Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wrestling with the meaning of the election of Donald Trump, Terry Maxwell gets hung by the noose of the 24th Street widening project and RIP to the mainstream media

* ... TRUMP: My take on the election of Donald Trump comes down to this: all of us, especially the pollsters and the media, underestimated two important factors... the deep personal unpopularity of Hillary Clinton, and
more importantly the widespread feeling that Washington (our government) isn't working for a wide swath of America. Casting this as a rural versus urban vote is only partially true, and it overlooks a deep and serious anxiety in this country that the ruling elite (so to speak) operate under a different set of rules than the rest of us. Clinton, more so than President Obama, represented the idea that those in power can get away with conduct and behavior that would land others in jail. Dismissing rural and "fly over" voters as uninformed boobs seems to miss an important message that half the country does not want business as usual. Trump did not create this widespread national anxiety; instead he rode it and exploited it while offering an (albeit jarring) alternative. The fact that so many voters overlooked his well documented flaws speaks volumes about the level of distrust of the political establishment. (Below: a map circulating on social media)

 * ... LOCAL ELECTIONS: Locally, I was surprised to see the local school bond measures pass (they were all well funded), Ward 2 City Councilman Terry Maxwell was hung by the noose of his opposition to the 24th Street widening project, and Congressman David Valadao fought off Democrat Emilio Huerta in a particularly nasty slugfest that won my award for the most dishonest campaign of the season. Karen Goh looks headed to a squeaker of a win over Kyle Carter in the mayor's race, and Jeffrey Tkac sent Harold Hanson into forced political retirement in the Ward 5 council race.

* ... ENERGY: Trump's election will be good news for the oil and gas sector, and we can expect a dramatic rollback of environmental regulations that have been the hallmark of the Obama presidency. Expect the Keystone Pipeline to be built and for regulators to have a friendlier attitude toward both coal and hydraulic fracturing.

 * ... MAINSTREAD MEDIA: And finally, RIP to the mainstream media, the traditional "gatekeepers" of political thought who were violently repudiated in this election. Will we ever be able to trust the polls again?

* ... ELECTION HUMOR: From Twitter: On election day "I saw the line where they were giving out stickers and wound up getting a damn flu shot."

 * ... STEAKS: One of the best cooks in town, Mike Ariey of Big Mike's Ragin' BBQ, is serving up a 16-ounce New York steak lunch at The Mark every Friday. The steak comes with cowboy potatoes, chili beans, green salad and corn bread. Lunch is served in the out door patio next door (called The Park at The Mark on 19th Street) and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. And if a steak isn't your think, try the garlic chicken or excellent slow cooked baby back ribs, my personal favorite.

* ... OLD BARS: Here's a puzzler some of you readers may be able to answer. Karen R. Williams wrote: "Many years ago, the family of two of my school friends owned a bar that I believe was located in the alley behind the Haberfelde Building. It was called Potts Back Door. My friends were Gloria and Steve Potts. I was wondering if this is the location of one of the bars that have been in the news recently. It sure brings back memories from the late 1950s." Anybody remember this place and what occupies the space today?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Adios to Harvey Hall, Bakersfield's longest serving mayor, get ready for the first Bakersfield Marathon and dealing with our litter problem around town

 * ... ELECTION: You know the sad thing about waking up with a new president-elect? There will be no honeymoon for the new president with the American public, and the vitriol and ill feelings that
have marked this campaign (thanks to two flawed candidates) will continue. I miss the days when a new presidency was met with a sense of hope, forgiveness and compromise.

* ... FAREWELL: One familiar character I will miss in the months ahead is Mayor Harvey Hall, our longest serving mayor who has brought dignity and decorum to the non-partisan office. Hall made a hard job look easy by keeping it simple; as he told a TV interviewer, his goal was "to facilitate good deeds and recognition." He was always gracious and defined the word 'inclusion' in a world that has become increasingly diverse. Sometimes it is just that simple.

* ... MARATHON: Have you determined where you will be this Sunday when the first Bakersfield Marathon hits the streets? The race will start at Cal State Bakersfield and wind its way through town (Stockdale Highway, California, Oleander, Westchester, up Chester, Columbus and Panorama before hitting the bike trail) and it will be a spectacle to watch. Take the time to research the route and be a part of this grand event.

* ... PAINTED PICKUPS: Have you seen those whimsically painted miniature pickup trucks about town? Juliet Smith wrote to say that her friends, Keri Gless and Katie Werdel, came up with the concept to benefit the Bakersfield Museum of Art. "Not only did they bring together artists, friends and businesses to raise funds to benefit the museum, they can be spotted each week with rags and bottles of 409, cleaning each of the 33 trucks! Their dedication and love of this wonderful project is an inspiration!"

 * ... CANNABIS: William Wood posed this question: "So when recreational pot becomes legal won't that put a whole new spin on the recipe for pot pie?"

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "My kids wanted to know what it's like to be a mom so I woke them up at 2 a.m. to let them know my sock came off."

 * ... TRASH: Steve Green wrote to tell me there is an app called "City Sourced" that can be used to report graffiti and trash. Said Green: "Just go to the city of Bakersfield website for this app that is customized for Bakersfield. Once you have the app on your phone you can open the app, create a service request for everything from potholes, graffiti, landscaping, and illegal dumping amount other issues as well. When creating your request you have the ability to submit a picture and it will also mark the location with the GPS coordinates."

 * ... GRANTS: Congratulations to the winners of several sizable grants from The Bakersfield Californian (family) Foundation. Fall cycle winners included the Kern Literacy Council for its Fighting Illiteracy program, $25,000; the Special Olympics Southern California for $25,000; the
California Recreation Foundation/One Spade Youth Packers’ One Spade Youth Packers Improvement project for $50,000; the Wildlands Conservancy for its San Emigdio Sunset Theater at the Wind Wolves Preserve, $50,000; and the Kern Medical Center Foundation for its Infusion Therapy Clinic for $100,000.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Kurt Seeger posed this question for all you old timers out there: " Who remembers the Let`s Eat sign on Golden State Highway, in front of the old Rancho Bakersfield Motel and restaurant?"