Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame gets ready to open, and local Bako boys Derek Carr and Cody Kessler shine on the gridiron

* ... GUITAR MASTERS: It looks like former homebuilder Kyle Carter and wife Kim McAbee are drawing closer to opening their Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame. I am told the facility, located off Q and 23rd streets, will be a one-of-a-kind venue with over-the-top studios and electronics for shows and other private events. If you want to get a peek, plan on attending Rick Kreiser's Guitar Masters series that will feature the international duo Loren and Mark on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Said Kreiser on the new Hall of Fame: "Studio A will be an even better venue than it was, and with 250 comfy seats it is right in the sweep spot for attracting a lot of the wonderful talent we weren't able to accommodate in the past. On Dec. 29, Guitar Masters will present "Christmas with the Cranktones" as Carl Verheyen brings his band of legendary LA musicians to Studio A to help raise money for the Kern Country Cancer Fund. Carter purchased the old Bakersfield Sound Studio and has put his heart (and pocketbook) into creating this new addition to our community.

 * ... FOOTBALL: It was great to see two local Bakersfield products - Cody Kessler and Derek Carr - have good days on the gridiron this weekend. Kessler, who went to Centennial High, led the USC Trojans to a 40-21 victory over cross town rival UCLA, passing for two touchdowns and running for a third. Meanwhile Carr, who went to Bakersfield Christian and later Fresno State, led the Oakland Raiders to a come from behind 24-21 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

 * ... BAD FORM: A pox on whoever decided to leave a McDonald's bag, cups and trash next to the Bank of America drive-through teller on 17 Street downtown. Just how hard is it to find a trash bin anyway?

 * ... TRASH: And speaking of trash, the homeless encampments along the bike path between Beach Park and Manor Street have expanded significantly in recent months. But as one ranking officer at Bakersfield Police Department told me: "If we sweep them out, they head to the downtown neighborhoods and then we get complaints there. There is no easy solution."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When a woman says, 'Do whatever you want,' by NO means should you do whatever you want."

 * ... KUKA'S: It looks like Kuka's Folk Arts, the cheery little boutique located downtown, is closing after 10 years in business. Owner Ruth Darrington slashed prices for Small Business Saturday and those discounts will continue until the end of the year.

 * ... ACHIEVER: Congratulations to Kern County native Dr. Stephen Pandol, who recently received a Lifetime Achievement award at the American Pancreatic Association's annual meeting in San Diego.  Pandol, who grew up in Delano and is the son of Winnie and the late farming giant Jack Pandol, is the Director of Basic and Translational Pancreas Research in the Gastroenterology Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Pandol, a gastroenterologist, is a noted expert in pancreatic cellular physiology and mechanism of the disease.

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