Another ranking of U.S. metros is out, and Bakersfield has assumed its usual spot — at the bottom. We're so accustomed to occupying the lowest rung in studies of health, education, prosperity and economic mobility, it's almost disappointing, in a resigned, jaded kind of way, when we're not. Almost.

Reader: Thank you very much for spotlighting — and correcting — state Sen. Shannon Grove's absurd Facebook post about a book supposedly part of California's sex education curriculum for sixth-graders ("How do you like your sex, kids? And other fake news," Jan. 15). I guess I should not be su…

Reader: Regarding the tendency of theater-goers to occupy seats set aside for disabled customers and their companions ("These movie seats are reserved — until they're not," Jan. 8): What do you expect when drivers who are not handicapped park in handicap spaces and are never ticketed? — I've…

editor's pick

It was Romi's last night in town before he returned to school for the spring semester and the Lara family wanted to do something together. Apparently the Laras have no aversion to sequels because they agreed on the latest installment of The Rock's action franchise, "Jumanji: The Next Level."…

Reader: I'm a fan of The Bakersfield Californian and buy it every day at my local Fastrip market. And one of the things I appreciate is that if I have a question about something in an article, I can email or call the journalist. On Christmas Day, three articles on Page A2 did not have byline…

Reader: I have followed the whole ugly mess of the unsolved 1979 Dana Butler murder for many years ("Dana Butler deserves one last chance at justice," Dec. 15). I nearly fell off my chair when I first read the big article that touched on it back in 2003, "The Lords of Bakersfield." I couldn'…

editor's pick

The Dana Butler murder turned 40 this year. I did not remember the anniversary until a reader pointed it out last spring. A few weeks later someone else, an old Highland High School classmate of hers, asked about the bizarre, unsolved crime. Yet another email, particularly haunting, hit my i…

Alan Tandy accomplished a lot in his quarter-century of service as Bakersfield's city manager, and he did it in an era of out-of-control government pension obligations and city services strained by what was, for an extended period of time, one of the fastest growing urban centers in the nation.

Reader: In response to your column about the city's street racing problem ("Deafening street racing has southwest Bakersfield residents fed up," Nov. 20): We live in a condo community on Ming Avenue called Piñon Springs. Each Thursday night at precisely 11:30 p.m., the race is on! Some night…

editor's pick

In the two decades since Californians first started debating a high-speed rail system along the state's long spine, one stubborn but ever-growing camp of voters has always considered the undertaking too pie-in-the-sky, too remotely distant and, especially, too expensive to be anything more t…

It might be instructive, amid all this discussion about homelessness and emergency shelters, to get the perspective of the world's best-known homeless advocate, a man who was briefly a transient himself. He was not available for an interview, but a spokesman, Matthew son of Alphaeus, did pro…

Reader: It's a shame that true nonpartisan and independent news is a thing of the past. This article about suicides and isolation cells at the Kern County jail ("A sane and innocent woman went on suicide watch at Kern County jail. It nearly broke her," posted online Nov. 5) was clearly produ…

Reader: Thank you for highlighting the beginning of what appears to be an innovative and thoughtful way to promote higher education in our community ("It's an emergency, but BC and CSUB are responding," Oct. 23). I do take exception with your characterization of what is being done to the Cen…

Reader: Well, Robert, you may be an expert on the Bakersfield Sound, but as a political pundit you basically suck. Your article on Kevin McCarthy ("McCarthy needs to catch a different train while he can," Oct. 6) was an indication of your total hatred of President Trump. It began the day tha…

editor's pick

In August 1996, Kevin McCarthy invited me to accompany him on an Amtrak ride from Los Angeles to San Diego. It was a party train, in more ways than one: Thirty people from Kern County, happily sequestered in the far-rear car, were heading south for the Republican National Convention. McCarth…

Reader: I think you missed or didn’t know a very important incident that happened during the selection of the Cal State Bakersfield location mentioned in your Sunday column about Rio Bravo and the 1966 decision to reject it as a possible site for the new Kern County college campus ("Where We…

Young Arun had been targeted and targeted again. White teens were beating him because his skin was too dark. Black teens were assaulting him because his skin was too light. Finally, Arun decided the only solution was physical superiority: He would pump iron until his muscles bulged. Then he …