• VALERIE SCHULTZ: Thanksgiving the day to remember who we are

    It’s Thanksgiving 2015, and could we be more despondent when we consider the future? We’re all in this handbasket together, worried about ISIS and El Nino, global warming and local mudslides, prospects for our children and loved ones who are ill, clown-like presidential hopefuls and open-carry laws,

  • Californian columnist Lois Henry

    LOIS HENRY: Demands on desert aquifer look a little nutty

    Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who gasped (figuratively speaking) when pistachio farmer Paul Nugent told the Board of Supervisors at its Nov. 17 meeting that his and a partner’s trees, when mature, would consume 20 percent of all groundwater pumping in the Indian Wells Valley. “Why are we

  • BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog aboutlife, media, politics and people

    PIE RUN: Thanksgiving is this week, and I can’t decide what I enjoy more: the traditional dinner with friends or the annual Pie Run that kicks off the holiday at 6 a.m. at Hart Park. If you are new to town, this is a signature Bakersfield ‘can’t miss’ event. All you need is the discipline to get up

  • Deanna Blankenship has a string of felonies and battled meth addiction but is now clean and taking classes at Bakersfield College.

    LOIS HENRY: Setting criminals on path to the 'straight life'

    It’s hard to imagine that the bubbly, engaging woman sitting across from me is a hardened criminal. Shantee Jimenez is a pretty 27-year-old with a 1,000-watt smile who seems neither evasive nor underhanded. Yet a quick Google search will let anyone in the world know she’s been convicted of

  • Michelle Campos, Myra Thai, Gabriel Campos and Josh Thai. The family is thankful for Josh's life after the Garces sophomore suffered cardiac arrest at school. Campos heard about his son's condition at work and beat the fire department to Garces. “I went into the office and the secretary pointed me to the football field. There were a clump of people around Joshua on the 50-yard line.  “The vice principal yelled, ‘Clear,’ and Josh’s chest popped up in the air. That was a hard moment.”

    HERB BENHAM: Garces family gives thanks for teen's life after close call

    Joshua Thai is not showy. Probably the last thing the 15-year-old Garces sophomore would choose is to be in the middle of a situation with a bunch of people worrying about him. Josh tends toward quiet, straight A’s, playing Counter-Strike, slinging his baritone in the marching band, and being a

  • Robert Price is The Californian's executive editor.

    SOUND OFF: Why don't cartoons take on anti-Christian refugee bias?

    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: Remember when I said The Californian needed to challenge its readers, both conservative and

  • HERB BENHAM: The weather, the trees, the holiday - spoil me more

    This weather could spoil us. Ruin us. Make us beg for an encore. Has coffee ever tasted better, hot water felt so good or a morning walk so invigorating? Cool and cold fall weather trumps everything and every season. It could be awhile before this gets old. Cold weather doubters exist. You know

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Parting with sugar such sweet sorrow

    Dear sugar, At long last: a “Dear John” letter to one of the most enduring loves of my life. I love you, sugar, and I probably always will, but you’re just no good for me. Or we’re no good together anymore. I know we’ve had some fun over the years: Remember my college semester in Europe and all

  • Bakersfield singer Ambler Appleton appears at Wine Me Up on Wednesday.

    CESAREO GARASA: Give thanks for live music on eve of turkey day

    Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, every bar and restaurant will be at full strength to accommodate the flood of visiting family and friends looking to enjoy Bakersfield’s nightlife. For those looking for live music, I have a couple of suggestions, two of which overlap musicians like a Venn

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Am I just pulling the baby alpaca wool over my eyes?

    A few weeks ago we were visiting my brother in the Bay Area, and he gave me a sweater he had bought in Peru. “It’s made from alpaca,” Courtney said. “Baby alpaca. When I walked out of the shop, Jennifer told me it wasn’t my color.” The camel-colored sweater had been sentenced to marital death. I

  • Kama Maccioli, who performs as Kama Ruby, has formed a new group, Mixology. For the group’s premiere performance, in Bakersfield on Tuesday, Maccioli will serve as vocalist along with Tiffany Carmel, a mezzo and San Diego Opera choir member, and Alicia Richardson, a soprano and member of the Guild Opera Company, which promotes arts education for children. Featured musicians are Doug Davis on piano, Glen Fong on bass and Mark Meyer on horns.

    STEFANI DIAS: 'Classical to country' duo aims to mix things up

    A new musical collaboration is mixing things up in Bakersfield, starting at the Italian Heritage Dante Association on Tuesday. Mixology, a group of strong and proficient vocalists and musicians, is the brainchild of Kama Maccioli (who performs as Kama Ruby) and Alicia Richardson. The pair met as

  • Richard Beene

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

    COLLEGES: As our public colleges and universities struggle with tight budgets, they are admitting record high numbers of foreign students simply because they pay three times as much tuition as California residents. According to The Wall Street Journal, a record 975,000 international students

  • The heavy pink line outlines what is considered the usable groundwater basin in the valley portion of Kern County.

    LOIS HENRY: Groundwater feud brewing in Kern?

    First rule of groundwater: Not all parts of a groundwater basin are equal. Some are more equal than others. What that means is get ready for a good ol’ east-west water feud in Kern County as ag districts try to adhere to the state’s new groundwater law meant to stem over-pumping of our aquifers.

  • Californian contributing columnist Jose Gaspar.

    Undocumented victim's dilemma: Report crime and risk deportation

    Macario Garcia of Bakersfield vividly recalls the day five years ago when he was working at a jewelry store in south San Francisco. It began like any other business day but things changed really fast. Before he knew it three armed men were in the store demanding jewelry and money. One of the bad

  • Fresno farmer Don Cameron flooded his crops in 2010-2011 to help recharge groundwater. These grapes were kept under a foot and a half of water for more than five months and showed no ill effects.

    LOIS HENRY: Rebuilding our groundwater is the hot new water topic

    I said more than a year ago that groundwater had become the new black. I was right then, so listen up when I tell you that “on-farm recharge” is the coming season’s must have companion piece to groundwater. On-farm recharge simply means farmers flood their crops with as much water as the crops

  • Robert Price

    SOUND OFF: Why have so many recent cartoons bashed the GOP?

    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: Once again your true Liberal colors came shining through in your political cartoons that ran

  • PETE TITTL: Humble Mexican spot knows how to stand out from crowd

    We tagged the humble Chips & Salsa in southwest Bakersfield as a restaurant to watch when it debuted in 2014. But the restaurant business is tough and within the year it had closed for remodeling and an eventual rebirth, as El Milagro Grill & Cantina. Here’s another one to watch — or maybe