Richard Beene

Wednesday, Nov 14 2012 04:47 AM

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

By Richard Beene


Joseph Covington, a U.S. Navy veteran, dropped this heartfelt note to mark the passage of Veteran's Day. While at California Pizza Kitchen with a friend, he was "surprised to discover that they had a special offer of a free pizza to veterans who visited them on Veterans Day. Unlike the many of us Vietnam veterans that were spat on and cursed at when we returned home, the little thank you and acknowledgement was delightful. To add to this surprise, there were two ladies next to us that helped contribute to our bill. I didn't know about it until after they left and thought this would be a way to communicate my gratitude if this gets printed... As an American, I would like to thank the great people who acknowledge the efforts of those who have served to give the freedoms we enjoy. Personally, I do not feel like a hero or anyone special. The truly great sacrifices were the service men and women who paid the ultimate price of giving their life, and those who have been wounded defending the honor they fight for."

More Vets

One more feel good story for the morning. Gary Schneider wrote to tell me about his son, Lt. Lincoln Schneider, who has been named Officer Recruiter of the Year for the East Coast of the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Stockdale High School in 1999 and earned a full scholarship to Tulane University. He later earned his law degree and is working on his master's in hospital administration at the University of Florida. He is based in Jacksonville. Here's to the Stockdale kid who headed to Tulane, Florida and then to the U.S. Navy.


I had the chance the other day to hear a presentation by Sandy Morris, the Bakersfield Police Department employee who runs the Christmas for Seniors program. This is a highly worthwhile program and her stories about the humility of our elderly struck a chord with the audience. If you'd like to help, or donate items as simple as two-ply toilet paper, blank note cards, soap or deodorant, call Sandy at (661) 703-8893.


From reader Moe Adame, reacting to an earlier post about Christian bumper stickers: "So let me get this straight... All it takes to get into heaven is some bumper stickers? Wow! No need for churches. Heyooohh!!"


Two architects from a Kansas City design firm are seen having dinner at the Padre Hotel, along with Barry Hibbard. The architects are in charge of the design of the new minor league baseball stadium that will be built off Brimhall and Coffee roads and were in town doing research. One thing is for certain: with former Aera Energy CEO Gene Voiland and oilman Chad Hathaway behind this project, you can bet it will be a first-class operation.


How do we tackle our problem with litter? Listen to T.A. Hoffman: "As a native Californian who was living in Austin, Texas in the 1980s and 1990s, I can help with the question of why Texas roads are so litter-free. It is because the Texas Department of Transportation got tired of spending $20 million a year to collect litter and therefore hired the Austin advertising company of GSDM to create an advertising campaign to change the culture.... It came up with the slogan, 'Don't Mess with Texas,' superimposed over the Texas flag, which became an actual rallying cry for everyone from bikers to downtown bankers."

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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