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Felix Adamo

Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

ROSCOE: Roscoe Rolnick has kicked off his 22nd annual Shoes for the Homeless Shoe Drive to benefit the Bakersfield Homeless Center. This is one of those under-the-radar events that has a huge impact: in 10 days, he collects enough pairs of shoes to supply the Homeless Center for a year with shoes. And check this out: Over the last 21 years, the shoe drive has collected more than 55,000 pairs of shoes. Louis Gill, Homeless Center director, said shoes were the No. 1 item requested. If you’d like to donate, drop the shoes off at Guarantee Shoe Center at 21st Street and Chester Avenue and receive $10 off your next purchase.

BUSINESS: And speaking of local businesses, the always popular White Forest Nursery

is getting ready to celebrate 50 years as a family-run business. Owners Jeri and Rita White will hold a special celebration from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3. There will be prizes, local vendor booths and tri-tip sandwiches for $5. It is hard to beat White Forest for its sheer size and selection, not to mention good prices.

SPOTTED: Posted on a friend’s Facebook wall: “Is there anyone else interested in ruining my life this morning? Applications are being accepted until noon.”

EATS: Yet another new restaurant is getting ready to open downtown. It will be called City Grill, and it will be located on Chester Avenue between 18th and 19th streets.

BAD FORM: Who dumps a mattress in a park? Someone did up on Panorama Drive, leaving a dirty mattress in the small parking lot and overlook area across from the cemetery. Really?

RUDY: Terrie Stoller out at Sunridge Nurseries has authored a cute book about a throwaway dog who was abandoned on a Bakersfield road. She told me it’s a true story that is told through the dog’s eyes. Called “Rudy the Throwaway Mutt,” the book is available on Amazon. Reviews on Amazon praise the little guy’s tenacity and character emphasizing the sadness felt by abandoned animals. Proceeds from the book are donated to the local NRA children’s programs and the Free Roaming Felines in Manitowoc, Wis.

MEMORIES: Elinor Grant is one of my pen pals and she is a walking encyclopedia on Bakersfield history.

Regarding the building being renovated at the corner of 18th and Chester, she said: “Before it became a restaurant, it was another bank — Crocker National. When I was in grade school, my fourth-grade teacher arranged for her students to open bank accounts there with deposits of nickels and dimes. This was in the mid-1930s. After the bank moved to another location, the building then became a restaurant.”

Email Richard Beene, Californian president and CEO, at His column appears here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at