* ... DEMOGRAPHICS: Howell Raines, the Alabama-born former editor of The New York Times, penned an opinion piece for the Times this Sunday in which he succinctly summed up the challenge facing entrenched Southern Republicans (and there are lessons for California and the rest
* ... FEEDBACK: I received this feedback from Gerhard Schmidt: "All the ranting we can do about trash, it is discouraging that it nothing gets into the mind of the offenders, their conscience is just lacking. Now with respect to lawns, especially with the drought, gardeners don't seem to get what the experts recommend. Letting grass grow taller shades the ground, cutting down evaporation. However, the grass cutters know only one setting, too low. Here knowledge is lacking. As to comments about Cubans being upset about throwing out the sanctions, in my opinion the Castros would have been long gone if the sanctions had bee lifted long ago. The Cuban people would not have tolerated the situation, with free interchange of seeing what the rest of the world was really like."
* ... SPOTTED: On Twitter: "The only government agency that listens to you is the NSA."
* ... GOOD FORM: Tim Strem gave this shoutout to the city and country: "I recently reported to the county road department a couple of hazardous potholes in the bike lane at the western end of Panorama Drive. Their quick reply was that the area falls under the jurisdiction of the city and my report would be forwarded to the city road department. Sure enough, I went by the pothole site a week later and it had already been nicely repaired. This is a great example of interagency synergy and execution."
* ... MORE GOOD FORM: As long as we are honoring good form, let's not stop there. Consider what Alicia De Laurie witnessed last Friday when she spotted a small truck stalled at the corner of 24th and F streets. "Stopped at a red light, I saw a man and a woman trying to push the truck into the McDonald’s parking lot. They were not succeeding. I thought I would make a U-turn and give them some help. My family would not like it, but they would never know. Watching through my mirror, I saw a very young male join the effort, then a female jumped out of a car and joined. Before the light changed there were 7 or 8 people pushing the truck and this great-grandmother didn’t have to push. This so Bakersfield!"
* ... PADRE: What is it they say about good things coming out of adversity? That happened to me the other night when I found myself checking into The Padre Hotel after I lost water at my house because of a major replumbing upgrade. Want to pamper yourself? Save your pennies and spend a relaxing evening at this iconic Bakersfield landmark, take in a meal and then have a nightcap on the second floor Prairie Fire outside bar. It's worth the trip.
* ... FLAG: More feedback on the fracas over flying the Confederate flag. Said Tony Malon: "Taking the stars and bars down from the capital of South Carolina, and most of the stores not selling them anymore is not enough. I have been watching the series Matlock for years including reruns. If you watch closely in the court room, Old Glory is on the left of the judge's bench slightly higher than the stars and bars on the right, not in all episodes... I guess we'll have to cancel all the Matlock episodes with that flag showing."