Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bernie Sanders takes on fracking in California, ties it to groundwater contamination, prompting backlash from the energy sector

 * ... FRACKING: Bernie Sanders is seriously obsessed with fossil fuels and hydraulic fracturing, and while campaigning in Delano he again linked fracking to water contamination, a charge that has been debunked at both the state and federal level. All this triggered this response from retired oil executive Lynn Blystone: "I doubt that neither Bernie
Sanders nor his audience listening to Mr. Sanders criticize fracking were aware that the largest single stage frack west of the Rockies was performed without incident in 2005 beside where they were standing at the 'Forty Acres' in Delano on the Sunrise-Mayel gas well (1.3 million pounds of sand) and the deepest frack west of the Rockies (18,500 feet) was performed in 2005 without incident on the Ekho No. 1 oil well without incident just a few miles west." Thanks Lynn, but remember this is the political season and politicos feel they have a license to ignore the facts.

 * ... CSUB GRADUATION: Good news out at Cal State Bakersfield, where the university will hand diplomas to the largest graduation class in history, some 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

 * ... CALIFORNIA PRIMARY: A local voter is commenting on all the robo calls and political advertising before next week's California primary: "I voted absentee two weeks ago as did most of my friends. All this last minute advertising is just wasted money."

 * ... GUN CONTROL: The California legislature is rushing through a new series of gun control laws, believing that new restrictions on law abiding citizens will somehow have a beneficial effect. One of the best challenges to this came in an opinion piece in the East Bay Times, which read in part: "Changing a culture of violence does not begin with weapons and it certainly does not begin with wholesale suppression of civil rights. It begins with understanding the source of violence and treating the disease, not the symptoms -- were guns a source of violence, then nobody would walk out of a gun show alive. Instead, violence is seeded within subcultures. In America, it is uniquely tied to inner-city cultures that support and even praise violence as a means to petty ends. Changing violent cultures has to be an evolution and no legislation will cause this to happen."

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m beginning to believe that successful relationships come down to Netflix compatibility."

 * ... MORE TWITTER: "Don’t refer to them as voices in your head. Do as the professionals and call them your ‘team of writers.’"

* ... LORRIE MURPHY shared this warm experience when she and a friend walked their dogs to the Park and RiverWalk for the lowering of the flags on Memorial Day weekend. "It was a beautiful ceremony with the circle of flags reflected in the lake as the sun went down and a light breeze was blowing to keep the flags standing out straigh.  But what impressed us the most was the families that were out with their children. Not a cell phone or electronic device is sight! Children laughing, riding their bikes, skate boards and roller skates  Little children laughing at the joy of kisses from dogs.  Families taking pictures with the flags in the background.  People looking you straight in the eye when stopped and talked to you. Made you proud to be an Americian and especially from Bakersfield. You just knew that no matter what the news said everything was going to be OK."

 * ... ANIMAL SHELTER: And finally there was this from Annette Lindquist: "I thought you might like to hear a feel good Memorial Day story. The Kern County Animal Shelter and Bakersfield Republican Women teamed up for Animals for Armed Services and Pets for Vets. Within three hours eight dogs and one cat went to a loving vet's home with a new bed, dish, food, toy, treats, collar, leash and an application from The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry to receive complimentary food each month.  Several times we were brought to tears as we watched an abandoned dog select its new owner with a "paw hug" around the neck and wet kisses on the face. It was a win-win situation, for sure. We were honored to be a part of such an incredible event for our military and stray animal population."

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It is a walk down memory lane for Bakersfield old-timers remembering an ice cream shop, when Union Avenue was the old Highway 99, and life was safer and simpler

* ... MEMORIES: Last Friday I posted a query from my friend Susan Reep about an Carnation ice cream parlor that once served weary travelers on the old Highway 99 (Union Avenue) through
town. No fewer than 72 of you (last count) emailed me (two people even called Realtor Mary Christenson, this blog's sponsor) to share your memories, a response that speaks to the affection so many of us feel about growing up when Bakersfield was a much quieter place. With apologies to the dozens of folks I could not quote, let's hear from the readers:

* ... BOBBI WOMACK said the Carnation ice cream plant was located on the northwest corner of Second Street and Union Avenue. "My brother, Robbie Hackett, scooped ice cream there and was then promoted to cook when he was only old enough to ride his bike to and from work. That would be the late 1950s. He would call me to tell me to get my spoon ready, he was on his bike bringing home five gallons of creme de menthe ice cream! What a  treat!"

* ...SUSAN FRYE SEAMAN noted "the shop was owned by Joe and Martha Mooney who later opened Farmer Johns Pancake House, and many others. My mother, Opal Moles Frye, met my father Lewis Frye while working there. Lewis worked for the Carnation dairy after the war. "

 * ... RICK ISLE said he "grew up at 128 T Street, in the 'Carnation tract' that ran from Brundage Lane to 4th Street with T street on the west and Union on the east. The milk plant featured a restaurant and that featured ice cream that I believe was made on premises. It had a counter and booths with each having individual stations where you could select offerings from the Juke box."

 * ... HOLLY LAZZERINA remembers growing up in Los Angeles and stopping at the Carnation store when her family was on the way to Yosemite or Sequoia every summer. "Driving tree lined 99 in August 100 degrees... Carnation ice cream, YUM! When we moved here 40 years ago I was really disappointed the ice cream parlor was gone."

 * ... RHONDA BRADY of Tehachapi also recalled that "along that strip of Union Avenue was Maison Jaussaud, (where I saw Carol Channing) The Plunge (where we spent summer days) The Hacienda Hotel,(where my sister worked) , Motor Truck Sales and Service (where my father worked) lots of thriving businesses."

 * ... JAMIE HENDERSON said he was "an elementary school kid in the late 1950s and my mother worked at the Saddle and Sirloin restaurant at First and Union (the circular building is still there and is now a ministry outreach facility). The Saddle and Sirloin was an upscale steak house frequented by many of the local television media (Burleigh Smith, Harry Mitchell, George Day). At Second and Union was the Carnation Ice Cream Plant - the warehouse stuff in the back and the Carnation ice cream shop right on Union. I remember it was very clean, had those great ice cream shop aromas - it was very popular, and a great place to go for your favorite ice cream. The building most recently was CLS Imports I believe. I have fond memories of my dad taking my sister and I by the Saddle and Sirloin to see my mom and then popping into Carnation for some ice cream. The Saddle and Sirloin closed in the sixties and the building became a Basque restaurant for a while."

* ...  JOHN PRYOR remembers it as "a large bulk ice cream production plant for Carnation, as I recall, with a very attractive, clean, spacious, high ceiling, and well-lighted retail outlet facing Union Avenue. I think their color scheme was predominantly red and white. At that time, Union Avenue was part of Highway 99 - and why the Tomerlin family built The Motel nearby - and coined the word 'motel' from 'motor hotel.' (it became the Bakersfield Inn later as they overlooked their opportunity to copyright that name and it quickly became part of the public domain.  But that's another story.) So it was logical that someone from Hollywood driving through Bakersfield en route north would stop at Carnation for a treat. And then Highway 99 was re-routed. Carnation, the Bakersfield Inn and other tourist-related businesses on Union Avenue began to disappear."

 * ... MARLENE HAWS said back in 1955 or 1956, the Carnation plant  was a meeting point for several Marines traveling back to Camp Pendelton on Sunday evenings. "We were young, newly married, I would drop my husband Ronald Harr off around 9 p.m. A Sgt. Martinez, coming from Northern California, would pick up the local boys. Ron has been gone since 2006, but the memories remain."

   * ... BURT ARMSTRONG recalled "a typical Sunday for our family, mom, dad, two younger sisters and me was First Presbyterian Church early 9:30 a.m. service, followed by early lunch at Carnation (of course with malts or a cone), so we could continue on to the Fox Theater for a double feature starting at 1 p.m. It was a colorful place, light and cheery, but you needed to arrive early to get a seat. In this 1940s and 1950s time frame, it had considerable clientele, as Highway 99 had not yet been built, and Golden State Avenue was the 99 main highway, anchored by the Bakersfield Inn, the largest motel in America.”

 * ... AND FINALLY, there was this note from my friend Darlyn Baker: "Good morning Richard.  You'll be able to answer your Memories question Susan Reep asked in your column today.  It sparked my curiosity so thanks to Google I found the following at on Tuesday August 9, 2011, you thanked Rhonda MacGillivray-Brady of Tehachapi for letting you know of her fond memory of the Carnation ice cream plant and parlor on S. Union where she enjoyed an ice cream cone and her Mom liked the hot fudge sundae. That location makes sense since that would have been the main route between southern and northern California. Thanks for spurring our curiosity about bygone days."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day in Bakersfield, Monsignor Craig Harrison readies for a 10-day fast in an Italian cave, and the end of an era on local television

 * ... MEMORIAL DAY: Did you know Memorial Day was initiated to honor those in the Union and Confederate armies that died during our Civil War? Originally called Decoration Day, it was first
celebrated on May 30, 1868. On this Memorial Day, I took time to remember Harold Swysgood, a young infantryman who died in the battle of Anzio in January 1944. He was 20 years old when he died in Italy. His younger sister back in the tiny hamlet of Saint Marys, Ohio, was my mother.

 * ... FATHER CRAIG: I had a chance to catch up with Monsignor Craig Harrison at a dinner party this weekend, and he shared that he is headed to Italy next month for his annual pilgrimage to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan religious order. This will be Harrison's 44th trip to Assisi, where he spends 10 days alone in a dark cave (no bathroom, no electricity, just a notepad, one candle - it has to last 10 days - and the barest of meals that show up at the cave entrance). "I don't see anybody for 10 days, nobody," he told me. "It's a time of reflection and you find yourself talking to butterflies and birds." Harrison called it a "Franciscan cleanse" and it is something he looks forward to every year. Curiously, I find the whole concept appealing.

* ... END OF AN ERA: When Jackie Parks left KERO TV after 27 years in Bakersfield, it truly seemed to mark and end of an era when local anchors stayed on and embraced this community as their home. Within an hour of her last newscast last Friday, Parks joined fellow former anchors Lisa Kimble Edmonston (KGET, KERO) and Robin Mangarin Scott (KERO, KGET) at the home of former KBAK reporter and marketing director Don Martin to share stores and toast the future. Parks is headed to Maryland to join husband Todd Karli at a local affiliate.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Whenever I start to hate my job I think about the camera crew who has to follow the Kardashian’s 24/7."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: Friend at Memorial Day BBQ: I see you wasted no time with the white pants. Me: These are my legs.

 * ...MEMORIES: My friend Susan Reep submitted this tidbit to see if it would spark any memories: "I have lunch quarterly with a group of Hollywood High alums, and one said her family used to stop for ice cream long ago in Bakersfield on their way up the valley. She thinks it was Carnation. Does anyone remember a Carnation ice cream shop or plant? By long ago I mean 60 years or thereabouts."