* ... NEW EDTIOR: Let's all take a minute to welcome Jim Lawitz to Bakersfield. Lawitz is the new executive editor and vice president of The Bakersfield Californian, and I hope we give this veteran newsman the same kind of warm welcome that I was afforded some two decades ago. Here are my dining tips for Lawitz as he settles in to our community: 24th Street Cafe and Cafe Smitten for breakfast, Luigi's and Uricchio's Trattoria for lunch, Wiki's Wine Dive and Grill and The Padre Hotel for Happy Hour, Noriega Hotel, Woolgrower's, Muertos and Mexicali for dinner, and Pyrenees Cafe and Luigi's (yes, again) for a lazy Saturday brunch.
* ... QWIKCAFE: And hey Jim, don't forgot the locally owned Sequoia Sandwich Co. downtown on 18th Street and its new sister business, QuickCafe, next door that will feature "to go" salads and specialty sandwiches. You will learn that here, the locally owned restaurants are the ones to favor.
* ... LIVE MUSIC: Don't forget there a couple of live music shows that you don't want to miss this Thursday. First, Nora Jane Struthers and Joe Overton bring their blend of Americana to Temblor Brewing Co. at 6:30 p.m. and around the same time the California Guitar Trio will be playing at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame.
* ... GOOD FORM: Some years ago I worked at The Los Angeles Times with a sports writer named Barbara Ludovise, who has now moved on to other pursuits. Turns out she was in town recently for Rolling for Reading assemblies at Del Rio and Rosedale North elementary schools. Listen to her reaction of her time here: "I've been doing school assemblies since 2004 and I've never had a better experience than I did this week at Del Rio and Rosedale North. The teachers and students at both schools showed so much heart and passion.Very impressive! I am not looking for publicity (I've had more than my share) but do want to commend those schools for a job well done."
* ... TRUMP OR TRIUMPH: And finally, Linda Banducci shared this note about mistaken identity: "This morning, my husband and I stopped at a popular, local restaurant before running errands. As my husband is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, he happened to be wearing a Triumph Motorcycle shirt. When our waitress (one of our regulars, who happens to be Hispanic), came to the table, she took one look at my husband's shirt and immediately went into an anti-Trump tirade. She then left the table. Once I realized what had set her off, I summoned her back to the table, pointed out that the shirt said Triumph, not Trump, and told her that that is the name of a motorcycle. We all had a good laugh. From the restaurant, we went to a nearby big box hardware store. We were still laughing about the restaurant incident when the greeter at the big box store pointed to the shirt and went into a similar tirade! It became not so amusing as the day progressed and my husband received numerous episodes of the 'stank eye.' C'mon people, lighten up! TRIUMPH! It's a motorcycle for Pete's sake!"
* ... MEMORIES: The 1952 earthquakes changed the face of Bakersfield forever, leveling beautiful Victorian buildings and hotels that were replaced by the uninspired architecture of the 1950s. Other old buildings were lost to fire, common in those days, and one of them was the A.C. Maude building that once graced 18th Street. It burned on July 7, 1889. For a trip down memory lane, check out the Kern County of Old Facebook page.