• 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • The Puerto Rican girls kick up their heels to the song "America"€ in a scene from "West Side Story," opening Friday at Stars.

    STEFANI DIAS: ‘West Side’ glory — Stars tackles classic

    Something’s coming to Stars this weekend and if you keep up with local theater you know that’s “West Side Story.” The Broadway classic, which spawned the Oscar-winning 1960 film, is rich material for the Chester Avenue theater, director Joe Lowry said. “When we have these iconic pieces that are

  • Richard Beene

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

    MCCARTHY: Now that Rep. Kevin McCarthy has officially entered the campaign to become the next Speaker of the House, there is no shortage of experts offering him advice. One opinion column in The Wall Street Journal summed it up nicely with this: “One of his strengths is that he is on good terms

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Get these two cars together and sparks fly

    I’d left the Jeep at John Axt’s Automotive Service for an oil change and a tire-pressure adjustment. When I returned, I had new oil, firm tires and a story from John. John's like the barber shop; it's better not to be in a hurry because there might be a story and you might want to hear it.

  • Pat Parsons,  Yvonne Liner, Velma Kagler, Mary Alice Smith and Irma Kolstad

    STEVE FLORES: Meeting national living treasures

    I treat each email I receive from readers as though they were a birthday present to me. I have a ritual I go through for each one I receive. I go grab a cold drink from the refrigerator, return to my desk, pretend my computer is a birthday cake, take a sip of my adult beverage and open the email

  • Richard Beene

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

    MCCARTHY: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy started the week posing with Pope Francis and ended with him the odds-on favorite to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is enough to give anyone a healthy case of vertigo, and it is just beginning. To say