Thursday, September 21, 2017

CSUB's incoming recruiting class called the "most intriguing" in the WAC, Milo Yiannopoulos appears headed to CSUB and Stockdale Country Club unveils a new tennis facility

 * ... ROD BARNES: College basketball season is just around the corner and already a new group of recruits at Cal State Bakersfield is putting the spotlight on the Rod Barnes-led Roadrunners.
SB Nation recently called the 'Runners incoming class "the most intriguing" in the Western Athletic Conference, led by freshman guard Jarkel Joiner. Interestingly, although Joiner averaged nearly 40 points per game, the Oxford, Miss., native never got a scholarship offer from Ole Miss. Enter Coach Barnes, who not only played at Ole Miss but coached the Rebels and won 2001 Southeastern Conference 'Coach of the year' honors.  “That’s really tough, sometimes frustrating, because I’m right here in their back yard,” Joiner said about being overlooked by Ole Miss. “I feel like I’ve proven myself time after time. It just makes me work harder and adds fuel to my fire." Said SB Nation: "That lack of interest from a program Barnes played and coached for paid off for CSUB. The Oxford connection may have been a factor, as Jarkel mentioned that his father used to cut Barnes’ hair. Whatever the ultimate selling point, Barnes signed Joiner away from schools like Middle Tennessee and TCU. The WAC has some explosive point guards lately, and — if all goes right — Joiner seems built in that mold."

* ... MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Keep an eye on Cal State Bakersfield and the wrestling match between the CSUB College Republicans and the administration over the appearance of conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos on campus. Fearful that Yiannopoulos could trigger a disruptive backlash if he appears, the administration seems to be dragging his heels on approving his appearance. My advice to President Horace Mitchell and others: allow him to appear on campus and move on. Squashing free speech, even if you don't agree with it, sets a terrible example for a university.

 * ... STOCKDALE: I dropped by Stockdale Country Club for the unveiling of its new 7,500 tennis center, a marvel of a facility that includes a full fitness center, yoga and cycle spinning room and kid's room outfitted with the best of flooring, fixtures and lighting. Hats off to tennis pro Hank Pfister and the Stockdale membership for introducing a world class facility to town, which was built at the princely price of around $1.7 million.

 * ... GARCES BBQ: For all of you who count yourselves as part of the Garces family, make sure you calendar next Thursday, Sept. 28, for the annual Garces Holy Smoke barbecue. This long tradition started more than 50 years ago and this year it marks the 70th anniversary of Garces Memorial High School. To spice things up this year, organizers have included live music and the traditional New York steak has been replaced by a Harris Ranch "choice" filet in addition to a twice baked potato, salad, Pyrenees French bread and Jake's Tex Mex famous cake. Music will be provided by Lonely Avenue and proceeds from the event will fund student subsidies. Tickets are just $30 per ticket. The feed starts at 6 p.m.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If you keep following your dreams someone is going to file a restraining order against you."

 * ... COLUMNIST: Kudos to the management of The Bakersfield Californian who opened their pages to contributing columnist Justin Salters, who brings a fresh, sober and thoughtful perspective to local and state politics. In the wake of the firing of Danny Morrison, it's refreshing to read a columnist who relies on facts and accuracy to make a point.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Is California ready for legal marijuana? Bakersfield College goes to a smoke free campus and my recommendations for the best fall soups in town

 * ... LEGAL CANNABIS: Is California ready to usher in an era of legal recreational and medicinal marijuana in January? One person who thinks we aren't is Assemblyman Vince Fong, who told me
her personally has concerns that legal pot will lead to a host of public safety concerns especially when it comes to impaired driving and cannabis use among young people. Nevertheless, it is coming and we should expect to see details in terms of how cannabis will be distributed, tested and taxed emerging soon from Sacramento.

 * ... HOMELESS BEATING: What possessed a Centennial High School student to attack a homeless man recently off Union Avenue. The victim, 64-year-old Harold Barlett, was sitting with his back against a building when the 14-year-old student hurled a plastic soda crate at his head. It was all caught on video and the student was detained. He has not been identified because of his age.

* ... GOOD FORM: Hats off to the middle aged woman wearing a floppy sun hat who was picking up trash along Panorama Drive in the area near Juliet Thorner School.

 * ... MORE GOOD FORM: Good move by Bakersfield College to make the campus a tobacco free campus. The move takes effect this semester and includes all indoor and outdoor areas of the campus.

 * ... BAD FORM: Consider this a form of public service, but I am here to warn you about one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. The movie is "Mother" and it boasts a terrific cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Barden, Ed Harris and Michelle Pefiffer. Yet even with all that talent, it is a gratuitous, rambling waste of time that left me wondering this: what would be worse, suffering from an acute outbreak of psoriasis while undergoing a root canal without anesthesia or viewing this movie again?

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "People don't leave jobs. They leave bosses."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: :"Friendly reminder that if you hate our current government, pay attention to your state representatives and vote in local elections too."

 * ... FALL SOUPS: As we head into fall and cooler weather, here are my recommendations for the best soups in town: hard to beat the albondigas (meatball) soup with vegetables at Nuestro Mexico on 21st Street, while over at Mama Roomba's they boast an excellent vegetable soup featuring spinach, mushrooms, potatoes and herbs.

 * ... MONSIGNOR: Ronal Reynier attended the celebration of Monsignor Perry Kavookjian's 30th year in the priesthood and had this to say: "I joined my family and 500 of Father Perry's friends
at Buck Owens Chrystal Palace. Unknown to Father Perry it was going to be a 'roast.' Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, head of the Diocese of Fresno, started the evening off followed by Monsignor Ronald Sweet, Monsignor Craig Harrison and Kevin Reynier. No one laughed and clapped harder
than Monsignor Perry of the stories of his friends of 29 plus years. Monsignor Perry's turn to speak was humorous, laughably biting and inspirational. How about another one on your 50th year friend Perry?"