HIT — Thousands of Kern County voters fulfilled their civic duty Tuesday. Thousands more didn't.
Voters throughout the county cast ballots deciding who would be the next governor, who would represent them on the local, regional, state and federal levels and the determining the fate of several local measures and state propositions.
In the Kern High School District board of trustees race, voters decided on two retired teachers, Cynthia Brakeman and Janice Graves. When the candidates are sworn in, it will mark the first time in 20 years that two women have served on the board at the same time.
Around 68,000 ballots, including vote-by-mail and provisional, are being processed. They could potentially affect the outcome of the 4th District supervisors, and, in conjunction with outstanding relevant ballots in Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties, the 14th state Senate and 21st Congressional District races.
Overall, voter turnout was 35.4 percent in Kern County, a number that will increase slightly as the count continues.
Sadly, local turnout did not match the enthusiasm of the rest of the country. More than 113 million people voted for a turnout rate of 48.1 percent, the highest rate in the U.S. since 1966, when it was 48.7 percent.
MISS — Wednesday night's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks was too close to home and comfort.
A Marine Corps veteran opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill in the Ventura County city. At least 12 people were shot fatally.
This follows last year's Las Vegas shooting where 58 people were killed, some from Kern County. Some of the same people who were at the bar for "college night" in Thousand Oaks were survivors of the Las Vegas shooting.
No one should have to go through an ordeal like Wednesday's, let alone two in little more than a year's time. Such events can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by recurring nightmares and emotional distress. Seeking treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse. But friends and family members who observe symptoms in others must to willing to speak up.
The irony is that the Marine who carried out the Thousand Oaks shooting is thought to have been dealing with PTSD.
The Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th mass shooting in 2018, according to USA Today. We might say "enough's enough," but we've already said it too many times to count. And besides, gosh, we don't want to politicize a tragedy.
MISS — Bakersfield must prepare goodbyes for a popular restaurant. Mexicali West is in escrow and will be sold in early 2019 to a Northern California developer. It's scheduled to close on or near Dec. 31, and 55 positions will go with it.
As of now, the buyer's plans are unknown. The spot could potentially open as a restaurant, but not under the Mexicali name.
The current owners are considering a celebration thanking customers. At least we'll still have downtown Mexicali, owned by the same local family.
HIT — Bakersfield is taking some simple steps to make a impact on the world around us. Bakersfield Recycles Day is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Rabobank Arena.
Kern County residents can drop off electronic devices, various household items, passenger vehicle tires, used motor oil filters, used clothing, shoes and linens, construction materials, paper shredding and batteries.
The event will coincide with America Recycles Day, which is Nov. 15.
Rather than just participating in this one-day event, Kern County residents can commit to recycling year-round. How people treat their waste can vastly affect our environment.
Residents can learn more about the county's recycling programs at www.kerncountywaste.com/recycling.