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By Richard Beene
A young woman was the victim of a mugging and purse snatching last week in our downtown, a reminder that petty thefts and crime remain a problem in the arts district. It was last Thursday after the opening of a new show at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the woman (I am honoring her request to remain anonymous) had gone with friends to The Padre Hotel. While walking to her car around 9 p.m., she was jumped by four or five young men and women. She was roughed up but apparently scared them off by hitting the alarm button on her car keys. She suffered two black eyes but otherwise is okay. Ten years ago, the downtown area was the scene of numerous crimes, but it has been relatively free of issues until this case.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made a convincing argument for comprehensive immigration reform in the Wall Street Journal the other day. Bush said the Senate reform bill, which could be improved, does something important by welcoming in more skilled workers that could lead to faster economic growth. "To grow economically, the nation needs more young workers, as the population is aging and its growth is slowing," he wrote. "Yet only 13 percent of the immigration visas each year are issued for work or special skills. Nearly two thirds go to relatives of existing residents under an expansive definition of family preferences that includes not just spouses and minor children but parents, siblings and unmarried adult children."
A Bakersfield couple is explaining to a friend why they left Las Vegas a day early. "We had to come home to get out of the heat!"
Nancy Vibe was at the Valley Plaza food court the other day when she witnessed behavior that, in her words, was "just plain rude." Nancy, as it turns out, has had nine surgeries on her right knee and three on her left and almost lost one leg to a flesh-eating bacteria. But it didn't stop two mothers and their daughters from gawking and pointing at her legs.
"So to have legs at all is just fantastic for me. I will show them off, no matter how awful those tasteless cows think they look," she said. Amen.
A reader was driving in Stockdale Estates this week when she spotted a Post Office mail carrier leave her truck and stand amid lawn sprinklers to cool off.
"I drove over to her and gave her bottled water ... She said she always does this when it's hot, and she dries quickly. We need to thank our mail delivery people who tolerate all the hot weather with no air conditioning."
Hats off to Sophia Busacca and her team of DreamCatchers at Liberty High School who will be honoring the late Wendy Wayne next week with a "Pay It Forward Day." It is set for next Tuesday at Jastro Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those who show up will find suggestions of how to make our world a better place, all in honor of Wendy.