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The wildfires that have befallen our state might cause one to wonder why California? Why now? Other states have forests and nearby communities with electricity and they have not had these firestorms. California itself has had communities with electricity close to and within forests, but with…

Whenever discussions of American values arise in political discourse, there are certain phrases that have become synonymous with the very ideological existence of our nation. Words such as liberty and democracy. Phrases such as “the pursuit of happiness” and “created equal” have a weight and…

To state the obvious: with the way this president talks, lofty speech has been clobbered to death. The announcement of the demise of a main ISIS bad guy percolates with the rhetoric of the sewer. Mr. Trump relishes the gory details, the kind of ghastly brutality that makes the stomach lurch.

We are free. We live in a nation where freedom is a solid foundation, not a passing fashion. We embrace and treasure our freedom. Freedom to choose how to live, what to believe and to express our beliefs. This is the blessing of freedom. We do not, though, talk often about the burden of free…

Freedom of expression is the most important right in the American system of Constitutional government. Abuse of free speech — through calculated and relentless blurring of fact with opinion — is so frequent and casual that it is a wonder our democracy endures. This is true not only in the co…

Whenever I define a problem, I also try to offer a solution — even for problems as complex as homelessness, active shooters, etc. However, the wildfire problem is a “puzzlement,” to quote Yul Brynner in “The King and I.”

Recently, I attended a conference on service learning and ethical leadership at which many speakers discussed the concept of servant leadership. There are diverse definitions for this form of leadership, but, at its core, servant leadership involves leading with the aim of helping one’s foll…

At the Oct. 23 Bakersfield City Council hearing, staff brought a recommended ordinance to the council for implementation of recent state legislation regarding accessory dwelling units. Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are more commonly called “mother-in-law quarters.” Most ADUs are in the …

Bakersfield is lucky to have a leader like Assemblyman Vince Fong representing our interests in Sacramento. His recent op-ed calling for congressional action on the issue of surprise medical billing hits the nail on the head ("COMMUNITY VOICES: Protecting California patients from surprise me…

While watching the Democratic debates and trying to muddle through all the different ideas from the presidential candidates, I had an “out of the box” epiphany. Without going into detail about all of the candidates' positions, or their fundamental political ideologies, I noticed that one par…

I loved your recent insert recognizing our local first responders. I was, however, dismayed with the failure by The Bakersfield Californian as well as the leadership of our local agencies who failed to recognize the very first person to respond to an emergency: the dispatchers who answer tho…

Moral relativism is the view that moral or ethical statements, which vary from person to person, are all equally valid and no one’s opinion of “right and wrong” is really better than any other. Moral relativism is a broader, more personally applied form of other types of relativistic thinkin…

I was informed recently that our city is developing a solution for the homeless issue in Bakersfield. The proposed solution includes relocating these individuals to empty prison beds. There is no doubt that this is a solution to part of the problem of homelessness, but it is not the only sol…

In February 2019, the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees voted to approve a new Bakersfield College southwest location on the Cal State Bakersfield campus. As a student, the announcement about expanding facilities was not only exciting but impactful. The proximity to CSUB and …

Upon learning of a recent Donald Trump rally, I recalled the quote from Albert Einstein, “If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.” It was then that I decided to attend and protest. I also received an email of encouragement with the quote from Edmund Burke, “The only thing ne…

This past spring, The Californian reported that TRIP funds would become available to the city of Bakersfield and some of these funds will supposedly be used to synchronize some traffic lights. Now I remember learning in drivers' education back in the early 1980s about the synchronization of …

After all the legal issues the great state of California has planned to take on, let’s just add one more really big one that will not benefit the state one iota. Let’s rewrite all of college sports so a few individuals can profit.

As I was driving through downtown Bakersfield on an early weekend morning, I saw two individuals who appeared to be homeless crossing the street carrying their belongings. While waiting for the traffic light to turn green, I asked myself what led these two individuals to the point of being h…

Just ask me and I'll flood you with a torrent of enthusiastic words. I just came back from New England, very fortunate to catch it in its prime of autumn colors. Rarely have I been so overwhelmed by the powers of nature to lift the soul by a crescendo of colors.

The president’s idea of a malignant “deep state” has driven him into a frenzy from the very beginnings of his presidency. What that deep state is, though, has never been strictly defined or described. But let’s consider that maybe, just maybe, there might be such a thing. And let’s imagine i…

My husband and I recently moved to the Bakersfield area and honestly fell in love with it. It’s easy to get around, there are more than enough restaurants and we have access to every brand store we’ve ever needed. Not to mention we’ve already visited a national forest and a fantastic winery …

Sheriff Donny Youngblood and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer recently announced a plan to address homelessness through jail time ("Inside Kern County's plan to reduce homelessness by jailing misdemeanor drug offenses," Sept. 16). Unfortunately, this policy is a bad case of “feels over reals…

Valley fever can leave children with painful memories. You can help provide those children with some happy ones by spreading the word about the second annual Valley Fever Kids Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 19 at Camelot Park in Bakersfield.

Imagine a place where families can go to build lifelong memories. Think of a place where youth can climb, slide and swing on a play structure or sit and read a book that transports them to another place and time. See a place where children can write award-winning essays, learn to build robot…

Valley fever can leave children with painful memories. You can help provide those children with some happy ones by spreading the word about the second annual Valley Fever Kids Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 19 at Camelot Park in Bakersfield.

Patients in Bakersfield and across the country continue to rank the rising cost of health care and health insurance among their top concerns. As Congress seeks to improve our health care system overall, one way it could help ensure greater transparency for patients is by ending a practice ca…

On Friday, millions of children around the world answered the call of 16-year-old environmental justice activist, Greta Thunberg, and protested to demand government officials take action on climate change. While small pockets of protest surfaced in Kern County, our community and, in particul…