REAL ESTATE: How many homes do you think are for sale in Bakersfield for $2 million or more? A simple search of the Trulia real estate website found five in that range, starting at $2.3 million and soaring to a $2.9 million mansion boasting seven bedrooms, eight baths and 16,000 square feet of living space. Meanwhile, an old home I have admired downtown that sold for $220,000 in 2010 is back on the market listed at $775,000. What is this, 2006?
STRAYS: The throwaway culture that exists in our society unfortunately extends to pets, and Kern County seems to be ground zero for stray animals. Recently, an emaciated, but very sweet, female gray cat showed up on my porch. She was hungry for food, for water and most of all, for attention. I later learned that she had been spayed and walked with a limp because of an injury that no one bothered to attend to. A friend took her in, nourished her and heard the soft purr of a cat that only wanted to be loved. By the time she was taken to a veterinarian, it was too late. Someone out there unceremoniously dumped this cat in my neighborhood, an act so cruel that it defies logic. At least Honey, as she was named over a 72-hour period, had love at the end.
: A friend coming back from the beach this week remarked: "What moron at Caltrans decided to reduce Highway 46 to one lane during spring break week for minor roadwork?"
SPOTTED: Former Gov. Pete Wilson was in town this week and was spotted in the lobby of the Padre Hotel chatting with Kern Economic Development Corp. director Richard Chapman and County Counsel Teri Goldner.
YOUNG GUNS: One of Bakersfield's best-kept secrets is that each year it produces some of the best young skeet shooters in the nation. And that tradition continued this weekend at the Ken Barnes Open Skeet Tournament at the Kern County Gun Club. Miles Ramsey, 13, a Stockdale Christian seventh-grader and son of Mark and Betsy Ramsey, came away as the class champion in both the 28 gauge and 410 bore and as high overall champion in his class. And Jenna Bouni, 16, daughter of Frank and Lori Bouni, shot a perfect 100 X 100 in the 12 gauge and also claimed the ladies championship with an overall score of 388 X 400. She's a freshman at Grand Canyon College in Phoenix. Both kids represent a long line of local teens who have had outstanding careers shooting skeet.
MEMORIES: Jack Kelley posed this question: "Good morning, Richard. I was wondering if any of the old-timers in Bakersfield remember the police motorcycles painted red and black. They were painted black and white after a lawsuit forced all vehicles issuing traffic tickets had to be painted black and white. I don't think this applies anymore."
Email Richard Beene , Californian president and CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at BakersfieldObserved.com.