His final set list started with “Smile.” Most people in the church were far from pulling that off but Dominick Pisano believed in the power of music to lift people’s spirits and he wasn’t going to waste an opportunity with a captive audience.
Last week CNBC released its annual ranking of America’s top states for business. I doubt I was the only one unsurprised to see California nowhere near the top.
I don't know about you, but I sometimes tire of hearing about so much bad stuff going on in Bakersfield, Kern County, the nation and the rest of the world. It can be downright depressing. That's why when a story comes along about something good, it's something you want to share.
One measure of a city's economic prowess, and thus its place in the American landscape, is its access by air to and from the world beyond its borders. By that measure, Bakersfield ranks somewhere between Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Bismarck, N.D. That is to say, just a few notches above irrelevance.
You want to take 16 people to Poland? All of whom who are related to you? Then you have to believe, have a plan or believe in your plan like Lucas and Anna Dobrzanski did.
Reader: Very nice write-up on Bakersfield's Lonnie Shelton ("Everyone wanted a piece of Lonnie Shelton, and he delivered," Robert Price, July 11). I have fond memories of Lonnie when we played together at South High School on the JV basketball team. I was the starting point guard, with margi…
Wimbledon is the one tournament a year when tennis looks fun. Doable. Something you might try even if the rest of the year you either don’t play tennis or think about tennis.
“Ou est la Bastille?" is a question that is asked by many an ill-informed visitor to Paris. In response, Parisians can only point out the square where the Bastille once stood, because little trace of the infamous state prison remains. History enthusiasts may want to stand in the Place de la …
It must be nice to be wanted the way Lonnie Shelton was wanted. Everybody needed something from the big-hearted, big-talented kid from Foothill High School, it seemed. And he obliged them as best he could, even if it meant double duty.
I ran into Jessica Pounds (owner of Moo Creamery) at the downtown July 4th parade. She talked about the column on the raw vegetable platters people serve at parties that everybody pretends to like, but no one really does.
Reader: I read with interest the printing of the Declaration of Independence in your July 4 paper. At the bottom of the document that we Americans so cherish are the signatures of the 56 men who signed it. Men who were putting their own lives in peril by virtue of their signatures as they we…
I never considered that requiring elected legislators to approve taxes and fees devised by unelected bureaucrats to be an “abomination.”
I was at a party, recently. Sitting on the food table was the traditional raw vegetable platter that included baby carrots, broccoli florets, celery stalks chopped into bite-sized pieces, raw mushrooms and cauliflower. A tub of hummus sat in the middle of the vegetables.
I took my kids to the spray park at Beale Park in the Oleander neighborhood last week. Along with towels, sunscreen and folding chairs, I also brought my trash pickers and a trash bag. Sometimes while my kids are playing at the park, I pick up trash.
Reader: What never ceases to amaze me is how the 5th Column, once known as the 4th Estate, constantly attacks the majority of its readers and the businesses that employ and advertise.
Just when we think the world is going to hell in a hand basket, someone we love gets married. Last week that someone was my youngest daughter, who married her true love. She greeted the day with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. She was our very own princes…
I asked a friend the other day if he was watching the World Cup. His face went blank. He turned his head and looked directly into the sun, preferring to blind himself rather than having to watch two 45-minute halves of soccer
Who is Kevin McCarthy working for? The answer ought to be obvious. The people of the 23rd Congressional District, of course — the folks who keep sending him back to the House of Representatives with dominating victory after dominating victory.
With grandchildren, you try to get the jump. Angle to be the first. Be the one who introduces them to jelly beans, Pop Tarts and mint chip ice cream.
Dogs are like teachers. They have a lot of free time but earn it. Dogs because they put up with fleas, and teachers because the job comes with students.
Reader: Some 45 years ago I delivered The Californian as a young teen. Virtually every day for two years the front page was dominated by Watergate.
Saturday night I am singing “Walk the Line,” and “Ring of Fire,” by Johnny Cash in the Music Media Jam at the Crystal Palace. A fundraiser for the Kern County Cancer Fund, MMJ was started by Steve Flores, who lost his wife to cancer.
I've had only one opportunity in the past year to gauge Kevin McCarthy's reaction to his nickname, bestowed on him by a man for whom nicknames generally reflect some degree of disdain. At first sniff, Donald Trump's "My Kevin" pet name for the House majority leader would seem to reflect a ce…
World Cup soccer action is back. It started last week and ends July 15 and before it's over, some 3.4 billion people - roughly half the world's 7.6 billion population - are expected to tune in watch all 32 matches according to research company GlobalWebIndex.
Reader: Once again, good sir, some folks are making a mountain out of a molehill with "reverse parking" or, in the parlance of all the tens of thousands of drivers in the oil and gas industry who have used this mandatory safety technique successfully for many years, "First Move Forward" park…
When Bakersfield said goodbye to Harvey Hall and Mary K. Shell, two former mayors with distinctive places in local history, the city lost, within a scant 25 days, more than just two colorful characters.
The five large mulberry trees in the Voorhies Elementary schoolyard are more than landscaping to the teachers and students at the northeast Bakersfield school. Casting a large pool of shade onto the soccer field and track, the trees are a space, a presence, a resource on campus.
My editor, Stef, had a request. Stef has a million-dollar smile and has become a fine editor, having learned to be on her toes with at least one of the people whom she edits.
Bakersfield is on a roll. A few months ago Bakersfield-born poet Frank Bidart wins the Pulitzer and on Sunday, South High graduate Alan Shorr won a Tony as one of the producers (he finds the money) for “The Band’s Visit,” a musical that is attracting record crowds on Broadway.
A handwritten note-to-self is taped to a shelf in Gino Valpredo's tiny office in the back of the deli at Luigi's, the east Bakersfield dining institution.
With James Comey, the former FBI director, publicly suggesting that President Donald Trump reminds him of a mob boss, I thought to myself, what a great opportunity to further exploit my Sicilian heritage. I could even seize the opportunity to reference my classic Sicilian mother, that 4-foot…
It’s pretty remarkable, really. In the last two years, the number of local coffeehouses downtown has almost tripled. (Of course, we only had two in 2016, so there was room for growth). But we’re now up to five: Dagny’s (the classic), Farmacy Cafe at The Padre (a more upscale option) and newb…
Reader: The world is a darker place without the likes of Charles Krauthammer and his contemporary, Christopher Hitchens. A sad day for engaged conversation.