Columnists

  • Lisa Lampanelli appears Feb. 12 at the Bakersfield Fox Theater.

    CESAREO GARASA: If 'mean' is your scene, she's the queen

    Lisa Lampanelli’s style of comedy is confrontational and merciless. In under five minutes, you’ll be saying to yourself at least once, “I can’t believe she said that!” “I always compare it to how when you’re around true, real friends, and you know how real friends can joke with each other and call

  • Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: If simple facts don't make your case, maybe you don't have one

    A couple of separate, but kind of related, efforts to tar the long-running Chevron-Cawelo water program popped up on the Internet recently. My initial reaction was to ignore them. But, like cockroaches, they started multiplying on social media so I felt obliged to haul out the Raid. Again. The

  • Richard Beene

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

    CSUB Some factoids from CSUB President Horace Mitchell’s annual report on the state of the university: Total enrollment stands at 8,371; women comprise 61 percent of the student body; 80 percent of the students are under the age of 25; 50 percent are Hispanic, 23 percent white, 7 percent African

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    JOSE GASPAR: Kern sends mixed message on heavy maintenance facility

    For years Bakersfield resident Marvin Dean has been preaching the benefits of California's high-speed rail project to anyone who would listen. Dean, a construction project consultant, would often appear before the Bakersfield City Council urging city leaders to get on the ball, get organized

  • Boys wore dresses and girls dressed like boys at Buchanan High School last week to protest the Clovis Unified School District's board of trustees' refusal to amend its dress code, which has different rules for boys and girls.

    LOIS HENRY: Tongs and a face mask are handy when opening my email

    Time for a look in the old mailbag. I got a lot of responses to my column on the Clovis Unified School District’s sexist (yup, I said it again) dress code, which has different rules for boys and girls on things like hair length and earrings. For background, William Pleasant, a senior at Buchanan

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Drip, drip, drop — these old house leaks never stop

    Thank goodness I fixed the roof leak that has dripped water into the downstairs bathroom for the last 15 years before last Sunday’s storm, which dropped nearly an inch of rain and tested roofs everywhere. Like most people, I have recurring dreams. Mine have me in the house on Lomita Drive where I

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: A few more passages on India

    Response from Tehachapi’s Jan Combs on the columns about a recent trip to India: “When we were in New Delhi, my husband asked our driver what it took to be able to drive in India. He replied, "To drive in India it takes 3 things — Good brakes, Good horn and Goooood luck." ••• Logan

  • The Dog Days combo pizza from Pacino's Pizzeria Pastaria in Tehachapi. Restaurant critic Pete Tittl raves about the crust: perfectly crisp on the outside and soft as fresh-baked bread inside,  paper thin in the middle and rolled to a substantial thickness on the outside.

    PETE TITTL: Pacino's makes you a pizza you can't refuse

    I can’t say that I’ve ever really been in a restaurant like Pacino’s in Tehachapi. Yeah, it’s Italian, featuring a menu with the familiar pastas, pizzas, veal and all you’d expect in a restaurant like this. But it’s the overall obsession with All Things Al that just blows you away. Our waitress

  • Robert Price

    SOUND OFF: All three conservative columnists agree on Trump

    This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian's news coverage. Your questions may be edited for space. Reader: My husband and I have been subscribing to your paper since the beginning of our marriage, which

  • Richard Beene

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

    FENTANYL If you are the parent of a teenager or young adult, listen up. A dangerous drug is making the rounds with young people that is 100 times more potent than morphine and some 50 times more potent than heroin. Its name is fentanyl and it is classified as a synthetic opioid analgesic that is

  • Blonde Faith, pictured left from left: Kevin Mahan, Tamera Mahan, Gary Morgan, Anthony Chavez, Tim Stonelake.

    MATT MUNOZ: Bakersfield jukebox heroes keeping the Faith

    They’ve been called a band for all occasions and a friend to the weekend party warrior. They are Bakersfield’s Blonde Faith, one of a number of hard-working music outfits bringing the best of the jukebox to area watering holes, community and corporate events. Interested in getting a live music fix

  • HERB BENHAM: Sister owes so much in life to horse power

    My sister’s horse died. Pam wanted people to know, so she emailed her family. What Pam should know is that if any of her siblings come back, and if they aren’t reincarnated into extraordinary understanding or extreme wealth, they’d like to return as one of her horses. Yes, one of her horses

  • Richard Beene

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

    DOGS I wrote earlier about the opening of new outdoor seating areas at local restaurants, prompting several readers to ask if dogs are allowed while dining alfresco. “When we are on the coast,” one wrote, “we can take our dog to the local lunch spot and eat outside. Is it permitted here?” The

  • Ex-NFL football player Lawrence Phillips is arraigned in Kern County Superior Court on murder charges in this file photo.

    LOIS HENRY: Death info in Kern should not be kept secret

    It looks like Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has ruined another perfectly good rant about government transparency. Just when I think Youngblood’s going to give me nothing but flack, he turns into Mr. Reasonable. Does he do this to me on purpose? Anyhow, my rant was about how the Coroner’s

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Found the key to cool and it's a fob

    I was happy when we bought the Jeep Grand Cherokee and had, for the first time, a key fob. A key fob is one of those remote keys with which you can lock or unlock the car from distance. I’d always admired people who could walk away from their cars, realize they had forgotten to lock the car, wheel

  • Californian community columnist Steve Flores.

    STEVE FLORES: A nutritious way to communicate

    It was 55 years ago I learned the art of eating spinach without eating spinach in Casa Loma School’s cafeteria. When the cafeteria workers turned their heads, my spinach and those of my other classmates who shared an equal non-enthusiasm for spinach’s imitable flavor and unique texture quickly hid

  • Richard Beene

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

    VETERANS I received notes from several readers reminding me that the Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County is in no way affiliated with the Wounded Warriors Project. Why is this important? Because the Wounded Warriors Project, a national organization, has come under fire for lavish spending on staff