Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hats off to Sal Moretti for cleaning up a community eyesore, Californians rush to buy guns and ammunition and Jackie Parks remembers Bryan Kelly

* ... TRASH: Here's a shout-out to Sal Moretti and the folks over at the city Solid Waste Division for taking the time to clean up a stretch of road that has become a community eyesore. After I posted last week about the mounds of garbage (mattresses, chairs, couches, old washing machines etc) that people
illegally discarded off Fairfax (the old county dump road) Moretti privately messaged me that he was going to send crews out to clean it up. And that they did. Supervisor Robert Manuel and his team filled several dump trucks full and left the area pristine. The city can't force people to do the right thing, and it must be tiring to spend so much time and energy cleaning up after people who view the world as their own personal toilet. But thank you Sal. So here is my remedy for that road: since it already is a dead end, close it off at Fairfax with a gate and code to allow access to authorized personnel. There is no reason for any vehicles to travel that road. And finally, shed the name Old County Dump Road and name it after Sal. (Before and after pictures provided by Sal Moretti)

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "On my marriage license, where they ask in which state I live, I wrote: Depression."

 * ... GUN LAWS: There's another rush on guns and ammunition in California, thanks to a legislature that embraces some of the toughest anti-gun laws in the country. Remarked Realtor Michael Richert: "I’m not good on a crowded day at Disneyland, or anywhere for that matter where my space bubble is pierced. That was never more evident on Saturday, December 17 when I stopped by for some ammo at a local gun store. The last Saturday to purchase certain types of riffles and it was chaos. We usually stay dormant unless someone tells us we can’t have something anymore."

 * ... BRYAN KELLY: When I wrote about the death of 63-year-old Bryan Kelly the other day, it triggered this response from former KBAK anchor Jackie Parks, who moved to a TV market outside of Baltimore with husband Todd Karli. Said Jackie: "You see, he was a dear friend of my eccentric aunt Millie when she lived in Bakersfield many, many years ago. He would later keep her updated on my life (from watching me on TV) and was thrilled to meet me one day at Trader Joe's so he could let Millie know. Over the years he chatted with me about the birth of our kids, recommended kid-friendly foods, talked to them about their interests, encouraged piano and ballet lessons (neither which took hold for long) and never failed to ask about Millie who, at 92, will be heartbroken to hear he is gone. Thanks for writing such a nice farewell."

* ... MAILBOX THEFT: I received a note from reader Kelly Clanton with this plea: "We have suffered our third mail theft this year, this time Friday night with Christmas packages taken from our dropbox. Last time a check was forged and we had to get a new account. At least 10 mail thefts have occurred within a half mile radius of our 'safe' northwest neighborhood this year. Sending this to encourage Postmaster Linda La Force, postal inspectors Jeff Fitch and Bill Zembridge and  Congressman Kevin McCarthy to work faster on this for us, and come up with an immediate solution please.  Running to the mailbox to pick up our mail mid day and driving miles to the post office to drop off outgoing mail is not the answer."

 * ... GOOD SERVICE: James in Taft wrote to thank someone who goes over and above with customer service: "Last Sunday morning (12/18/16) at 7 a.m. I was warming up with my morning tea as it was 32 outside, when my doorbell rang. I thought who would be hear that early. When I opened the door and I was surprised it was my Californian deliverer, Michelle Ayala in Taft. She handed me my paper and said it was too cold to have to come out and get it. She has been doing a great job and it was a pleasure to give her a Christmas gift as I try and do every year.  So all you subscribers be sure and do the same for your deliverer as they have to endure all types of weather and conditions.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Noting the loss of a friend who made me smile, Condoleezza Rice heads to Bako for a fund raiser and Kurt Rivera winds up in Sacramento as an anchor and reporter

 * ... FRIENDSHIP: I lost a good friend the other day, and I am kicking myself for not taking the time to stay closer in touch. His name was Bryan Kelly and many of you may remember him as the cheery, wise cracking host at Trader Joe's who was forever sharing stories and making people laugh. Many more of you may remember him as a regular in the local theater scene, primarily at the
Bakersfield Music Theater where his mile-wide personality felt at home on stage. He would often appear in the same plays as his husband and life partner, Michael Izqierdo. After Bryan left Trader Joe's on disability we stayed in touch, always planning a dinner party that somehow was never scheduled. His rapier-like wit was in evidence when he would fire off a politically incorrect email, and both being cat people, he would faithfully sign off with a reminder like this: "Now go get some fresh tuna for that queen puss and rub her tummy." But I lost touch over the past several months and I was not even aware Bryan was battling liver cancer until two friends - Susan Reep and Jim Baldwin - alerted me to the bad news. He succumbed to it last week. Thanks for the laughs and the smiles, my friend.

 * ... CONDI RICE: I heard the other day that the folks over at the Boys and Girls Club have scored a home run by booking former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to appear at a fund raiser early next year. The club's Ricki Peace confirmed that Rice will appear at the Feb. 22 fund raiser, along with our own House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Rice will no doubt be a hit and the beneficiary will be the kids at the Boys and Girls Club.

 * ... KURT RIVERA: Remember Kurt Rivera, the KBAK news anchor who lost his job when he was accused of abusing his girlfriend? It looks like Rivera landed on his feet at KXTV in Sacramento, where he is both reporting and anchoring. Rivera, it should be noted, was never formally charged by the District Attorney, but the incident was enough to end his career in Bakersfield.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: From my friend Joe Drew's Facebook page: "The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends."

 * ... GOOD FORM: I ran into a local banker during last week's rain and he shared this inspiring story with me. "I saw a homeless guy on 17th Street and his pants were totally soaked," he told me. "I always have an extra pair of pants with me and he was about my size, so I gave it to him. I also gave him my Rotary cap. Think about all the old clothes we all have that we give away and there is so much need out there. Please don't use my name." Your request is granted, and thank you for your generosity.

 * ... APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: I never knew of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar until a friend shared his secret to healthy living. "I mix a little unfiltered apple cider vinegar with water every morning and I have not had a cold in five years." That is good enough for me; count me a follower.

 * ... SUBARU: Hats off to Sangera Subaru for donating a Subaru Impreza to the folks over at Convenant Coffee, the non profit dedicated to helping former foster youth gain job skills. The car will be used by Covenant employees to perform service calls. Subaru general manager Damon Culbertson noted he hoped to employ some of the Covenant clients, and added "the coffee is really good" as well.