World Cup soccer action is back. It started last week and ends July 15 and before it's over, some 3.4 billion people - roughly half the world's 7.6 billion population - are expected to tune in watch all 32 matches according to research company GlobalWebIndex.

When Bakersfield said goodbye to Harvey Hall and Mary K. Shell, two former mayors with distinctive places in local history, the city lost, within a scant 25 days, more than just two colorful characters.

The five large mulberry trees in the Voorhies Elementary schoolyard are more than landscaping to the teachers and students at the northeast Bakersfield school. Casting a large pool of shade onto the soccer field and track, the trees are a space, a presence, a resource on campus.

I woke up and my left knee hurt. Two days later, it was my left shoulder. Like the Rodney Dangerfield joke, I’m afraid to go to bed because my head may fall off.

With James Comey, the former FBI director, publicly suggesting that President Donald Trump reminds him of a mob boss, I thought to myself, what a great opportunity to further exploit my Sicilian heritage. I could even seize the opportunity to reference my classic Sicilian mother, that 4-foot…

It’s pretty remarkable, really. In the last two years, the number of local coffeehouses downtown has almost tripled. (Of course, we only had two in 2016, so there was room for growth). But we’re now up to five: Dagny’s (the classic), Farmacy Cafe at The Padre (a more upscale option) and newb…

Reader: My family has lived in Bakersfield since 1972, and over that time I have watched the content of The Californian slowly become rather indistinguishable from the San Francisco Chronicle. Nowhere was this more apparent than your coverage of the "1000 Flags" display honoring Memorial Day.

A couple of days ago I drove by BHS. Griffith Field was being prepared for graduation. Workers were unloading the white chairs from the rolling racks and then setting the rows straight and true.

I’d gone to a convenience store to buy a regular Gatorade and one package of Sabritas lime-flavored peanuts, actually two because they have a permanent two-for-99-cents deal, which makes the second one hard to pass up.

Reader: A fair response to Greg Billinger ("Is pointing out Trump's homecoming 'choreography' fake-newsy?," Sound Off, May 19). But I get the point he was trying to make (about Hallie Jackson's alleged focus on the event's staged nature in her story for NBC about the three prisoners' release…

If such a thing as a spiritual bucket list exists, the top item on mine would be the Camino. Specifically, El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. It’s roughly 500 miles across northern Spain. I hope to cover those miles before I leave this earth.

Philip Roth’s death earlier this week brought back memories. I took a class from him during my senior year in college called "Readings in the Novel," held Tuesday afternoons.  Seven years earlier, Roth had written “Portnoy’s Complaint,” the novel which launched him into the literary stratosphere.

I opened the paper Sunday to a picture of Harvey Hall under which was the date of his birth and death. Although Harvey hadn’t looked well the last few times I’d seen him, that brief period of frailty will not be my lasting memory but rather his robustness accentuated by ramrod-straight postu…

I just watched “The Darkest Hour," the movie about how Winston Churchill had to get Britain to prepare itself for a long fight with Hitler’s Germany. It made me think about what would we do in Bakersfield, or in the country as a whole, if we were to be attacked.

Dad left me a black wallet. Not me specifically, but the wallet was in his desk drawer next to his watch that had returned from the repair shop in good working order. No one else wanted them because the watch wasn’t a Piaget and the wallet not a Givenchy.

Reader: In your May 12 Sound Off column you responded to a reader by writing that President Trump is responsible for conflating "fake news" and "negative news." I think you are right to a certain extent: President Trump goes overboard identifying every negative news report as fake. But, in m…

California’s middle class is hurting. Housing is severely unaffordable. Energy costs are skyrocketing and public employee pension liabilities continue to metastasize. Our next governor must possess experience leading in government and the courage to take on broken systems and work for real r…

I’d never heard of artist Charles Arnoldi but the artists I haven’t heard of and the things I don’t know could fill the Louvre and the New York Library. Arnoldi, and his wife, Katie, were at the Bakersfield Museum of Art Thursday night for the opening of his exhibition “Forms: A Fifty Year Survey.”

I am proud to know a strong female presence in the local marketing scene. One of Bakersfield’s biggest advocates, she’s not even from here. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Miranda Whitworth “could move back any time” (her words), but she chooses to stay in this place.