Reader: One of your Monday columnists, Anna Smith, was right when she said local news sources are the watchdogs that protect democracy and local quality of life ("When we starve the watchdog, we threaten democracy," Dec. 31). I wish they’d make decisions that ensured they’ll be here for us i…

Reader: What a big surprise and Christmas gift it was for us to see the front page of the Dec. 23 Californian and your Sunday column ("Where We Live: The fight to save Oildale"). For those of us old enough to remember, the TV show from the early ’80s comes to mind: "You take the good, you ta…

This Christmas, I asked my kids to just show up and we'd call it good. That's all I wanted from them in terms of gifts: To just sit around together, reminisce, dream and be reminded how out of touch I am with today's youth-driven culture. (I'm a cool dad; this wasn't supposed to ever happen.)

Reader: Teddy Feinberg’s essay about local football players having significant impact at the college level was a natural for me to read in detail with a Saturday coffee while the dogs had breakfast on a chilly back porch ("Former Bakersfield athletes star in college football bowl season," Dec. 15).

Reader: As much as I like Peter Wonderly, I must strongly oppose his suggestion that evangelical Christians should "Vote for the common good" (Community Voices, Oct. 30) by selecting Democrat candidates. Even if I agreed with Peter's talking points questioning the morality of Republican posi…

Reader: The news media does an excellent job reporting the names of arrestees and their crimes. Why not report their immigration status also? This would provide factual information instead of emotional bias to help develop common immigration reform. Just kidding — that wouldn't be politicall…

Reader: I moved to Kern County in 1998 and when Kevin McCarthy first ran for the California Assembly in 2002, I supported him. At that time I was totally disinterested in politics. Fast forward to today's political atmosphere, with the ongoing devastation dividing the nation at the hands of …

Two years ago, Mimi's Cafe was a highly visible fixture in the commercial strip of California Avenue immediately west of Highway 99. The well-loved (considering it's a chain) restaurant was a magnet for lunch traffic, owing to its appealing menu and prominent location.

Reader: I don't understand how TBC Media can endorse Mike Williams for the Kern High School District Board of Trustees, and I would like you to help me understand. A year ago Mike was angry with The Californian because you guys printed an opinion he didn't like so he threatened to pull the p…

Next year at this time Kern County is expected to have a population of about 931,000. But its official population — the number of people who actually get counted — will be about 888,000. That's a difference of 43,000 people. And, potentially, a difference of a lot of money.

Reader: Reference is made to Robert Price's Sept. 19 column, "It’s not easy to admit you’re a victim of sexual assault.” While the main theme of the piece is easy to identify, consistent with the headline — and well argued by Price, as usual in his works — there is an underlying theme that, …

Ten and a half years ago, sorting through the day's mail, I would often marvel at the number of let-me-sell-your-home postcards from real estate agents. We were surely half-millionaires on paper, I remember thinking, because our nothing-special suburban house had, apparently and quite sudden…

Put down that old vinyl record and put your shoes on. Is the car gassed up? Good. Print out this article, open up Google maps and take this tour, which we have plucked from the pages of Robert Price's 2015 book, "The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized Ameri…

It's Labor Day weekend, and as you read this I am marinating in a coat of SPF 40 on a sandy beach, warily eyeing circling seagulls. I am trying to achieve a zen that clears the mind of anything related to work or reality in general, but in fact I am worrying that if I don't leave early enoug…