The folks behind the effort to bring the Tour of California cycling race back to Bakersfield have quietly withdrawn their request to be a host city next year. Sources close to the effort told me they are backing off in part because of the doping scandal that led to Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Sponsors like Nike have dropped Armstrong, and last week, Rabobank said it too would drop its sponsorship of a major European cycling team. (Rabobank was also a huge sponsor of the Tour of California and had a big presence at this year's time trial event on the Panorama bluffs). An insider told me that raising money to bring the tour back was hard enough, and the doping scandal was the final nail in the coffin. "We'll just let 2013 pass and then take another look in 2014," I was told.


Here is something to remember on Halloween: New research seems to prove the old adage that you can literally be "scared to death." That's right. Researchers now believe that some people have "acute, sudden heart failure" when they suffer a severe traumatic experience. And this is happening in otherwise perfectly healthy people. "These include victims of muggings and break-ins whose assailants never touched them; children who died on amusement-park rides; car-accident victims who sustained only minor injuries and a man who jumped off the roof" of a hospital but suffered severe heart damage even before hitting the ground, said a recent story in The Wall Street Journal.


Two old box springs and mattresses, along with an equally grungy brown recliner, are unceremoniously dumped in Jastro Park over the weekend.


Bakersfield College has a new president and she will be taking over during a time of tremendous challenge for community colleges. Today, new president Dr. Sonya Christian will join me on Californian Radio (KERN 1180 AM) to talk about her plans on leading the school. When she takes over full time in January, she will become the school's 10th president. Tune in at 9 a.m. and call in with your questions to (661) 842-5376.


My earlier piece on theft at airports by security personnel drew this note from Michael Tasos. "Greetings from North Georgia. Interesting point about airport thefts. A few years ago, while vacationing in Maui, my son and I were going to play golf. When I reached into my bag, I found that my 5, 7, and 9 irons, as well as two wedges, were missing. I asked my son if he had been messing with my clubs before we left, and he had not. I contacted Delta, and they paid for the stolen clubs immediately. You're right. Theft must be rampant. I also found the random assortment of clubs that were pilfered to be quite odd. I guess someone was building a set."


George Antonio Borba, the patriarch of the dairy farming Borba family, died last week after a long battle with cancer. Borba is a familiar name in Kern County, thanks to his family and his sons moving their dairy operations here almost a decade ago. Borba was president of the California Milk Producers Cooperative. He was 80 years old and lived his entire life in the Ontario and Chino area.

Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Bakersfield Californian. He blogs at These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Email him at