Community Voices

  • 'Bully bill' forces pregnancy centers to promote state-funded abortions

    Less than a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court found that engaging in business doesn't demand the surrender of speech and faith freedoms. Still, that hasn't stopped a gaggle of state legislators from trying to impose on pregnancy centers a law mandating they promote abortion services

  • When health insurers try to play doctor, California patients suffer

    Some California health plans may be jeopardizing the health of patients living with a range of chronic conditions. In the name of cost containment, some plans have enacted policies whose impact is to delay or deny access to critical treatments. These policies may actually be driving up long-term

  • We need to keep intact our secular American government

    Another patriotic theocrat has tried to convince us that church and government are, or should be, married in an unholy alliance that would strip us of our rights and dignity. Tim Stormont ("Look to church for guidance, not progressive government," May 13) makes the argument that all we

  • Danny Morrison

    Ten actions that could put an end to senseless murders in our city

    Do I have the audacity to assume that my list could somehow catapult the city of Bakersfield into a homicide-free utopia, leaving the Bakersfield Police Department's homicide detail with nothing to do? No. That would require aggressive crime prevention techniques and divine intervention.

  • AL SANDRINI: Appreciative heroes visit their memorial and the world cheers

    Honor Flight of Kern County just returned from its 16th whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., with 20 veterans of World War II and one veteran who served in the Korean War. Each of the 21 men had a guardian to provide safe transportation to and from each memorable sight visited. I again had the

  • TIM STORMONT: Look to church for guidance, not progressive government

    Looking back at last Thursday's National Day of Prayer, I was reminded how sorely our nation is in need of prayer. Although the churches have been so instrumental in many movements that have benefitted this country, including national independence, the abolition of slavery, public education,

  • RICHARD YOUNG: One branch becomes impotent if Supreme Court deems it so

    A momentous decision is pending. It is expected that in June the Supreme Court will issue its ruling in King v. Burwell. If the Court decides one way, Obamacare will be in peril. If the Court decides the other way, the Constitution will be in peril. Behind the relatively trivial issue of

  • LEONARD ZASOSKI: We cancer survivors celebrate more and more birthdays

    Relay for Life 2015 is over and it was a great success. We have a new home that appears to be a keeper -- grass, trees, better parking and existing facilities that enhanced the overall experience for this event and will be a plus for the future. This year I was asked to speak at the start of the

  • JEFF HEINLE: Quit fooling around and do something about this drought

    I am calling out our elected officials -- right here, right now. Take care of our water shortage. For the record, from a lifelong California resident, I am sick and tired of the political maneuvering. I am fatigued with the ideologues, pundits, melodramatic media hosts, and the rest of the

  • BRIK McDILL: Take a moment to applaud all the good that's in Baltimore

    The power of the self-fulfilling prophecy is enormous. Victor Hugo rightly said that nothing is as powerful (irresistible) as an idea whose time has come. Nothing is also as powerful as an expectation or belief -- right or wrong -- that something is true that shapes our individual or group

  • DAVID COLLINS: Neighborhood brigade persists with cleanups despite ugliness

    After vandalism spiked in my neighborhood, a few of us saddled up to tackle the problem. Over time we corralled most of the blight by holding regular cleanups. Eventually we branded the group as the South Oswell Neighborhood Watch and began attracting members. We also formed an anti-litter walking

  • KELLY BEARDEN: Small businesses continue to drive the American economy

    The lifeblood for America's small businesses is money. But in recent years, its flow to small businesses has been but a trickle. The spigot was opened a bit in 2014 and the results were impressive. According to the California Small Business Development Centers' recently completed annual

  • WILLIAM BEZDEK: Think you're paying too much in taxes? Well, consider this

    Two weeks ago, on Tax Day, I asked my companion which country she thought taxed its citizens the most. She immediately stated the United States. Now, with the political season starting, I can see how she came to this understanding. Every day we hear how our tax system is broken, how we have to

  • BRIK MCDILL: Reverse racism can show up even in most brilliant columnists

    Two cautionary tales, both sad, both true. A true story within a true story. Both with important lessons we should learn, but only if our moment is teachable, which is not always the case. The facts of the first: A white cop repeatedly shoots a stopped black motorist because he reached back into

  • COMMUNITY VOICES: Here's our STEM achiever

    I don't know if Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education currently has a poster girl, but I am recommending 23-year-old Hannah McCallum for the job. I recently met McCallum at the Los Angeles County Air Show, which was held at the William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster. She was