If you're interested in submitting your Community Voice click here.

l have been a substitute teacher for 10 years. It is a job that l truly love. l am in four districts currently — Vineland, Arvin, Greenfield and Richland — where the great majority of my seventh and eighth grade students are Latino.

Why does this brief 27-word amendment seem to be so hard to understand? The answer is pretty clear: its first half has become invisible, at least to NRA aficionados.

How wonderful it must be to be an intellectual the stature of Bakersfield Realtor David Knoeb. Knoeb is a principal architect of the Squatters Protection Act who felt it was necessary to create SPA in order to assist police officers with determining if a squatter is trespassing or not in a v…

If you are noticing an uptick in the number of property crime and theft stories from friends and neighbors, you are not alone. Rates of these types of crimes are increasing statewide at an alarming rate and it’s only getting worse.

In 2016, I stood in the driveway with my family as the Sanger Fire and Police Department surrounded our neighborhood. Less than a mile away was the Water Tower, the tallest structure that planted itself in the middle of the suburbs of Sanger. On top of the Tower, sat a young boy who blankete…

Kern County does currently own a large facility with all the infrastructure needed to safely and efficiently shelter every single homeless person in the county.

September is National Preparedness Month. Government agencies, including the Kern County Fire Department, will be encouraging residents to be prepared to survive disaster events. Government agencies can only inform and encourage - preparedness starts with you!

Greetings from Steve, a lifelong Christian, to my Bakersfield brothers and sisters in faith. I am writing in the style of Paul, who addressed his epistles to fellow Christians in the spirit of both love and concern. I know you are good people who love your families and neighbors, work hard i…

The current debate over man-made global warming, has, unfortunately, like too many other current issues, become political. It is dividing our country, largely along party lines, with most Democrats believing global warming to be a significant threat to our planet, most Republicans not so muc…

Gov. Gavin Newsom may soon find himself in a bit of a pickle. Turns out the governor’s chief fiscal adviser, the California Department of Finance, is staunchly opposed to Senate Bill 24, the bill that will require all of California’s university student health centers to provide on-campus med…

In the Aug. 26 Community Voices piece “Are we all racist now?” the author attaches the recent fashion of slurring political opponents with racist trope to what he identifies as a root cause: “...an uncompromising and unending battle of political progressives vs. most of the rest of us who re…

Let’s make something clear from the beginning: biomethane is not clean, and the main way it’s produced, via cows and massive dairies, hurts the health of surrounding neighborhoods, which are almost always disadvantaged, low-income communities of color.

Several months ago I had to drive to downtown Los Angeles on a business matter. As I entered the downtown area, I began to see tents and improvised living units (ILUs) along the sidewalks, under bridges and along off-ramps and on-ramps.

Today, 3,000 freshmen and transfer students — most of them the first in their families to attend college — will arrive at Cal State Bakersfield, eager to chase the dream that brought them to the southern valley’s only four-year public university.

A Sound Off contributor wrote, “the many, many items we use in our daily lives that are made using petroleum products ... Perhaps there is someone in your reading audience who can provide a list of the consumer items that would be lost if, indeed, the industry was shut down,” and Robert Pric…

Many people have noticed veggie burgers showing up on menus at fast food and casual eateries. But, “What’s the point?” one might ask. It turns out that not only are vegetable-, grain- and bean-based burgers better for the general public, but they’ve now been scientifically shown to have a re…

Piñatas, tres leches cakes, music, laughter and a good carne asada. These are some of the distinct memories I have of many parties throughout my childhood. They were often held outside, in backyards or our other backyards — the park. Hart Park near the bluffs in Bakersfield holds a special p…

Last week, Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer announced that her office and six other prosecutors’ offices across California obtained a $4 million settlement with Renovate America, Inc., also known as the HERO Program, which provides Property Assessed Clean Energy financing. The se…

"Make America great again"? Someone suggested disinfecting the White House would be a good start. But then again, we are still the greatest land on earth (or why would so many still want to come here?). The question, however, implies there was a greatness in the past that has faded away. It …

We have homeless encampments next to our freeways and behind buildings and dumpsters, but after reading about homelessness in the August edition of the Catholic Agitator, I read more about how Los Angeles’ problem is enormous, and it was brought on by the failure of its City Fathers to plan.…

I have preached. As a young man, during my high school years in Detroit, I was a boy preacher. Billy Graham was my hero, the black Scofield Bible, a gift from my grandmother was my source of truth. With others of my faith I stood on street corners handing out tracts and speaking to those pas…

These past couple of decades read like the script from a David Mamet movie, with the American middle class as the mark. The trailer from a movie would include an abundance of distortions, illusions, financial debauchery and other unnatural economic acts that are prevalent in today’s economic…

I recall quite well the first time I encountered Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence (Ahimsa) and his approach to non-violent action (Satyagraha). I was a young college student, studying philosophy and history. Gandhi’s words, for me, leapt from the page like a thunderbolt:

I want to thank Robert Price for his column “McCarthy’s tired talking points on gun violence” on Aug. 7, specifically the quote, “But mental health experts, Arthur Evans, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association among them, say people with mental illness are generall…

Earlier this month, Calgren Dairy Fuels in neighboring Tulare County celebrated the completion of its renewable natural gas facility in Pixley, an operation that’s gathering biogas from multiple dairy farms and turning it into pipeline quality renewable methane. I couldn’t be more pleased th…

Kern County is one of the leading oil-producing counties in the nation and the benefit of this industry is not just seen in our county, but globally, as our oil fields help power California and much of the world. Kern County produces 72 percent of California’s oil and 70 percent of our natur…

The State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a lifeline for Kern County and California that each day delivers water to a large portion of Bakersfield’s homes and Kern County farms and business. The SWP helped make Kern County the number one agricultural county in the nation and ens…

The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as firearm violence resulting in at least four people being shot at roughly the same time, excluding the perpetrator. Using this definition, there have been more than 2,100 mass shootings since 2013, roughly one per day.

Someone once simplistically defined the major socioeconomic systems of the world as follows: capitalism is the uneven distribution of wealth; socialism is the distribution of misery; communism is socialism with a gun in your back.

Just recently, I travelled to Italy and Sicily for the trip of a lifetime and got some life lessons along the way. As I am born of Sicilian parents, it was as if I was returning home, to a place I barely knew. And the lessons learned I can bring back and share with you, lessons we need to le…