Tuesday, June 2, 2015

More confusion over new rules on the California drought, Mexicali closes its two locations to honor Esther Gamez, and celebrating CSUB's run in the college baseball regional playoffs

 * ... DROUGHT: Here is a real head scratcher, compliments of Heather Van Arkel who recently replaced her lawn with artificial turn. "California Water Service recently sent out an informational flyer on water use during the drought. I read it thoroughly and was excited to read that they are now offering a new Turf Replacement rebate which 'provides a $1 rebate per square foot of turf that is
removed and replaced with low-water-use landscaping. This rebate applies to turf replaced between January 1 and December 31, 2015, or until rebate funds are depleted which means I will qualify as we put in our artificial turf in January. (And, like Terry Stoler in your column today, we love it!)
But then my bubble was burst as I read the next sentence which said 'Replacement with artificial turf is not eligible.' What is artificial turf if not 'low-water-use?' It is, in fact, no-water-use! A call to the Drought Call Center left the agent as perplexed as me - she had no idea why artificial turf was excluded."

* ... MEXICALI: The family that owns Mexicali and Mexicali West have decided to shut both restaurants down today (Wednesday) in honor of the late Esther Gamez, one of the owners who passed away at the age of 84. This one-day closure is a fitting tribute to a woman who meant so much not only to the restaurants, but to the community as well.

 * ... SPOTTED: On Twitter was this missive: "Have you ever listened to somebody speak and wonder who ties their shoelaces for them?"

* ... TRADER JOE'S: I read the other day that Whole Foods is getting to roll out a smaller, cheaper retail store that will compete with Trader Joe's. I know some folks in the Northeast and downtown who would kill to have a new neighborhood market.

 * ... RUNNERS: How fun was it watching the CSUB baseball team make it to the College World Series regional playoffs? None of this would have been possible without the effort that President Horace Mitchell and his team put into taking Cal State to Division 1, which was quite controversial at the time. There is not doubt that having the Runners play teams like UCLA and Ole Miss has elevated the program to an entirely different level.

 * ... FOODIE: I finally stopped by the new Johnny Garlic's, TV host Guy Fieri's new restaurant out at the Marketplace. Bakersfield always goes crazy over new restaurants and it took a couple months before the crowds died down and I could land a table without a 90-minute wait. My favorite: the lamb slider appetizers that include a thin slice of cucumber to give it that extra crunch.

 * ... THEATERS: I promised no more posts on old theaters in town, but this note from Bill Varner was too good to resist. He wrote that in the 1930s, the old Granada Theater in east Bakersfield was occasionally converted into a boxing ring. "There was a full card of preliminary bouts with a main event, featuring two local lightweights, Charly Sullivan and my brother Pat Varner. All went well (until) the middle round of the main event the lights went out. The crowd was stunned but I think most of them grabbed their wallets wondering what was happening. The lights were back on in a few minutes... Charly won the decision. I don't if that was the end of the Granada."

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