Unless there’s lightning or hail, when given the option by the host at a restaurant, I almost always choose a table outdoors. Even in the heat of summer, I prefer the outdoor option. I have a favorite patio spot at a few treasured local establishments. And now that we have two sons, the al f…

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.

Most people are pretty good about not making a mess. They take care of their property, throw out useless items in the various trash cans we all have, and take reasonable steps to keep their community attractive. There are a few who are inconsiderate pigs (is that porcine abuse?). We all reco…

I wanted her to die at home. In her comfortable dog bed in the garage or underneath the house in the cool dirt she loved so much during the hot summer and fall days. Chin to chin with Charlie, our 3-year-old terrier mix who would not leave her side at the end.

Reader: Among the many things I dislike about President Trump and the Republican Party is the way immigration reform is a favorite wedge issue, and immigrants are despised and scapegoated is what I find to be the most distasteful.

Claire called but she wasn’t looking for a media shoutout because that’s not Claire. To the contrary, I may take myself out of the running for a warm basket of herb bread by mentioning that Claire Porter's restaurant, Uricchio’s, is, as already reported by The Californian, reopening for take…

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.

She stands slightly taller than 5 feet, yet this immigrant woman from El Salvador is not afraid to take on the most brutal thugs when it comes to defending her family. Maria del Carmen Carrillo came to the United States in January seeking asylum, fleeing from the violence and direct threats …

Reader: I wanted to respond to another misguided column, from Robert Price, about the virus having a silver lining. I thought "thank goodness" when he left The Bakersfield Californian, because I would no longer be subjected to his angry far-left liberal views. But instead, you give him a wee…

It doesn’t take mid-May, the end of a school year and an episode from “The Wonder Years” to make me think about teachers, learning and life but the three together in rapid succession don’t hurt.

No matter how many times you’ve seen it — one, 10 or 100 — it’s hard not to laugh when you watch the Festivus scene in "Seinfeld" with Jerry Stiller. Humor is hard to dissect and if you try too hard you can throttle the life out of it and not come any closer to what makes it funny.

About a month ago, local artist Yvonne Cavanagh foraged a bouquet of pink and yellow roses, Bird of Paradise blooms, lavender stems and clipped succulents, gathered them in a blue striped ceramic vase that she made and delivered the cheerful arrangement to a friend for her birthday.

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.

It’s a different Mother’s Day this year, just like absolutely everything in all of life is different this year. Those of us with end-of-March birthdays got to pioneer the strange new coronavirus birthday celebration, either partying without people or gathering with trepidation. Mine was take…

Reader: Why all the fuss? If you don't want to run into a burning building, don't become a fireman. If you don't like high-speed chases, don't train to be a police officer. If you don't want to be exposed to possible contagious germs, don't become a health care professional.

You never know when the last time is going to be the last time, but the last time we ate at Noriega Hotel was just before Christmas with our friends Bart and Napier Hill. We sat next to a group of retired county employees who had brought a dozen or so great bottles of wine and were in the sh…

Over the last several years we have all been witnessing a huge amount of street and highway construction as a result of the Thomas Road Improvement Program funds. While it has inconvenienced us at times, it does promise an increase in drivability in Kern County when finished. Some significan…

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: Great article ("Robert Price: Noriega Hotel closing? Now it's really hitting home," April 28) about the closing of the Noriega Hotel. I used to caddie up on the (Hill) Bakersfield Country Club and Babe would always find a loop for me when I was a kid. When it rained I would stay arou…

I counted my shorts and I have 11. I was happy to find that not all of them had toothpaste on them. Toothpaste and shorts go together like red wine and tablecloths. They will find each other in this life and the next.

A friend and I rode up Breckenridge this weekend to the farmhouse. This is a head-clearing, soul-refreshing, landscape-delighting ride. It was also an opportunity to look for poppies.

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.

Hugo Lucas has been held captive at the Mesa Verde ICE detention facility in Bakersfield since December 2018. The undocumented immigrant from Guatemala continues to be housed there as his case makes its ways through the labyrinth immigration process. Given today's coronavirus pandemic, he is…

On Palm Sunday I went to Mass in Chicago, even though I live 2,000 miles away. As I watched the livestreamed Sunday liturgy from a seat at my kitchen table, I saw that 5,400 other devices were doing the same thing. That’s at least 5,400 Catholics from all over the country at one Mass. We wer…

Reader: I was shocked when I saw the political cartoons in the Saturday, April 11, edition. The very first one showed an empty tomb of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with the caption "I guess he had enough of being quarantined ..."

We’re out of flour again. “Out” or is Sue telling me we’re out because she wants first dibs on making a cake, pie or cookies? I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s hidden half a bag of unbleached Gold Medal Flour under a bed somewhere.

Like many of you, my large family of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and family of the heart take “shelter in place” seriously. Family birthdays, deaths, births and anniversaries have all occurred during “shelter in place.”

The dog was barking. Dogs bark, that’s not new, but Charlie, the little terrier, dachshund, fill-in-the-rest mix was barking in a way that indicated more than the usual disparate, nonspecific, someone-is-walking-by-with another-dog bark. This bark was higher pitched and more dramatic.

Reader: Since the paper’s sale, I have observed that The Californian seems to print less news stories, but of longer length. Personally, I liked the more stories of shorter length.

I have a soft spot for Bombas socks. A popup on the computer for the socks grabbed me with its tagline: “The most comfortable sock you’ll ever own.” After finding that to be true, I have ordered them for the children, Sue and myself.