Last Saturday, I was coming home from some brisk morning exercise and drove by what appeared to be a party — balloons, banners, tables, tablecloths, chairs and a bunch of people, some of whom were milling around a taco bar that had been set up on the front lawn.

You might feel it sometimes when you look up at a clear night sky, at the scads of faraway stars and the vastness of the universe: you sense your own smallness. It can happen when you lose someone you love, and you compare the short span of a human life to the millions of years of history. O…

I apologize. If I were dismissive, cavalier and not compassionate enough when people told me about their reactions to the vaccines, I’d like a second chance, a redo, an opportunity to say that I have seen the light after experiencing the sweaty darkness and have become a more sensitive person.

“It was like going through hell,” he said. A friend had developed facial shingles, involving his ear, and despite medication the pain continued for weeks. So what is the best way to prevent an attack of shingles? Take action quickly. If you delay, you’ll wish you hadn’t when the pain from he…

Bakersfield, by and large, is a pretty flat town. With the exception of a few places in the northeast, there is little opportunity to get an aerial view of the city. That’s just one of the reasons I mourn the loss of the Petroleum Club’s location on the top of the 12-story building on Califo…

Concerned that I might be running short of material, Mariella Canepa sent a list of column ideas. Rather than hoarding them and eking this thing out, I’ll tackle the whole bunch in one column.

It’s plainly evident that many people are eating too much. But several serious eating disorders can be harder to see, especially when they deliberately hide the problem. Recent research indicates that pandemic-related stay-at-home orders have ramped up anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders.

Robert Tafoya never gave much thought about becoming a judge. In fact, he never considered going to law school at all until a chance encounter with a friend. But first things first. Growing up in Ventura County, the future Kern County Superior Court jurist began working in the fields — at ag…

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.

Professional sporting events have never been entirely about the game. Team owners, player sponsorships, media contracts, ticket sales, and merchandising licenses are the playgrounds of big business. But the tiniest of offensive players, the novel coronavirus, has upended the sporting world. …

Smart money, informed money and clean-air-loving money favors having a gas fireplace over the traditional wood-burning one like we have.

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 read the paper daily as well as watching the evening news. I read your article Thursday ("Deadly winter: As cases of COVID-19 recede in Kern County, deaths climb") on COVID deaths and I just don’t understand why the data lags so far behind. If a person is being treated for COVID in…

We recently wrote about the gut microbiome – the remarkable digestive ecosystem that influences how nutrients and bacteria contribute to weight management, organ function, and even our mental health. But did you know there is a soil microbiome, and that this too affects your health? It turns…

We’re now 10 months down the line from the start of the COVID-19 lockdown and everyone is suffering from cabin fever. Time after time the nature and severity of restrictions and health advisories has shifted to reflect the new reality. Businesses struggle every day to figure out if they can …

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 tops of the crepe myrtle branches are scraping against our upstairs windows. Its rough tips are making a scratching sound on the glass that verges on groaning. At night, when the wind is blowing, it sounds as if somebody might be in trouble but if so, they may have to free themselves fro…

The column about receiving the first of two vaccine shots for COVID-19 at Bakersfield Heart Hospital did not meet with universal accord. Several readers wondered what strings we had pulled in order to qualify, given that many people are older, more essential or in greater need than we are.

Kern County Superior Court employees from two separate labor unions continue to be wary of further staff reductions and furloughs come the new fiscal year. And court management should butt out of employees use of social media postings, they say. More on that in a little bit.

Taylor Hearn is an average 12-year-old boy. He likes to play baseball in his cul-de-sac with his brothers — Greyson, 9, and 18-year-old James Jr. — ride his bike and fish with his dad, James Jr., and siblings at Virginia Lakes near Mammoth.

Reader: Christine, just wanted to question TBC's commitment to the CDC's request regarding the use of masks and social distancing to control the COVID-19 spread. The reason I ask this is that on too many times while reading TBC, e.g., one example Saturday, Jan. 16, "Let Them Play" in Tehacha…

It takes all kinds, my grandmother used to say, meaning that the world would be a dull place indeed if everyone were alike. She sometimes said it in a reproachful way, like when the young man I liked had a ponytail. (I grew up in the time of hippies.) We all-kinds are gloriously different, e…