So how do you feel about the Bakersfield City Council considering a sales tax increase at the same time it is passing on earning potentially millions of dollars in new revenue by regulating marijuana? And why do we need a sales tax? Well of course, to pay for pension-related decisions made by previous city councils that have left us all on the hook. The irony here is rich, and I for one will not support any potential sales tax increase while we are saying no to a richer, more dependable revenue stream because we have a 1950s mentality when it comes to cannabis.


A Los Angeles-based restaurant company has entered the local burger wars. The company is opening a CaliBurger franchise on Olive Drive at State Road and is now interviewing prospective employees.


It looks like the Craft Tap House and Grill has closed, a victim of the explosion of restaurants featuring specialty beers and bar food. Located off Truxtun Avenue in the home of a previous restaurant, the craft house opened in February of last year featuring more than 50 different types of beer. Meanwhile across town, another craft beer venue — Temblor Brewing Co. — is celebrating two years in business.


Hats off to Sam Ames, the local woodworking craftsman who spotted a couple in distress on Highway 65, turned his car around and helped them fix their flat tire. The couple spoke little English but Ames, who lived in Spain as a young man when he raced bikes, helped them through and referred them to Country Tire and Wheel in Bakersfield.


"My wife asked me to load the dishwasher. So I poured her some shots and told her to start drinking. And that’s how the fight started."


"I spend an extraordinary amount of time counting other people's food items in the express line."


A picture of a 50-year-old bottle of 7-Up in mint condition showed up on the Facebook page "Kern County of Old." The bottle, manufactured at the old 7-Up plant in east Bakersfield, was used by Laurie Smith's grandmother to dampen fabrics while she ironed. Said Smith: "I can recall my grandma using this 7-Up bottle with the little runner plug sprinkler top to dampen fabrics when she ironed. The 7 ounce bottle came from Bakersfield's own 7-Up bottling facility. It's in mint condition, even after 50 plus years! The little rubber sprinkling plug is a neat little piece of Americana too. Note the ingredients on the back of the bottle. No wonder 7-Up used to taste so much better years ago!"

Email contributing columnist Richard Beene at rsbeene@yahoo.com. His work appears here on Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at BakersfieldObserved.com.

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