GIVING THANKS

Have you done a self audit about the things you are thankful for? I have, and it starts with two healthy adult children, a cadre of friends who uplift me and provide a sympathetic ear when I am down, a job that challenges me and work colleagues who always make me laugh, a doctor (Dr. Raj Patel) who walks me through the mine field of middle age, and a pair of tabby cats (one inside, the other out) who always greet me with soft purrs and kisses.

MORE THANKS

Add to that all the local business owners who go out of their way to provide me with top flight service and food: Claire from Uricchio's Trattoria, Rod and Julie from Pyrenees Cafe, Jake from Jin Sushi, Meir from Cafe Med, Victor from Mama Roomba, Shauna from Muertos, Jeff of Salty’s BBQ and Sonny from Mexicali.

TAFT COLLEGE

Did you know that the Taft College baseball team has eight players from Puerto Rico? In solidarity with these athlete-scholars, the campus is holding a campaign to raise $10,000 for hurricane relief aid.

LETICIA PEREZ

Congratulations to Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, who will be sworn in as president of the California State Association of Counties later this month in Sacramento. The organization is a lobbying, advocacy and service organization representing the state's 58 counties at the state and federal level. It deals with issues as diverse as health care reform, water and climate change and the budget. Perez is the first Latina to ever head the lobbying group.

KUDOS

Hats off to CSUB political science professor Jeanine Kraybill, who edited a new book coming out exploring the new age of hyper partisan politics. The book is titled "Unconventional, Partisan and Polarizing Rhetoric: How the 2016 Election Shaped the Way Candidates Strategize, Engage and Communicate." Kraybill is a professor of religious studies and political science and appears on my radio show (KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM) every Thursday.

SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK

"Just when I thought this year couldn’t get worse, I heard a grown woman describe time spent doing art projects as a 'crafternoon.'"

SPOTTED ON TWITTER

"I'm going to make Thanksgiving bearable this year with my super laid back Xanax cranberry sauce."

PIE RUN

Don't forget the Pie Run on Thanksgiving morning out at Hart Park. It's the perfect way to start the holiday with a quick run (or hike or walk) into the hills overlooking the park and returning to connect with old and new friends and enjoy some hot coffee and plenty of pastries. Get there before sunrise (follow the tail lights in front of you) and start the day with some exercise.

Email contributing columnist Richard Beene at rsbeene@yahoo.com. His work appears here on Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at BakersfieldObserved.com.

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