Reader: My husband and I are not very happy with your editorial page. Most of your columns are left-wing writers. How come we never see Dan Walters' column from The Sacramento Bee?
Some columns are more balanced like the recent column by Christopher Meyers, faculty emeritus from Cal State Bakersfield. When I see a column from The Washington Post, I don’t even read them. So many times I am ready to cancel our subscription, especially the slanted coverage against President Trump.
— Jeanne Cain
Peterson: Please don't cancel your subscription, Jeanne. There's so much in the newspaper that hopefully if you don't like one column, there is something else for you, like the recent column you mentioned from Christopher Meyers.
Dan Walters, who has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, left The Sacramento Bee in 2017. According to a Bee story on his departure, he began his professional career at age 16 and at age 22, he was the nation’s youngest daily newspaper editor. He's spent almost all his years as a journalist in California, and is closely followed for his expert political coverage and knowledge of state government.
Walters now writes for the Sacramento-based CalMatters, which its website describes as a "nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters."
Good news, Jeanne: We can use Walters' columns, so we're reintroducing his work to the Opinion section today with the column "No federal bailout for California budget." We'll continue adding him to the mix.
Reader: I have seen The Californian go from what it used to be 30 to 45 years ago, to what it is today. As a big sports fan I have always been especially interested in reading the sports section. Which leads me to a question.
This past weekend, (Dec. 19 and 20), there was a very interesting and entertaining golf match played and televised on network TV. It was highly hyped beforehand because it involved Tiger Woods and his 11-year-old son Charlie playing together as a team against many other former major PGA winners and their family member teammates.
It was widely reported about on almost all the websites, newspapers and TV sports programs who cover daily sports stories. But on both Sunday and Monday, the days after the matches were held, there was not one mention of it in The Californian. In seven pages of sports coverage in the Sunday and Monday newspaper after the event, the only mention of golf was a small blurb on the last page of Monday's sport section about a ladies golf tournament. That was it.
I know you say that The Californian likes to focus on local news stories, but the majority of stories in the Sunday and Monday sports section was about NFL and college football and NHL hockey. So who decided that the story about Tiger Woods and his son playing in the golf tournament should be ignored? I feel us golfers are being marginalized.
— Brad Roark
Peterson: Aside from the actual golf news in this event was the companionship between father and son that was on display during this tournament. Brad, we should have had that story. No argument from me.
Peterson: I've received a lot of emails and calls this week in regard to coronavirus and how bad it really is or isn't. The totality of the emails and comments showed how incredibly polarized people are on this public health matter. Particularly interesting was one email I'll characterize as a demand that I produce death certificates or autopsy reports to prove my previous statement that I know people who have lost a parent to COVID-19. Really?
Separately, last week I printed a letter that read in part: "I challenge The Bakersfield Californian to physically go to each and every hospital in Kern County and base your story on how empty they really are as my wife and I did. Not only were they a ghost town, no one even mentioned being tested for COVID."
Reporter Stacey Shepard talked to Dr. Hemmal Kothary, Dignity Health's chief medical officer for its Central California division, about this general topic to gather more information.
Kothary told Shepard that emergency rooms are more inundated of late because patients are being held there, awaiting a bed on a floor. For example, he said, if an ER has 29 beds, maybe 12 are being held (awaiting a bed on a floor).
But he is seeing fewer visits to the ER. While the ER is full, the waiting room is not.
Kothary said that at Mercy Southwest, they'd typically see 120 to 130 patients a day in the emergency room. On Monday, the number was 85. There may only be a few people in the waiting room, he said, but if you go in back, all the rooms are full.
The doctor said there is a COVID ER waiting area, which someone would be directed to if they present with a runny nose, sore throat or other COVID-19 symptoms. But if you're coming in with a bad knee and you're masked, you're not necessarily going to be given a COVID test.