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Californian President and CEO Richard Beene.

City payroll

The city of Bakersfield under City Manager Alan Tandy is running much leaner than cities of comparable size. At least that's the conclusion of a new study by the Washington Examiner, which calculated the ratio of residents to city workers for U.S. cities with a population of at least 200,000. Here is one example: While one out of every 28 residents in San Francisco is on the city payroll, Bakersfield has the highest -- 246 residents per employee. Said reader John Pryor: "We should be proud of our local leadership and management. Overstaffing translates to unfunded pension liability and ultimately to municipal bankruptcy."


The value of all Kern County agricultural commodities jumped 11 percent last year, elevating Kern as the second largest agriculture-producing county in the nation. The top crops: grapes, almonds, milk, citrus, pistachios, cattle, carrots, hay and alfalfa, cotton and potatoes.


An absolutely ebullient woman, grinning ear to ear, runs up to a friend in a local Starbucks and says, "It just took me four minutes to get into town on the Westside Parkway! I love it!"

West Rotary

West Rotary helped some needy children this past weekend, allowing several dozen kids to participate in the $100 Children's Shopping Spree at Kohl's. Said member Vija Turjanis: "Instead of 30 kids, the final count was 32, and when Rotarians realized that there were two additional children, they magically produced two more $100 gift cards. It was a fabulous event and wonderful to watch these children's faces beaming with joy when they come out of the store with their new clothes for school. Additionally, after the children completed their shopping, they were treated to a hot breakfast, and then they were also able to select a brand new backpack equipped with school supplies from a variety of colors."


And here is a special Bakersfieldism from longtime resident and Californian reader Robert Delgado, who just celebrated his 87th birthday. "I remember when I was about five years old, my dad took a wagon load of hay all the way down Wible Road (now Oak Street) to the stock yard, that was next to the train tracks for cattle loading. At that time there was no overpass and only a Man Signal on the track."

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