Lunch with two friends ended with sort of fighting over the check. “Sort of” because I wasn’t fighting that hard and No. 2, who surrendered the check to No. 3, was fighting harder than I was but not exactly breaking a sweat either.

Harry Truman, when elected president of the United States, was well aware of the potential hazards of his job. He famously remarked, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Truman was a good judge of character and knew a dog would always provide him with unconditional loyalty, regar…

Before I launch into this, let me expose my bias. I think our state’s regularizing of the use of recreational marijuana was a huge mistake. My experiences teach me we will rue the day we did it. I believe the idea that marijuana is no different than alcohol is nonsense and, even if true, jus…

Reader: Thank you very much for spotlighting — and correcting — state Sen. Shannon Grove's absurd Facebook post about a book supposedly part of California's sex education curriculum for sixth-graders ("How do you like your sex, kids? And other fake news," Jan. 15). I guess I should not be su…

A few weeks ago I mentioned an email that I had received from my old shooting teammate Phil Murray. It was one of the nicest notes I had ever read. It made me think about another note I had got last year from one of my readers, Larry D. Kelley.

editor's pick

After months of fireworks over lowball pumping numbers and concerns that some groundwater agencies wouldn’t get on board, Kern’s last groundwater sustainability plan was approved Wednesday with barely a murmur.

Columns can surprise columnists. Surprise because you never know which one will hit or thud. Animal columns, especially when your animal does something cute or dies, usually find an audience, but who figured that writing about the 1967-68 Emerson Junior High handbook would ripple the literar…

What can we learn from history? Dr. John Yudkin, professor of nutrition at Queen Elizabeth College of London, made headlines in 1972 when his book, “Pure White and Deadly,” was published. Yudkin’s research convinced him it was not fat that caused heart attack, but sugar. So has history prove…

History has nicknamed the decade of the 1920s the Roaring ’20s, because lots of things were roaring at the time: the economy, the stock market, disposable income, inventions like the automobile, new technology like the radio, the women’s suffrage movement, jazz music, the illegal market for …

Reader: Regarding the tendency of theater-goers to occupy seats set aside for disabled customers and their companions ("These movie seats are reserved — until they're not," Jan. 8): What do you expect when drivers who are not handicapped park in handicap spaces and are never ticketed? — I've…

editor's pick

It was Romi's last night in town before he returned to school for the spring semester and the Lara family wanted to do something together. Apparently the Laras have no aversion to sequels because they agreed on the latest installment of The Rock's action franchise, "Jumanji: The Next Level."…

Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the First Person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

The holidays are good for seeing movies (2019 was an exceptional year) and after hearing Bill Simmons interview Adam Sandler and ex-NBA player Kevin Garnett, I was eager to see “Uncut Gems,” the movie in which they star.

This can be a good time of year because all the leaves are down, which sounds like a tweak of a song by the Mamas and the Papas. All the leaves are down but the skies are blue rather than gray.

Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the first person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

Reader: I'm a fan of The Bakersfield Californian and buy it every day at my local Fastrip market. And one of the things I appreciate is that if I have a question about something in an article, I can email or call the journalist. On Christmas Day, three articles on Page A2 did not have byline…

Dec. 28 marks the Feast of the Holy Innocents on the Catholic liturgical calendar. It is also the birthday of my first child. At the time of her birth, it pained me to think that this most joyous day in my life commemorated such a terrible tragic day for the mothers of ancient Bethlehem.

There is pleasure in wandering around town before Christmas. Pleasure in thinking about the old familiar places. Pleasure in touching base, which seems important before Christmas, New Year's and a new decade.

Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the first person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

Finally: something for which I am grateful to the president of the United States. On the way to getting himself impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he has given us the enduring gift of excellent female role models. Thank you, Mr. President, for the chance to get to know…

Reader: I have followed the whole ugly mess of the unsolved 1979 Dana Butler murder for many years ("Dana Butler deserves one last chance at justice," Dec. 15). I nearly fell off my chair when I first read the big article that touched on it back in 2003, "The Lords of Bakersfield." I couldn'…

Writing about vacations can be tricky. Not everybody is in the mood to celebrate your good fortune. Unless they are on vacation with you, you’re away (Kona, Hawaii, in this case) and they’re (Sue) home with a leaky roof and the laundry room and downstairs bathroom unusable and torn up.