Several local hospitals and Kern County Emergency Medical Services have worked for more than a year to create a new countywide system to help people with the most serious kind of heart attacks get the right care as quickly as possible, she reported.

That means getting them to a hospital with a catheterization lab where doctors can open up the arteries and restore blood flow to the heart.

Two days later, Rachel got a call from Michelle Oxford, vice president of Business Development at Bakersfield Heart Hospital.

She had heard from a doctor about a couple who came into the hospital Sunday. The husband had been having back pain for a day or so and his wife was reading the paper. When she got to the part of the story that listed the symptoms of a heart attack, she realized her husband was having one.

They drove to the hospital and sure enough he had a STEMI, the exact kind of heart attack the story featured. The doctor was able to open up his artery and he lived.

As far as we know, it's the first news article this year that seems to have helped save someone's life.

Nice work by Rachel Cook!


When it rains, it pours....

Reader Larry Dunn of Bakersfield got quite worked up last week about the rain and how it did or did not show up on our weather page. He wrote:

Dec. 2: In today's paper, the weather page tells us we had no rain to speak of, yet our rainfall total went up two-hundredths.

I wouldn't mention this tiny error, if there were not a pattern of inconsistent data in this official record. I have seen rainfall transferred from the day it occurred to the next (or previous) day several times. And the process of promoting a trace to several hundredths of an inch of rain is commonplace....

Dec. 3: This is outrageous! Two days in a row with no rain, though we all got wet. And the season total went up five-hundredths....

Dec. 4: Now we know: a trace is 9 hundredths of an inch. That's how much the season total went up today. From .17 to .26 inch.

But sometimes a trace can be a bit less, maybe only .03 or .04. As for those who thought 'trace' referred to an unmeasurably small amount, I can only shrug and roll my eyes at their innocence.

Larry Dunn


ARTHUR: Confusing, isn't it? We will take up the matter with our Weather Dept.

Or we can wait until the dry season.


A READER called to complain that our new Capture Kern calendar doesn't identify Easter Sunday.

JOHN WELLS , Senior Vice President for Revenue & Marketing, said that "The Californian outsourced the printing of the calendar to a national firm and they inexplicably left out Easter. We apologize and of course know the importance of this holiday."

One observer here noted that "they included National Day of Prayer elsewhere in the calendar, so it's not like they're heathens."

You can buy the calendars at Russo's in the Marketplace or at Henley's Photo.


READER: As I was telling the operator, I had a nice surprise on the 22nd of Nov. I saw Fred Bassett the comic in the paper. When is he coming back?

Doris Cary

ARTHUR: Sorry to report it was a mistake and that Fred is not coming back. We've moved on.


READER: I just want to comment about the cartoons that you run in your cartoon section. I just want to tell you that I love Fred and Rover and Max and Sherman's Lagoon. A lot of my friends and I are very active in animal rights and we are very appreciative of the input that those strips show us. Thank you very much.

Gayle Fieldgrove Sound Off