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SOUND OFF: About that roaring rental market

Reader: John Cox, The Bakersfield Californian’s brilliant business editor, has once again scored with his in-depth look at our apartment rental market (“Bakersfield’s apartment market sets 2 new records,” July 5). His recent takes on our local housing situation typically contain both a wide perspective and precise detail, however, they are most importantly, never boring.

— David Collins, Bakersfield

Reader: It was very depressing to read your article about the increase of rent or buying property in Bakersfield. I was born and raised here. My great-great-grandparents were born here.

I never thought Bakersfield would start looking like Los Angeles. There is absolutely nothing to be proud about the rent increase. It's shameful that we have to work and pay so much to live due to the fact we will die at any time.

You have the ability to write articles about the homeless, jobless and why the rent shouldn't be so high.

There will be no future here in Bakersfield for myself or my kids and everyone else if the prices keep going up.

The news media needs to stop glorifying the housing market price increase and start writing about how it will create and increase more of a homeless population.

I'm proud to call Bakersfield my home, but I may have to leave it if this rent increase continues.

— Sonya Daltrey, Bakersfield

Peterson:  Thank you, David and Sonya, for your perspectives. I thought business editor John Cox's story was a great update on the state of the apartment rental market.

Sonya, I must respectfully disagree with you that by reporting the state of the market that we are somehow "glorifying" it. We're telling people what it is, fulfilling our role to inform.

It is not our job to say the rents shouldn't be so high, unless we do so in an editorial in the Opinion section. But not in a news story. However, we can quote and cite people who have that take on the market.

Clearly, the rents are taking a toll on many families, such as yours.

Not every story can cover every last aspect or angle on a topic. That's why our reporters have written about housing and homelessness issues for years, and I would say in earnest for at least three years.

You'll find more on this topic in Sunday's newspaper and e-edition. I hope you'll pick it up!

•••

Reader: The caption of this article ("Docs show Bakersfield police broke bones in 31 people," June 18) is misleading as it appears that doctors are stating this, not documents. Do you really believe that police officers are routinely beating innocent non-combative people? Come on man! In every case the person that the police confront determines the disposition. Resist and could be pain, or go to court no pain.

As to the American Civil Liberties Union, they are the cause of homeless deaths in alleys they and the courts blocked the police from helping the homeless with hospital treatment! WHY ARE YOU AND THE LEFT ANTI-POLICE AND PRO-CRIMINAL? Who are you going to call 911 to rescue you?

— Tom Edmonds, Bakersfield

Peterson: Tom, do you mean the headline? I am sorry if you found the headline misleading. Headlines summarize a story, but can't capture everything. Sometimes they use abbreviations.

The story did not say "police officers are routinely beating innocent non-combative people."

This is what the story said: "Between 2016 and 2019, Bakersfield police officers used force that broke at least 45 bones in 31 people, according to an analysis of public records by the California Reporting Project. The city of Bakersfield released the documents under a recent California law that increases transparency in policing.

"The records released include those cases that involved serious injury or death. A third of the time, injuries reported included one or more broken bones."

A Bakersfield police sergeant is quoted as saying he does not find the number to be alarming, noting that force is sometimes used in defense of officers and others. And yes, an ACLU representative did think the number is high.

That's what news stories do, Tom. They present facts, and give a variety of perspectives on those facts. That is what this story by the California Reporting Project did. Reporting facts does not make one anti-police.

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 soundoff@bakersfield.com. Please include your name and phone number.