• Felix Adamo / The CalifornianRichard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    MCCARTHY After a bruising week both politically and personally on Capitol Hill, Rep. Kevin McCarthy returned home in the style which has made him so popular: He flew home with World War II members of the latest Honor Flight. McCarthy, along with wife Judy and daughter Mehgan, gave up their first-

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Water wasters should be fined. But by whom?

    I’m in a half-and-half mood about Bakersfield’s proposed ordinance that would allow it to fine the snot out of water wasters. Yes, water wasters should be fined and yes, the city should be able to issue hefty administrative citations, which don’t come with all the same strings as infractions or

  • Robert Price is The Californian's executive editor.

    SOUND OFF: At what point are we obligated to report a false rumor? Ever?

    What prompted Bakersfield’s Kevin McCarthy to reverse course and bow out of the race for Speaker of the House? A post that he, according to most informed opinions, was a virtual lock to win? Pundits both inside and outside the Capitol agree (now that the initial shock has subsided) that it was

  • Jeanette and Dan Lackey at a fountain at Mexicali on 18th Street. The couple left a penny in the fountain in memory of their son, Ben, who passed away two years ago at the age of 13. The restaurant was Ben’s favorite, and the staff treated him like a king, his parents say.

    HERB BENHAM: Family finds solace in pennies from heaven

    Ben Lackey collected pennies, Cheerios, tassels, sand, books and school buses (the smaller, slightly more manageable kind). Although his mother, Jeanette, understood — collecting is a calming activity for autistic children — it drove her nuts because she was always cleaning up piles of things.

  • PETE TITTL: Macaroni Grill serves a brunch worth waking up for

    Romano’s Macaroni Grill is a chain on a hot streak. We’ve written about the restaurant’s excellent express lunch and dinners, which offer incredible value — $10 for a three-course lunch, and $12 for dinners guaranteed to be ready in 9 minutes, a great choice for those long workdays. And now the

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Asking the question as important as finding the answer

    “In the house of the Eternal I found my questions: Waiting to be posed, They filled me with wonder . . .” — Mishkan T’Filah Prayer Book My husband likes to say that if I were a superhero, my secret identity would be “The Questioner,” because asking questions is my super power. Of course, he only

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Of Kevin, Cody and sweet peas

    A week ago, a college friend called from New York. “Do you know this guy Kevin McCarthy?” Ricky said. Do I know Kevin McCarthy? Everybody knows Kevin McCarthy. Kevin’s from Bakersfield. He’s so famous in Bakersfield that he’s graduated, like Madonna, to one-name status. It’s never Kevin McCarthy,

  • Richard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    MCCARTHY: Politics, like aging, is not a game for sissies, but I couldn't help but feel for Rep. Kevin McCarthy and his family after he bowed out of the race to become the next Speaker of the House. McCarthy is an adult and can take the heat, but when he took questions from a swarm of reporters,

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: A man walks into a bank with a blue backpack ...

    The other day I went to the bank. This is not news. People go to the bank all the time and manage to do so without making a fuss. I was wearing a backpack. I don’t normally wear a backpack to a bank. A backpack might indicate that I have come to the bank for money, more money than I have in my

  • Clifton Murray, Remigio Pereira, Victor Micallef and Fraser Walters are the Tenors.

    CESAREO GARASA: Tenors coming to Bakersfield on a high note

    At first glance, the members of the vocal quartet the Tenors look like they stepped straight out of Frank Sinatra’s 1960s Vegas Rat Pack. The dapper thirty-somethings — Remigio Pereira, Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters and Clifton Murray — each have their own musical leanings, Walters and Murray in

  • Robert Price

    SOUND OFF: Why are we being so mean to McCarthy?

    This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian's news coverage. Your questions may be edited for space. Reader: Hometown “boy” Kevin McCarthy has barely made his intention known to put his hat in the ring for

  • HERB BENHAM: Forgive me if I drone on about latest fad

    I’m thinking about getting a drone. I’d like to be in front of a trend. I could have done robots but they seemed slow and I hated the way they talked. I wasn’t keen on drones to begin with but it might have had to do with the name. Drone — it sounded like a downer. Drone was what speakers did at

  • Emad Meerza is president of the Islamic Shoura Council of Bakersfield.

    JOSE GASPAR: Local Muslims 'demoralized' by Carson's comments

    “(The American Dream is) that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement...a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: When the 405 gods are with you ...

    I'm in love with a beautiful thing: Southern California freeways at night when they're humming. It's hard to rhapsodize about driving in LA without invoking The Californians, the “Saturday Night Live” skit where characters talked about freeways and off-ramps as if they were pathways to

  • Richard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    LAYOFFS: There was yet another round of layoffs this week at California Resources Corp., the spinoff company from Occidental Petroleum that holds huge reserves here. One manager called this the deepest round of layoffs yet at CRC during the downtown in the energy market. Chevron has been undergoing

  • Bakersfield indie rock act Los DeVitos appears at Sandrini's on Saturday. Pictured above from left: Jaqs Clark, Justin Ramirez, Jacob Ninomiya, Ryan Forthman.

    MATT MUNOZ: Bakersfield surf garage band rides wave of good feeling

    You don’t need a surfboard to ride the groove of psychedelic garage popsters Los DeVitos. Extending a musical invitation to their album release shindig Saturday at Sandrini’s are members Jacob Ninomiya, vocals, guitar; Jaqs Clark, bass; Justin Ramirez, lead guitar; and Ryan Forthman, drums. “Most