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Felix Adamo

Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

SAFETY: The rash of speeding-related accidents around town -- the last one on Saturday when a 54-year-old man was killed on Gosford Road -- has folks talking about road safety.

Stephen A. Montgomery offered his view: "One thing that should happen is make greater restrictions on who is granted a driver's license. In the industrialized world the U.S. states appear to have the easiest path to getting a driver's license, requiring little beyond an easy test and a quick drive to get one. Most countries serious about driver safety require the applicant to actually show they have the skills and attitude to properly and safely operate a motor vehicle."

HENLEY'S: Glenn Porter reached out to me to praise the customer service at Henley's Photos, which recently changed hands. "Our family has done business with Henley's for years, but recently had the experience of working with the new owner, Jimmy Bunting, and was absolutely awed by the number of positive changes he has made to what was already great. He brings together extensive knowledge with film photography utilizing cameras that are well over 100 years old, melds that superior knowledge of digital photography and videography and caps it all off with brand new, state-of- the-art printing technology. They even have classes to help you learn to use the features your camera has so that you can take professional looking photographs. The store is currently undergoing a major rehab, but even now you will be greeted by friendly, knowledgeable photo experts, which is a refreshing change from what you get with the kiosk approach at drug or membership stores. Congratulations to the new owners of Henley's for making a great store even better."

ST. FRANCIS: It's that time of year again and St. Francis Parish School will be hosting its Pot of Gold celebration to raise money for St. Vincent De Paul and Mercy Without Borders. All week the students have been collecting donations and are hoping to top the $2,000 they raised last year.

The celebration will be held on Monday, March 17, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. at St. Francis Parish School. The children and staff (along with Monsignor Craig Harrison) will be performing the Irish Jig.

MEMORIES: One of my regular contributors, Elinor Grant, submitted this memory of old Bakersfield: "I have fond memories of the meat market at 23rd and L streets. My grandmother and I would take the streetcar uptown and walk over to the market. Among other things she would purchase a pound of wieners, the good old fashioned kind. On the ride back to our neighborhood she would open up the package and we would each eat a wiener. And does anyone remember the Japanese fish market in the same general area?"

SALAD BOWL: Ilona Wilson of Sacramento sent me this note: "I was wondering if you could help and give me the address for the Old Salad Bowl Restaurant that used to be on Chester Avenue in the 1960s? Is it still there or was the building torn down? What store or restaurant is there today? Was thinking of stopping by on our next trip to Los Angeles." Can anyone help the Wilsons?

Email Richard Beene, Californian president and CEO, at His column appears on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at