Generations ago, during one of the most epic migrations of people ever recorded, thousands of families moved west across our nation to the beating heart of California for the promise expressed in one beautiful word:

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Paul Anderson, the guy who ran Andy Noise Records, wasn’t a promoter, but more a mentor. Whether you plugged in and made noise or were a distance runner, Paul always had your back.

Watch a concert video, and then attend a concert. Read the script of your favorite movie. Then watch the film. Read the transcript of a court case, and watch attorneys deliver their arguments. Read your preferred sacred text. Then go to a mosque, a church, a temple. It’s different: profoundl…

I remember asking my Dad at age 5 about an impassioned man on the street corner with a sign saying the world was coming to an end by an infernal blaze in 1970. The man seemed very concerned and insistent on his knowledge. Turns out he was wrong. I’ve always wondered if he ever reflected or l…

I read a story in the April 30 Bakersfield Californian headlined, “Suit could delay new VA clinic once again.” The VA approved the location submitted by SASD Development Group near Olive and Knudsen drives in Bakersfield. This lawsuit was filed by the owners of the current leased VA clinic o…

To ultra-conservatives, taxes are theft by the majority to take what they have no moral right to: the fruits of another person's labors. Democracy is undesirable because, to them, it allows a majority (the average citizen) to impose their will (social programs) on a minority (the wealthy).

May is Foster Youth Awareness Month and the Kern County Network for Children would like to take this opportunity to thank foster parents, social workers, probation officers, mental health professionals, educators, CASA, organizations like WestChester Kiwanis, Kern Family Healthcare, the In-N…

When it comes to fighting climate change, California has taken a leadership role — spearheading one of the most ambitious climate change agendas in the world. We all want cleaner air and support the state’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2045; the challenge is how to achieve our goal in a way …

In March 2020, the whole world was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors and nurses scrambled to find a way to prepare for the hospitalizations and treat this unknown disease. Many people have got it, and many have died. As of April 15, there have been 31,231,869 cases in the U.S. …

While COVID-19 has taken center stage over the past year, another public health crisis has been looming since before the pandemic began. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the United States beat its own record for rates of sexually transmitted infections …

Californians recognize drought when it occurs. With just four short years since the worst drought in California history, water challenges always remain top of mind. At this moment, 94 percent of California is experiencing “moderate” to “exceptional” drought conditions.

Last fall, one of my former students told me that she was changing direction from journalism to pursue training in another profession. She feared that I would disapprove. I reassured her that I fully supported her decision. One of the many things I love about teaching young adults is showing…

For my birthday this month my daughter gave me a red T-shirt that says, “vaccinated since 2021 safe and effective,” with a picture of Dr. Fauci’s face. Is this my passport to reopening normal heaven? Will people smile and wave at me, “Hey, dude, way to go … welcome!” or will they scrunch the…

Attention 30 and under crowd: With the latest round of federal stimulus checks hitting your bank account, people are quickly “stimulating the economy.” Some are paying outstanding bills, but with millions receiving the latest round of $1,400 checks, most young people will splurge on fast foo…

Over the last couple of months there has been some interesting discourse in local government and in the media about pedal assisted electric bikes on the Kern River Parkway Trail versus creating an ordinance to ban anything other than the classic pedal bicycle. Personally, I would like to see…

The topic of mental health is one of many issues thrust into the forefront of public discussion amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PEW Research and others report worsening mental health outcomes among adults and young adults associated…

The first paragraph of text on the homepage of the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative’s website reads rather curiously, if one is expecting warmth and compassion for the unhoused citizens of our county. “We all want clean streets and sidewalks. We want businesses to be free fro…

Feeding the racial narrative goes like this: "BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors expect to decide Wednesday whether to charge a white former police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, sparking nights of protests and raising tensions amid…

I was impressed with the political cartoon in Tuesday’s Californian. It portrayed a very disturbed James Madison looking at a cell phone video of assault weapons and a time traveling reporter asking him if he would write “the amendment” differently.

The “Broken Windows” theory in policing posits that when broken windows go unrepaired, that building and its surrounding area announces that no one cares. They become blighted magnets for the homeless seeking shelter and criminals seeking victims or customers. A steady downward spiral of inc…

Thanks to my longtime friend John Pryor for his comparison of cowboy ethics between our former president and our current president ("COMMUNITY VOICES: Cowboy ethics work —  even in Washington, D.C.!" April 9).

Distant rumblings were heard about a possible new pathogen wreaking a devastating toll on a susceptible population in Wuhan. Those rumblings were systematically smothered. The ears that are trained to hear through the smothering failed to listen a second time. First miss was SARS I. Same smo…

My wife and I take great joy in showing off Bakersfield to visitors. We love this city – there are so many adventurous, historical and cultural gems to surprise people with. Since we transplanted here several years ago, we’ve had many friends and family visit, and all of them leave with our …

The history of the Kern River Parkway Trail (commonly referred to as “the bike path”) goes back almost 50 years. From the beginning, the “Founding Fathers” of the parkway — Bill Cooper and Rich O’Neil — pushed to keep motorized vehicles out of the parkway. The parkway was intended to restore…

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 2,697 mass shootings in the United States from 2014 through 2020. That’s an average of 385 per year. A mass shooting was defined as four or more people injured or killed, not counting the perpetrator.

Democrats now outwardly control the House, Senate, presidency, media, academia, cartoon casting and so on. Perversely you would think they would be beside themselves with joy that only genuine hypocrisy permits. In addition, they likely don’t miss Rush Limbaugh. From what I observe, when I p…

In May 2018, former President Donald Trump imposed the “zero-tolerance policy” which would prosecute anyone crossing or attempting to cross the southwest border illegally, including those seeking asylum in order to discourage illegal immigration. Under this policy, asylum officers were instr…

The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (Senate Bill 375) sets goals for reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions and requires Kern Council of Governments to develop a strategy that integrates transportation, land-use and housing policies to achieve emissions reductions for…

The 2021 drought is quickly becoming an emergency. Kern County’s supply from the State Water Project has been reduced to just 5 percent of a full allocation. Rainfall is about half of average. And with each passing dry day, the drought gets worse.

One year in, the pandemic continues to take a fiscal toll on local governments, impacting their ability to provide uncurtailed essential services to their communities. Across California, cities and counties have accessed the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund through the state; however, Gov…

The 2021 World Happiness Report was just released, and once again, the five Nordic countries of Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden achieved the top spots for the happiest countries in the world, with rankings of 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7, respectively. Since 2013, all five Nordic countries …

I am dismayed at the tone and focus of John Cox’s recent article ("Anglers welcome plans to restart repairs at Kernville fish hatchery," March 16). Cox takes a cavalier attitude toward decades of mismanagement of a government project and a terrible waste of money. I’m hoping the quotes attri…

A couple of statements in a letter to the editor in Monday's paper ("Letter to the Editor: Fee on fossil fuels," March 21) got me thinking about what I know or think I know about the subject of climate change.

The jet hefts itself off the runway. I sit among masked strangers, complicit in our journey during this plague weekend. It has been more than a year since I have seen my sister, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Now that I’m a member of the V for vaccinated club and have my card tucked…

Starting in July 2020, the Bakersfield Police Department-Community Collaborative (BPD-CC) was created to solicit and formalize community-sourced recommendations for policing reform, policing capacity and building trust and greater partnership between BPD and the Bakersfield Community. The BP…