By Richard Beene
Ben Ansolabehere remembers exactly where he was during the World Trade Center attacks. He was sitting at his desk at East High School when fellow teacher Mike Warner told him to turn on the TV. "After seeing the aftermath of the first plane and being a history teacher, I knew that planes were not allowed over Manhattan Island because of a similar incident with a B-24 Liberator and the Empire State Building. Seeing the second plane hit the other tower sealed the fact that we were under attack. 'Less we forget!'"
Hats off to Crysta Barrick and a group of friends at Liberty High School who have started a club to assist those battling breast cancer. The idea started when Crysta's mother, Natalie Barrick, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer last year. The group is called Operation HOPE (Helping Others Prevail Everyday), and it hopes to grow to other schools in Kern County. I could not think of a better way to recognize October's breast cancer awareness month than shedding some light on this special group of students.
I attended the opening of the new Einstein Pavilion front entrance at Memorial Hospital in honor of the late Dr. Hans Einstein. It's a beautiful facility and a fitting tribute to this remarkable man. Among those I spotted at the opening were Memorial CEO Jon Van Boening and wife Phillis, Tracy Walker-Kiser, Laura Weiner, Ernie Schroeder, David and Catherine Gay, Rogers Brandon, Greg and Mary Bynum, Harry Starkey and Kimberly Ward-Graham, Rob Noriega, Tom Smith, Hal Aaron, Dr. Nick Hansa, Dr. Chris Hamilton, Holly Arnold, Sue and Herb Benham, Steve and Pat Loyd, Steve and Kari Grimm-Anderson, Dr. Tommy Lee and many others.
Spotted A regular reader who asked that her name be withheld shared this observation at the Goodwill store on Olive Drive.
"As I was going down an aisle, a mother with her little girl in a cart was coming toward me. Mother handed her a bag of Skittles, and she immediately dropped it, and the candy went all over. The mother said, 'No, we are not going to pick it up," and she shoved it under the rack with her shoe... (Then she) handed the little girl another bag of Skittles at the end of the aisle and same thing again, all over the floor and mother kicking it once again toward the racks.... She never said a word to anyone working there."
A regular on Facebook laments the lack of civility on the social networking website. "I am really, really, really tired of seeing everyone's political agendas paraded on here. Just while scrolling down right now, there are five posts from friends that appear bashing one candidate or the other. At this rate, my Facebook account will be discontinued sooner, rather than later."
If you are free Saturday and want to support a good cause, stop by the third annual ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) barbecue and fundraiser. It's set for 11 a.m. at Stella's Sandtrap (3133 Niles St.) and costs only $7 for a tri-tip lunch. I am told some 92 percent of the money raised stays right here in Kern County.
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. Send him tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.