Richard Beene

Friday, Jan 04 2013 02:50 AM

Bakersfield Observed: A blog about life, media, politics and people

By Richard Beene


Interesting to note that our own Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Whip in charge of herding votes for House Speaker John Boehner, voted against the fiscal cliff compromise that Boehner supported. Did McCarthy vote against the measure only once he was sure he had the votes to pass it? Or was he simply casting a vote in tune with his conservative district? Also voting against the measure was Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader. Former GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan supported it. McCarthy told me this about his vote: "There were good reasons to vote for it, and good reasons to vote against it. I believed that any legislation considered by the House had to seriously address the root of our debt crisis: Washington's out-of-control spending."




Harry Starkey, general manager of the West Kern Water District, gave this shout-out to good service in the city of Taft.

"I went to a local framing shop here in Taft (KC Photography and Framing owned by Robert and Karen Mitchell) to have a few things matted and framed for a small job in my office. I was trying to describe the colors I wanted matched when the owners offered to come by my office to match the colors directly. Now that's service!"



It's good to see two locally owned yoga businesses doing so well. Both Inner Bodyworks and Yoga Space have moved to freshly renovated buildings in the downtown area, and both seem to be enjoying brisk business. Yoga Space is located on F Street and Inner Bodyworks is near the Fox Theater on H Street.



There are reports that five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode, the most successful female shooter in Olympic history, may be coming to Bakersfield in April for the Ken Barnes Open Skeet Championship. Rhode most recently won a gold medal in last year's Olympic skeet shooting competition. If her schedule permits, I am told she will shoot the 12 gauge in the April 12-14 tournament to be held at the Kern County Gun Club. The tournament is named after local Realtor Ken Barnes, the first person to ever shoot a perfect 400 X 400 in tournament skeet.


First Friday

Downtown's popular monthly event returns for the first Friday of 2013. Metro Galleries continues to show Christine McKee's "On the Homefront" exhibit, a stunning show devoted to military families and those who serve. Next door at The Foundry, it is opening night for "It's Not Easy Being Green." This show features works created by Foundry members using green as the predominant color. First Friday organizer Don Martin tells me there are lots of new events planned for 2013 including a free monthly concert starting in March.

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

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