* ... GOOD FORM: Here is an anonymous shout-out to a school crossing guard who makes sure all students arrive safely: "I normally avoid all school zones, particularly at drop off and pick up time. Too hectic and crazy. My one exception is driving past Endeavour Elementary on Meacham Road. The main crossing guard handles children, parents and vehicles with aplomb. He always has a friendly smile. No problem at all driving through that bottleneck thanks to his excellent skills. Signed 'smiling lady in white pickup truck.'"
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Fact: If you report for work from 9 to 5 but just hide in the bathroom all day, by law they have to keep on paying you."
* .. HOPE: Amid all the post inauguration vitriol and protests, I found a bit of solace (and hope) when I gazed out my back window and saw my camellias for beginning to bloom. These camellias, planted when my downtown home was built in 1934, are my steady symbol of hope, new beginnings and reconciliation.
* ... GOOD EATS: One of the best corners for good in town is the new shopping center on California and Easton Drive where - for you old timers - Three-Way Chevrolet used to stand. It is now home to the Habit Burger, Rubio's Coastal Grill, Starbucks, the Corner Bakery and Blaze Pizza. In typical Bakersfield fashion there aren't enough parking spaces but the food is worth the search.
* ... AMBIEN: There has been a lot of talk recently speculating that a bad reaction to the sleep aid Ambien may have contributed to the suicide of City Councilman Jeff Tkac. Do you take Ambien? Do you know people who do? Have you read the horror stories about how some of the adverse reactions to taking the drug (driving at night and binging on food and not remembering a thing)? On Friday, I will interview Dr. Raj Patel of Preferred Family Physicians to have an honest conversation about Ambien, its benefits and dangers, on The Richard Beene Show on KERN NewsTalk 1180 AM/96.1 FM from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
* ... VINCE CLEROU: Here's some more background on that land speed record that a cyclist set back in 1941 here in Bakersfield, courtesy of local Realtor Robin Ablin: "I believe there is an exhibit at the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson which includes the custom Schwinn Paramount bicycle used by French pro cyclist Alfred Letourneur on May 17, 1941, out by Buena Vista Lake somewhere, and photos and plaque describing the event. Yes, Vincent Clerou was very involved. I think he was the primary organizer. Vince was a big Schwinn dealer, and very active in racing. I believe Charley Morton was also involved - he worked for Vince - and was a member of the 1936 Olympic road cycling team, and was also a professional six day racer. I think they actually boarded over several miles of railroad track southwest of town which the car and bike road on."