* ... ELECTION: Did you realize the November general election is just two months away? Forget Trump and Clinton for a minute and focus locally, where there are plenty of lively races (and tax hiking propositions) on the ballot. I am intrigued by the contest to replace Harvey Hall as mayor, a largely ceremonial job that has come down to a runoff between two strong candidates: former home builder Kyle Carter and non-profit CEO Karen Goh. Yet, even at this late date, the personal stories of Goh and Carter remain somewhat a mystery. So this Friday I will be chatting with both of them when I fill in as host of the Ralph Bailey show on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM. Goh will come on at 4 p.m. and Carter at 5 p.m. Tune in, and call in with your questions.
* ... KAEPERNICK: What did you think of the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick not to stand during the playing of the national anthem as a way to protest racism? Judging by the reactions on social media, Kaepernick's stunt backfired turned into a black eye for the franchise, which enjoys a large and loyal following in Kern County. I had to chuckle when one of my friends, Pam Gleim Binns, took to Facebook to post a video of her burning Kaepernick's No. 7 jersey in the backyard of her Bakersfield home.
* ... SEQUOIA: The downtown location of Sequoia Sandwich Co. is about to undergo a major expansion. That's the word from Jeff Simpson, one of the owners who told me the popular deli has taken over the space to the east (once home to Moseley Design) where a new central kitchen will be housed along with a whole new series of "to go" items, including salads, sandwiches and desserts. Simpson hopes the new "to go" counter relieves some of the stress from the restaurant next door, which enjoys a huge weekday crowd thanks to jurors and bailiffs from the nearby courthouse.
* ... MEMORIES: From Karene Williams comes this memory of an old market in east Bakersfield. "Way back in the 1950s and 1960s there was a little local market owned by the Fraley family. I believe it was actually named Fraley’s Market. I do not recall the exact location but his home was on Monterey just east of Baker."
* ... MORE MEMORIES: And finally, Becky Whitehead wrote to answer another reader's question about the whistle at the old Santa Fe rail yard. "The whistle in the Santa Fe yard blew at noon for the workers to go to 'beans' and at 12:20 p.m. to return to work. It blew again at 3 p.m. to signal end of shift. I grew up on California Avenue across from the railroad."