Jose Gaspar

  • Small business owner Ramona Phillips with her client Sharon Hampton at Split Ends Hair Salon.

    JOSE GASPAR: Trump's words fuel ire of many Latinos

    Ramona Phillips is a small-business owner who has achieved success the old-fashioned way, not just by working hard and smart but by believing in herself. Forty-five years ago she came to this country as a young woman from Mexico and immediately went to work in the fields, where she toiled for

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: DA's office starts helping undocumented victims of crime

    Earlier this year I wrote about how difficult if can be for an undocumented immigrant who is the victim of a crime to get help from law enforcement when it comes to filling out a simple government document. It's a form that asks one question: Was this person helpful in cooperating with the

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Records laws let the sun shine in

    "Public commissions, boards, councils and other legislative bodies of local government agencies exist to and in the conduct of the people's business. The People do not yield their sovereignty to the bodies that serve them. The people insist on remaining informed to retain control over the

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR : KHSD fails transparency test -- again

    Remember the TV game "Password"? One contestant would give a one-word hint to a partner. The partner, in turn, had five seconds to ponder the meaning of that hint in the hope of being able to guess what the password might be. So here's a hint to the Kern High School District:

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Politics are putting undocumented people in harm's way

    As they say in the real estate business, it's all about location, location, location. The same philosophy appears to be the case for undocumented immigrants who apply for a U visa. A bipartisan Congress created the U visa program in 2000 under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence

  • Attorney Marcos Camacho has been appointed to a Kern County Superior Court judgeship.

    JOSE GASPAR: New Kern judge did it just like Honest Abe

    When Bakersfield attorney Marcos Camacho passed the state bar exam in 1986, he was elated at having achieved a longtime personal goal. "I really wanted to be a lawyer," said Camacho, who handles criminal, family, immigration law, and wage and hour cases. Fast forward to Dec. 24, 2014.

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Hola, Cuba!

    With a little help from a higher power, the United States and Cuba are finally restoring diplomatic relations. Que bueno! The two countries just 90 miles apart from each other have not seen eye to eye in more than 50 years. President John F. Kennedy broke diplomatic ties with Cuba shortly

  • Newly elected to the Arvin City Council, Jazmin Robles is also an assistant coach for the Arvin High "We the People" team.

    JOSE GASPAR: 20-somethings a new political force in Arvin

    One of the disappointing things about the midterm elections held Nov. 4 was the poor voter turnout at all levels. In Kern County, just 39.2 percent of registered voters thought it important enough to vote. Conventional wisdom often takes aim at young people for not taking an interest in politics.

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Immigration action to bring some out of the shadows

    When she would leave her home in the morning to go to work in the fields, Bakersfield resident Ester Cervantes would first check in with her sleeping children. "I would look at them and wonder if I might not ever see them again should I get deported," said the 53-year-old mother of

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Trip to Mexico debunks perceptions

    My wife and I recently went on vacation. We chose to go to a place that is often in the news, where reports of wild shootouts between gunmen and law enforcement or even the military take place in broad daylight. Family on both sides warned us about going there. When they saw we had our minds set

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Church addresses abuse allegations in very public way

    The priest approached the podium as he does every Sunday ready to give a sermon. Except this time he did not. With a somber look and holding a document in his hand, the priest said, "Instead of a homily, I've been asked by the bishop to read this letter." I perked up a little bit,

  • Brenda Ruiz is a 19-year-old college student who has accomplished a lot since graduating from Arvin High. She is entering her third year at CSUB with a major in petroleum engineering, works a full-time job and is a home owner.

    JOSE GASPAR: Immigrant youth can succeed -- so let them

    Would you expect a 19-year-old to be a) in college; b) working full-time; c) partying at every opportunity; d) a homeowner? Thinking back to what I was doing at 19, answer c would likely be the top answer. But Brenda Ruiz is no ordinary 19-year-old. Just two years ago, Ruiz was a student at

  • Corinne Ruiz campaigned tirelessly for AEDs on school campuses after losing a daughter who had an undiagnosed heart defect in 2004.

    JOSE GASPAR: Teen, tenacious mom working hard to save young lives

    While some well-known public figures have emerged from Kern County, there are lesser-known individuals who fly under the radar while working for the benefit of their neighbors. They seek no political office, but are just as determined to get the politicians moving in the name of humanity. And

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Here's a thought, McFarland: hire police with clean records

    Help wanted: Looking for a person to be police chief in a small northern city in Kern County. Pay not all that great, but excellent career opportunity. Serious inquiries only. If interested, contact McFarland City Manager John Wooner. Yes, the city of McFarland is looking for a new police chief -

  • Newlyweds Robert Mesa Jr. and Nellie Martinez strike a pose at their western themed wedding June 14 at the Kern County Museum.

    JOSE GASPAR: Nellie Martinez enters a new chapter in life

    If there's a positive side to working in the news business, it's that it can bring you to know people who have faced the most tragic losses and yet somehow are able to endure, achieve and rise above adversity. One such person is Nellie Martinez. Let me tell you a little something about her.