Thursday, October 20, 2016

Step aside all you negative people, researchers show happy people really do have more fun ... plus a trip to Lakeside School and LGBTQ group shuns both mayoral candidates

 * ... LAKESIDE: Want to feel good about America and our country? Spend a few hours in one of our local classrooms and chances are you will come out impressed with the level of teaching and
surprised at how bright our kids are these days. I rarely set foot inside a school these days, but this week I spoke to Joseph Andreotti's AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) class at the Lakeside School. My thoughts: a committed teacher, promising and bright students and a supportive faculty and administration.

 * ... HAPPINESS: And here's something else that lifted my spirits: researchers say people who are genuinely happy, kind and sympathetic really do have more fun. That's good news in a world where narcissism and pettiness seem to rule the landscape in politics and entertainment. Said the Wall Street Journal: "Nice people, rejoice: Notwithstanding the prominent examples today in political and popular culture, the best available research still clearly shows that in everyday life the nice people, not the creeps, do the best at work, in love and in happiness."

* ... QUEER THE VOTE: So what do you think of the movement to write in "Queer the Vote" instead of voting for either Kyle Carter or Karen Goh as mayor? That's the recommendation of some folks in our local LGBTQ community who are unhappy with either candidate. Neither Carter nor Goh, they argue, has done enough to embrace the gay, lesbian and transgender community. To his credit, Carter has been up front about saying he would not participate in a gay pride parade for fear or angering some segment of the community. (Carter says he has gay friends but on this issue he will not get involved.) Goh has been consistent too in dodging the question and failing to return calls. This issue is hardly large enough to turn this election, but it's an interesting sideshow in this show we call the 2016 election campaign.

* ... FOODIE: If you like food that talks back to you, try the new spicy chicken sandwich at The Padre Hotel, part of its new menu that was rolled out recently.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Bad Hombre" is the name of the cologne I buy at the Dollar Store."

 * ... WATER TOWER: Remember the old water tower that was taken down at Bakersfield High School to make way for the renovation at Griffith Field? It's now at the Kern County Museum and a group of Driller supporters are looking for input on how to make it a star attraction there. There will be a meeting at 4:30 p.m. on November 2 to discuss this. For more information call Jami Anderson at (661) 633-0340.

 * ... GOOD FORM: And hats off to those ladies over at the Assistance League of Bakersfield who will be contributing books to the students at Stella Hills Elementary School this Saturday. Said Dona Chertok: "We are participating in the Make a Difference Day; on which thousands of volunteers will be giving back to their communities. On Oct. 22, volunteers from across the country will unite for Make A Difference Day, one of the largest annual single-days of service nationwide."

 * ... LIBRARIES: Those mini, roadside libraries about town are about to celebrate their fourth anniversary. Named after the late Wendy Wayne, an educator and inspiring community activist, there are now some 63 libraries in Kern County, according to Susan Reep. One of them, located in front of Bernadette Ferguson's house on C Street, was featured on a Times Square billboard as a finalist in a Black and Decker contest.

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