Columnists

  • The widely published photograph of bloodied, dirt-caked Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy whose family home was leveled by an airstrike.

    SOUND OFF: How dare your cartoon appropriate that photo of Syrian boy

    This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian’s news coverage. Your questions may be edited for space and clarity. Reader: Whoever authorized publication of the Opinion section cartoon showing Donald Trump

  • P.F. Chang's server Dana Connors delivers lunch dishes of kung pao chicken and ginger chicken.

    PETE TITTL: P.F. Chang's taking a wok on the wild side

    In our capitalistic system, you must adapt to changing trends or you end up like Bennigan’s, Burger Chef, Naugle’s, Chi-Chi’s, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Howard Johnson’s, Pioneer Chicken or Wyatt’s Cafeterias. Some of those defunct chains had restaurants in Bakersfield once, but they’re all gone now.

  • The Poetic Research Bureau, known for hosting a poetry reading series in Los Angeles' Chinatown, will present Bakersfield Fan Forum, a series of lectures and readings at Cal State Bakersfield. The series will be overseen by Bureau co-founder Joseph Mosconi, who is also the current CSUB artist in residence.

    STEFANI DIAS: Art of the matter at CSUB

    School is back in session this week at Cal State Bakersfield and the art department jumps to the head of the class, announcing its fall programming lineup, which kicks off Wednesday. Jedediah Caesar, curator of the Todd Madigan Gallery, said fall programs include the visiting artist lecture series,

  • Paradise City is gunning for glory in Bakersfield this Saturday.

    CESAREO GARASA: Mock stars coming into their own

    Today’s music just doesn’t do it for you? Then you have a busy few days ahead in what’s shaping up to be a red-letter weekend in tributes. Johnny Cash? The killer Cash’d Out has the Man in Black covered tonight at Club 1933. Prince? The legend’s purple rein will never truly end while The Purple

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: No end to Kern High district hijinks

    OK, wait a minute. The Kern High School District Police Department discovered that administrators — repeat, administrators — apparently illegally accessed information from a law enforcement database to run checks on students and employees and Superintendent Bryon Schaefer — a longtime

  • HERB BENHAM: Taking the poo out of the poodle? That's an advancement

    A few days before vacation, I heard one of the most amazing things I’d ever heard. We were on a bike ride. Bike rides can be good for conversation. Good for exchanging information. Good for exchanging information that could change your life. This conversation was about dogs. A friend had had two.

  • The front door of  Bakersfield High School, at the northwest corner of H Street and California Avenue,  is this auto repair shop.

    ROBERT PRICE: BHS hides its public face behind a repair shop

    The oldest continuously operating secondary school in the southern San Joaquin Valley looks appropriately dignified from its western approach. Behold the massive chunk of concrete that is Bakersfield High School’s vaunted Griffith Field, home to more state football championships and undefeated

  • Sound Off Extra: About that 24th Street headline

    A Sound Off topic came up Friday, after Robert Price left for a few days. So City Editor Christine Bedell tackled it for him. Reader: Two readers called The Californian this past week complaining about a headline in last Saturday’s Local section, (”Work on 24th Street will resume”). They felt the

  • A potentially harmful cyanobacteria blue-green algae has been discovered in three areas in Kern County, including the Calloway Weir on the Kern River, shown here north of downtown Bakersfield.

    SOUND OFF: What's a little green slime among friends?

    This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian’s news coverage. Your questions may be edited for space and clarity. Reader: The Californian’s Aug. 16 article, “Potentially harmful algae found in parts of Isabella

  • A server at Wok It Out Asian Kitchen prepares a meal for a lunch customer. There's a lot of variety on the steam table, restaurant critic Pete Tittl writes.

    Asian restaurant neighbors wage war of the parking lot

    I’m a big fan of Love Sushi, even if purists decry the restaurant’s reliance on sauces, an accompaniment that, to some, feels like cheating. But for me it’s not about the sauces. What I’ve come to appreciate about the northwest spot is the reliability and stunning variety on the menu, which

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Navigating double kayak leads to role reversal

    Retirement, once an impossibly far-off concept, has become distantly imaginable for my husband and me. We have read that we should do some serious research before making the big decision. The most impactful aspects of retirement are probably income and health care, but smaller lifestyle

  • Billy Lawlor (Kyle Gaines) leads the chorus in the rousing song and dance number “We’re In The Money” in a scene from Stars' production of "42nd Street," which opens Friday.

    STEFANI DIAS: '42nd Street' on tap at Stars

    The curtain will rise this weekend on Stars Theatre Restaurant’s production of “42nd Street.” And that’s not just a turn of phrase. In the show’s opener, “Overture,” the curtain rises just enough to reveal a chorus line of tapping toes in the midst of a Broadway audition. That feat of feet is both

  • Eye Street Micro Market owner Natasha Felkins, who has noticed a decline in downtown bar traffic. “I attribute the slower crowds to the deflated oil market," she said.

    MATT MUNOZ: Downtown down and out? It is for now

    If you’ve noticed a summer slump in downtown nightlife, you’re not alone. The evidence is easy to spot: Sparse foot traffic and empty parking spots in normally busy areas of the downtown arts district. The spark is out. Theories on the current sluggishness range from the heat to the economy and

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Kern High School District has some explaining to do

    Someone at the Kern High School District had better lose their job. And it better not be KHSD Police Chief Joe Lopeteguy. If you somehow missed KBAK reporter Jose Gaspar’s incredible story, here’s a recap. Lopeteguy blew the whistle on what appears to be a long-standing practice of KHSD

  • Richard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    ODDS AND ENDS: I am visiting friends out of town and will devote this blog to sharing some of the odds and ends that readers send my way, most of them heavy on the history of the town we call home. Enjoy. BARBECUE: Elsie Petty weighed in on the best barbecue in town with this missive: "The

  • Steve Bradley eyes a slice of the birthday cake that he, by all rights, should never have had the opportunity to enjoy.  COURTESY OF STEVE BRADLEY

    ROBERT PRICE: Salvation on a lonely desert highway, 50 years later

    Can two people be old friends without ever having met face to face? Sure they can. Steve Bradley and I qualify. I met him, sort of, 10 years ago when he called to ask if I could help him find the two China Lake sailors who’d helped save his life in 1965. Problem was, he didn’t have names,

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: KHSD chief accused colleagues of misusing criminal database

    Kern High School District administrators and other employees misused a criminal database to investigate students, and while sheriff’s officials recommended criminal charges against two, no one was prosecuted, according to documents obtained this past week. They also reveal that high-level