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Californian executive editor John Arthur.

READER: I am very upset over the high school sports section because South High School is not receiving as much attention as they should. South High's football team is undefeated and they were given a small article in the newspaper on Saturday, September 28, while Ridgeview lost their last game and they received a big section in the newspaper just for them!

It's not fair that South is getting the short end of the stick just because they don't have as much money as the other schools. They deserve a lot more than just a short article in the newspaper! I would appreciate if you would start showing more respect towards South High and make sure they get a picture in the newspaper just like West, Ridgeview, and all the other schools do!

Thank you.

Sarah Stinnett


ZACH EWING, our award-winning prep sports writer, responds: We assign photos for two or three games each weekend, so we can't photograph every school. We prioritize games of the most widespread interest, and South, while 4-0, as of last week had yet to play an opponent that had a winning record.

That said, BVarsity had been planning for several weeks to spotlight and broadcast live the South at North game on Friday. Viewers of Bvarsity Live on Thursday afternoon and Friday night have routinely heard Louis Amestoy and me sing South's praises, and the Rebels recently entered my Central Section top 25 for the first time in my six years at The Californian.

(The Californian's BVarsity team webcasts sports programs at and the South-North game was covered live on Friday night.)

JOHN ARTHUR adds: The South-North game also was the top local story in Friday's sports section.

Zach Ewing wrote:

"It's a battle for the Civil War Sword that has rarely seemed more important or less important.

"South High and North High will tangle in a football game tonight that has taken Kern County's spotlight....

It pits the undefeated and untested Rebels (4-0) against a Stars team that is 1-3 but has been competitive in every game a year after going 0-10 and who would love to make a statement against a rival.


READER: How surprising it was to read about The Bakersfield Californian columnist Inga Barks in the Public Safety portion of the newspaper. ("Radio host Barks pleads no contest to drunk and disorderly conduct," page 8, Sept. 24).

Her run-in with the law was addressed, but her relationship with The Californian was not mentioned. Apparently someone on your staff was not aware how her column frequently received [local section] front page placement, providing a platform where she took issue with all things liberal....

On the other hand, getting drunk and resisting arrest is not the best example of family or conservative values. Or even liberal values. But it is a circumstance many have found themselves in and its a reaffirmation we are all human. We do make mistakes. We all have have our failings and a insistence of failing does not constitute being a failure.

It took courage for Ms. Barks to plead no-contest to the charges, as earlier she was dismissing the whole episode as someone's else responsibility, asserting a prescribed medication caused her to appear drunk and disorderly. But she manned up, just as she advocates to others who fail, and she faced the music. Being a local celebrity, honesty is even harder when your business is everyone's business. I hope we all learn something from this and move on.

Wade Eagleton


ARTHUR: The article should have noted that Barks has been a freelance Californian columnist.


READER: I am quite upset over the recent article you wrote regarding the Ultimate Bridal Event (on) Sunday, Sept. 15. Simply, it was the horrible choice of content.

Quite frankly, spending several opening paragraphs on the fact that lawyers are not at the show just shows a clear disconnect. Yes, the observation is correct, but are brides really thinking about lawyers when they are currently in love with the most special person they know? So many other topics could have been covered before that subject was even touched upon.

It honestly sounded more like your staff writer, Steve Levin, had an ax to grind with those people who are in love. Yes, many marriages in this country end in divorce, another fact, but what about the fact that those who seek premarital counseling are more likely to succeed? Or the fact that once one has gotten a divorce, the likelihood of a second divorce goes up significantly?

... You have done a great disservice to the industry by making it sound like we are just a bunch of greedy people seeking to swindle unsuspecting brides and grooms out of their money. We really care about our brides and grooms and the relationship they have. Often we develop a friendship that lasts long after the wedding. I hope you will take the effort to correct the harm you have done to the wedding industry in this town.

Chris Thomas

(via email)

ARTHUR: I've been married for a long time, I have three daughters and I just spent a fortune on one of their weddings, making a number of vendors very happy. I wasn't offended by the article and I'm sorry that you were. No offense was intended.

I think Steve Levin, one of our best writers, took a lighthearted approach to a fairly routine event, managed to describe many of the activities and was able to interview prospective brides, grooms and vendors to paint a very readable portrait of how they spent their Sunday.