Thursday, April 6, 2017

Maze Cup, Plein Air Festival and Haggard home all happening this weekend, some good form about town and a shout out to the Cynthia Lake Charitable Trust

 * ... WEEKEND: Here are three things to consider this weekend, each unique and affordable: this is the weekend of the Plein Air Festival and on Friday a dozen artists will be painting downtown with their works on display at the Metro Galleries on 19th Street for First Friday. On Saturday, other
paintings by these artists will go on sale at The Bakersfield Museum of Art from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. If that doesn't suit your tastes, head over to Stockdale Country Club where the Maze Cup features some of the best 16 and 18 year old tennis players in the nation, and admission is free. Finally, on Sunday you can drop by Kern Pioneer Village to check out the public debut of Merle Haggard's family home, appropriately opening on the year anniversary of his death.

 * ... CYNTHIA LAKE: And by the way, here's a big shout out to the Cynthia Lake Charitable Trust that funded the restoration of Merle Haggard's childhood home, an expensive undertaking that will serve generations of Kern County residents.

* ... RAIDERS: The move of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas triggered this note from Alan Hine: "Good news for Bakersfield Raider's fans. Google says it is only two minutes longer to drive to Las Vegas than it is to drive to Oakland, and there is a lot more to do in Vegas than there is in Oakland and the food and lodging is also better."
* ... TRASH: My earlier post about the people who use Fairfax as their personal dumping group drew this response from Sam Colt: "Thanks for the article on trash along Fairfax. I too have seen alot of it along Comanche Road on the way to the dump. It might be a good idea to refresh memories the city will pick up large items (matresses, etc) from your house just call them at (661) 326-3114 to make an appointment."

* ... SPOTTED: In the Kern River near Beach Park a man is being baptized on the shoreline. Nice to see a little rain bring out the religion in us.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When going on a roller coaster bring nuts and bolts, lean to the person in front and say… 'Woah dude, these came out of your seat!'"

 * ... GOOD FORM: Here's a note from Larry Jenks that should brighten your day: "I would like to share with you a recent event my wife and I were party to. We were having dinner at Chili's Monday night. After ordering and receiving our meal the server approached and handed us our bill, saying a couple had paid for our meal. Written in the bill was the following: 'We wanted to treat you to dinner! This is our second anniversary, we pray to be as in love and as cute as the two of you are as we grow older together. Have a super blessed night. Love, the Swatzells.' My bride and I are going to celebrate our 65th wedding anniversary June 28. We are blessed!"

 * ... MORE GOOD FORM: And there was this from reader Don Luvisi: "Purchased some items at Floyd's this week and when checking out the cashier asked if I wanted to round up my three cents to an even five e cents with the two cents going to a charity. A great idea. If more stores followed suit less pennies to deal with and local charities would benefit."

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

San Francisco Chronicle takes a pulse of Kern County and our pro Trump voters, high school lacrosse comes to Bakersfield and calling attention to a local eyesore

 * ... CHRONICLE: If your perspective of politics and life comes from a Bay Area high rise, you can bet it will be different than how we feel here in the great Central Valley of California. For many in the more populous regions of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Kern County is a mere curiosity, a vast region serving the blue collar poor, the under served and those of us employed in such unpopular pursuits as fossil fuel extraction and water hogging agriculture. And you wonder why we are so often misunderstood? Which is why I was pleased to read a fairly balanced story on Kern County this weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle, which sent a reporter to our town to explore the support for Trump and our more conservative tendencies. For the most part the Chronicle eschewed broad stereotypes and focused on our quest for job growth, water security and the expansion of Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act. It is worth your read.

 * ... OBAMACARE: The number of folks who are now insured under Medi-Cal because of the
Affordable Care Act in California is staggering. These are some of the numbers from the Chronicle story: “51 percent Merced County residents have Medi-Cal, 45 percent in Madera County, 50 percent in Fresno County and 55 percent in Tulare County."

 * ... LACROSSE: It's nice to see the sport of lacrosse taking a hold in Kern County. Up at Garces Memorial High School, a club team has emerged featuring players from Garces, Frontier, Centennial and Stockdale high schools, many of whom had never played before. The lads recorded a 4-3 win on goals by Cameron Garcia, Logan McMurtrey, Corbin McMurtrey and the game's most valuable player, Jack "Wags" Waguespack.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If I ever go missing and there’s a big search party out looking for me, you can save time by not looking at any gyms."

 * ... SUMMER: Enjoy these springs days because summer is coming and in this town that means bracing for 106-degree days. My choice for a light meal on a scorching hot day? Try the new yogurt Parfait from QwikCafe on 18th Street, a perfect compliment to a season when the heat rules.

 * ... BAD FORM: If you regularly travel on Fairfax Road from Alfred Harrell Highway up to Panorama, you know it is often used as a dumping ground for old mattresses, discarded appliances and trash. It's an eyesore and in recent months it has gotten worse. Memo to my friend Sal Moretti at the city Solid Waste Division: can I strong-arm you into looking into this mess?

 * ... BARNES: Hats off to CSUB basketball coach Rod Barnes who chalked up another honor after leading the Roadrunners to the National Invitational Tournament semi finals. Barnes was named the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year. Can we keep Barnes or will he be recruited by a larger program with a higher salary? Stay tuned.