Richard Beene

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

    By Richard Beene
    Sunday, Sep 28 2014 04:07 PM

    RIP ERIC: I was saddened to hear of the death of Eric Matlock, Bakersfield's first African-American police chief who led an exemplary life inside and outside the department. I got to know Eric 15 years ago and had the pleasure to dine with him multiple times during some noon Rotary Club meetings. He was always a gentleman and was never without a broad, welcoming smile. He battled cancer for three years before succumbing last week at the age of 65. Too young for a man with such energy and natural kindness.

    KRISPY KREME: The news last week that Krispy Kreme is returning to Bakersfield went viral on social media websites. When I posted the news here on The Californian's Facebook page, more than 50,000 people read the post and almost 200...

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

    REBIRTH: It's nice to see so much commercial and retail activity on California Avenue in what old timers know as the "old Mervyn's" shopping center. Hobby Lobby opened last year with a bang and business was so good it almost immediately...

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

    COMMON CORE: I clearly touched a nerve last week in writing about what I considered an extremely difficult science question on the Common Core testing at Fruitvale Jr. High School. There were too many responses to list, and most readers...

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

    COMMON CORE: Think you are smarter than an eighth-grader? Then consider this ridiculously hard question that ­appeared on a Common Core exam at Fruitvale Junior High School, along with the witty response from the student. The question: “A...

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

    FRACKING: There is yet more evidence that the practice of hydraulic fracturing is not contaminating groundwater supplies. A new study, conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that leaky pipes, not fracking,...

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

    TEXTING: I read with interest a piece in The New York Times about a Colorado man’s efforts to build a device that blocks incoming and outgoing texts for motorists. We are not there yet, but experts say the technological obstacles will...

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

    SCAM: Our nation is awash in telephone scams, and Kern County residents continue to be targeted. Consider this note from reader Wes Wells: "I just wanted to share a recent telephone scam that really upset my wife today. When I came home...

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

    CONCERT: Don’t forget about a very special ­concert coming up this Sunday over at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The show features a folk indie band out of Nashville called Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line. The doors open at 5 p.m....

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

    JOAN: I ran into John Pryor at the John Brock Awards dinner last week, and he shared his own personal experience with the late comedian Joan Rivers. John and his wife, Meg, were in New York City a few years ago when they stopped for lunch...

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

    LATINATION: It's the biggest First Friday of the year this week and Metro Galleries on 19th Street is having its 6th annual exhibit Latination. Metro owner Don Martin tells me that this has been the best year of entries overall and that...

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

    FRACKING: Environmentalists are hailing a proposal in Germany to ban the practice of hydraulic fracking, the oil and gas extraction method that has been practiced in Kern County for decades without incident. The proposal comes from Germany...

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

    ACCIDENT: The madness of reckless and drunken driving continues, with the latest incident claiming two lives on Rosedale Highway and Verdugo Lane. In that case, early Saturday morning, police said 29-year-old Dontrell Collins was speeding...

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

    SCAMS: A local physician shared yet another telephone scam that I simply must share with you. He was at his office when he received a telephone call from someone warning, “We have your daughter in the trunk of our car.” At that point, the...

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