Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lamenting the loss of civility in our country, dining tips when the temperature reaches 112 degrees and keeping up with the campaign to become our new Kern County District Attorney

* ... SHOOTING: What has become of a civil dialogue in our country? In the aftermath of the
horrific shooting in Virginia, it took just hours before people opened up on social media with the blame game. One consultant in North Carolina, identified as Donna Porter, fired off a tweet saying she wished the injuries to Majority Whip Steve Scalise had been "worse" because he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The tweet read: "Too bad he's not hurt worse He and GOP trying to hurt, kill, strip health care from millions of us presently. It's unfortunately deserved." Surely we can do better than this.

* ... REDNECKS: Yet another "list" is out that seeks to identify the most "redneck" cities in California. The criteria: the number of white residents, the high school dropout rate, poverty, drugs, the number of Payday Loan outlets and violence. Here is the top 10 starting with the "most redneck" city in California: Hemet, Barstow, Hesperia, Stockton, Bakersfield, Riverside, Antioch, Livermore, Fresno and Lakeside."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If a guy said he’ll fix it, he will. There is no need to remind him every six months about it."

  * ... DINING TIPS: So now it begins. Local weather forecasters say we can expect a week of temperatures well above 100 degrees, and some think we could hit 112 or higher sometime early next week. My tip: head over to Rosemary's Family Creamery for its famous banana split, or if you are into more healthier choices, order the "Tri Salad" at Uricchio's Trattoria (tuna, shrimp, lettuce and eggs) for a perfect summer lunch.

 * ... STINSON'S: Hats off to Ben Stinson III and Stinson's Stationers for celebrating 70 years in business by donating $70,000 in merchandise to deserving local non profits. This week is the deadline for non-profits to apply for the Stinson grants, which will be announced on my radio show on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 over the summer. Stay tuned.

 * ... DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The race to succeed Lisa Green as Kern County District Attorney is one worth watching. So far there are two candidates -- assistant DA Scott Spielman and deputy DA Cynthia Zimmer -- and they are both hard on the campaign trail even though the election will not be held until next year. This promises to be a slugfest between two well qualified (and well funded) candidates. Keep an eye on this one.

 * ... MEMORIES: Did you know the location of the original Sears department store was at 19th and K streets across from the Kress Building? An old picture posted on the Kern County of Old Facebook page shows Sears, the Kress Building and the Padre Hotel in the background.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Facebook is flooded with warnings the Lake Isabella dam is about to fail, triggering a huge flood, TigerFight Casino Night is a huge success and some really good form up on the Panorama Bluffs

 * ... ISABELLA DAM: Facebook is good for many things, but distributing unfounded and alarming "news" should not be one of them. One of the posts making the rounds these days concerns Lake
Isabella Dam, which is nearing its recommended capacity after a season of heavy rains. The post warns the dam could fail, and inundate downtown Bakersfield under a wall of 20 feet of water. Not so fast, say the experts, who told KGET the dam is far from capacity and well within its recommended limit. Regarding a Facebook post that says the dam will pose an "unacceptably high risk of failure as soon as next week," Kern River Watermaster Dana Munn told 17 News this is "altogether wrong," adding the only thing that could cause the dam to fail at this point would be a "super earthquake."

 * ... FATHER'S DAY: Americans will spend about $12.7 billion on Father's Day this Sunday, but that pales in comparison to the $21 billion we spend on Mother's Day. The average person spends about $115 on presents for dad, about $2 million more than last year, according to the National Retail Federation. The most popular presents for dad come in three categories: eating (grilling, food etc) drinking (whiskey, wine or beer) or casual wear (t-shirts, sports shirts etc).

* ... TIGERFIGHT: Hats off to Chris Wilson and the folks who organized the annual TigerFight Casino Night gala to help fight childhood leukemia. Now in its ninth year, TigerFight has grown into a huge, elaborate fund raiser that takes control of the second floor of the iconic Padre Hotel with food, beer, wine, dancing and silent auctions. Since its humble beginnings at Luigi's, the event now raises north of $60,000 for research and to aid families who have a son or daughter fighting leukemia.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "So a baby crawls across the floor to its bottle and it's cute but when I do it I'm in need of an intervention?

* ... GOOD FORM: If you regularly walk the Panorama Bluffs, you know it is often littered and marked by graffiti. Which is why Jerry Evelyn, who just turned 97, is doing his part to clean up the place. His son dropped me this note last week: "My mother and father have been walking the Panorama Bluff park daily for more than 30 years. His 97th birthday is Saturday and he wants to  give back to the place and the people that have given them so much joy these 30 plus years. After applying to the Kern County Parks Department for approval he will restore a graffiti filled bench and will plant a tree in a weedy area."

* ... YOUNG ACHIEVER: Hats off to Andrew Tibbetts, a 2012 Frontier High School graduate, who was recently named to the Dean's List at Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa. Andrew also received an award for Outstanding and Scholarly Achievement by the Elementary Education Department and was named to the NAIA Academic All America baseball team. Andrew will be working as a camp counselor In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, this summer before returning to Briar Cliff to complete his student teaching.

 * ... MEMORIES: Someone posted a picture of a menu from the old Bakersfield Inn on Union Avenue from the summer of 1956. Among the entrees: Spring lamb for $1.50, Yankee pot roast for $1.65, filet of Alaskan halibut, $1.50, and the chef's special- barbecued prime beef ribs, $1.10