• By Bob Smith

I am an advocate for good transportation infrastructure. I believe it is a good investment in the community and helps grow a diversified economy that benefits all of the community. California is simply not keeping up with necessary maintenance for our transportation system.

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Inga Barks’ Feb. 9 column, “Huerta Foundation isn’t shooting straight with us,” reads more like a social media rant rather than a documented, researched newspaper essay. In falsely accusing the Dolores Huerta Foundation, her “source” turns out to be none other than Mike Williams and his Face…

  • By Christine Lollar

On an unusually cold January day in Bakersfield, 19-year-old Tamra stood in icy rain waiting to be picked up from her Kaiser appointment. She looked like any teenager — on her cell phone with a back pack over her shoulder — except that on her dripping wet, pale feet she wore only plastic pin…

  • By Daisy B. Peñaloza

Former President Obama’s revocation of the “wet foot/dry foot” policy would have been a welcome change were it not for the fact that he violated yet another U.S. law — the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act — in the process.

  • By Gerald Cantu

The past 50 years of U.S.-Cuban relations have been defined by Fidel Castro’s resistance to normalization. Bill Clinton was probably right when he said that Castro did not want an end to the embargo “because as long as he can blame the United States, then he doesn’t have to answer to his own…

  • Norm Haughness

As we’ve seen during his first few weeks in office, President Trump’s weaknesses have been exacerbated under the pressures of the job. His reliance on teleprompters and printed scripts to make fairly coherent addresses has become more noticeable, as his extempore rants increasingly shock and awe.

  • Patsy Ouellette

“President Trump’s plan to enlist local police and sheriff’s departments in immigration enforcement … leaves open the possibility that they would be required to inquire about immigration status of the people they encounter on the streets,” reported the LA Times Jan. 27, (Calif. Set for Showd…

  • By Tim Stormont

I am not surprised by Sheldon W. Helms’ reaction (Community Voices: Biological or social? Scientific evidence is clear, Jan. 23) to my letter published on Jan. 11. In fact my original letter to TBC included the sentence “If we truly had an open and honest discussion, the activist parts of ou…


I watched with dismay not long ago as rhino horns were set afire to discourage the hunting-to-extinction of the rhinoceros. Then I watched “The Jungle Book” with my grandkids and saw the elephants stampeding in all directions. I thought to myself: Just another day in American politics.

  • By Victor Hopper

A few weeks ago, I read an article in the East Bay Express stating that the Oakland Unified School District was the victim of the loose accountability and oversight of charter schools. The article stated that two charter schools within OUSD’s boundaries were closing due to lack of enrollment…

  • By Christopher Meyers

When merely a candidate, Donald Trump took great pride in being disruptive. As his first days in office reveal, however, disrupting is not the same as governing. A mere stroke of the pen, it turns out, does not mean a wall will be built, let alone paid for by Mexico. Nor does it mean that he…

  • By Rogelio Caudillo

There is an extraordinary opportunity for college graduates from the valley to learn about and get hands-on experience in government and the process of implementing public policy. It’s called the California Senate Fellows Program and it’s one of the most prestigious programs of its kind in t…

  • By Craig Holland

Spring is right around the corner in Bakersfield. Soon private schools will be hanging banners at intersections or along the periphery of their campus encouraging people to enroll their students. Advertisements will appear in the media extolling the virtues of their school.

  • By James Gallagher and Vince Fong

Imagine if California had not built a new school since 1979, even though the population has increased by more than 15.5 million. That’s the approach our state has taken with our water infrastructure since the last new reservoir was built. The dams we do have are working overtime for flood co…

  • By Christopher Meyers

There is not much more inspiring than sitting in on the selection process for the annual Wendy Wayne Awards for Exemplary Ethical Behavior. The committee members – all extraordinary people in their own right – are tasked with choosing the most impressive from a list of remarkable nominees.

  • By Brik McDill

Danny Morrison has a dream “that African-American students are seen as different, yet still regular children nonetheless. Where LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan) funding mandates that a mentoring program is constructed within each school district specifically catered to the Africa…

  • Sheldon W. Helms

I was recently asked to give a talk on the horrors of Gay Conversion Therapy for the Bakersfield chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), during which I provided the history of these dangerous quack procedures, and a critique of their claims of effectiveness.

  • By J. Craig Jenkins

Norm Haughness’s well-reasoned Jan. 12 Community Voices article, “What’s the fallback position on Trump?” concludes with an admonition that our political leaders, such as Congressman Kevin McCarthy, prepare in advance to deal with Donald Trump’s inability to serve our country as a rational p…

  • By Jim Maples

As we move forward in the traditional transfer of power, I feel the need to do my part as an American citizen to bring some clarity to what I perceive to be the driving force in our country’s divide.

  • By Bill Allayaud

Last Nov. 29, The Californian published an opinion by Guillermo Ceja of Clean Water Action, questioning columnist Lois Henry’s enthusiastic support for the use of treated oilfield wastewater for irrigating crops (“Community Voices: Testing lacks on crops and oilfield wastewater”).

  • By Liz Ortega

Stephen Hawking was quoted as saying, “I can’t,” when asked why Donald Trump’s political venture has succeeded. Hawking continued to define him as “a demagogue” — an individual of political affiliation who espouses beliefs that appeal to prejudices and less than popular convictions.

  • By Sheldon Helms

I was recently asked to give a talk on the horrors of gay conversion therapy for the Bakersfield chapter of PFLAG, or Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. In my address, I provided the history of these dangerous quack procedures, and a critique of their claims of effectiveness.

  • By Sal Moretti

Richard Beene’s comments from his Dec. 30 “Bakersfield Observed” column about an illegal dump site at the Old China Grade Landfill — and his proposal to name a dump site after me — beg a response. It also gives me an opportunity to go local after too frequently commenting on national politics.

  • By Brik McDill

From the Dec. 16 USA Today: “Lopez, 57, a longtime addict, was serving a life sentence in prison for a third-strike methamphetamine conviction until last year, when he was released by Proposition 47, which downgraded drug possession and most small thefts to misdemeanors.

  • David Collins

As I rumble through my neighborhood as a volunteer tracking down litter, I meet the stray animals who haunt our streets. Without shelter they are hunted by predators, broiled during the summer and slammed by the worst of winter. Even though their thin bodies may be wrapped with dirty fur the…

  • William D Bezdek

John Pryor’s Jan. 2 Community Voices article “It’s time to save us from the death spiral of Obamacare” has nothing to do with “us” or “Obamacare.” It is not even about providing healthcare. It is solely about protecting the profits of the private healthcare insurance industry. Pryor’s errors…

  • Patsy Ouellette

Mark Zuckerberg could save himself a lot of money, $3 billion to be exact. The Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla, have pledged to donate $3 billion to medical research institutions with the goal of curing all disease by the end of the 21st century. The operative word here is “cure.” C…

  • Gary A. Kovacic

Large transportation projects in the United States have historically met with political resistance, physical challenges, and winners and losers. One of the best examples of this is the Transcontinental Railroad, the first spikes of which were driven in 1863 during the turmoil of the Civil Wa…

  • By Brik McDill

Let’s all take a slow, deep breath regarding the tragic fatal shooting of Francisco Serna. I can honestly say thank god it wasn’t I who had to make that nanosecond decision about whether or not to fire that fatal round on that fatal night.