SCHOLARSHIPS

The success of any public university eventually comes down to the support it receives from its alumni base and the community it serves. So I was heartened to hear about the success achieved by CSUB Athletic Director Kenneth "Ziggy" Siegfried and the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund. It turns out CSUB athletics fundraising reached nearly $2 million following the end of its annual scholarship drive. The Roadrunner Scholarship Fund raised an all-time high of $800,000 of the total $1.9 million raised this year in the department. The Roadrunner Scholarship Fund has now increased over 130 percent since the 2012-13 fiscal year when the total amount was just under $350,000. Siegfried says the growth of the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund over the last few years has played a major role in the recent success of the athletics department and future growth of the fund will be critical in the department achieving lofty goals.

FOX THEATER

What in the world is happening with the historic Fox Theater and the foundation that runs it? The explosive and troubling story, first reported by Steve Mayer of The Californian, noted that $154,000 in ticket sales went missing in an apparent dispute between Bob Bender (Bender Entertainment) and the group that represented two comedians who appeared at the venue. The foundation, headed by Melanie Farmer of the Downtown Business Association, has washed its hands of responsibility but that falls far short of what is needed. Someone (hint: that would be you, Melanie) needs to go public to assure the public (many whom have given generously to save the iconic theater) that there is no danger of inflicting long term harm to the Fox. In addition, what is the foundation doing to make sure this doesn't happen again?

KERO

KERO-TV has hired Nancy Bauer Gonzales as its news director and she will start at the Scripps-owned station later this month. She most recently was the news director for a Spectrum cable news channel in Palmdale. Prior to that she was the vice president of news for the Los Angeles duopoly of KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 for a decade and before that was news director at KNBC-TV Channel 4, also in LA. She is married to KBAK/KBFX main anchor Dave Gonzales. Meanwhile, the station has hired six recent graduates from Arizona State University who will live in Bakersfield for the next year to learn the trade, doing everything from reporting to producing.

SPOTTED ON TWITTER

"Happiness is using an ATM and finding a receipt left by someone with an account balance lower than yours."

CALIFORNIA

"My friend in Arizona just bought and registered a 2002 Tacoma there," reader Chris writes me in an email. "For title and two years registration, (it) cost $53. This state is screwed up worse than polio. I can't wait to leave here."

GOOD FORM

George and Agnes Plantenga celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on June 28, accompanied by family and friends at the downtown Mexicali. "When it came time to pay to pay our bill, we found out it had been paid for," they wrote. "We want to say a big thank you to whoever paid for our dinner."

HAPPY HOUR

A few months ago I told you about the new expanded happy hour at The Padre Hotel, a full five hours from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Well, it turns out that may have been too much of a good thing and the happy hour has now been scaled back to 6 p.m. Meanwhile, the popular Firestone restaurant off California Avenue has a similar happy hour that ends at 6 p.m. but it also promotes $5 bloody Mary's and mimosas all day Sunday.

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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