Richard Beene

Wednesday, Oct 10 2012 03:00 AM

RICHARD BEENE: Bakersfield Observed, a blog about life, media, politics and people

By Richard Beene


A new national survey shows that the number of people who do not identify with any organized religion has jumped to almost 20 percent. That is a record high for those who see themselves "unaffiliated" with any church or religion. According to Pew research: "Overwhelmingly, they [the non-affiliated] think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics," the survey said. Still, the vast majority - 68 percent - of the unaffiliated still believe in God.


I attended the rally on campus at Cal State Bakersfield Tuesday when President Horace Mitchell announced the school was joining the Western Athletic Conference. It's easy to under estimate the importance of CSUB finally landing a conference, which makes programs like men's basketball eligible for post season play. And it was good to see the Dore Theater full of students, boosters and alumni. The WAC affiliation will begin in 2013.


Ever heard the term "Navy showers?" Reader Coleen Peters knows what it means, thanks to her husband Donald Porter who was in the Navy for 26 years. "For the time he spent on board a ship, it was mandatory to conserve water as much as possible. Showers consisted of getting wet, soaping down and rinsing off. The soaping down was done with the water off. He has recently started taking 'Navy showers' again. What prompted this was a tripling of our water bill after letting a toilet run for a month before fixing it. I am very proud of him for conserving a precious resource. Maybe we should all consider what we can do to help Mother earth. Little efforts multiplied by everyone can make a huge difference."


Susan Peninger lives near Garces High School, usually a thoughtful and friendly neighbor. But her beef is with the fireworks the school ignites during Homecoming. "When the fireworks started getting bigger and better a few years ago, I lost a new rescued cat. Fearful, no doubt, she squeezed through an open window only to be mauled and killed by some dogs who had escaped from their yard. The people who owned the dogs were new to the neighborhood so were likely unprepared for non-Fourth of July fireworks! I was as well, and didn't realize the cat had gotten out until too late. At any rate, if you have space in the blog maybe you can remind people who live near a high school to find out when the homecoming festivities will be in order to provide safety for their pets."


Thousands turned out in Keene for the visit by President Obama, but there was also a sprinkling of protesters. One held a sign that said "Obama Your Finished," which is fine as a political statement but you'd hope the next time they would watch their spelling.


A middle-aged woman is raving about her new home in Castle and Cooke's The Greens" neighborhood of Seven Oaks. "Everyone walks in the morning and one day there was someone waiting in our driveway to tell us that one of our tail lights was burned out. These people really care about their neighbors."


Hats off to the folks over at East Rotary for another successful event to raise money for the Joe Alexander Scholarship Foundation. The Elegant Evening of Wine was held at the home of Mark and Sue Ashley with food from Meir Brown's Cafe Med. It was the 10th year of this local fundraiser.

Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Californian. He blogs at These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Send him tips at

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