Carol Knapp is so fed up with litter that she tried to track down the person who dumped a pile of papers in the Big Lots parking lot. Among the trash was a student's paper from Longfellow School, so Carol tried - unsuccessfully - to contact Principal Mario Castro to reach the offending parent.

"I feel if parents are slobs then their children will be the same. Schools need to teach the children as early as the first grade that littering is wrong."


Hats off to the Kern Community Foundation, which recently recognized Marvin and Nadene Steinert with the group's "Spirit of Philanthropy" Award. The Steinerts are among our community's most generous benefactors, and they recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The event was held at the Bakersfield Museum of Art.


One of the social events of the year was held last weekend at The Padre Hotel, where Imbibe Wine and Spirits partnered with the Bakersfield North Rotary Foundation to raise money for charities. There were more than 20 winemakers present, and I am told it was a "who's who" of Bakersfield who showed up to support the event. Hats off to Tami and David Dobbs over at Imbibe for helping make this event a success.

Road trip

Notes from a road trip I recently took. The Phoenix to Bakersfield U.S. Airways flight is always a spectacle (you almost always run into someone you know), but these days it is full of oil field contractors headed to Kern County for work. As one Canadian contractor told me this week: "I feel like Bakersfield is my second home I am here so much."

Pizza, really?

And speaking of airline travel, is it really necessary to bring an entire, freshly cooked pizza on the plane with you? What is the etiquette about sitting down in a cramped plane and gobbling down an entire pizza while the aroma fills the plane?


Expect to see a major story on Bakersfield and our economy soon in the The Wall Street Journal. The paper is sending one of its veteran San Francisco-based reporters to Bakersfield to report on our oil boom and local economy. Be looking for this piece in the weeks to come.


You can add the Kleenerz laundry to the list of local companies that go out of their way to provide terrific customer service. Hard to beat the smiles and efficiency at the company's Brundage Lane office.


Hats off to the students and staff at Independence High School who are joining forces with Living Grace Church to provide turkeys and non-perishable food items for the needy this Saturday. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to noon in the high school parking lot to benefit a local ministry, the Flood, and Independence families. Call (661) 428-7265 for details.

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