By Richard Beene
Hats off to the thousands of folks who participated in this weekend's Relay for Life. One team, Dominic's Dugout, raised more than $17,000 for the cause. The team is named for Dominic Cornejo, a promising young man who died of cancer just shortly after graduating from Garces Memorial High School. His parents, Irma and Gerry Cornejo, wanted to thank everyone who has donated in the name of their late son. This year's Relay attracted a huge crowd (some 10,000 people) representing more than 400 teams. Its goal was to raise $2 million.
Don't forget the 40th annual CSUB Athletics Spring BBQ is coming up this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. out at the campus. This is always a fun event with great people watching, and a terrific meal. The brains and cooks behind this event are chairman John Giumarra Jr. and the Icardo Family, starting with the late Jimmie Icardo and now his son Gary and grandson Adam Icardo. Mark this one on your calendar.
t Pit bulls
There are few issues that divide us more than how we feel about pit bulls. Born to kill or misunderstood dogs made vicious by their owners? I will be talking about pit bulls with several experts on Monday at 9 a.m. on "Californian Radio" on KERN 1180. Call 661-842-5387 to weigh in.
A local man talking to a friend: "I don't get it. Why is it I can be arrested if I throw away used motorcycle oil in my trash, but the city oils down entire streets every few years? Does that make sense?"
t Bad form
This note was sent to me by someone who asked to remain anonymous: "I spent hours filling out a job application for the Kern County Water Agency that contained 10 pages of short answer job-related questions. The rejection letter had someone else's name at my address. Called the agency and was assured I received the right letter, even though it wasn't addressed to me. I still haven't received a letter addressed to me. I can't believe they expect applicants to spend hours answering questions just to apply for a job when they can't be bothered to spend a couple of minutes to send a letter with a correct name and address. Poor form."
t High achievers
Hats off to a special group of students who competed in the state level of the National History Day competition in Riverside. Some of these youngsters are moving on to the national competition in June to be held in Maryland. They will soon be raising money to fund their trips, and I couldn't think of a better effort. Some of the winners include Alex Coleman and Christopher Trickey (champion) from Fruitvale Jr. High, Group Documentary, going to Nationals; Kaitlyn Moss and Caitlyn Richter (champion) from Fruitvale Jr. High, Group Exhibit, going to Nationals; Cassidy Porter (champion) from Endeavour Elementary, Individual Performance, going on to Nationals; Jessica Jensen (runner-up) from Endeavour Elementary, Individual Display, and Emma McNellis (champion) from Endeavour Elementary, Individual Display; and Madeline Abernathy (champion) from Laurelglen Elementary, Individual Display. Special Awards: Best use of Primary and Expert Sources, Emma McNellis, Endeavour Elementary; Exemplary Understanding and Use of Geography, Alexis Hill, Kaitlyn Hillis and Max Barrera, Thorner School; and Outstanding Use of Academic English by English Language Learner, Bryan Garcia, Blake Elementary. Thanks to Julie Gragg for submitting this.
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.