* ... GOODBYE CALIFORNIA: It looks like the recent fires in Santa Rosa and Ventura County are
* ... VILLARAIGOSA: Does former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have a shot at beating former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the governor's race? Apparently he does, at least if you follow the polls. Villaraigosa started off more than 20 points behind Newsom among Democrats and has now narrowed that to about five points. And Villaraigosa, who swung through Bakersfield this week, is making a bold bid to lure moderate Republicans by courting the conservative San Joaquin Valley. Expect to see more of Villaraigosa locally as we head into the new year.
* ... SEASONAL LIES: Some of the lies we tell ourselves: "I am starting my diet tomorrow ... He will never hear from me again ... I'll just have one drink."
* ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: I saw this on my friend Justin Salter's Twitter feed: "If we can train ourselves to be optimistic, as soon as life gets difficult, we will have the mental toughness to persist and succeed. "
* ... GREGORY PORTER: Here's a worthy fund raiser that you may want to consider: Habitat for Humanity will be holding a concert featuring Grammy winning jazz singer Gregory Porter. Porter is one of the most famous singers to come out of Kern County, having graduated from Highland High School and going on to San Diego State. Habitat says Porter will be singing some Nat King Cole tunes. The concert will be held in the Dore Theater at CSUB on Saturday, Jan. 20. Tickets are just $50 and all proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire. Porter appeared on NBC's Kathie Lee and Hoda earlier this week to belt out a tune. Check out the Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire Facebook page to buy tickets.
* ... CANCER FUND: Hats off to Rick Kreiser and his Guitar Masters series, which raised $42,000 for the Kern County Cancer Fund during his annual concert featuring Christmas with the Cranktones. Kreiser sold out the Crystal Palace for the annual event, benefitting an organization that says all the money stays in our community to help cancer patients and their families pay for cab rides, living expenses, wigs and other items during their fight with cancer.
* ... HARVEY HALL: Another reason why I miss Harvey Hall as our mayor. Even out of office, Hall continues to give back to his hometown by funding the Downtown Street Ambassadors who pick up trash in our downtown area. Since kicking off April 1, the street ambassadors have removed 2,714 bags of litter. That's an average of 340 bags collected each month. Some good news: the amount of trash collected actually decreased in October. Hall stepped up to fund the program in February.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Fires, mayhem and high taxes force more Californians to give up on the Golden State, Villaraigosa closes in on Newsom in the governor's race and Rick Kreiser raises $42,000 for the Kern County Cancer Fund
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
RIP local cyclist Dale Northrop, readers lament pedestrian deaths and jaywalking and a new vaccine for shingles hits the market
* ... SAFETY: Gabrielle Lopez spoke for many of us in lamenting (while expressing frustration)
pedestrians/cars issue. I am constantly seeing people run red lights as if they are not breaking the law and they have zero shame about it. I honk at them if I am in the front of the light and they run it. I
have been given dirty looks and the finger as if I am doing something wrong. They have absolute no regard for other people who are waiting and they think they don't have to wait. And I constantly see people walking against the light mostly NOT in a crosswalk though I have seen them in a crosswalk when my light is green. I honk at them too. I just think there is an epidemic of 'it is all about me' going on. There is nothing that can fix stupid."
* ... JAYWALKERS: Some of the worst cases of jaywalking occurs around our local high schools when classes begin and end, including the lunch period. And it is particularly bad around Bakersfield High School where students regularly dash across a busy California Avenue to beat the bell before classes.
* ... SHINGLES: Here's a tip for those of you who have reached the age of 50 or beyond: get the new shingles vaccine recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. According to Dr. Raj Patel of Preferred Family Care, the new drug Shingrix is more than twice as effective as an older vaccine (Zostavax) and should be taken by anyone over the age of 50 with a normal immune system. Check with your physician to determine if the drug is available locally.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I removed all the fattening food from my house. It was delicious."
* ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I am more likely to be sexually assaulted than I am to benefit from this tax bill."
* ... HEALTHY EATS: I was out in the Southwest this weekend and stopped by Eureka Burger, perhaps one of the few chain restaurants I frequent. After I tried their Protein Chopped Salad, I may have to return more often. It is a delicious and healthy salad featuring romaine, kale, quinoa, roasted beets, red onion, carrot, three types of beans, sunflower seeds and a red wine vinaigrette.
* ... RETAIL: The boutique store Fashionista has moved next door to QwikCafe and Sequoia Sandwich Co. on 18th Street. The store was previously located near the Fox Theater.
* ... RIP DALE: I was saddened to learn of the death of Dale Northrop, one of the first people I met in the cycling community when I moved to Bakersfield in the 1990s. Northrop was an avid cyclist and was deeply involved in helping organize the annual Spooktacular century ride as well as the New Year's Day ride. I spent many hours at the 24 Hour Fitness off White Lane chatting with Dale on our stationary bikes and will miss his large smile and kind spirit. He was 78 years old.