* ... FOSSIL FUELS: Environmental groups are calling on President Obama to outlaw the production of oil and national gas from federally owned lands and along the continental shelf. Whether this can be done with the stroke of a pen is up for debate, but groups like the Center for Biological Diversity (a group often criticized for its hyperbole) say it will go a long way to reduce the effects of climate change. The problem, as cited in a report by the news service Vice, is in the details.
Said Kathleen Sgamma, public affairs spokeswoman for the Western Energy Alliance: "It's not a serious discussion. It's not a serious point of view," noting that fossil fuels provide about 80 percent of US energy needs and calls to 'Keep it in the ground' offer little in the way of replacements. "Groups like the Center for Biological Diversity will talk about wind and solar. Wind and solar are great, except they have only to do with electricity generation, which doesn't cover transportation or heat. It's just electricity, and it's just a very small portion of electricity now."
* ... DUST MITES: If you are one of those people who don't make your bed in the morning, you may be doing something right. That's the word from the BBC which reported that researchers believe that dust mites thrive in dark places, and that leaving the bed unmade could help kill them off. Dr. Stephen Pretlove told the BBC, "We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body. Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die." So there you have it; you can thank me.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "There are no bad photos. That’s just how you look sometimes."
* ... HAGGEN: Now that the Haggen supermarket chain has filed bankruptcy, its store in the Town and Country Shopping Center on Gosford and Stockade Highway (it was an Albertson's not too long ago) is being cleaned out by bargain hunters before it closes. Many items are discounted up to 50 percent off but get there quickly, because everything is going fast.
* ... OVERHEARD: Two men are talking about the opening of the craft beer venue Temblor and the explosion of craft brews across the country. Said one: "That old bank building at Chester and 18th is perfect for a craft brewery."
* ... LARRY: Ever wonder how folks from out of town end up in our community? I ran into Larry Reider, the affable former Kern County superintendent of schools, and he shared how, as a young college graduate, he ended up in Bakersfield in 1965. "I was at the (college) job placement office (in Washington) looking for a teaching gig and I knew I wanted to go to California. So I went down the list of cities in California alphabetically and Bakersfield was at the top of the list. There was a job in Arvin at an elementary school and I drove down sight unseen." Fifty years later, a building bears his name and Larry and wife Sandra are retired happily in the town they call home.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You may be a Bakersfield old timer if you spent "getting gold stars for reading a number of books while attending the summer reading program in the basement of the Baker Street Library."