Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Remembering Ray Dezember, and what does proper etiquette look like on social media when the world is in chaos?

 * ... RAY DEZEMBER: I attended the memorial service for Ray Dezember at St. John's Lutheran
Church the other day, and the best line of the service came from his son in law who speculated on Ray's reaction on entering heaven: "I knew it! It looks just like Bakersfield!"

 * ... SOCIAL MEDIA: I am no expert on social media etiquette, and it is easy to take things out of context, but on a day when Islamic terrorists kill scores in Brussels it seems inappropriate to ask for prayers on Facebook because you are remodeling your kitchen.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m gonna have to get new pets, I’m running out of passwords."

 * ... BAD FORM: At the downtown Sequoia Sandwich Shop during a crowded lunch, two men leave their table full of soiled napkins, sandwich baskets, crumbs and cups. Is it asking too much of folks to police their eating area so they next people can sit down to a clean table?

 * .,.. CSU BAKERSFIELD: Local Realtor Michael Richert was at Disneyland when CSU Bakersfield battled Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Said Richert: "With my family at Disneyland, I found The ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney had the game on and the place full of NCAA March Madness Fans! It was fun to represent, (Yep, I was the only one there from Bakersfield). It was pretty cool being the only person clapping in a room that had 400 people sitting and eating and drinking. My only question was why did the team need to fly back so soon and then I remembered where they were. Why stay? Proud of Bakersfield!"

 * ... GOOD FORM: This community is full of folks who come together to make this a better place to live, and among them are the neighbors of the South Oswell Neighborhood organization, which recently removed their 1,000th piece of graffiti. Said David Collins: "Hopefully our volunteers can be an encouragement to other areas of Bakersfield and Kern County. Our lifetime cleanup totals are as follows: 1,219.6 volunteer hours, 1,098.90 bags of litter picked up, 274 'flash' cleanups, 1,000 pieces of graffiti removed, 2,232 e-alerts and notices, 20 major cleanups and 340 weeks of cleanup coverage.‎"

 * ... MORE GOOD FORM:  And there was this from Beverly Hayden: "Last Wednesday a group of friends and myself enjoyed a very good lunch at the Broken Yolk Restaurant. We get together once a month, our connection is that we are either past or current volunteers at The Guild House. There were six of us and as we were getting ready to pay for our lunch the gentleman sitting across from us said he wanted to buy our lunch for us. We protested because there were so many of us. This sweet man insisted and we thanked him for his kind gesture. We did not get his name. His act of kindness made the rest of the day brighter."

 * ... WOMAN'S CLUB: Congratulations to the Woman's Club of Bakersfield that is celebrating its 120th anniversary next week. The club was incorporate in 1896, helped fund and promote the first library in Kern County and was involved in women's suffrage and saving the Beale Clock Tower.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Holy Week is upon us, the generosity of Jim and Beverly Camp and another successful Cioppino Feed by West Rotary

 * ... HOLY WEEK: Holy Week is upon us, and it seems a relevant time to thank our blessings and the recognize the good around us. Let's start today with some good news:

 * ... 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."

 * ... CIOPPINO FEED: West Rotary did it again, putting on a Cioppino Feed to a several hundred clam and fish stew loving folks at Monsignor Leddy Hall up at Garces Memorial High School Saturday night. The club and its foundation raise upwards of $150,000 every year and promptly find ways to donate the money to deserving local charities.

* ... 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."

House Majority Leader McCarthy expresses CSUB pride over CSU Bakersfield's appearance in the NCAA Tournament

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill:

" Big effort by our Runners. We went dancing.
 "This afternoon I had the joy the attend the CSUB vs. Oklahoma first round NCAA Men’s basketball tournament game. Ever since that thrilling buzzer-beater to win the WAC championship, our community was brimming with excitement and pride. And when the brackets were posted and family pools printed, you couldn’t help but think, are we this year’s Cinderella?
 "There have only been a handful of 15 seeds that have beaten a 2 seed. But why not us?!
 "On paper this prospect likely seemed as too great a mismatch. But if your from our community you know there is always more than meets the eye – primarily, our heart.
 "That heart full of resilience was on display in Oklahoma City this afternoon. After the hot start, Oklahoma showed why they are a top seed. But each time CSUB was on the ropes, they fought back and put the game in striking distance. No matter how hard the Sooners tried, they just couldn’t shake our Roadrunners.
 "As I watched from the stands during the final seconds I was overcome with pride. I was proud to be one of the many blue-shirted CSUB fans in the arena. I was proud to be a CSUB alumni. And I was proud of our team and our coaches for the poise they showed in front of the entire country.
 "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.