Richard Beene

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    By Richard Beene
    Thursday, Dec 18 2014 06:07 PM

    THE INTERVIEW: The idea that threats from a rogue North Korean state could force Sony Pictures to cancel the release of the Seth Rogan comedy "The Interview" should concern us all. Who cares about the quality of the movie -- early reviews have not been kind -- but Americans hate the idea of caving to any dictator, much less the erratic Kim Jong Un. Here's an idea: Screen the movie locally at Rabobank Arena, charge $5 a ticket and give the proceeds to local charities. Trust me, we could pack the house.

    FRACKING: The state of New York is on the verge of banning hydraulic fracturing, making Gov. Andrew Cuomo one of the first major politicians to come down on the side of environmentalist on the issue. All this comes as yet another federal...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    AIR TRAVEL: What do you think is the most annoying thing about air travel? There is plenty to complain about (cramped seats, delays, high prices, baggage fees) but according to a new national survey, the most annoying travelers are the...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    ENERGY: I picked up this interesting tidbit in my weekend reading: Despite energy-efficient appliances, better windows and an overall focus on reducing our energy consumption, the American household is using about the same amount of energy...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    RADIO WARS: The local radio wars heated up this week when American General Media announced it had added a new FM station to its broadcast of Newstalk 1180 KERN-AM. The station will simulcast KERN on 96.1 FM, giving local hosts Scott Cox...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    RANKINGS: Bakersfield posted some low rankings in a new survey by the Social Science Research Council that measures well-being and access to socio-economic upward mobility based on race, ethnicity, gender and geographic location. Some key...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    OIL INDUSTRY: After years of soaring energy prices and new drilling, the oil and gas industry has found itself in an unfamiliar position: the price of oil has dropped to a five-year low and environmentalists continue their attacks on...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    TRIBUTE: Yvonne Torres is one of many people who was lucky enough to call the late Wendy Wayne a friend. But her story, unlike others, has an interesting parallel, and her tribute to civic organizer Wayne, who died two years ago, is moving...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    MEXICO: Keep your eye on Mexico, where one of the biggest stories of the year is unfolding: the presumed massacre of 43 missing college students at the hands of police and a drug gang. Protests have erupted throughout the country, some...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    CATS AND DOGS: My two favorite stories of the weekend were all about cats and dogs. First, the organizers of the annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade scored the equivalent of a marketing grand slam by designating "Tara the hero cat" as its...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    OIL AND GAS: There is a quiet concern and worry among the oil and gas producers that have thrived in Kern County during the energy boom. The benchmark price of oil has now dipped below $70 a barrel, a four-year low and more than a 30...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    GIVING THANKS: Life can be chaotic and challenging, and sometimes heartbreaking, but we all have our lists of things to be ­thankful for in this world. Among mine this Thanksgiving: I am blessed with a core group of friends who have been...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    CRIME: We have entered the high crime season as we head toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have heard reports of packages being stolen off porches and of residential burglaries, from the Bakersfield Country Club area to downtown and out...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    RETAIL: Had a nice chat with three of the partners at Cushman & Wakefield — Duane Keathley, Wayne Kress and Jeff Andrew — who appeared as my guests on “First Look with Scott Cox” on Tuesday. A couple of interesting tidbits: Construction is...

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