Thursday, May 26, 2016

KERO TV anchor Jackie Parks leaves Bakersfield after 27 years, Kyle Carter addresses the gay question and celebrating those kids going on to college

 * ... PARKS: The Bakersfield television market has long been used as a stepping stone for local anchors and reporters to get some experience and trade it in for a better job elsewhere. They move in and out of the market so quickly that sometimes it's hard to put a face with a local network. But
occasionally some TV talent finds a reason to stick around, to raise a family and enjoy what our town has to offer, and one of them is Jackie Parks, the longtime KERO TV anchor whose last day is today. After 27 years here, she is leaving for Maryland to join husband Todd Karli at a local station. Parks is a class act, smart, sensitive and humble, and she will be missed. Good luck, Jackie.

 * ... CARTER: You have to give Kyle Carter credit for transparency. Unlike other mayoral candidates who have dodged the question, the former homebuilder chose to address the question of participating in a gay pride parade head on. Said Carter: "As mayor, would I march in a LGBTQ parade? I believe it would be unwise for a mayor to try to represent every event that the people of Bakersfield can possibly host. For a mayor to stand for everything would automatically cause him to stand against something else. As mayor I think my time and efforts should be spent to promote job growth and education and also work on our transportation and water issues, while providing support for fighting crime and solving homelessness. And then celebrate those things."

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "All I’m saying is you don’t see many neck tattoos on Jeopardy."

 * ... OVERHEARD: From a reader: "An Aul-Dailian with bulls extremities hanging from his truck trailer hitch engages a Toyota driving bearded fellow who has 'SF' on his bumper. 'It’s bay area weenies like you that have ruined our country!' The un-assuming bearded man responds…'Actually, SF is for the ten years that I spent in Special Forces.' OOPS!"

 * ... FLAGS: If you are out and about this weekend, make sure you swing by the Park at RiverWalk which will be adorned with a thousand American flags. This popular Breakfast Rotary project is visually stunning, and worth a trip to recognize Memorial Day and all the sacrifices made for our country.

 * ... LIBERTY HIGH: Liberty High School is well known for producing outstanding athletes, but who knew it was also a feeder for Division 1 cheer and dance team members? Proud Liberty parent Basconcillo passed along where some of the young Liberty women have gone: Kennedy Poe, class of 2012, Cal Poly, SLO Mustangs Cheer; Lauren Fringer, class of 2012, Boise St. Broncos Dance Team; Paige Basconcillo, class of 2013, Cal Bears Dance Team; Annalee Fanucchi, class of 2015, Fresno State Bulldogs Dance Team; Amy Cox, class of 2015, Long Beach State 49rs Dance Team; Chandler Basconcillo, class of 2016, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Dance Team.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Jack Kelley submits this tidbit from the way back machine: "You may be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember when there wasn’t a Christmas Tree Lane, and not a Foothill High School either. LOL."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lourdes Nilon joins the Cal State Bakersfield university advancement team, Amtrak offers some killer deals on trips and what we all learned from the drought

 * ... GRADS: Hats off to all the high school seniors who are about to graduate and set off into the world as young adults. From Liberty to Golden Valley to South to BHS, there are awards ceremonies,
hugs, plenty of tears and rooms full of hope and dreams. I salute them all and I know that wherever the road leads, they will take a piece of Bakersfield with them.

* ... NILON: Lourdes Nilon has joined Cal State Bakersfield as director of corporate and foundations relations, the latest appointment as the university tries to rebuild its fund raising arm. Nilon comes to CSUB from the Children's Miracle Network at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, where she also raised money for important projects. CSUB's University Advancement Division (fund raising) has been in turmoil the past several years following the departures of two vice presidents (first Beverly Byl and later David Melendez) whose tenures were underwhelming. The division is now under the direction of interim vice president Victor Martin, who likely will be promoted later this year into the full-time slot. Nilon is married to John Nilon, the county chief administrative officer, who recently was named to the CSU board of trustees as an Alumni Trustee.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "The fact there’s a highway to hell and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers."

 * ... OVERHEARD: Spotted this on Facebook: "Overheard behind me in the jetway mere seconds after we deplane: 'I'm more excited for the cigarette than New York.'"

* ... DROUGHT: The El Nino winter has given us some breathing room from the long drought, but officials warn the mandatory state reductions in consumption could return if we have a dry winter. That said, it is encouraging that most folks I know have braced conserving water, whether it be installing drought tolerant landscaping or taking shorter showers.

 * ... AMTRAK: The folks who run Amtrak are reaching out to the public offering some deep discounts in a bid to get more people riding the rails. Among the offerings is a "Friends and Family" promotion that will allow riders to save 50 percent off the full ticket fare on up to five companion fares after the purchase of one full fare ticket. There are other incentives too, and they are worth checking out at

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Tim Hanlin says you make by a Bakersfield old timer if "you caught the bus at Boise Street and Christmas Tree Lane to go to Foothill High School."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

When politicians veer off their well rehearsed scripts, interesting things happen. So is gender preference (gay, lesbian, transgender) becoming an issue in the Bakersfield mayor's race?

 * ... POLITICS: Funny what happens when politicians veer off their well scripted stump speeches. It happened last week when 16 of the candidates running for mayor attended a debate at Cal State Bakersfield. While fielding questions from the audience, they were asked if, as mayor, they would attend a gay/lesbian pride parade. First, this seems an odd question to me. Hasn't the question of gay rights been put to rest? Remember the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village? That was 1969 for
goodness sake, 47 years ago. And look around our community. Some of the most respected business people and scholars in town are gay or lesbian. But the truth is always in the details. So hats off to candidates T.J. Esposito and Gilberto De La Torre who answered a firm "yes," with Esposito eloquently noting that the mayor serves everyone, not select communities or religions. More surprising was the garbled, non response from presumed front runner Karen Goh, CEO of Garden Pathways and a former county supervisor. After serving up some platitudes about loving each other, she dodged the question. I followed up with Goh by text and she asked if this was on or off the record and, having been told this was for the record, she offered no real response. In fairness, I contacted the other presumed front runner, former homebuilder Kyle Carter, and posed the same question to him. (Full disclosure: Carter is a neighbor and I consider him a friend) Like Goh, Carter declined to address the question. So what's next? Perhaps we should ask all 25 mayoral candidates to check the boxes of the parades they would, and would not, attend while serving as mayor. Start with the Christmas parade and then move on to parades and events hosted by the Sikhs, Punjabis, Muslims (need we differentiate between Shia and Sunni?), Scots, native Americans, atheists, Deists, Jews, Basque, Greeks, dog lovers etc. You get the picture. If it's an election cycle, we are certain to be in the silly season. (file photos of Goh, Carter and Esposito)

 * ... JOHNSON: And speaking of politics, I cannot recommend highly enough the HBO special on Lyndon Johnson called "All The Way" starring Brian Cranston of "Breaking Bad" fame. It is an honest, unflinching examination of the complex man that Johnson was during the fight for the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

 * ... GUN SALES: There's nothing like the California legislature to do its part of boost gun and ammunition sales. In the wake of the state Senate passing an array (11 in all) of bills putting new restrictions on gun and ammo sales, local gun dealers are reporting a boom in business. Among the proposed restrictions: one would restrict lending a weapon to only immediate family members. Really? What if you are hunting and you simply want to try a friend's shotgun? Yet another bill would go further in restricting ammo magazines that was be loaded quickly. The irony, of course, is these bills are aimed at the very people who obey the law, keep their weapons stored in safes and are no threat to the public. And so it goes.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Much like a dog, men will pretty much do anything you want if you feed them first."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Marriage allows you to annoy one special person the rest of your life."

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: From a reader: You may be a Bakersfield old timer if you caught the bus at 'The Orange Tower' on Niles Street to go to Bakersfield High School.