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TOP STORIES OF 2015: The best quotes of the year

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Out of the mouths of sources: We scoured our archives to find the best quotes of 2015 — the funny, the poignant, the jaw-dropping. Here’s what we found:


“Even the library has bedbugs.”

— Tropicana Motel owner Bobby Patel responding to fines he agreed to pay in connection with the closure of his establishment due to vermin and other issues.


“I’ve had a pretty good ride and this is not the end of it. I never judge somebody who stumbles. I always judge how they handle it. And so I'm sure I'll be stronger for it.”

— Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, in October after dropping his bid for speaker of the House.


“It’s better at the museum than sitting in this crappy alley.”

— Justine Shrader, who joined a crowd of neighbors watching as the Haggard family boxcar was loaded on a flatbed and moved from Oildale to the Kern County Museum.


“Nothing has clicked. If you were a fan at that game last week, it was a train wreck the way we were playing. And as a coach, we have to take ownership of how we played. There’s been a lot of poor execution going around. It wasn’t just one position or one area group. At the end of the day, we played poorly. You can’t deny that.”

— Bakersfield College football coach Jeff Chudy, on his team’s 0-2 start. The Renegades went on to finish 2-8, the worst full-season record in program history.


“We look at it as a brotherhood. As long as they're going to make good craft beer and represent craft beer well, the more the merrier.”

— Lengthwise Brewing’s Jeff Williams about the arrival of new breweries in Bakersfield.


“When we were spun off from Oxy, I like to say they took the change in the ashtray. I mean, they took everything.”

— Bob Barnes, executive vice president of northern operations at California Resources Corp., the Los Angeles-based oil producer spun off from Occidental Petroleum Corp. in November 2014.


“Across this country our largest mental health facilities are our jails. We have to change that.”

— Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, speaking in support of a Kern County decision to compel treatment for mentally ill individuals.


“In India, it’s common knowledge that when you see elephants wandering around the countryside, the last thing anybody would do is consider giving their child a ride on an elephant.”

— Kern County Fair board director Raji Brar at a meeting discussing whether the fair should bring back elephant rides. The board decided to give Have Trunk Will Travel two final years.


“When you put apples and oranges together you get mush.”

— Judy Hyatt, speaking out against the merger of the Kern County Board of Trade and Employers Training Resource.


“What sort of vacant life would a person have to have in order to actively seek membership on a police review board?”

— Defense attorney Michael C. Lukehart on the futility of police review boards.


“He ate a lot of food. I was surprised because we were the last shoot. He kept on eating and eating. I don't know how he does it!”

— Julie Crawford, owner of Pyrenees Cafe, on Guy Fieri during his visit to the restaurant for his “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” Food Network show.


“It’s rumored that I’m against some of the Thomas Roads Improvement Program projects and I want to assure you that's not the case. I'm very much in favor of what we're doing on the east side of town, what we’re doing here today with the operational improvements, what we're doing to widen Rosedale Highway, what we’re doing at Hosking Avenue.”

— Downtown Councilman Terry Maxwell in March at a ribbon-cutting for Bakersfield's Highway 58 Gap Closure Project, followed by a ground-breaking on the Beltway Operational Improvements Project.


“Terry took up all my time, so I'll be real quick. Actually, if I'm honest, I figured hell had actually frozen over when I got the agenda and saw his name on it.”

— Southeast Councilman Willie Rivera, following Maxwell at the March ceremony.


“This year was a tough year for me. I’m going through something in life that is the toughest thing you can go through.”

— Retiring Cal State Bakersfield baseball coach Bill Kernen after his final game as a coach on May 31. His wife, noted artist Betty Leonor, died of liver cancer on July 27.


“It’s not somebody that you would look at and say, ‘Someday he’s going to pop.’”

— KGET 17 Chief Meteorologist Alissa Carlson, recalling her friendship with the TV reporter who allegedly shot and killed two fellow broadcast journalists in August on live television in Roanoke, Va.


“With all due respect to your fact gathering, our professional relationship, and even politeness, I must state that very little in your email is correct. Your spelling is outstanding, but that is all.”

— Kern County Administrative Officer John Nilon in an email to Columnist Lois Henry in response to her questions about how much a newly hired county spokesman is paid.


“You wouldn’t usually see someone like him dancing like that. He’s a country dude doing the whip and nae nae. You’d never expect it from him.”

— Austynn Samarco on her father, Josh Samarco, and a video of the two dancing that went viral.


“My brother doesn’t want to admit it, but he pretty much had to admit it. I have all bragging rights now.”

— Bakersfield High’s Navonte Demison, who placed second in the 120-pound division at the CIF State Wrestling Championships at Rabobank Arena in March. Demison’s older brothers, Nektoe and Natrelle, each placed third at state.


“Our next speaker I usually have to prompt to be outspoken, because he's rather shy and retiring.”

— Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy, introducing former Congressman Bill Thomas at the Morning Drive-Highway 178 ribbon-cutting in August.


“I don’t want to really put a damper on today’s ceremony, but the current councilman in that area is already the most expensive councilman in the history of the city of Bakersfield for spending money to do nothing. I’m going to be alive to see this project finished.”

— Thomas at that opening, slamming downtown Councilman Terry Maxwell for his opposition to widening 24th Street.


“Mr. Thomas always increases our audience share.”

— Tandy after Thomas' remarks.


“If Bill Thomas wants to get up on stage and argue the merits of either one of those projects, I’m more than happy to do it. I’m not going to personally attack him as he’s done to me.”

— Maxwell, in response to Thomas


“I saw how they put it together and thought, 'Why can’t I do this myself? I have a tape deck and a lot of time to kill as a teenager.’”

— Logan Archer, the 19-year-old creator of Cellar Door Tapes, a local record label that specializes in cassettes.



“All we're really doing differently is we're not paying rent and we're living out here in the dirt.”

— John G., in March, a retired truck driver and self-proclaimed mayor of a “tent city” of homeless on Union Avenue. After working with homeless advocates to get residents the services they needed, officials razed the city.


“They call it ’tent city.’ We try to run it with respect. We have security at nighttime, to make sure all the women here are safe. Why go anywhere else, when there's a community here where people work together and help each other?”

— O'Keith, self-described sergeant at arms for the “tent city.”


“Good lord, illegal fireworks are out of control.”

— Bakersfield City Councilman Harold Hanson after a home in his ward suffered $500,000 damage from illegal fireworks.


“They thought that maybe the water was giving us the ’power’ that we had. It wasn’t the water. It’s not even the food that we eat. It’s the hard work that we do.”

— Danny Diaz, one of McFarland High School's 1987 cross-country runners, on the water once suspected to be the cause of the town's cancer scare becoming a tradition for competitors to drink.


“I want them to have dreams and aspire to be the best they can be. I get to teach them and share my knowledge. Bakersfield is where I’m from, and I never forget that. I still call it my home.”

— Renowned ballerina and New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck on coming home to work with young dancers.


“Father and mother would certainly be surprised to see what happened to the old boxcar.”

— Country music legend Merle Haggard at the Kern County Museum in June. Haggard and his family followed his boyhood home — a converted railroad boxcar — as it was moved from Oildale to the museum for restoration and display.


“The whole valley has been affected by the drought. All of the businesses have been affected. We're making it work. We're all resourceful people up here. We’re all survivors.”

— Debra Chase, owner of French Gulch and North Fork marinas, on the impact of the drought on the economy of the Kern River Valley.


“When the oil industry gets cold, local government gets pneumonia.”

— Kern County Taxpayers Association Executive Director Michael Turnipseed, speaking in favor of a controversial Kern County oil and gas permitting plan.


“The second best hockey league in the world is now in Bakersfield. If you sit back and think of all that’s happened over the past 20 years, it seems crazy.”

— Condors president Matthew Riley, as his Bakersfield hockey franchise moved from the ECHL into the American Hockey League, one step below the NHL.


“A lot of people go to jail, they find God. When they leave they leave him behind. I took him with me.”

— Kern County Parks and Recreation Department groundskeeper Lonny Adams on how he turned a stint in a work release program into a 16-year career as a public servant.


“This is even more special, I think. The feeling to take something you've learned and you've done and to give it to a special athlete, it's priceless. This is the big coaching paycheck. I'm happy for that guy, for Centennial, for Bakersfield."

— Vondre Armour, who won a CIF state championship in the 800 meters for Bakersfield High in 1993 and then coached Centennial senior Isaac Trevino to an 800-meter title in June.


“It’s a good day to be a Patriot.”

— Liberty football coach Bryan Nixon after his team beat Clovis 56-21 in the Central Section Division I championship and became the first local team outside of Bakersfield High to win a D-I title since West in 1981.


“They’re a special group. And not just because of their God-given talent, but because they are good kids and good leaders. It’s a great time to be around Ridgeview.”

— Ridgeview football coach Dennis Manning after his Wolf Pack beat Lemoore 45-19 for its third Central Section championship in four years.


“To have (those records) is something I want to leave a respectful name for future generations. Maybe even my kids one day to say, ‘Mom, I am going to beat your time.’ And I’ll say, ‘Yeah, right.’”

— Liberty High’s Morganne Hill, who set and reset the Central Section records in the girls 100- and 300-meter hurdles and won a combined six section titles in those events.


“Happiness and a donut.”

— Hill, when asked what was on her mind minutes after her career ended at the CIF State Championships on June 6 — the day after National Donut Day. The previous day Hill said she felt cheated because she couldn’t have a donut before a big race.


“It’s not about good government, or what’s best for America. It’s about Kevin McCarthy's personal ambition, that he has no political principles other than money and power and propelling himself to the top.”

— Former state Sen. Roy Ashburn in October when Congressman McCarthy was seeking the House speakership.


“Holy Guacamole, there are a lot of people.”

— Monty Moshier, echoing the catch phrase of his father, Mike Moshier, at Mike’s Sept. 19 funeral attended by hundreds. Mike Moshier died of cancer after a long career as the beloved track announcer at Bakersfield Speedway.


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Coronavirus Cases widget

  • Positive Cases Among Kern Residents: 158,270

  • Deaths: 1,828

  • Recovered and Presumed Recovered Residents: 150,950 

  • Percentage of all cases that are unvaccinated: 92.04

  • Percentage of all hospitalizations that are unvaccinated: 92.62 Updated: 12/3/2021.

  • Source: Kern County Public Health Services Department