Columnists

  • HERB BENHAM: Drip, drip, drop — these old house leaks never stop

    Thank goodness I fixed the roof leak that has dripped water into the downstairs bathroom for the last 15 years before last Sunday’s storm, which dropped nearly an inch of rain and tested roofs everywhere. Like most people, I have recurring dreams. Mine have me in the house on Lomita Drive where I

  • The Dog Days combo pizza from Pacino's Pizzeria Pastaria in Tehachapi. Restaurant critic Pete Tittl raves about the crust: perfectly crisp on the outside and soft as fresh-baked bread inside,  paper thin in the middle and rolled to a substantial thickness on the outside.

    PETE TITTL: Pacino's makes you a pizza you can't refuse

    I can’t say that I’ve ever really been in a restaurant like Pacino’s in Tehachapi. Yeah, it’s Italian, featuring a menu with the familiar pastas, pizzas, veal and all you’d expect in a restaurant like this. But it’s the overall obsession with All Things Al that just blows you away. Our waitress

  • Robert Price

    SOUND OFF: All three conservative columnists agree on Trump

    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. Reader: My husband and I have been subscribing to your paper since the beginning of our marriage, which

  • Richard Beene

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

    FENTANYL If you are the parent of a teenager or young adult, listen up. A dangerous drug is making the rounds with young people that is 100 times more potent than morphine and some 50 times more potent than heroin. Its name is fentanyl and it is classified as a synthetic opioid analgesic that is

  • Blonde Faith, pictured left from left: Kevin Mahan, Tamera Mahan, Gary Morgan, Anthony Chavez, Tim Stonelake.

    MATT MUNOZ: Bakersfield jukebox heroes keeping the Faith

    They’ve been called a band for all occasions and a friend to the weekend party warrior. They are Bakersfield’s Blonde Faith, one of a number of hard-working music outfits bringing the best of the jukebox to area watering holes, community and corporate events. Interested in getting a live music fix

  • HERB BENHAM: Sister owes so much in life to horse power

    My sister’s horse died. Pam wanted people to know, so she emailed her family. What Pam should know is that if any of her siblings come back, and if they aren’t reincarnated into extraordinary understanding or extreme wealth, they’d like to return as one of her horses. Yes, one of her horses

  • Richard Beene

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

    DOGS I wrote earlier about the opening of new outdoor seating areas at local restaurants, prompting several readers to ask if dogs are allowed while dining alfresco. “When we are on the coast,” one wrote, “we can take our dog to the local lunch spot and eat outside. Is it permitted here?” The

  • Ex-NFL football player Lawrence Phillips is arraigned in Kern County Superior Court on murder charges in this file photo.

    LOIS HENRY: Death info in Kern should not be kept secret

    It looks like Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has ruined another perfectly good rant about government transparency. Just when I think Youngblood’s going to give me nothing but flack, he turns into Mr. Reasonable. Does he do this to me on purpose? Anyhow, my rant was about how the Coroner’s

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Found the key to cool and it's a fob

    I was happy when we bought the Jeep Grand Cherokee and had, for the first time, a key fob. A key fob is one of those remote keys with which you can lock or unlock the car from distance. I’d always admired people who could walk away from their cars, realize they had forgotten to lock the car, wheel

  • Californian community columnist Steve Flores.

    STEVE FLORES: A nutritious way to communicate

    It was 55 years ago I learned the art of eating spinach without eating spinach in Casa Loma School’s cafeteria. When the cafeteria workers turned their heads, my spinach and those of my other classmates who shared an equal non-enthusiasm for spinach’s imitable flavor and unique texture quickly hid

  • Richard Beene

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

    VETERANS I received notes from several readers reminding me that the Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County is in no way affiliated with the Wounded Warriors Project. Why is this important? Because the Wounded Warriors Project, a national organization, has come under fire for lavish spending on staff

  • HERB BENHAM: Unlike India, inlaid marble table tops not one of a kind

    Try to visit India and not bring something back. No, not a bug, but a pair of soft as butter buffalo leather shoes, a thick luxurious tablecloth with napkins to match or in our case, a one-of-a kind inlaid marble tabletop. India is cheap, India has great deals and India will have you waving rupees

  • Robert Price

    SOUND OFF: Should a government teacher reveal his political leanings?

    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. Reader: I thought high school government teachers were not supposed to reveal their political persuasion to

  • PETE TITTL: Four-star atmosphere with two-star food

    Sol y Luna, the successful Truxtun Avenue restaurant located across from Rabobank Arena, has opened an impressive-looking new restaurant in the same shopping center as Wiki Wine Dive & Grill in the southwest. But looks aren’t everything. From opening day, the place has been bustling. It’s a

  • Richard Beene

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

    VETERANS One of the largest and most prominent nonprofits that serves veterans — the Wounded Warrior Project — is in crisis mode after a damning report that calls into question its spending on lavish dinners and parties. Among the findings of a New York Times investigation: the charity flew 500

  • Katy Perry may have been the celebrity performer at the halftime show at last year's Super Bowl XLIX but it was Left Shark who stole the spotlight. We can take a lesson about how it's OK to be out of sync with the crowd from the costumed dancer.

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Like Left Shark, always keep moving in your faith

    One of my daughters, after taking a fitness class at the CSUB student recreation center, told me that she’d felt like “Left Shark.” It seemed that when everyone else was moving right, she was moving left. When the whole class zigged, she zagged. The fact that her sister was teaching the class made

  • HERB BENHAM: Pray to the traffic gods and hope for reincarnation

    You have to be nuts to drive in India. Especially if you’re an American. I’m not saying Indians are nuts, but they are used to nutty driving, so somehow they make it work. Foreigners could only disrupt the system, whatever it is. Travelers might say the same thing about other countries — Great