Reader: The photographer caught this devastated woman at possibly the most extreme moment of her shock and grief ("Woman dies, four children left injured and orphaned in northwest Bakersfield house fire," Feb. 9). How unkind, actually cruel, to publish this picture for the public to witness.…

Now that the football season is officially over, I can say it. Some people will miss the excitement of the actual games. (Obviously, when I say "excitement," I am not including the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Rams, the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever.) Me, not so much. I will miss the foo…

As a woman over 50 (ahem!), I have some thoughts to share with Yann Moix. Who, one might ask, is Yann Moix? I confess I’d never heard of him either before I came across his provocative assertion that women over 50 are “invisible” to him. I have since learned that he is a 50-year-old French n…

Just as I was beginning to get used to writing “19” in notes and letters, February arrived. January is one of my favorite months. It’s a long month, but there is also an unmistakable newness that January brings with it. You can’t help but use its 31 days to look back over the past year, cast…

Editor's Note: Introducing a new weekly feature called "Cop Tales," by Brian Smith. These are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The tales are told in the first person.

Reader: Your columnist, Leonard Pitts, wrote that Nathan Phillips, the Native American elder who was mixed up in that incident in Washington with the high school kids from Kentucky, was a "Vietnam veteran." Fake news! The man served in the military during that time but that doesn't make him …

While I was out-of-state over the Christmas holiday, I went to Mass at a parish not my own. The thing about Mass somewhere new is that even though the building and the presider and the music and the liturgical details and the people around you are completely unknown to you, the Mass is the M…

Last week the showers at the pool were closed for maintenance. The “pool” is the McMurtrey Aquatics Center. Without a shower, because of the chlorination (sodium hypochlorite), swimmers risk looking as if they have brushed their faces against a salt lick.

Reader: I refer to the Associated Press article in the Jan. 10 Californian headlined “Trump stalks out of shutdown session with Dems.” Who fact-checks Associated Press material and associated headlines? There are conflicting reports in the article sourced both from Democrats and Republicans …

My mother, God rest her soul, was a smart woman in her day. She was an excellent student up through her high school graduation. She could calculate numbers quickly. She could spell any word. She read a lot, and she remembered almost every detail she either read about or came across in real l…

Think Van Morrison with equally good material and a textured, New Orleans twang unlike any other voice in America and you have Andrew Duhon. The singer-songwriter’s upcoming performance at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame on Jan. 18 will be his third local appearance with Passing Through P…