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Does the “J” in Measure J stand for jumpstart? I was wondering because for 60-plus years, Bakersfield College has been the hub for people looking to jumpstart a life less fulfilled to an education that could lead them to a four-year university or learning a new technical skill.

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Why is the “right thing” the right thing to do…? And just how does one determine exactly what the right thing is? Right for me, right for you, best for us, best for whom, most pleasurable, golden mean, right for the short term, right for the long term? Right for the privileged? Right for the…

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Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1066, known as the overtime bill. This bill, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, has been called the worst legislation to target the agricultural industry in history.

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In November, Californians will vote on two competing death penalty initiatives. Proposition 66, sponsored by death penalty proponents, seeks to expedite the appeals process, long a bane to those who favor execution as a criminal penalty. Their slogan, “mend don’t end,” is admittedly catchy. …

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Five counties within the Central Valley, of the state’s 58, account for more than half (58%) of all the produce grown in California. And somehow, a majority of the state legislature saw fit to ignore the views of those who have lived it, who have had their hands in the dirt, and said that AB…

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In teaching anthropology at BC, I encourage students to get real-world experiences through internships or volunteering. It’s a great way for students to start building their resume, gain skills in the field, and to figure out if that’s really the job they want. Interning or volunteering prep…

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During a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green declared that public safety must remain the top priority. “If that means closing every library in the county so you can put deputies on the street,” she said at the meeting on Sept. 6, “you need to do that.”

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In his piece, “We shouldn’t value transportation over public safety,” (Community Voices, Sept. 1) Terry Maxwell asks the community to choose between improved transportation and public safety. This is a false choice. And it’s an argument we have heard over and over again for the last four yea…

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How galling it must be for Hillary to every day see herself publicly esteemed at the same level as The Donald.

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Another gold rush is emerging in California. Some investors with billions of dollars, hoping to make more profit, have contributed millions of dollars to pass Proposition 64 with little regard for public health, injuries or fatalities.

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The Kern High School District in general and Trustee Mike Williams in particular provide me with comic relief both predictable and childish.

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Twenty years ago I was a motivated young professor with a temporary appointment at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. I didn’t plan to come to work at Bakersfield College, but I had always wanted to see the sequoias so I dragged my family across the desert to do a practice interview at BC, …

  • By Jeff Crowley
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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-…

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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…

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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 a…

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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 …

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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 w…

  • By The Bakersfield Californian
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The issue The Californian attempted to outline regarding allegedly unpaid scholarships ("CSUB Foundation owes students $1M," April 17) may not be fully understood by the public, so I would like to explain how our university stewards the good faith donations of individuals and corporate spons…

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Five years ago, President Obama offered a vision to the American people for NASA and the space program's plans for improving life here on Earth while also enabling our journey to Mars and beyond. The Armstrong Flight Research Center and the people of Antelope Valley are a big part of it.

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It seems like every day I read or hear indictments of Common Core, and so far I see very few getting it right. Critics and pundits alike have voiced their apprehensions about these "new" standards. After four years of combing through the documents and reworking pacing guides, I can tell you …

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A female police officer is exposed to hazardous chemicals and diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy, the woman gets a zero percent disability rating under California's workers' compensation system. However, the removal of a male officer's prostate due to cancer r…

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The American College of Physicians, combined with the American Bar Association and eight other professional organizations, has issued a call for action to stem the national crisis in firearm deaths and injuries. In a white paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, they point out th…

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In his recent commentary in The Californian ("High-Speed Rail not only breaking promises, but busting family budgets," Feb. 7), State Sen. Andy Vidak regurgitates the same distortions about high-speed rail that he's been making for the past two years. Though others have pointed out these fal…

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Wow! The thoughtlessness and insensitivity of it all. The audacity of this presidency has come full circle in presidential spokesman Josh Earnest's Feb. 10 hideous ranking of three problems: global warming inflicted globally; out-of-the-blue terrorism inflicted with calculation and premedita…

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To say pro-lifers feel betrayed by the House of Representatives' failure last month to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is an understatement. To lay blame at the feet of House leadership, however, is not entirely fair. House leaders had every reason to believe the vote to…

  • By The Bakersfield Californian
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Kathy Agapiou is a mother and grandmother. She's also a blood recipient who says she owes her life to many people who donated the blood she received after several open heart surgeries and a life-threatening battle with cancer.

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People often say that water is California's lifeblood. Here in the southern San Joaquin Valley, water isn't just our lifeblood. It's our life. We are in the fourth year of a severe drought that is taking a heavy toll on our economy and our way of life. Yet a bright spot for the valley is the…

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October of 2013 was the first time Californians were provided the opportunity to sign up for health insurance under the Federal Affordable Care Act. Previously for many families and individuals in Kern County living at or below the federal poverty limit, that coverage came through Medi-Cal.