Richard Beene

  • Felix Adamo / The CalifornianRichard Beene

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

    UNIONS: In what one commentator called "sheer, naked chutzpah," the same unions that helped pass a $15 an hour minimum wage law in Los Angeles are now asking to be exempt from the law. That's right, the county Federation of Labor is saying collective bargaining agreements should

  • Californian President and CEO Richard Beene.

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

    LOFTS: This is a town of connections and you don't have to look far before you run into potential conflicts. Consider for example the attempt by local Realtor Edith Gibson and a group of investors to build lofts on 18th Street downtown. The project will provide much needed "in-

  • Richard Beene

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

    FREEDOM: Memorial Day is a time to reflect and appreciate those who gave their lives for our freedoms. But with those freedoms come responsibility, as Peggy Noonan cited in her Saturday column in the Wall Street Journal. Noonan was writing about the use of "micro aggressions" and

  • Felix Adamo / The CalifornianRichard Beene

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

    FESTIVALS: How fat is your wallet these days? I'm asking because if you are looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend, there are plenty of festivals and music acts that will be happy to take your money. You can start with George Martin's huge Rock & Country Music &

  • Felix Adamo / The CalifornianRichard Beene

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

    ANIMAL ABUSE: If you want to get someone's attention, turn the conversation to how some people treat their pets. This note from Jean Hughes Gutierrez hit home: "Your recent comment on dogs being dumped on Breckenridge Road and being attacked and eaten by wild animals was typical of

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

    FOREVER YOUNG: The best of all of us was on display on Mother's Day, when folks took to Facebook and other social media to pay tribute to their mothers. So many pictures, many old photos in black and white taken in the war years of the 1940s, showing our mothers in their prime, smiling and

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    TRAINS: When people share what they love about their neighborhood, it rarely comes down to the size of the homes or the expensive cars parked outside. It's usually the small things that matter most -- the kindness of the neighbors, that tall sycamore in the backyard, the quiet street. For me,

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

    THEFT: Whoever snatched the package off Earl Absher’s front porch may have messed with the wrong man. Absher, a retried Fresno police officer, was smart enough to install security cameras on the porch of his Northwest Bakersfield home and they recorded the young brunette who calmly walked up his

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    SQUATTERS: The proposed widening of 24th Street downtown has led to a mess as squatters take over vacant homes on the north side. Just this weekend, Bakersfield police busted up a family of squatters on one house near Elm Street, apparently finding stolen guns and drugs in the process. Neighbors

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    BAD FORM: What happened on Truxtun extension the other day is not only bad form, but also extremely bad karma for the driver of a white pickup truck. Consider this: Anyone who commutes on Truxtun knows about the ducks that occasionally cross the road to the medical offices on the other side. Most

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    GOODNESS AND POWER: David Brooks is a talented essayist with The New York Times, and he recently posed this question: Can you be a bad person but be a strong leader? His question was triggered by a recent poll that found 60 percent of independent voters believe Hillary Clinton has strong leadership

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

    AIR TRAVEL: I got a glimpse at the future of air travel and, trust me, it's not pretty. On a flight from Denver to Chicago last week, I boarded a beautiful spanking new United Boeing 737 800/900, richly trimmed with leather seats and adorned with soft blue lights. The problem: The seats were so

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    HALL OF FAME: Former homebuilder Kyle Carter has purchased American Sound Recording Studios and is looking at creating a Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame to recognize our area's rich musical past. Carter, who incidentally is eyeing a run for mayor, purchased the state-of-the-art recording studio

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

    VETERINARIAN: This is one of those stories that makes you cringe and wonder what makes some people tick. A veterinarian in Brenham, Texas, has been fired after she posted a picture online of herself holding up a dead, orange tabby cat that she claims to have killed with a bow and arrow. It is a

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    Happiness: I loved the recent British healthcare study on the sources of true happiness. As expected, it wasn't wealth or a fast car that makes us happy, but rather the small things. The company surveyed more than 2,000 people and found the top six things that trigger happiness: sleeping in a

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    FRACKING: The latest attempt to mislead the public on hydraulic fracturing is tied to the California drought. The idea -- that banning fracking would help deal with the drought -- is a spurious notion at best, according to a report in The Washington Post. Said the Post report: "Whatever you

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

    DROUGHT: The long drought and the fight over water has revealed a glaring weakness facing California farmers: As a group they have done a terrible job of explaining the importance of what they do. Remember when the oil and gas industry was caught flatfooted when the anti-fossil fuel crowd attacked

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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

    Drought: A friend directed me to an essay that really puts the California drought in perspective. The writer, Steven Johnson, correctly notes that folks on the East Coast often sneer at California and its water woes but they miss a single important fact: The Central Valley consumes 80 percent of