Richard Beene

Friday, Dec 07 2012 02:00 AM

RICHARD BEENE: Bakersfield Observed, a blog about life, media, politics and people

By Richard Beene

PROP 30

It probably should not come as a surprise but much of the money raised by the new taxes approved by voters under Proposition 30 won't go to schools after all. At least that is the conclusion of the Orange County Register, which reported the money will instead be used to bail out the underfunded teacher's pension fund. Said the Register: "It took less than two weeks to confirm what we suspected: Much of the money from the Proposition 30 tax increases approved by voters is not going to go to schools, as advertised, but to teachers' pensions. According to CalPensions.com, 'More money for the underfunded California State Teachers Retirement System may be considered by the Legislature next year, thanks to new attention from lawmakers and a state budget deficit narrowed by a voter-approved tax increase this month.'"

PETS

Losing a pet is heart-breaking, and some people will go to almost any lengths to keep that furry friend in their memory. But using their ashes to create a fake diamond ring? That's right, at least according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. It's a growing trend, in which the remains are used in the fabrication of fake diamonds so one can gaze into a ring and remember the departed. "The idea of turning the carbon in ashes into man-made diamonds emerged a decade ago as a way to memorialize humans," the paper said." Today, departed pets are fueling the industry's growth with a handful of companies selling diamonds, gemstones and other jewelry out of pet remains, including hair and feathers."

MEET THE PRESS

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) will be a guest this Sunday on "Meet the Press" to discuss the ongoing negotiations between House leaders and President Obama to avoid the fiscal cliff. Make sure to tune into KGET Sunday morning to take it in. It's scheduled for 9 a.m.

KBAK

More reader feedback on KBAK parting ways with anchor Lisa Krch. From Hanford Lee: "My wife Nancy and I agree with Virginia Frazier. We are sorry to see Lisa, John (Dabkovich), Layla (Santiago) and Cambi (Brown) leave. So we made the logical move --we now watch Channel 17 and other local news sources."

FIRST FRIDAY

Downtown's popular First Friday event returns tonight and this month's edition is billed as downtown holiday shopping night. Great Christmas gifts can be found at such local retailers as Kuka's Folk Art, House of Flowers, Curiosity Shop and even something for your pup at Biscuit Doggy Boutique. As usual galleries in the Arts District will be having new exhibit openings. Over at Metro Galleries artist Christine McKee's new show, "On the Homefront," premieres. This exhibit focuses on what military families deal with when their loved one's are away serving our country. Twenty percent of opening night proceeds will be donated to NAMI Frontline of Kern County.

BAD FORM

From one of my regular contributors: "I was in the new Target on Stockdale Highway and saw a woman in the makeup aisle putting on eye makeup. I thought it rather strange but figured she just didn't have time to get ready to go so brought her makeup with her. Not. She was using the eye makeup from the display and when she finished her beauty routine she snapped the container shut and put it back on the display. Being a patient woman, I waited for the next clerk to walk by, showed it to her and she removed it. It is beyond my comprehension that anyone would do that."

Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Californian. He blogs at www.BakersfieldObserved.com. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Send him tips at rsbeene@yahoo.com

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