* ... BETTY: The funeral service for Betty Leonor, the 44-year-old artist who died of liver cancer last week, was held in Florida this weekend and I tuned in via the internet to watch the tribute. Leonor was not a product of Bakersfield, but she did her best work here and it was in places like The Metro Galleries downtown where the genius of her work was first shared with the general public. Her paintings, many self portraits, reflected a searing honesty not unlike the lyrics of the late jazz signer Amy Winehouse. Both were masters of their crafts, and both are gone well before their time. (Leonor's self portrait 'She waits' shown below)
* ... TREBEK: Alex Trebek, the iconic host of the long-running hit TV game show Jeopardy!, will be the emcee of the West Kern Petroleum Summit set for this October at Taft College. This is a smart and witty move by organizers that will certainly add some flair to the petroleum summit, which was a huge hit when in its inaugural session last year. The event is set for Friday, October 16, at the college. Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will also appear at the summit.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Nothing good has ever come from answering a call from a blocked phone number."
* ... PADRE: The Padre Hotel earned some nice recognition when it received the esteemed FourDiamond award from AAA for the first time since its opening in 2010. This prestigious rating reflects a combination of overall quality, range of facilities and level of service. It is awarded to just 5 percent of the 28,000 hotels ranked annually. Four Diamond hotels are recognized as having luxurious accommodations, full service amenities and the highest level of hospitality.
* ... BEST BET: And speaking of eating, the Union Station Deli on 18th Street downtown has changed hands and the new owners are rolling out a lot of delectable menu items. My favorite: a Mediterranean salad featuring black olives, red onion, salami, artichokes, yellow bell peppers and three different types of beans.