By Richard Beene
The decision by local radio talk show host Ralph Bailey to leave KNZR for cross-town rival KERN 1180 triggered a harsh response from Bailey's former colleague, Jaz McKay. McKay posted a lengthy, vitriolic message attacking Bailey on his Facebook page after Bailey made his announcement. The message immediately made the rounds on social networking, being forwarded and reposted until it was apparently deleted. Among the below-the-belt comments were, "Farewell to the man with the biggest ego known in history ... Farewell to the man who couldn't keep his story straight on his political beliefs ... Farewell to the man who although as much as he tried could not get past the fact that he is black." Ouch. Bailey's new show will run on KERN 1180 weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Another stunner last week was the sudden resignation of state Sen. Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) from the state Senate. Rubio took a job with Chevron Corp. to be its director of governmental affairs in Sacramento. That's a fancy title for lobbyist, and it doesn't hurt that Rubio was holding hearings on reforming the California Environmental Quality Act and is taking to Chevron a pocketful of contacts and inside knowledge. Rubio said he was leaving to spend more time with his wife, Dora, and his two daughters, the youngest of whom was born with Down syndrome.
It's sad to watch the ongoing story of the rise and fall of Robert Swift, the onetime Garces High school basketball standout who went on to the National Basketball Association before injuries forced him out of the game. His $1 million home in Seattle is in foreclosure, and he is refusing to leave. According to a story on AOL: "The home's new owner has gone to court to have Swift removed from the property, and court records show that he is now past a grace period to leave. He has a final deadline to vacate the premises by the end of the month -- and after that, he could be forcibly removed," KOMO News reported. "He will have to respond to the sheriff, I'm sure," the new owner said. "This is a pretty sad case of an ex-NBA star who once held such promise but now has found himself in trouble."
Hats off to the Bakersfield Breakfast Lions Club and Tim Delcid who donated $12,700 to the local chapter of the Honor Flight, the group that takes aging veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the war memorials. Local organizer Lili Marsh said it costs $1,500 to send one veteran, so the Lions Club donation allows nine to go on the spring flight. "The looks on the faces and the tears in the eyes of these humble vets, when they see that they have not been forgotten ... really brings home the significance of this of this simple gesture to the generation that saved the world! Breakfast Lions rock!"
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will be the keynote speaker during the annual Kern County Economic Summit, set for March 20 at the DoubleTree Hotel. The cost is $100 per ticket, and you can register online at www.kedc.com or www.bakersfieldchamber.org.
Steve Agerton asked for help in tracking down a garlic butter recipe made by the owners of the old Joe's National Market on East 18th Street. "We used to get gallons of this garlic butter for the Oil Man's barbecues every year. It has since closed down and out of business. I know this might be a crazy request, but we wanted to try anyway."
Can anyone help Steve?
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. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.