The owners of The Padre Hotel have been chosen to renovate one of San Diego's most historic areas, Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Brett Miller, CEO of Eat.Drink.Sleep, the company that brought The Padre back to life three years ago, said he looks forward to working with architects and engineers to return Belmont to a premier entertainment venue. The company also owns the Tower23 hotel and restaurant in Pacific Beach and the boutique hotel, Heat in Lake Havasu.

Lost Dog

If you have a dog or cat, have you bothered to have them "chipped" so they can be returned if they get lost? Susan Ferguson wishes she had done so with her 15-year-old Bichon who escaped from her Westchester home recently.

"Please urge your readers to get their animals chipped," Susan said. "She had just been brushed and her collar was off. Someone said they saw her near Jim Burke Ford but wasn't able to get her."

As a side note, she posted a note on her lost dog on Craigslist, which is notorious for its scam artists. And now people are calling her from boiler rooms offering to find her dog for a hefty price.

Local arts

There is a lot of turmoil in the local arts community with the top jobs of two important organizations - the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Arts Council of Kern - in limbo. At the museum, a search committee is interviewing finalists for the director's job being vacated by retiring director Bernie Herman. Meanwhile, Michael Millar, the director of the Arts Council, is on leave for an unspecified illness. Miller has been on the job since last summer but is largely unknown in the community (never helpful when trying to raise money), and during his absence, the board has had to resort to layoffs because of dire financial conditions. Stay tuned.


Kim Schaefer, who worked for Congressman Jim Costa for more than two years, has joined the staff of incoming Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez. A native of Bar Harbor, Maine, Schaefer transferred to Stockdale High School in her junior year and later went on to study at both Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield. She was a campaign coordinator for Costa and is now a communications director for Perez. She is 32.

Southwest Baseball

One of the better run, and more generous, organizations in town is the Southwest Baseball League. This weekend, the league will be hosting its Toys for Toys tournament with more than 60 teams involved. Each player will donate an unwrapped toy and the league will donate another couple thousand dollars to the Jamison Children's Center. In November, the league held a Turkey Trot Tournament that allowed it to donate 60 turkeys and $2,000 to local shelters. Now that's setting a good example for these kids.


The victory by the Bakersfield College Renegades before 16,000 fans last week continues to resonate among fans. Said Ben Ansolabehere: "I think the best words I can use, as Gerry Collis used to say, is 'Good Old Kern County Pride.' Pride in the players, never quitting, determined to achieve their goals, and doing their jobs to the best of their abilities while knowing their teammates are doing the same.... Finally to the people and fans of Kern County and BC in particular. They transported many of us old players and alumni of BC back, in my case 45 years, to the time when BC football was this very same experience every Saturday home game."

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