Opinion

  • BCSD's county library vote

    I disagree with the Bakersfield City School District Board's decision to officially oppose “any effort” by the Board of Supervisors or the school district to consider public private partnerships for Kern County Libraries. Why would we limit our thinking on improving our libraries? Stifling

  • Vester Lee Flanagan, who was known on-air as Bryce Williams is shown in this handout photo from TV station WDBJ7 obtained by Reuters August 26, 2015. Flanagan is a suspect in the shooting death of Alison Parker, a WDBJ reporter, and Adam Ward, a WDBJ photographer were shot and killed in Virginia on Wednesday morning while conducting a live interview. REUTERS/WDBJ7/Handout via Reuters     THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO ARCHIVES. NO SALES. MANDATORY CREDIT

    Vester Flanagan has made witnesses of us all

    "I've seen enough. I don't want to see any more" -- Bruce Springsteen, "Cover Me" When terrorists beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 and posted video of the killing online, I refused to look. I explained my reasoning in this space. To watch that

  • Flowers lay at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 where slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward worked in Roanoke, Va. REUTERS/Chris Keane

    Actually, research shows that guns do kill people

    America's ritualized response to gun violence is no more comforting for being so familiar. The initial burst of horror. The ricochet of blame. The benumbed kin struggling to understand why guns are so readily available to people who are dangerous, reckless or disturbed. There are peculiarities

  • Handout photograph of Lillian Tafoya a BCSD school board incumbent.

    Fix law discouraging schools from saving for a rainy day

    While the state has made great strides preparing its own finances for a rainy day, there is a major piece of unfinished business that needs to be addressed to stop a fiscal train wreck from hitting our local schools. State leaders must act urgently to fix an irresponsible law approved as

  • A worthwhile Obamacare replacement plan

    Trying to repeal Obamacare has long been a popular (if futile) Republican pastime. Now replacing Obamacare is catching on, at least among Republican presidential candidates. This would count as progress, except that none of their proposals quite meets the definition of "replacement." The

  • School enrollment process shouldn't be this tough

    “Is this the line for the U2 tickets?” a neighbor asked me. Nope. The line extending around the corner was just another group of California parents forced to prove that we actually live where we’re trying to send our kids to school. With a new school year comes another fraught season of student

  • Heroism, American-style

    Every country has its heroes, but something in America's cultural sauce makes for a unique and unusually effective variety. The ingredient would be improvisation -- the ability to perform without preparation, using whatever is at hand to complete the task. As most of the world knows, Spencer

  • New civil rights movement finds its political voice

    One of the most important aspects of a proposed new national agenda for police reform is the context in which it is presented. "We can end police violence in America" is the opening salvo of Campaign Zero, a movement organized by prominent Ferguson protesters Brittany Packnett, DeRay

  • Europe's refugee crisis demands our attention

    All this year Europe has been struggling with a massive influx of refugees fleeing war and poverty in their home countries throughout the Mideast and North Africa. Since January some 340,000 migrants have arrived in the countries of the European Union, more than three times the number that entered

  • End the school-to-prison pipeline

    A recent poll seems to imply that the general public does not understand, and maybe has never heard of, the school-to-prison pipeline. It is a national trend in which children -- more often than not, minorities -- are caught up by "zero-tolerance" public school policies that criminalize

  • handout photograph of Nick Strobel for column.

    Just the sort of 21st century leader BC needs

    I have been a faculty member of Bakersfield College since 1996. I was hired the same year that our new Library was opened to the college and the community. The library is named after Grace Van Dyke Bird, a well-respected and much-loved president of Bakersfield College. In a sort of “Back to the

  • The joke's on us if we buy into Hillary

    Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee for the 2016 election, appears to be growing weary of answering, or not answering fully, questions about her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. During a news conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas, journalist Ed Henry

  • California’s high fuel taxes and bad roads

    A cogent – and perhaps unanswerable – question punctuates the political machinations over raising billions of new dollars to repair California’s deteriorating highways. How is it that California motorists are paying some of the nation’s highest fuel taxes, but the highways they use are among the

  • A Kern County Sheriff’s deputy closes off a section of road in Onyx late Aug. 14 as the manhunt continues after a resident in the area thought he saw the suspect.

    Dedication was at heart of this suspect search

    The lengthy manhunt and death of Benjamin Peter Ashley proved many things about the state of law enforcement in the country, and it’s one that has been relegated to the back burner of popular conversation. During a relentless pursuit of a suspect thought to have murdered a popular Tehachapi

  • BC's Christian's tenure needs to continue

    When Sonya Christian was hired to be Bakersfield College’s president in 2013, it was stressed that she was the person to “develop strong relationships with educational partners and the community at large.” That message was from Kern Community College District Chancellor Sandra Serrano, who helped

  • Robert Price

    SOUND OFF: The photo from Roanoke you didn't see — and won't here

    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. Price: The purpose of this weekly Sound Off column is to explain, and sometimes defend, the way we present

  • Robert Price is The Californian's executive editor.

    ROBERT PRICE: We've had no one of this stature since Frank Gifford

    He was a hall of fame inductee — first the Pro Football Hall of Fame, then, decades later, the Bakersfield High Hall of Fame (perhaps, some might joke, a reflection of that club’s more rigid exclusivity). He was regarded by many as a hero, though he fidgeted uncomfortably whenever anyone ladled

  • An air tanker makes a drop on the Water Fire, south of the Grapevine area, in this file photo

    General aviation advances firefighting services all across California

    The wildfire season is well underway in California, and the drought has created even more dangerous conditions for wildfires in the state. I am a board member of the Associated Aerial Firefighters, our organization helps to advance aerial firefighting procedures, improve safety protocols,