Columnists

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Why is the U.S.deporting veterans?

    After joining the Marines straight out of high school and being deployed to Iraq in Operation Desert Shield, Erasmo Apodaca came back to California, found a girlfriend and moved in with her in Rosamond in 1994. Problems arose between the two, Apodaca moved out and in 1996 he was convicted of first-

  • PETE TITTL: Humble Mexican place has best seafood in town

    It’s kind of interesting that when it comes to seafood restaurants, most of Bakersfield’s strongest options are Mexican places. Yes, we have that famous chain on Rosedale Highway that always seems to leave me bankrupt and disappointed when I leave, and the great fish and chips from Westchester

  • Robert Price.

    SOUND OFF: Is using ISIL instead of ISIS a leftist choice?

    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: I am disappointed that The Bakersfield Californian has chosen to use USA Today as its

  • Richard Beene clipping path test

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

    PLASTIC BAGS: So did you see the City of San Diego has banned the use of plastic bags in grocery stores? It is a trend that is picking up momentum throughout the West, and it's likely only a matter of time before a similar ordinance is adopted here. The reasoning: people carelessly

  • HERB BENHAM: Cased closed on jury service

    People grumble about jury duty but consider the upside, one I became reacquainted with Monday when I reported for jury duty. Start with the sweet midmorning nap you can take after you’ve gone through jury duty orientation, before being called to a courtroom. How about reading the fat novel you

  • Last Call, from left: Bill O'Neill, Jeff Davis, JT Simpson, Roger Hoinacki.

    MATT MUNOZ: Last call is usually the first call any bar makes

    By show of hands, how many reading this column have found yourself singing along, dancing or stumbling at a Last Call gig? If your hand is still raised, you’re not alone. One of Bakersfield’s busiest groups, Last Call has carved out a solid reputation as “a band for all occasions” since forming

  • "Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place" author Vanta M. Black (aka Desiree Duffy) will sign copies of her book July 22 at Barnes & Noble as part of its Get Pop-Cultured series of events.

    STEFANI DIAS: Sisters contend with dark forces in book

    Most writers embrace the axiom of “write what you know.” And while Vanta M. Black’s debut novel, “Oubliette — A Forgotten Little Place,” takes inspiration from real life, there is definitely some creative license. “Real life is an inspiration but I caution people don’t read it exactly,” said

  • Richard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A happy ending for a dog and her owner

    HAPPY ENDING There will be no talk of politics or police shootings or #blacklivesmatter in this space today. Instead, allow me to share the story of a happy ending that started when a friend's 10-month old Siberian husky was stolen from the back yard of her home near the Bakersfield Racquet

  • HERB BENHAM: Escaping it all, with a BFG and box of Junior Mints

    Last Friday I went to see “The BFG,” the movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Roald Dahl wrote the book. I was looking for escape, and a straight-from-work Friday movie is just the ticket to make you feel like your weekend responsibilities can wait a couple of hours. Life can get serious and,

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: The wacky world of water

    You’ve got to be kidding. That was my reaction to a couple of recent stories that touched on water. TRUCKIN’ The first was that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering allowing development of more than 42,000 parcels in its rural northeast corner based on water being hauled in.

  • Louis Amestoy is the Californian's director of audience development. Email him at lamestoy@bakersfield.com.

    Shooting stirs up raw emotions via social media, bakersfield.com

    The shooting of 14 people in south Bakersfield stirred up many raw emotions, lots of finger-pointing and predictably, yet sadly, racist posts on bakersfield.com and our social media pages. While details of what happened are still emerging, especially as the investigation continues, many were quick

  • Partial group of Wavehogs heads to San Clemente State Beach in the summer of 1995.

    STEVE FLORES: Beach trip grows family ties

    Instead of a rooster crowing in the twilight of the early morning, seagulls announce the dawning of a new day with their insistent squawking. You turn over and cover your ears with your pillow, still fresh with the scent of last night’s campfire, in a futile attempt to sleep in for few more minutes.

  • HERB BENHAM: Charlie watches, but he's not the verminator

    Recently I went to fetch a Gatorade in the garage fridge. Charlie was seated in front of the garage door looking up. He was still, the kind of still cats normally demonstrate before flying, paws-first, through the air. However, Charlie is not a cat and he is opposed to the idea of cats. Charlie is

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: The groundwater games continue

    Don’t expect the same level of drama at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting over groundwater.  This will be a pale version of last month’s torrid groundwater meeting.  But that doesn’t mean bad feelings aren’t festering. The county kicked off this “game of GSAs” (cue “Game of

  • Robert Price.

    SOUND OFF: Did terrorism story deserve better than 'cheeky' headline?

    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: My jaw dropped when I picked up the newspaper this (Friday) morning. Your front page

  • Richard Beene clipping path test

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

    TRASH: It is a familiar lament when we travel out of state and notice that Bakersfield's litter problem seems out of control when compared to other areas. I spent a few days recently in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, and it was near impossible to find trash on the roads and freeways.

  • Johnny Garlic's added street tacos to its menu, ranging from $7 to $9 for a pair. Proteins include Korean Wagyu flat iron steak (seen here), lava-rock shrimp and pork belly kimchi.

    PETE TITTL: At Johnny Garlic's, change is good

    “Change is good … really good.” That sentiment is written on a small blackboard at Johnny Garlic’s, a chain that opened a Bakersfield location to great fanfare in early 2015 — great fanfare because celebrity chef Guy Fieri was a partner in the venture. Pictures of the peroxided chef were