Thursday, November 3, 2016

The demise of the "mainstream media," good news for the old Silver Fox and Karen Goh comes in for some criticism

 * ... ELECTION: One of the biggest losers in this election cycle is the mainstream media, however you choose to define it. Thanks to the internet and more sharply social media, this is a world where
everyone is a publisher, further eroding whatever influence and credibility the so-called "mainstream" media (traditional gatekeepers like network and cable television, local TV, newspapers etc) has enjoyed over the years. Increasingly, bloggers and activists who are savvy in social media and new distribution methods are the ones holding the influence in today's elections. It's up to us, the voters, to sift through the tsunami of lies and half truths that often pass as "news" these days.

 * ... SALVAGGIO: A good example of this trend is former city councilman Mark Salvaggio, who occasionally takes to the internet to share his political views. His latest: a stinging criticism of mayoral candidate Karen Goh whom he describes as deceptive and calculating. Said Salvaggio: "What do Emilio Huerta, Vince Fong, Tiffany Organ-Bowles, Cory Woodward, Kay Meek, Kyle Carter, and all other local candidates with ballot statements have in common?  They are all, unlike Karen Goh, being open or transparent with the people they want to vote for them. Goh is the only one who does not list her age. She is 60 years old. Why the secrecy over your age Karen?" He goes on: "Karen Goh will not openly talk with the press; she insists on any questions from the media be e-mailed to her first so she can have time to huddle with her campaign consultant, Mark Abernathy, to develop e-mail responses."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If you ever get caught sleeping on the job… slowly raise your head and say 'in Jesus' name, amen.'"

 * ... SILVER FOX: More great news on the restaurant front: I was thrilled to read in The Californian that Rod and Julie Crawford, owners of Pyrenees Cafe, are buying the old Silver Fox lounge and will try to bring it back to is former glory. The Crawfords' track record at Pyrenees is nothing short of remarkable, and I have little doubt that their new eatery, to be called Silver Fox Starlite Lounge, will become one of the "it" places downtown.

 * ... MARATHON: The inaugural Bakersfield Marathon is set for next week (Sunday, November 13) and while it should be a good show for spectators, but be advised streets will be closed throughout town. It will start at near Cal State Bakersfield in the early morning, head down Stockdale Highway to Oleander, through Westchester, up Chester to Panorama Drive and back down the bike trail. People along the route are already talking Bloody Mary parties to cheer the nearly 2,000 runners when they pass. If you have questions about road closures, call (661) 249-6450 or email

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You may be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember the name of the pitcher for the Bakersfield minor league baseball team who got married at home plate at Sam Lynn Park. He later pitched for the Cleveland Indians. The pitcher: Don Mossi.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Every neighborhood needs a dog rescuer, Father Craig Harrison holds mass at his downtown home and Firestone Grill serves up some good eats

 * ... DOG RESCUE: Every neighborhood has one, and in the downtown area it is Kristen Belue, the friend of every stray animal she comes across. I ran into Kristen on a rainy Sunday as she was
cruising the downtown alleys looking for a skittish, stray mutt she hoped to rescue. She had food and water and hoped to lure the stray into her car. And this came just a few weeks after Kristen took in a very pregnant pit bull who quickly gave birth to a litter of adorable pups. "I can't help myself," she told me. "My husband is thinking, 'Who did I marry?'" The world needs more people like Kristen, and I am lucky she is in mine.

 * ... CRAIG HARRISON: Who else but Monsignor Craig Harrison could attract more than 100 people to his personal residence to hold Sunday mass? Harrison, who lives downtown, has been holding Sunday mass in his yard every few months. Neighbors bring lounge chairs (and occasionally a sip of wine), and line up in front of the porch of his 20th Street home in what has become something of a ritual. This weekend with the hint of rain, Harrison squeezed the crowd inside his house to hold mass.

* ... CRIME: I spotted this note on a friend's Facebook page: 'To my fellow Bridge (church) friends with Tahoes. My car was broken into while we were in church this morning and they took our third row of seats from our Tahoe. It was locked - they popped the back window. Spend the money and get the lock for them, wish I had."

• ... CORD CUTTING: Yet more evidence that the millennials ae cutting the cord and finding ways to live without traditional cable TV. As reported in Tech Shift: "Research by Piper Jaffray finds the most popular social platforms for teens (percentage who said they used it at least one time per month) are: Snapchat (80 percent), Instagram (74 percent) and Facebook (60 percent). Meanwhile, the survey also found the most popular daily video services used are Netflix (37 percent), YouTube (26 percent) and cable TV (25 percent).

 * ... FOODIE: I rarely go to the Firestone Grill on California because I make a rule of steering away from the Highway 99 gridlock, but I may have to rethink that after dropping in the other day. Fast, attentive service, an array of big screen TVs suitable for college football and an outstanding Southwestern chicken salad that deserves your attention.