Earlier this month I had a chance to sit down with a local nonprofit to discuss research for school districts. Ideas were exchanged, powerful themes emerged, and handshakes and high-fives went around as we wrapped up what I would call a successful meeting.

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It is hard to believe that the day is here when I will be celebrating my achievements with family, friends, classmates, faculty and staff. I am the proud president of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association and will be representing the 106th graduating class during a televised…

The saying may you live in interesting times comes to mind these days. Times, these days, would be interesting even if half of the country hadn’t lost their ever-loving minds (you know who you are).

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been cooped up for months and unable to enjoy our normal exercise routines. Gyms were closed for some time, so many local residents have discovered (or rediscovered) the Kern River Parkway Trail (often referred to as “the bike path”).

I recently asked a good friend who is Black what he thought about the Black Lives Matter movement. He said that he did not support the organization because they don’t really care about the Black community, pointing out that BLM completely ignores the around 90 percent of African-American hom…

Recently, I had the honor of leading a memorial service for a gentleman who was an inspiring hero. He had been a firefighter for 30 years and often walked into danger. There’s a particular biblical quote that is usually read at the farewell service for firefighters: “No one has greater love …

Not long ago, a book was written, “The Greatest Generation” (1998, Tom Brokaw), about Americans born between 1901 and 1927 that survived the Great Depression and then prevailed against an evil that threatened to conquer the world. I never read the book, but the title always rankled me.

Increasing money allocated to a police department that, by its own recent public admissions, is not meeting the needs of the community, is an insult to the hundreds of residents who have put their lives on the line to march for justice in our streets and an even starker insult to the memory …

I know the problem of police brutality well. In 1988, a San Francisco police officer pummeled me in the back with a baton during a peaceful protest. I suffered four broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. One of four police victims, I nearly died from the loss of blood due to internal bleeding.

I was ecstatic to see that Nascar has banned confederate flags. This may seem contradictory since last year I wrote in favor of the display of a Nazi flag in a classroom.

It’s been clear from reading the Opinion section in the last couple weeks that data are easily manipulated to arrive at a conclusion that meets one’s needs ("Letter to the Editor: Be careful of what you read," June 21; "Letter to the Editor: Missing data paints different picture," June 21).

Englishman John Newton, born in 1725, was once an infidel and a libertine who swore profusely, and he was a slave trader in his younger years. His gradual "conversion" began in 1747 after surviving a harrowing storm at sea which he regarded as miraculous. He later became a staunch abolitionist.

The conversations I have had with friends, colleagues and community leaders around George Floyd’s death and countless others aren’t new — they have taken place each time we hear the news of another victim at the hands of law enforcement.

We are in the throes of a worldwide pandemic. The number of cases of infection and deaths from the coronavirus continues to climb. Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment, as businesses have closed their doors and people have been told to stay in their homes to slow the spread. Tra…

I hate hearing, "Well, that's just the way it was." But actually that’s the way it was. If you’re told, from the time you are born, that red is green, it will take a long time for you to think otherwise. Let me explain.

The word salvation is seldom met in a work of philosophy, but Luc Ferry, a celebrated French philosopher with a wide following and best-selling books to his credit, thinks he has found it — but not in the usual places. Can we learn from him something new, something we’ve missed that might be…

The division in our country may exceed that of the civil war period and we’re on the path to a major confrontation. Lincoln’s quote that “It will become all one thing or all the other” may not apply to a country that is divided in what type of government and economy, socialism versus capital…

Once again, I open the paper to the same politically motivated, fear inspired take on COVID-19 with the twist of science by Brik McDill ("COMMUNITY VOICES: Be ready for what's to come," June 17). One only need read his last paragraph to identify his true motives.

One’s life story begins at home. A life trajectory is profoundly affected by the presence or absence of a committed father in a child’s life, whether biological or not. This sacred relationship between father and child is recognized as essential to a stable community that every country in th…

State and local governments are responsible for boots-on-the-ground responses to COVID-19. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities projects a $500 billion shortfall for states, while the Center for American Progress projects another $400 billion deficit for local governments.

The Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. We are a country of laws that has elected officials who swear an oath to uphold the principles laid out in the foundation of our union. Fortunately, we live in Kern County, whe…

The issue of race and racism in America seems to have hit a crescendo with the death of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. This social unrest is long overdue, yet like so many other issues in America right now, it has become reduced to falsely dichotomous and pa…

Not long after I moved to Bakersfield in 1990, an older white woman stopped me in a shopping center parking lot and said harshly, “You need to go back where you came from.”

Upon viewing the footage of George Floyd’s spirit leaving his body, I could not believe my eyes. It was unconceivable that I was actually viewing the callous expression of this man. A man who calmly bent his knee into George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while exemplifying a …

A year ago how could we have known we would be stunned now. Stunned by a frightening virus that would take so many lives, like that of my daughter’s mother who was in a local nursing home.

It is my honor to represent the family of Robert Forbes related to his tragic death after being hit by a car while peacefully protesting on June 3. The family is in mourning but has requested that I communicate the following.

In the past 50 years, a lot has changed in our society. Although it may seem so that today we are living out the same frustrations as the past. But now, we are once again in the middle of a national crisis of conscience.

In this time of extreme crises, I catch myself, like many others I suspect, looking for leadership from those who occupy the highest echelons of power, only to be disappointed, disheartened, and demoralized. I find myself listening to those with the loudest voices in politics, academia, medi…

Not long after I moved to Bakersfield in 1990, an older white woman stopped me in a shopping center parking lot and said harshly, “You need to go back where you came from.”

For the past several days, the District Attorney’s Office has received emails, faxes and phone calls from Amar Shergill, a Sacramento-based personal injury attorney who claims to represent the family of Robert Forbes, a man who was tragically struck by a vehicle and killed on California Aven…