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SOUND OFF: Officials continue to stress importance of COVID-19 testing

Reader: A quick shoutout to The Californian for its notice in the paper last week regarding the new free COVID-19 testing site at Bakersfield College. Located in the parking lot of the baseball field at Haley Street and University Avenue, it was very easy to find.

My wife suggested that we make a reservation at I doubted that we needed that and unfortunately I was right. At 12:45 in the afternoon there were no other people for the test. It is painless, fast and self-administered.

The results of tests in Kern County are revealing fewer positive results. Unfortunately, not enough people are getting tested. So to everyone who hates wearing the mask, and spends too much time castigating Gov. Gavin Newsom, get yourself and your friends who think likewise down to BC and get tested. That is the surest way we have right now to getting this economy opened up again.

Other counties have been whipsawed by the governor as he tries to balance opening economies with saving lives. Ultimately the ball is in our court. Let's all get tested.

— Terry Beals, Bakersfield

Peterson: Terry, I am glad to hear we were able to help by publishing the information on the testing site at Bakersfield College. We'll continue to publish items about federal-, state- and county-provided testing sites, such as one at Heritage Park in east Bakersfield on Friday, as they come to our attention.

In addition to, be sure to check out when you are looking to sign up.

The Kern County Public Health Services Department and other county officials have repeatedly stressed the importance of testing as Kern works to move from the so-called Purple Tier to the less restrictive Red Tier. County officials hope that will happen Tuesday, opening more businesses and services.


Reader: Please don't run the same California fire photo in more than one issue, such as you did Oct. 3 (Page A5) and Oct. 5 (Page B1). This was at least the third time The Californian has run the same fire photo on two days.

The Californian used to not do such strange things.

— John Sweetser

Peterson: You're right about this example, John.

My preference is to use a fresh photograph whenever possible. It only makes sense — we all want to see something new and timely! But for a variety of reasons, that is not always possible. When we don't have fresh photos from a national or international news event, the next preference is to use a file photo that has not previously been published. And sometimes we'll simply be stuck using a repeat photo.

I was thinking about this in terms of all the wonderful annual events put on in Bakersfield and Kern County that we as a community have missed out on this year. Not only are there no memories of those good times this year, but there are no photos from them!

So when those events return — yes, I hold out hope for my favorites and yours — we'll have to use even older file photos when we preview and announce the new events. Because we sure won't have photos from 2020!

Which brings up something else: If you know of an event or story that you think we should photograph, let us know. Send an email to


Reader: Your Friday, Oct. 2, edition was wonderful — way too many interesting stories for me to read in one sitting. Only one story did not pique my interest — that Las Vegas story was sad and too hard to finish — the picture and headline told me enough.

This edition was firing on all eight cylinders, maybe even 12. Your farewell to fair food made me go out and spend $97 on those memories. If it was not for my wife’s discovery, I would never have known that a giant corn dog is really made up of two hot dogs stuck on a 14-inch stick. The truth came out, and it was good ...

If I didn’t know better I’d say that happy days are here again.

— Matthew Jett, Oildale

Peterson: Firing on 12 cylinders? Great! I'll take it.

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.