WASCO GRAD: Audra Miller wrote to tell me about her son Carl Miller, who graduated from St. John's Catholic School in Wasco and then Wasco High School. He went on to earn his PhD from UCLA and did post-doctorate work at the Harvard Medical School. He is now working in Seattle as a scientist for Dendreon, a company that recently announced a breakthrough in the treatment of prostate cancer.

"There is great hope that this prostate cancer treatment will be a steppingstone for the treatment of many other types of cancers," she said. Well done.

OFF TO OREGON: Kudos go out to Paul Brumfield, son of Kern County Superior Court Judge Lorna Brumfield and local attorney Robert Brumfield, for getting an academic scholarship to attend the University of Oregon in Eugene. Paul will major in music (with a minor in business) and is coming off participating in the California state honor choir.

As his father said, "Go Ducks!"

GUN RIGHTS: Is there a better argument for the right to bear arms than the brutal killing of grandmother Dorothy Pauline Session? Some lost children who apparently just happened on the house intent to steal a few things beat her to death in her east Bakersfield home. How many of these predators walk our streets on any given day? I can think of few better arguments for the Second Amendment than senseless cases like this.

MEA CULPA: In a recent post on the engagement of Morgan Houchin and Jillian Giumarra, I neglected to mention that Jill's parents are John and Pamela Giumarra, and the mother of the Houchin boys is Candus Houchin-Birnbaum. That was bad form on my part and I apologize. Morgan's brother and Jillian's sister are already married, keeping this one all in the family.

SAN JOSE STATE: Heard from Mark Powell, a reporter at The Tehachapi News, who wanted to know how big the community of San Jose State University alumni, was locally. Powell noted that he graduated from San Jose State, as did longtime Californian courts reporter Steve Swenson and Jose Gaspar of KBAK Eyewitness News 29. In addition, former KBAK producer Meg Stewart is a San Jose State graduate.

BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "you know the Garces circle is not a quiz item on a geometry test."

Richard Beene blogs at www.bakersfieldobserved.com. These are his opinions, not necessarily The Californian's. Email him at bakersfieldobserved@gmail.com