Richard Beene

Tuesday, Feb 04 2014 03:49 PM

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

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    Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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By Richard Beene

Wendy: The social networking site Facebook can be annoying and intrusive at times, but I was thankful when it "reminded" me that it was Wendy Wayne's birthday on Tuesday. She would have been 66. For those of you who weren't lucky enough to know Wendy, she was a local child welfare advocate who had a heart of gold and never met stranger. She died in June of 2012 after a long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but the work she did here and elsewhere to help the needy and disenfranchised will live on forever. She was a UCLA graduate, a registered nurse and a Peace Corps volunteer. For Wendy, happiness came in helping others, in learning and accepting opposing points of view and in growing spiritually. Thank you, Facebook, for reminding me of this very special person.

Volleyball: My bet is the new sand volleyball program out at Cal State Bakersfield is going to be a big success. This will be the second year of the sand game, which is played by some of the same 'Runners women who play on the hard court. Three sand courts have been built outside the student recreation center, and the university is busy readying the area for spectators.

Baseball: And speaking of CSUB, baseball season is just around the corner. Coach Bill Kernan is hoping this year's squad will win the Western Athletic Conference and end up in the NCAA baseball tournament. Strange that a spring sport is getting ready to kick off when we hardly had a winter.

Art show: Betty Leonor is one of our community's most gifted artists, and her stunning oil paintings will be on display at The Metro Galleries on 19th Street starting this Friday. This will be Leonor's second show at Metro and it promises to be her best. Leonor, by coincidence, is married to Cal State baseball coach Bill Kernan. Her show is one of the main draws for the monthly First Friday celebration downtown.

Bad form: Stephen Knapp writes that he lives a retirement home run by the Kern County Housing Authority between Ming Avenue and Wilson Road on Real Road. "There is a legal crosswalk in front for people to cross Real Road to go to Kmart and other stores, which a lot of us use. Most of the people who live here are disabled and use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc., and move slowly. The speed limit is 40 miles per house and the crosswalk is clearly marked with lines and yellow warning signs, but few drivers even slow down. I have sat trying to cross while five to 10 cars pass and don't stop. I have even had cars pass in the other lane when I am trying to cross. One time a lady in a large SUV honked at me and flashed a one-finger salute as she sped by. I feel there should be signs warning people to slow down for seniors just like in school zones. I just hope it doesn't take one of us getting killed before someone addresses the problem."

Drought: Judy Henderson wrote to weigh in on California's long drought. She recently took a visitor from Arizona on a walk, and he noticed that "water ran freely in the gutters of more than one street. Lawns were so saturated with water that soil washed onto sidewalks. One home had a sprinkler that watered the street only. A resident was washing down the sidewalks around his home. Our visitor commented that it looked to him that Bakersfield had plenty of water to waste ... How often should winter rye lawns be watered? Are some lawns still on the summer timer cycle? Should winter lawns be watered for two minutes, twice a week? Could we find the source of gutters that run with water 24 hours a day? We need to be proactive to stop the waste. People of Bakersfield can do better for our city and state."

Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Bakersfield Californian. He blogs at www.bakersfieldobserved.com. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Email him at rsbeene@yahoo.com.

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