Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Craft Tap House opens to ride the wave of popularities for craft beers, the food truck trend (belatedly) comes to Bakersfield and a big night planned for the Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame

 * ... CRAFT BEER: The Craft Tap House, a new business devoted to the popularity of craft beers, opens Friday in the old Garden Spot at the corner of Oak and Truxtun. Owned by David Dobbs (Imbibe Wine and Spirits) and several investors, this tap house is almost certain to be a huge hit
among the legions of folks who crave specialty beers. There are more than 50 taps for craft beers and a full kitchen that turns out speciality burgers and other bar food. (A full bar is in the future) Located across from the high end Valentien, you can bet this will be a popular venue.

 * ... FOOD TRUCKS: I hope cooler heads prevail over this issue of food trucks on the streets of Bakersfield. The idea by some established restaurants that these trucks pose a threat to their business is nonsense, and it reminds me of the time some local restaurateurs opposed the idea of The Padre Hotel being renovated, fearing it would suck all the life out of downtown eateries. As for the Downtown Business Association, let's hope it wholeheartedly supports these new businesses and the excitement they bring to downtown. The truth is: a rising tide lifts all boats, as long as everyone is operating within the law, which at this point everyone is. And if you doubt these businesses don't add to the flavor of their community, visit Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Austin and other cities where food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants operate happily side by side.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "The only thing worse than 'the one who got away' is 'the one who won’t go away.'”

 * ... BOB ELIAS: The Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame is celebrating its 50th year in grand style this month, honoring the 210 people who have been inducted since the organization was formed. Organizers say 115 of the 210 inductees are still alive, and 77 of them have indicated they will attend the banquet and awards ceremony at Rabobank Convention Center. The ceremony is planned for Thursday, February 25, starting with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at Rabobank or at Raymond's Trophy. Among those confirmed for the event is former tennis great Dennis Ralston.

 * ... MORE BOB ELIAS: And if you ever doubted the quality of the folks who contribute to sports in Kern County, check out some of the past inductees into the Hall of Fame: Ken Ruettgers, Hank Pfister Jr.,  Roger Mears, Carl Bowser, Pat Douglass, Gloria Friedman, Kevin Harvick, Joey Porter, Gabe Woodward, Jerry Quarry, Frank Gifford, George Culver, Rick Mears, Lonnie Shelton, Jeff Buckey, Bob Hampton and so many more.

 * ... SUPER BOWL: Carla Pearson is a victims advocate for the local chapter of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and she had this to say about an earlier blog post: "In response to reader Ruth Fee, who wrote about Peyton Manning and his plug of Budweiser, MADD Kern County was certainly paying attention. While we’re not against people celebrating with an alcoholic beverage, we are certainly against underage drinking, and adamantly against those of any age drinking and driving. We were also happy to see Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Helen Mirren (#GiveADamn), who called those who drink and drive 'oxygen-wasting human form of pollution... selfish coward,' and other truths."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cal State Bakersfield enrollment hits 8,400, United drops service to Houston and Father Bert Mello takes over as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

 * ... CSUB: Some factoids from CSUB President Horace Mitchell's annual report on the state of
the university: Total enrollment stands at 8,371; females comprise 61 percent of the student body; 80 percent of the students are under the age of 25; 50 percent are Hispanic, 23 percent white, 7 percent African American and 7 percent Asian. The most popular major is business administration (14.5 percent) followed by psychology (8.7 percent), interdisciplinary studies (7 percent), criminal justice (7.5 percent), biology (6.3 percent) and pre-nursing (6.1 percent.)

 * ... UNITED: The decision by United Air Lines to discontinue service to Houston cuts off the preferred route to the Southeastern United States. It's yet another effect of the plunge in the price of oil, and no doubt there is more to come. Talk to anyone in the oil industry, and they will tell you they live in fear of the next layoffs.

 * ... BAD FORM: A woman is driving an older Honda on Columbus Street with what appears to be a grandson sitting on her lap hanging out the driver's side window while she casually smokes.

 * ... SUPER BOWL: Ruth Fee didn't care for Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning plugging Budweiser in his victory interview. Said Fee: "I hope MADD was paying attention... What a message to young people. Athletes used to be icons to whom young people were supposed to look up to. Not any more. The bottom line - shame on Budweiser! (Don't like beer but I love those high-stepping, gorgeous Clydesdales.)"

* ... PATIO DINING: In my recent post on patio dining, Kitty Jo Nelson reminded me that the Village Grill offers some of the best alfresco experiences in town. "Food is great and the staff is pleasant... and plenty of parking," she said.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "One thing that I have never had in the glove box of my car, is a pair of gloves."

* ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "You trust me holding your child? Do you know how many iPhone screens I’ve cracked?"

 * ... PASTOR: Our Lady of Perpetual Help has a new pastor, and he has quite the life story to share. His name is Father Bert Mello, and in an interview with KGET TV, he concedes he has "lived a pretty decrepit life." Mello says he once smoked three packs a day, was a beer salesman and fell away from the church. "You know," he told the station, "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll was the reality of my lifestyle." Father Bert was ordained in 2001 at St. John's Cathedral in Fresno.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bakersfield experiences a rash of home burglaries, car thefts and break-ins, the hills green up thanks to the rains and another Super Bowl goes into the books

 * ... SUPER BOWL: Super Bowl 50 is over, and I am always amazed at what a popular spectacle it is no matter where you live. Some fun facts on the big day: it is the biggest eating day of the year
behind Thanksgiving; 6 percent of the people who watch it will call in sick the next day; the average number of people at a Super Bowl party is 17; 13 billion wings are consumed during the game; 11.2 million pounds of potato chips are eaten; 139 million pounds of avocado are eaten; beer sales increase by almost $18 million leading up to the game; and the Super Bowl is the biggest day for pizza delivery all year.

 * ... SUPER BOWL 1: But it wasn't always that way. Super Bowl 1 featured the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs, and though it was recorded, the original tapes are missing. The Packers won 35-10 and the rest, as they say, is history.

 * ... CRIME: There is no neighborhood in town that is immune from crime, no matter how high your walls or how many gates you live behind. And when it hits close to your own home, it certainly gets your attention. In the last week, a friend who lives in a gated Seven Oaks neighborhood has his car broken into. Another friend, who lives in Oleander, was awakened at 2 a.m. by someone trying to smash through a front door. And on Friday, a neighbor's house was burglarized in broad daylight and the house was cleaned out of jewelry, passports, guns and cash. In this case, the intruders used a propane tank to smash through a side patio door, make their way upstairs and cleaned the place out. It happened sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. The family alarm, which doesn't guarantee safety by any means but serves as somewhat of a deterrent, was not on.

 * ... HIKES: If you are into vigorous hikes, get out into hills quickly. Thanks to the El Nino triggered rains, the hills have turned a beautiful green as we head toward spring. If you don't want to drive out to Wind Wolves Preserve off Highway 166, head out to Hart Park and walk to your heart is content.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "A best friend rides in your car no matter how many times you almost killed her."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Imagine being the sort of person who knows what every button on a TV remote does."

 * ... CATHOLIC SCHOOLS: Last week was Catholic Schools Week, a time when folks over at places like the Saint Francis Parish School take the time to say thank you for people who have supported their cause. If you were one of those, chances are you found a box of homemade cookies and brownies on your doorstep accompanied by a very sweet note. Talk about making one's day.

* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You may be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember the name of the movie-theater owning mayor: Manuel Carnakis.