* ... DROUGHT: Kelly Damian works for Kern Green, a local environmental non-profit, but I know her as a gifted wordsmith who has penned some memorable essays. Recently she contributed a thoughtful post on "drought shaming" to a blog called 'afloweraday' and it's worth sharing. Said Kelly: "If we stop
* ... BAD FORM: Ever wonder about all those yard sales that pop up on vacant lots throughout town? Cynthia Williams does, specifically one on a vacant lot west of Valencia on Niles Street. "He had at least eight tables of tools and equipment. He didn't even clean up the debris. He left a truck load of trash for the owner of said property to clean up. Apparently the owner of this lot is fed up with weekend yard sales on his property because Thursday he placed 10-plus metal signs on his property that read 'private property-no trespassing' thinking this would do the job. On Friday someone removed all the signs he had bought and Saturday and Sunday there were at least five more yard sales set up and again left all their trash for the owner to discard. This is an ongoing eyesore and something needs to be done. What will the owner have to do next... put up a six foot chain link fence to keep people out? Where are code enforcement people that should be monitoring illegal yard sale use every weekend on other people's property?"
* ... GOOD FORM: They say if you live in a old house, you better be comfortable with imperfection. Well, I got my dose of imperfection recently when the original galvanized steel pipes of my 1935 downtown bungalow blew, flooding my basement and triggering a complete repiping of the house. This is no small task (carving through walls of plaster, replacing corroded steel with flexible PEX color-coded piping, digging up the yard etc) but I was in good hands with Tony Warren and his crew at Bakersfield Plumbing. I have dealt with Tony, and before that his late father Jerry, for more than 20 years and his is the type of company you want in your corner when the wheels come off.
* ... MISSING DUCKS: Mary Durham asked me to pass this query along. Said Mary: "My friends called my attention to the fact that six of the eight white ducks that are always at the Hart Park lake are missing. I made phone calls to the city and county recreation departments and they directed me to the Fresno Fish and Wildlife Department. Their response was that the ducks are domesticated and therefore didn't belong to anyone. All three of the ladies I talked to about the ducks were very nice and helpful but the ducks are still missing. Does anyone know where the six missing ducks are?"
* ... OILDALE: There's another Oildale clean-up day set for this Saturday at 8:45 a.m. right behind Trout's. It's sponsored by the Oildale Foundation and organizers say they won't need more than 90 minutes of your time. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.