti-fossil fuel advocates are
doing everything they can to alarm the public over fracking, which has been practiced for decades in Kern County without incident. As of yet, there is no scientific evidence that fracking harms the environment, much less trigger earthquakes, the latest spurious argument to come from an environmental group. So what could happen if those who "suspect" or "fear" fracking get their way? Consider this:  when the Spotted Owl was listed as an endangered species in the Pacific Northwest, more than 168,000 people lost their jobs and timber production decreased by 80 percent. And once robust cities like Roseburg, Oregon, were thrown into economic tailspins. Said one informed reader, Eric Hansen: "Fracking has been done on the westside for 50 years. Where is the proof of subterranean damage leading to environmental calamity? There isn’t. This does not mean that fracturing should be conducted in an uncontrolled manner, however all parties with vested interests should be a bit more sensible."

 * … LAWSUIT: And speaking of misguided efforts, did you hear about the Colorado man who is suing the same firefighters who saved his life during the recent flash floods in Boulder County? That's right, an attorney for Roy Ortiz said he is seeking $500,000 because the firefighters and a dive team didn't rescue him quickly enough and he needs the money "to pay bills." And the fact that Ortiz is an undocumented alien has added fuel to the fire. (photos courtesy of ABC News)

* … WALL STREET: The latest boutique restaurant to open downtown, the Wall Street Cafe on L Street, is holding its official grand opening this Friday. The cafe is a cozy, warm bistro owned by the same couple that runs the Japanese-themed restaurants Enso and Toro at The Marketplace. On Friday some bottles of wine and beer will be half price and there will be specials on appetizers. Reservations are preferred for the grand opening. Call (661) 322-9255.

* … FRENCH VILLAGE: I received a note from Ruth Paulden Raney recalling going to a dance party at a place called the French Village. She said this was in 1955 and she cannot remember if it was on Real Road or near Garnsey Avenue. "I talked with my friend Milt Huggs about this place and he remembered it too but did not remember the story about it. He thought it was located where the Parkview Healthcare Center is now located on North Real Road... Would you ask your readers if any of them remember the place?"

 * … MEMORIES: From my friend and Navy veteran Gene Bonas: "Just a note to let you know today's blog made my day. Your reader, Elinor Grant, validated my memory of the meat market at the corner of 23rd and L streets during World War II. Having just turned 75 this past Wednesday, I thought my mind may have been playing tricks on me when I discovered those 5 pound sugar coupons. They allowed me to remember the walks with my mom from east Bakersfield to the market to buy meat and sugar. Back in those days sugar was extremely important because everything my mother cooked or baked was from scratch. Cooking and baking for nine kids was no easy task. There were no ready made meals in those days. " Thanks Gene.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The brouhaha over Moo Creamery allegedly signing an anti-fracking petition gets more feedback and Dr. Ravi Patel holds a fund raiser to help needy families battling cancer

 * … MOO CREAMERY: The stink over whether one of the owners of Moo Creamery signed a
petition opposing hydraulic fracking continues to resonate. The question: did owner Jessica Pounds sign an online petition opposing fracking, an unpopular position in an oil town where fracking has been practiced for decades without negative consequences? She claims she didn't and in fact had no idea what tracking even was, and even my colleague Herb Benham devoted his last column to a spirited defense of the restaurant. But that triggered this response from an incredulous reader:  "How does anyone with a cursory knowledge of current affairs claim to not no what fracking is? Maybe five years ago you could claim that but not now." If Pounds signed the petition, the writer said, "she should own it."

 * … PATEL: I stopped by a Mardi Gras fund raiser at the lovely Seven Oaks home of Dr. Ravi Patel this weekend. The hosts were gracious, the Steak and Grape-catered food was sumptuous and it all went to raise money for a foundation that helps needy families battling cancer. Patel is a founder and partner in the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, which does so much good for our community.

 * … INTERNMENT CAMPS: Hugh Murray read with the interest a story in The Californian about the internment of Japanese-Americans at a camp in Topaz, Utah, during World War II. Said Murray: "When i was about 10  years old my brother and I were going to a depression in the canal to swim. There were two Japanese men approaching at the same time and scared the daylights out of us due to the war. We lived in Abraham, Utah, when this  occurred. The summer of 1942. This small town is about 40 miles west Fillmore. The mention of Topaz brought back happy memories for me and bad ones for Mr. Nishiyama. I am 82 and thanks for the memory."

* … KINDNESS: Gary Christiansen over at the Bakersfield Adult School tipped me off to another example of the base goodness of people. "A recent phone call to my room at the Bakersfield Adult School was from a GET bus company employee. When I answered in the affirmative that Maria Garcia (a fictitious name) was one of my students, the woman said someone had turned in Maria’s wallet, which had been left on one of their  busses. Not only was the wallet intact, but it also contained several hundred dollars in cash. A special 'thank you' and congratulations to the honest bus rider or employee who turned in the wallet. My student was very happy to get it back."

 * … SALAD BOWL: To the reader who asked about the old Salad Bowl restaurants, Patt Mossman had the answer. "All the other Salad Bowl restaurants were owned by my father-in-law, Clarence Mossman. I don't remember the exact address, but it was on the northeast corner of Chester Avenue and l8th Street. The building is still there, but sadly, the Salad Bowls are gone  My son, Rick Mossman, still carries on his grandfather's tradition of good food at reasonable prices at Mossman's Coffee Shop at the bowling alley in Westchester (1819 30th Street) and at Mossman's Coffee Shop and Mossman's Catering Company at the Southwest Lanes Bowling Alley (3610 Wible Road)."