Thursday, February 2, 2017

Congressman David Valadao strikes an independent pose, some ideas for Hart Park and did we find that owner of the 1962 Cadillac that turned up in a Florida car museum?

 * ... DAVID VALADAO: There are few politicians who have been better at walking the tight road of being a Republican and supporting immigration reform than Rep. David Valadao of Hanford. The son of Portuguese immigrants, Valadao succeeds in a largely Hispanic congressional district by paying
attention to the needs of his constituents. I spoke with the congressman on my daily radio show on KERN NewTalk 96.1 and it was clear he was willing to butt heads with the Trump administration no matter the cost. He was an early supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, and this week he introduced legislation to protect the 'Dreamers' in case these young people who are here illegally but were brought to the United States as infants risk deportation. Valadao said there may be as many as 50,000 'Dreamers' in the counties he serves, as astonishing number by any standard. I was also curious to learn that Valadao, a strong supporter of Israel, supports the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If Jesus does return, I'm pretty sure he'll be stopped at the airport."

 * ... THEATER DINING: Count me among those who are skeptical about this idea of introducing restaurant dining into movie theaters. It's bad enough dealing with people who talk and incessantly check their cell phones, and now I have to hear the crunch of the taco and the sound of silverware on plates? No thank you, I'll pass.

 * ... TRICE HARVEY: And also count me among those who are mourning the loss of former county supervisor and Assemblyman Trice Harvey, a unique spirit who possessed a special gift of making others laugh. While working at The Californian, I would often stop by the office on a Sunday and would occasionally receive a call from Trice telling me his paper was not delivered. I'd grab a copy and drive it over to the Harvey home, where Trice would greet me with a big smile and this greeting in his deep Arkansas drawl: "Well lookie here, the CEO as my personal delivery boy! Now that is service!"

 * ... HART PARK: There is a lot of talk about what to do about Hart Park, that gem of a greenbelt out off Alfred Harrell Highway. The county is broke, and is now considering charging a daily fee to park there, but a better idea was raised recently on my talk radio show when Supervisor Mike Maggard was my guest. (For the record Maggard opposes the daily fee). A caller suggested hiring a vendor to bring back paddle boats, food trucks and other activities to raise money for the county and provide entertainment for the park goers. Yet another suggested having a private company build a restaurant on the river. "Can you imagine a nice steak house right there on the river?" she said.

 * ... BATTLE OF HUE: Hard to believe it was 49 years ago when U.S. Army and Marine units were engaged in the Battle of Hue, one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the Vietnam War. On Monday, Army veteran Fred Drew will join me on The Richard Beene Show to talk about his role at Hue and how the Vietnam experience shaped his life. I will also explore human trafficking and the moves afoot to raise awareness of this appalling crime. Join me from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM.

 * ... CADILLAC: Jeanne Schamblin read my post about the search for the original owner of a 1962 Cadillac that showed up in a Florida car museum. She recognized the address on the original bill of sale (the buyer was a C.R. Smith) and had this say: "I would bet it is and that person was Carmen Smith who lived in the large home behind what, at that time, was Mason Jassaud but is now the Casino. Carmen was a cousin to the Schamblin family, owners of Pioneer Mercantile for many years. I imagine I met her once or twice but understand that she was a very independent lady who lived in this large home with three bedrooms, each with their own full bathroom. The home also had a basement. When we purchased it, there was no lawn but plastic on the ground with small pebbles painted green. The home was transformed into a lovely residential care home where many well-known residents of Bakersfield lived. Today it is owned by a couple who continue to serve the community with this house as it has remained a  residential care home for the elderly."    

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