By Richard Beene
More feedback on the front page picture we ran of President Obama consoling a victim of Hurricane Sandy. "A quick comment on your response to reader Randy Grigg's accusation that the front page picture of Obama was biased," wrote Don Craib. "Of course it was biased. That picture jumps right off the page as a picture of a 'loving, caring, giving man.' As an intelligent newspaper man you know exactly what that pictured conveyed. It's not nice for CEOs to lie Mr. Beene. In fact, the intent of the picture was so obvious, your comments made you look silly." Well silly me, Dan. This is why I am anxious for this election to be over, when readers like you read conspiracy in every movement. Hurricane Sandy inflicted horrific damage on the East coast, and I have no issue showing either candidate as caring and compassionate in situations like this.
Then there are readers like Kathy Scott, a longtime Republican, who weighed in with this response: "In defense of the newspaper, seeing as it has been attacked as being one sided, let me tell you this. I read the paper cover to cover every morning. It covers everything that I want to know, from the Benghazi attack to hurricane Sandy it covers it all and I see no bias. If a reader wants to truly see bias they need to be in Santa Barbara and read the News Press! I lived there for 15 years and there is only ONE side you get to see and that is the far liberal left view. I am one of those people who watch news 24/7 (all stations to see what they are saying, although Fox always gives me both sides so I am partial to them), but I also watch the Senate and the Congress and see first hand what is being said. It is amazing to see what a truly biased newspaper will twist (the News Press for instance) thus giving its readers a very untrue view. Our newspaper, the Bakersfield Californian is not biased in its reporting, in my view!" Thanks, Kathy.
Kudos to the young woman seen sweeping up trash around a city container on the bike trail off Chester Avenue.
Dave Collin has had enough with the garbage and litter on our streets, so he has started a new walking group to spruce up his neighborhood. "I have started a new walking group among the members of the South Oswell Neighborhood Watch, which is located in Southeast Bakersfield. It is called the 'Tyner Walkers' and named after our neighborhood of Tyner Ranch. Each of our participants has agreed to pick up just two pieces of litter on their exercise or family walks, helping to keep our area clean and build a community identity." Now, just imagine if groups did this all over our fair city?
Another reader, Charlie Powell, reacted to a recent post about how clean the freeways are in Texas. "That is because of the 'Don't Mess With Texas' program, an outgrowth of the earlier push by Lady Bird Johnson to clean up the Texas highways. First offense is a $500 fine! And is aggressively enforced. Second offense is $2,000! Blue signs all over Texas warn you. California doesn't seem to have the political will to do this, along with the cell phone and texting while driving plague. Set the fines and enforce... you'll see clean highways with non-distracted drivers."
Lyndon Richardson wrote with this warning about the airport bus that shuttles between Bakersfield and Los Angeles airport. "When taking my trip last week, I boarded what was not the normal Coach America bus at LAX to return home (the only reason that I knew I was on the correct bus is a gentleman stopped at the Bakersfield pickup and yelled BAKERSFIELD). Once all the airport pickups had been made, we left the airport and drove over to one of the local hotels. We all had to leave the bus and move all of our belongings to another waiting bus. When we asked why, we were told that the Bakersfield Airport Bus' airport pickup permit had not been renewed and until it was, they were using another LA company that was permitted to pickup and deliver the Bakersfield passengers onto the airport grounds. They expected to have this resolved within 45 - 60 days. "
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. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.