Air travel: It turns out that 2013 turned out to be one of the worst years for airline travel in the past five years. An annual scorecard of airline service, reported in the Wall Street Journal, said that more flights were delayed and more bags lost than any time since 2009. The best airlines? Those would be Alaska Airlines followed by Delta. The worst: United and American airlines. All this comes as airlines are continuing to reduce the number of flights while squeezing in more seats at the expense of leg room.
Ming: Garrett Ming has left Jim Burke Ford after almost three decades and is striking out on his own in a new business venture. Ming, outgoing chairman of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, spent 27 years with the Burke auto group. His new business creates software solutions for automotive and related industries.
Kudos to Katie McCarthy, a Garces Memorial High graduate who has been named managing editor of Total Beauty. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, she is the daughter of Rob and Judi McCarthy, owners of Lightspeed Systems. She previously was editor of Where LA magazine.
Bad form: Shame on the person who dumped an emaciated female dog in front of a group of children the other day. Said Candace Bunes, who witnessed it: "The dog was abused and terrified. How do you dispose of puppies, or any unwanted inconvenient children you might have? Many have said the best way to judge the civility of society is how it treats the weakest among us."
Bike path: A lot has been said about proper etiquette on our bike path, but Kevin Malamma sums it up well here: "As a member of the cycling public those I ride with seem to understand the need to follow certain 'rules-of-the-road,' such as stay to the right, pass on the left, ride single file, announce hazards (and other objects). It would be nice of the other members of the public that frequent, among other places, the bike path, were to observe similar rules. Dogs not on leashes, dog owners tossing objects for retrieval, walkers meandering three or four abreast, parents with their 3-year-old daughter learning to -- you fill in the blank -- ride, skate, etc., Frisbee players tossing across the bike path without looking, walkers and riders stopped on the path in front of oncoming traffic -- the list could go on. These all present dangers, not just to the unsuspecting cyclist, but also to the above mentioned public. It would be wonderful if these folks used the path with the same consideration that they expect out of groups of more avid bicyclists. But the best example of public misuse of the path is one that I have encountered twice now. A young lady, who must fancy herself a photographer, seated, cross-legged directly in the middle of the path facing her subjects (families with children of various ages), also seated, in a group, in the middle of the path. Certainly a recipe for disaster. I suppose if she has some romantic image of a photographer as a risk taker and wants to insert herself into a dangerous situation we could find a photojournalist job for her somewhere in the Middle East. She just shouldn't think that family portraits are worth putting those families and riders at risk. By the way, I am both an avid cyclist and a photographer, enjoy both activities, and hope to continue to do so for many years, barring any unforeseen accident."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.