Gary Chambers provided this bit of good news that reflects well on our community. "On July 3, I stopped at the Fresh & Easy at Jewetta and Olive to pick up some last minute items for the Fourth barbecue. At the last minute, I decided to withdraw $50. Guess I was distracted, and I forgot to take the $50 that had been dispensed. I didn't notice it missing until the Fourth. Knowing it was probably fruitless, I called the Fresh and Easy as I was sure someone took the free cash. To my surprise, the manager said a customer had turned in both the $50 and the receipt. The store had my money when I arrived to pick up the next day. I would like to thank the person who turned the money into the store. Makes one feel good about the honest people in Bakersfield."
As if the litter on our roads were not enough, have you ever noticed the landscaping (or lack thereof) around the Highway 99 and Highway 58 interchanges? It is virtually nonexistent, and weeds grow out of control. Next time you are on Ming Avenue at Highway 99 or on California Avenue, check out the "landscaping" on the on and off ramps.
A reader left me a voice mail message with a curious argument in favor of fireworks on the Fourth of July. Dogs on both sides of his house, he said, normally bark through the night preventing him from getting a full night's sleep. "But on the Fourth, they shut up," he said. "I find the constant dog barking far more irritating than fireworks."
Did you know that restaurants and bars account for one in 10 jobs in America? That's according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported that restaurant sector job growth is helping lead the overall growth in national employment. The downside: salaries in this industry are generally at the lower end of the compensation spectrum.
My recent blog entries on the old bowling alleys around town triggered this memory from Gene French. His family moved to Bakersfield in 1943 when his father went to work at a pattern maker for the Haberfelde Foundry.
"The pattern shop was on the east side of the canal in a brick building that was south of the building that became Golden State Lanes. My father said that in the 1930s, the big building was an ice skating rink; the brick building had the refrigeration unit for the rink. (Bakersfield Ice Chalet -- Not sure about the name.) During the war, the building ... was machine shop to machine tank parts that were cast in the foundry. After the war, Haberfelde changed the machine shop to machine and rebuild automobile engines into the late 1950s."
I am always happy to recognize all our local kids who go on to great achievements, and the latest is Heidi Wegis, a West High and CSUB graduate (2002) who went on to Oregon State and obtained her master's and doctorate in exercise and sport science. She is now an assistant professor within the School of Biology and Population Science. Heidi successfully completed the Ironman Triathlon in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on June 23, swimming for 2.5 miles, biking for 112 miles, and running for 26.2 miles. Her family, including her parents, Robb and Evelyn Wegis and her aunt Carol Hall, are understandably proud of her.