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Californian President and CEO Richard Beene.

Westside Parkway

Don't expect anything special in terms of landscaping on the new Westside Parkway. That's the word from city public works director Raul Rojas, who said Caltrans has changed (read that: greatly pared down) its landscaping requirements due to budget constraints. Rojas said the Westside project will have "more of a hard scape," minimalist design as opposed to a more attractive, and expensive look that was originally envisioned. He said worries about the Westside landscaping were "valid concerns" and the city has been looking at alternative funding issues. Stay tuned.


And speaking of the Westside Parkway, wouldn't it be grand if the city would sponsor a day (or a few hours) when the public could walk or ride their bikes on it before the Aug. 2 opening? Envision a sea of families and people, running, walking or biking to christen an open parkway devoid of cars and trucks.

Wall dispute

The folks trying to restore a walking path between Amberton and Stockdale Estates got some bad news recently when attorney Barry Goldner decided he could no longer represent them. If you remember, Goldner had offered to represent the group pro bono, but he apparently had a change of heart. Why? Goldner declined to tell me, but speculation is someone put some pressure on Goldner to back off. Goldner is a partner in the law firm of Klein DeNatale and Goldner.

Bad form

Ray Riley witnessed a bit of bad form recently while having breakfast at the 24th Street Cafe. Said Riley: "Across the aisle from our booth were a couple in their mid 30s, certainly old enough to be able to tell the difference between a restaurant and a bar. The woman was talking extremely loud, laughing, and lacing her conversation heavily with 'F bombs,' completely unaware or uncaring of the presence of children in nearby booths. It has become apparent that some people have no consideration or manners towards anyone else... It's what I want and it's all about me!"


More memories of our town when it was a smaller, quieter burg. From reader Bob Tackett: "I remember in 1960 about two weeks after meeting my wife (engaged after 12 days, married 53 years this November), my parents were going to Sequoia. Janet and I drove through Bakersfield and stopped at Stan's to eat. (We lived in Pomona at the time). Then in 1967, we moved to Bakersfield to start a business (United Auto Wrecking). My first memories of that restaurant (Senor Jose's) is that after moving to Bakersfield, my brother and I and our wives went to have dinner at that location. At the time it was a steak house called King Arthurs. We were so incensed at the price ($34) for the four of us that we never returned. After King Arthurs, it became Senor Jose's. I don't recall if we ever ate there. My brother, Dwight became the owner of A-1 Battery in 1979."


From retired Kern County Superior Court Judge Frank Hoover on the old Bakersfield Open golf tournament: "I caddied for my dad, Francis W. (Frank) Hoover, at both of them. He was the low amateur both years. I don't remember his scores, but those few left who do remember his skills as a golfer won't be surprised at my memory that on the last day in the 1961 Bakersfield Open, he shot a 67 and hit all 18 greens. He played in the US Amateur at Pebble Beach that same year (a young kid named Nicklaus won). Thanks for the memories."

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