* ... CATHOLIC CHURCH TROUBLES: The seeming never-ending sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church are well documented, and the Diocese of Fresno is at the epicenter locally for dealing with a long history of priests preying on both young men and women. (The Fresno Diocese is only one of two dioceses in the state that has yet to release its list of credibly accused priests) But virtually no one expected the scandal to tarnish the reputation of the late Pope John Paul II, the once wildly popular Polish pope who ruled for 26 years. But now, thanks to a report from the Vatican itself, the late pope has been tied to the growing scandal of disgraced former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick. Among the findings of the Vatican report: Pope John Paul chose to ignore evidence that showed McCarrick engaged in decades of sexual abuse, including pedophilia. McCarrick has become the poster child of how Catholic priests prey on others: "grooming" victims with adoration, attention, money and gifts all the while using his power and public standing to intimidate the victims and his critics. The McCarrick scandal is a major embarrassment for the church, but it likely won't lead to an effort to reverse the canonization of Pope John Paul II. (file photo of the late Pope John Paul II and the degraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick)
* ... HOARDING ROUND TWO: Remember when the pandemic first hit and you couldn't find toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizes anywhere in town? Well, get ready because we may be entering yet another period of hoarding and grocery shortages. that's the word from the nation's major grocery store companies who say there already is a shortage of kitchen staples like butter and spices because so many people are cooking home. And in the Southeast, Kroger Co. reinstated new limits on the amount of toilet paper and paper towels that customers can purchase. "We are on the cusp of the next uptick in major pandemic buying, said Dave Kauder, vice president of merchandising at New Seasons Market. The New York Times said grocers expect cleaning wipes to remain scarce and are keeping an eye for a rush of demand for new paper products. GOOD ADVICE: If shortages happen here, make sure you check Stinson's Stationers (stinsons.com) which has become a reliable place to find scarce items like bath tissue, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Sure, human touch is nice, but have you ever tried on a cable knit LL Bean cardigan?"
* ... MOVIE MIKE: Congratulations to Mike Armendariz, who has been appointed general manager of Maya Cinemas in Bakersfield. Armendariz previously managed the company Delano cinema complex and is recognized as one of the leading authorities on American cinema in California. For the past three years Armendariz has been a regular commentator on movies every Friday on The Richard Beene Show on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM/1180 AM.