You have permission to edit this article.

SOUND OFF: A mailbag on crops, golf carts and story commenting


In this September 2020 file photo, Heritage Equipment Co. harvests almonds for its sister company, Pacific Ag Management.

​Reader: I am mostly sad that this kind of headline ("Almonds dethrone grapes to become Kern County's top-grossing crop," Sept. 23) will disappear when water disappears from the Central Valley in a few years. Life goes on, until it doesn't. Keep up the good work, TBC.

— John O'Connell

Peterson: Let's hope that we have water in the Central Valley to grow and raise the agricultural products we need for centuries to come.

Business Editor John Cox's story on the 2019 Kern County Crop Report contained all kinds of interesting gems: almonds moved into the most valuable crop position, "king cotton" didn't make the top-20 list for possibly the first time, and industrial hemp made what appears to be its debut in the rankings.

We get excited about the annual crop report around here — probably because we know agriculture is such an economic driver in this county.


Reader: Just a comment, not earth-shattering, nor world news. I live on a golf course and often see a dangerous practice. Cart riders dangling their foot as they drive to the next hole. An accident waiting to happen. Please golfers, keep your foot on the running board.

— Rose Witer, Bakersfield

P.S. Love your column; so sensible. Thanks for the insight.

Peterson: Thanks for the kind words about my column, Rose. I try to be sensible — just as you are offering some sensible advice to golfers. Be careful out there!


Reader: I think you made the correct decision on story comments ("Sound Off: It's time to say goodbye to story comments," Sept. 19). Hate-filled comments attacking other viewpoints citing misinformation from noncredible sources is far too common.

Typing a letter to the editor takes the same amount of time. I can personally say you publish most of them. I have written numerous over the past 20 years and virtually all of them have been published.

— Rob Lang

Peterson: I think we made the right decision, too.

I know poster "moardeeb," who wrote "Rant attack ramble copy paste" on my column more times than I cared to count, would disagree. But that's OK.

Remember, story comments at will close at the end of the month, which is this Wednesday. We continue to welcome letters to the editor, Community Voices pieces, letters to Sound Off, and direct communication to our reporters and editors. See how easy it is — Rob wrote a letter.

Executive Editor Christine Peterson answers your questions and takes your complaints about The Californian’s news coverage in this weekly feedback forum. Questions may be edited for space and clarity. To offer your input by phone, call 661-395-7649 and leave your comments in a voicemail message or email us at Please include your name and phone number; your phone number won’t be published.

Coronavirus Cases widget

  • Positive Cases Among Kern Residents: 158,270

  • Deaths: 1,828

  • Recovered and Presumed Recovered Residents: 150,950 

  • Percentage of all cases that are unvaccinated: 92.04

  • Percentage of all hospitalizations that are unvaccinated: 92.62 Updated: 12/3/2021.

  • Source: Kern County Public Health Services Department