* ... JIM CAMP: Communities are enriched in many ways, through civic engagement, wise and sober political leadership, volunteerism and charity. We all can contribute and we all can make a difference, and when we do, those who come after us will inherit a better world. Jim and Beverly Camp are among those who exhibit this spirit of engagement and generosity, and last week they donated $1 million to Memorial Hospital to help fund an eight-bed unit for the new Grossman Burn Center. Camp, owner of S.A. Camp Co., recalled the humble origins of his family and the guiding principle of giving back that has been handed down from his parents and grand parents.
* ... CSU BAKERSFIELD: How fun was it to watch CSU Bakersfield fare so well in the NCAA Tournament? They performed admirably in their loss to Oklahoma, but performing on a national stage in front of a huge audience only elevated the team, the campus and our community. Hats off to Coach Rod Barnes and his Roadrunners for a memorable year. CSUB alum Rep. Kevin McCarthy was at the game and had this to say: "March madness is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. While the team that cuts down the nets will likely be a national college basketball powerhouse, the tournament exposes smaller schools to millions of fans. And today, millions of fans saw a CSUB program on the rise. And like countless examples in our community, they did it with heart. That is more than enough reason to celebrate."
* ... TRASH: It was good to see city work crews cleaning up literally mountains of old clothes, trash, abandoned shopping carts and debris out of the dry Kern River bed that has become home to homeless encampments. It's a dirty, but necessary task that happens a few times a year along the bike trail and the river bed. Homeless camps, once confined to the area near Manor Street, now extend all the way west to CSU Bakersfield.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If you want to be remembered after you die, borrow money from everyone you know."
* ... GRIFFITH FIELD: Lisa Krch, communications director over at the Kern High School District, corrected me on the renovation of Griffith Field by saying the plan to install artificial turf changed last year with the State Senate passed a bill banning artificial turns until studies on potential health risks are completed. "While it was part of the original stadium project, the Kern High School District has changed plans for the project to now include a sod play field," she said. "The project also includes infrastructure (e.g. curbing, irrigation, etc.) to accommodate an artificial turf field should artificial turf fields become a viable option in the future."