Columnists

  • Richard Beene

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

    FRACKING The folks trying to outlaw and demonize fossil fuels were dealt a setback this week when the Colorado Supreme Court struck down local government prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing. The court ruled that a moratorium in Fort Collins, as well as an outright ban in Longmont, were invalid

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Libraries are there for you, it's time to return the favor

    If I could vote for Measure F twice, I would. The Board of Supervisors has let Kern County’s libraries wither on life support long enough. It’s only going to get worse with countywide cuts announced Tuesday. If our elected leaders don’t think providing the public with better — in some cases any

  • HERB BENHAM: I wasn't looking, but Charlie found us

    We have a new dog. Charlie. He’s a mutt. We weren’t looking for a dog. Most people aren’t. We weren’t looking, but he found us anyway. Dogs can be like trouble. People may not be looking for trouble, but trouble finds them nonetheless. There is one difference between a dog and trouble. You can

  • Richard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED A blog about life, media, politics & people

    ACCOLADES: I was glad to see so many of my favorites were voted “Best Of” in the annual Bakersfield Life magazine readers poll (Sequoia Sandwich Co., Mexicali, Wool Grower's, Luigi's, The Padre Hotel, Motor City to name a few) but special kudos go to “Best Doctor” repeat winner Dr. Raj

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Good leadership needed more than ever at Lamont PUD

    Despite some feelings to the contrary, I am not out to demolish Lamont. I swear it. This community just southeast of Bakersfield is home to some pretty good people who mostly toil from sun up to sun down to make ends meet and send their kids to school so they can better their lives in every

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Kids are the big losers in school district bickering

    The mess unraveling at the Vineland School District illustrates exactly why, of all the beats I’ve covered in my career, I have avoided the education beat like the plague. Whiny teachers. Whiny administrators. Whiny parents. The only good guys are the kids. And like most good guys, they seem to

  • Robert Price of The Californian.

    SOUND OFF: Obama isn't really looking for a raise

    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: In the April 23 10 Things You Need to Know, item 8 was highly misleading in

  • A Sheriff's badge on a saddle during the Grave Memorial dedication for former Kern County lawman Harry Wrinkle Bludworth.

    Legendary Kern lawman finally gets a marker

    Former lawman Harry W. Bludworth may have died 103 years ago but you don’t have to look far to see his spirit, said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “Look at our deputies and detectives today,” Youngblood said Friday morning during a ceremony to dedicate a headstone for Bludworth in Union

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: It's easy to grow attached to your stapler

    Last week I came into work and my stapler was gone. It sits next to my tape dispenser flanked by the small plastic container that houses the paper clips. They form the triad of a working desk. With Scotch tape, staples and paper clips, any challenge that an office presents can be vanquished. Triad

  • Cashew nut with shrimp and rice is served at Asian Experience. Californian critic Pete Tittl ordered a similar dish, the cashew chicken. Though light on cashews, Tittl's order had the a well-executed mix of vegetables, including fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, red peppers, baby corn on the cob, some onions and a few cashews, all cooked in a chili paste that really brought punch to the plate.

    PETE TITTL: Asian restaurant in Taft an Experience to remember

    Yes, I have family in Taft and, no, they didn’t make a peep about Asian Experience before Guy Fieri blew the place out of the box on national TV. After visiting, I understand why. It’s small. It’s frequently crowded. I wouldn’t go without a reservation, particularly on a weekend night. We had been

  • TV watchdog Melvin P. Thorpe (Jason McClain) warns his audience that "€œTexas Has a Whorehouse In It"€ in a scene from "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" at Stars Theatre Restaurant.

    STEFANI DIAS: It’s been a business doing pleasure in Stars show

    By Saturday, Bakersfield’s “Whorehouse” will have closed for business. In this case, it’s not the handiwork of a moralistic killjoy that has Stars shutting the doors on its theatrical production but rather the end of the spirited show’s run. That said, you’ve still got three opportunities —

  • Peluqueria Canina originated in Madrid, but the punk quartet has been building a steady following in the United States.

    MATT MUNOZ: A Peluqueria brand of punk

    What do the restless youths on the streets of Madrid have in common with the restless youths on the streets of Bakersfield? Punk quartet Peluqueria Canina, whose new full-length album “Jovenes Promesas,” has been slow-burning its way through indie music channels after being released stateside

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: 'Extra' Kern River water is in the eye of the beholder

    After five years and millions of dollars in attorneys fees, the North Kern Water Storage District won an appellate court decision last week that, basically, says Bakersfield must continue selling it Kern River water when it has water to spare. Hmmm. Back in 2011, the two entities were in talks to

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: What could be more interesting?

    I start with a musical recommendation. That’s how fired up I am about Darlingside and their song “The God of Loss.” This group, comprised of four guys who met at Williams College, makes terrific music. Exquisite songwriting and harmonies that will remind you why you love music. You’ll want to

  • Richard Beene

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED A blog about life, media, politics & people

    WEEKEND: You didn’t have to go far this weekend to find an event to attend, be it Links for Life at Seven Oaks, Relay for Life at the fairgrounds, a dinner for Catholic Charities, Cal State Bakersfield’s community day or the Great American Cleanup that saw folks spread out across town sprucing up

  • Ask TBC: Who's paying for these school carports?

    Q: How are all these Bakersfield high schools paying for car-cover awnings that are being put in place over the student parking lot? I also notice an elementary school recently had them installed over the teachers’ parking lot. Are all those school bonds passed, taxes paid for education or lottery

  • Californian community columnist Steve Flores

    STEVE FLORES: Dodger suite more than a nice room

    My suite story begins in our small Watts Drive home in southeast Bakersfield more than 51 years ago. Although a professed Giants fan, my dad, Larry, was a baseball chameleon whose shade often turned Dodger blue. The only San Francisco Giants game I can remember watching on our black and white

  • Ron May, the prior owner of the Benham home.

    HERB BENHAM: The house that built Beau

    Sunday morning a car pulled up across the street. A handsome young man stepped out and walked toward our porch. He looked familiar but not familiar enough for a name to surface. “You might recognize me. It’s Beau May,” he said. Beau May. Although it had been awhile, his appearance felt like a