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Felix Adamo

Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

CLEANUP: Hats off to all the local people who fanned out around town Saturday for Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and the Great American Cleanup. I spotted hundreds of folks about town participating, and city crews were busy on the bike path between Beach Park and Manor Drive picking up discarded grocery carts and other trash. Check out a photo gallery of the event.

SPOTTED: At the Starbucks on Oswell, a young mother is sitting in a brown leather chair cuddling with her young son. The problem: Her shoes are off and her dirty feet are lounging on the surface of the round table where people place their food.

GOOD FORM: A group of city firefighters from the No. 15 station in Seven Oaks were at Jersey Mike's restaurant when they learned a patron has picked up their bill. "We were all surprised and so thankful," firefighter Stephen Elrod told me. "All we know was that his name was Walk and we wanted to thank him."

THE MARK: It looks like The Mark will be the latest restaurant in town to cash in on the popularity of outside dining. The eatery has leased a parking lot next to its building on 19th Street and is planning on outside dining with a bar, modeled after what Luigi's Delicatessen did a few years ago when it expanded its garden seating.

TRASH: Karen DeWalt submitted this bit of good news: "I recently submitted an article about Caltrans cleaning up the corner of Golden State frontage road and F Street, and trimming the oleanders. Last Wednesday, the corner was getting cleaned up, not by Caltrans but someone who saw the article. Not only cleaned up the corner but the road as well. This group is called Retiree Pickup. The corner is cleaned up and now waiting for Caltrans to pick up the weeds. Thank you so much for the Retirees Pickup group, which goes out every Wednesday where needed."

FUNDRAISER: There are still tickets left to this year's Vino Amore 2014, the fundraiser put on by Bakersfield East Rotary. It's on for Saturday, April 26, at Monsignor Leddy Hall at Garces Memorial High School. Chef Gino Valpredo and Luigi's will provide dinner paired with wines from Croad Vineyards. Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased by calling Scarlett Sabin at 661-900-8995.

MEMORIES: My recent blog post about the old Toohey's restaurant triggered this response from Virginia Ratzlaff Pool: "The article about Toohey's brought about memories of the first shopping center outside of downtown. Toohey's was only a small part of the village. I lived across the street from Reimer's Spic-N-Span Market and only half block from Toohey's. I ran around with the Toohey girls who lived on Jeffrey Street. The neighborhood was really nice back then. Mr. Toohey would let us girls come into the restaurant with our roller skates on during closed hours and skate around the counter. It was quite something. Those were the good old days."

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