Valley fever: If you are new to town, you need to learn about valley fever, a potential deadly illness that is indigenous to Kern County and a few other parts of the Southwest. There is no vaccine for it, and in many cases, it is easily misdiagnosed, which is why I was glad to hear that Rep. Kevin McCarthy has created a Congressional Valley Fever Task Force to find a vaccine for the fungal spore that triggers valley fever in so many people. McCarthy said one of the goals of the task force is to "pursue policies and activities that help encourage the development of a valley fever vaccine through collaboration with the public sector, academia and the private sector."
Beach Park: There was an ugly incident at Beach Park Saturday morning that should be shared with anyone who gathers there to run, exercise or ride bikes. A cyclist was getting his bike out of his truck around 5:30 a.m. when a young Hispanic man approached him, flashed what appeared to be a .45 caliber pistol, and demanded his money. "I told him I didn't have any, which was true," the man said. "So he says, 'then I will shoot you,' and he pulled up his shirt to show the gun. I told him again I didn't have any and then he asked for my cell phone, which was in the truck. I said I didn't have one. He told me to get on my bike and leave. Last time I saw him, he was walking down the bike path."
Veterinarian: Another shoutout to the good folks over at the Rosedale Veterinary Hospital. Lisa Beason wrote that the vets at Rosedale have cared for her two rescued Greyhounds, Dasha and Chloe, since 2005. "Dr. Sheahan was recommended by my rescue group because of her expertise in caring for ex-racing Greyhounds. Like (other readers), my family has experienced the extraordinary professionalism, empathy and care that Dr. Sheahan and her staff extends to all of their clients. Our girls are 10 and 11; I know the time to say goodbye will come much too fast. But I also know the team at RVH will help and support us. There is definitely a special place in heaven for dogs and veterinarians. Thank you for sharing this story."
Adios: Our community is losing a local couple who have always worked to make this a better place to live. Mimi Audelo, head of special projects at San Joaquin Community Hospital, and husband Joe, a banker at Wells Fargo, have sold their Southwest home and are moving to Santa Barbara. Joe will be working at Wells Fargo on the coast and Mimi will be looking for new work. Good luck to them both.
Water slides: Here's a good thought considering the heat this summer. From Betsy Gosling: "I recently returned from British Columbia and noticed several water slides at various locations, mostly small towns. We really need a water slide in Bakersfield. Surely. there is a private person and/or company who is willing to build one or two, nothing large, just a place for everyone, especially kids, to cool off in this weather. It is a win-win situation and would certainly be profitable. Don't you know someone?"
Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Bakersfield Californian. He blogs at www.bakersfieldobserved.com. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Email him at email@example.com.