Jose Gaspar

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    JOSE GASPAR: Displaced Arvin residents happy to be back home for Christmas

    By Jose Gaspar
    Sunday, Dec 14 2014 02:14 PM

    You know that feeling you get when you've been away from home for a while either because you're on vacation, a work-related assignment or something else? You get tired and feel out of sorts sleeping somewhere other than your own bed. And if you have kids or elderly family members with you, the anxiety level increases while you're away, as they, too, may get tired, bored or even depressed.

    So I can only imagine what it was like for eight families in Arvin who were forced out of their homes for more than eight months through no fault of their own. Last weekend, they finally got to go back home.

    "Everything is good," said 52-year-old Jose Zavala, who has lived at his house on Nelson Court for 20 years. The yellow tape with the word...

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    JOSE GASPAR: 20-somethings a new political force in Arvin

    One of the disappointing things about the midterm elections held Nov. 4 was the poor voter turnout at all levels. In Kern County, just 39.2 percent of registered voters thought it important enough to vote. Conventional wisdom often takes...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Immigration action to bring some out of the shadows

    When she would leave her home in the morning to go to work in the fields, Bakersfield resident Ester Cervantes would first check in with her sleeping children. "I would look at them and wonder if I might not ever see them again should I...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Trip to Mexico debunks perceptions

    My wife and I recently went on vacation. We chose to go to a place that is often in the news, where reports of wild shootouts between gunmen and law enforcement or even the military take place in broad daylight. Family on both sides...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Is it time for Latinos to part ways with the Democratic Party?

    Cal State professor Edna Molina will not be voting for any Democrats in the November midterm election, which is now less than one month away. "Democratic leaders need to get the message that they won't get the Latino vote (sorry to say,...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Church addresses abuse allegations in very public way

    The priest approached the podium as he does every Sunday ready to give a sermon. Except this time he did not. With a somber look and holding a document in his hand, the priest said, "Instead of a homily, I've been asked by the bishop to...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Immigrant youth can succeed -- so let them

    Would you expect a 19-year-old to be a) in college; b) working full-time; c) partying at every opportunity; d) a homeowner? Thinking back to what I was doing at 19, answer c would likely be the top answer. But Brenda Ruiz is no ordinary...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Teen, tenacious mom working hard to save young lives

    While some well-known public figures have emerged from Kern County, there are lesser-known individuals who fly under the radar while working for the benefit of their neighbors. They seek no political office, but are just as determined to...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Here's a thought, McFarland: hire police with clean records

    Help wanted: Looking for a person to be police chief in a small northern city in Kern County. Pay not all that great, but excellent career opportunity. Serious inquiries only. If interested, contact McFarland City Manager John Wooner....

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    JOSE GASPAR: Nellie Martinez enters a new chapter in life

    If there's a positive side to working in the news business, it's that it can bring you to know people who have faced the most tragic losses and yet somehow are able to endure, achieve and rise above adversity. One such person is Nellie...

  11. JOSE GASPAR: Transient sex offenders proving difficult to monitor

    Law enforcement in Kern County is finding it increasingly difficult to keep track of registered sex offenders. A growing number of them are joining the ranks of the homeless and are listed as transients. "When you have a sex offender who is...

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    JOSE GASPAR: These foster youth inspire

    Every so often, I run into people whose life stories are an example of human perseverance over the most challenging circumstances. And while many such examples are told from a lifetime of an adult experience, there are young people who are...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Shafter divided over school district unification plan

    One year after schools in Wasco tried to create a new school district by unifying its elementary and high school districts into one, the same effort is brewing in Shafter. But the current process under way there has already dissolved into...

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