Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Looking for the most affordable place to retire? Who knew that Medellin, Colombia, would appear on the list, celebrating a new sushi place and getting ready for a huge music festival in town

 * ... RETIREMENT: Thinking about retirement and weary of high California taxes and housing costs? The AARP has a new list of the cheapest and best places to retire, and some of these may
surprise you. Austin, Tx., came in No. 1 but that's not surprise given that Texas is the top destination for folks leaving California. Then comes Tuscon, Az., followed by Medillin, Colombia, a locale best known as the hometown of the notorious (and thankfully dead) Pablo Escobar, formerly head of the Colombian drug cartel. Other cities listed included St. George, Utah, Savannah, Ga., St. Augustine, Fla., Bloomington, Ind., and Huntsville, Ala. (file photo of Medellin, Colombia)

* ... TRASH: This note from a man who recently moved back to Bakersfield pretty much speaks for me: "Bakersfield pride.... or perhaps a lack of it. This is what I see and think of as I drive down various streets, not only in Bakersfield but, in Kern County. I moved back recently after a 25 year absence and am appalled at the amount of litter lining our roads and highways. I can't remember EVER seeing a trashier town. What happened to Bakersfield pride? Did it go the way of the dinosaur? Does anyone still care?"

 * ... HART PARK: And there was no better example of this than at Hart Park after the Labor Day holiday. The park was strewn with trash from picnic revelers, begging the question: is it asking too much to bring a black trash bag and hauling home your garbage?

* ... FOODIE BEST BET: I finally got around to visiting Jin Sushi, the new eatery that opened a few weeks ago on 19th Street downtown. The interior is comfortable and the staff friendly, and the sushi could not have been fresher. The owners told me they are undergoing a "soft opening" while they train the staff and work out the kinks.

 * ....SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Jellyfish have survived here on earth for 650 million years without brains. Great news for stupid people."

 * ... MUSIC FEST: The 99 Music Fest, a celebration of Americana music that will showcase some nationally known acts on two stages, is just one month out and prices will soon be going up. Early-bird pricing (at $40 a ticket) ends next Monday when individual tickets jump to $45. The event is planned for noon to 6 p.m. at the CSUB amphi-theater. Among the acts include Sam Outlaw, whose band just performed on the CBS Saturday Morning show, Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry, Monty Byron, Truxton Mile, the Sheepdogs and others. Buy your tickets at www.99musicfest.com.

* ... KUDOS: Hats off to Ali Schroeter, a 2012 Bakersfield High graduate who is now a starting libero on the Rutgers University volleyball team. The Big Ten Conference recently recognized Schroeter not only for her skills on the court, but for her civic engagement off the court. She was cited for her work assisting the cleanup operations on Staten Island after Huricane Sandy. Schroeder is is fifth in the Big 10 Conference in digs and has a 3.9 grade point average going into her last semester in college.

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