* ... CRIME: There has been another burst in criminal activity in the Oleander and Westchester areas. Two homes downtown were burglarized in the past two weeks, and both of the break ins happened between noon at 3 p.m. located on alleyways. Similar break ins are reported in Oleander while a rash of car thefts has been reported in the Northwest neighborhoods. We are headed into the holiday season so turn on that alarm and join a neighborhood watch.
* ... SMALL WORLD: Jeff Pickering, who ran the Kern Community Foundation before leaving to take a similar job in Florida, sent me this note the other day: "Retired Col. Martin Zickert was in today discussing the work of our local veteran's council. During conversation he shared a story of his time in early 1990s as a commanding officer at Edwards AFB. He was adopting his wife's 12 year old daughter and rather than hiring a lawyer, drove the back and forth ride to Bakersfield over several months to complete the process at the Kern County courthouse himself. 'Some of the nicest people I've ever met,' he said. Small world."
* ... STARS: Kudos to the Stars Music Theater downtown and its attractive new outdoor dining and seating area covered by a beautiful new shade awning. The project at 20th Street and Chester Avenue was made possible by a grant from The Bakersfield Californian (family) Foundation.
* ... SPOTTED TWITTER: "I would like to give thanks to the brave men and women who died a long time ago tasting which plants were edible and which plants were not."
* ... TRASH: Randy Dickow recently hiked a 140-mile segment of the Camino de Santiago trail from southern France to Pamplona, Spain (how fun does that sound?) and he had this observation. "Litter, it is beneath us. Along with retired Superior Court Judge Jon Stuebbe and another friend from the coast we just hiked" the 140 miles and "it quickly became very obvious that litter is not a problem over there. I saw a total of three pieces of litter during the entire adventure. This path is not some little used trail in the wilderness, but goes though hamlets, villages and cities. Over 250,000 people use it every year. Just sayin', 140 miles and no litter. I can't walk 14 feet here without seeing lots of trash.
* ... ACHIEVER: It was nice to see the photo of a smiling Rachel Goldner on the front of Fordham University's website the other day. The daughter of local attorney Barry Goldner and county counsel Teresa Goldner, Rachel graduated from Fordham University last year and is now working in Manhattan.