Richard Beene

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

    By Richard Beene
    Sunday, Apr 26 2015 06:39 PM

    AIR TRAVEL: I got a glimpse at the future of air travel and, trust me, it's not pretty. On a flight from Denver to Chicago last week, I boarded a beautiful spanking new United Boeing 737 800/900, richly trimmed with leather seats and adorned with soft blue lights. The problem: The seats were so cramped only a would-be dwarf king like Peter Dinklage from "Game of Thrones" could possibly find them the least bit accommodating. A flight attendant told me that United squeezed four to five extra rows of seats into the new version of the aircraft. "Please write United," she told me. "This is going to be a nightmare and we are going to take all the heat."

    MORE UNITED: And it doesn't stop there. On the way home, I learned passengers on a United...

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

    HALL OF FAME: Former homebuilder Kyle Carter has purchased American Sound Recording Studios and is looking at creating a Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame to recognize our area's rich musical past. Carter, who incidentally is eyeing a run for...

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

    VETERINARIAN: This is one of those stories that makes you cringe and wonder what makes some people tick. A veterinarian in Brenham, Texas, has been fired after she posted a picture online of herself holding up a dead, orange tabby cat that...

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

    Happiness: I loved the recent British healthcare study on the sources of true happiness. As expected, it wasn't wealth or a fast car that makes us happy, but rather the small things. The company surveyed more than 2,000 people and found...

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

    FRACKING: The latest attempt to mislead the public on hydraulic fracturing is tied to the California drought. The idea -- that banning fracking would help deal with the drought -- is a spurious notion at best, according to a report in The...

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

    DROUGHT: The long drought and the fight over water has revealed a glaring weakness facing California farmers: As a group they have done a terrible job of explaining the importance of what they do. Remember when the oil and gas industry was...

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

    Drought: A friend directed me to an essay that really puts the California drought in perspective. The writer, Steven Johnson, correctly notes that folks on the East Coast often sneer at California and its water woes but they miss a single...

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

    DROUGHT: This probably should not come as much as a surprise, but low-income households are carrying the heaviest load when it comes to conserving water. That's according to The Los Angeles Times, which reported that residents in the...

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

    WEEKEND If you were in town and didn't get out and about this weekend, shame on you. Restaurants were full, and those with outdoor seating (like Cafe Med, Uricchio's Trattoria downtown and Tahoe Joe's and Eureka Burger in the southwest)...

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

    THIEVES Here’s a new technique that thieves use to break into our garages, and pay special attention if you own bicycles or motorcycles. A friend who lives on Country Club Drive in the northeast awoke to find his two very high-end...

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

    WEATHER How great has our weather been the past week? I slept with my windows open (making my tabby a happy cat), and I picked up the unmistakable scent of meat on the grill throughout my downtown neighborhood. But it won't last long. On...

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

    OIL PRICES: Oil producers have sharply curtailed drilling as the price of crude has plummeted, but it may not last for long. At least that is the opinion of oil magnate T. Boone Pickens, who predicted this week that oil prices would...

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

    MONTGOMERY WARD: It's amazing how quickly rumors circulate in this age of social media and instant messaging. On Monday, rumors were flying that the old Golden State Mall on F Street was about to be turned into a homeless center run by its...


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