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  1. VALERIE SCHULTZ: Aging mother's plight painful for adult children

    By The Bakersfield Californian
    Friday, Sep 19 2014 11:40 AM

    My mother suffers from Parkinson's disease, which is having its merciless way with her. She uses a walker for stability, but she has fallen several times, always because she thought she'd just do this one little thing without her walker, only to lose her balance and land hard on the floor. After each incident, her nagging children have told her: Don't do anything without your walker! You don't want to break a hip! Then we'd watch her toddle off to do one little thing right under our noses.

    Parkinson's is characterized by a shuffling walk, and in my mother's case, it has robbed her of the ability to pivot on the ball of her foot, thus causing her to lose her bearings and tumble when she tries to turn. But no amount of our nagging seemed to...

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    NICK STROBEL: MAVEN ready to start work after reaching Mars

    The search for exoplanets continues as the Kepler space telescope looks for those crossing in front of their star, blocking their light. The telescope has the ability to see objects smaller than the Earth crossing in front of a star the...

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    RICHARD SHIELL: It isn't easy going dry, but try groundcovers

    When considering xeriscape, or low-water gardening, the question becomes: How dry is dry? Are we talking no additional water? That would be xeroscape, which in our climate means hardly a leaf would remain green through the heat of summer....

  4. HERB BENHAM: Pastime tethers me to neighborhood kids

    We have a tetherball pole. It's an old tire filled with cement and a metal pole stuck in the middle. I bought it years ago for $25 from a man on Ming Avenue who had a family of tetherball poles in his front yard. Our kids used it, but they...

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    Entrepreneur busy as a bee

    When Stacia Guzzo became a convert to the grow-what-you-eat-and-eat-what-you-grow movement, she dreamed of rows of fresh produce, chickens and bee hives full of honey. But in the cramped apartment near Los Angeles International Airport...

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    Have a horribly good time

    More than a month away from Halloween, you can scare up some early fun this Sunday at the first Heroes & Horror Con. Although the show, at the Bakersfield Marriott, has some things in common with other local pop culture conventions --...

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    It's a busy time for film lovers

    New York City gangs, singing lovestruck teenagers and a giant scaly monster are coming to Bakersfield. But don't run away in terror just yet. What with FLICS International Film Society having cranked up its 33rd season (read our preview...

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    Speakeasy does it for pub crawl with '20s theme

    If you see women in beaded dresses with cloche hats and finger waves, or men in wide-lapeled suit jackets and bowler hats downtown Saturday, don't worry. You haven't bumped your noodle and fallen into a time-traveling coma. Probably. More...

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    Writer to address how to use the news to inspire fiction

    Suspense novelist Jim Magwood will be the featured speaker at a meeting of Writers of Kern on Saturday. Magwood is a stalker. Inspired by real-life events of trepidation, oddity, and mayhem, he tracks those storylines then weaves them...

  10. Film on farmworker plight out on DVD

    The documentary "The Fight for Water: A Farm Worker Struggle," which chronicles the human cost of the severe 2009 drought on communities in the Firebaugh area, is available on DVD. The film, which received best documentary honors at the...

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    Exotic cats come out to play, and you can watch

    A Rosamond conservation center devoted to helping endangered feline species invites the public to visit the compound Saturday evening to find out what wild cats do at night. The Exotic Feline Breeding Compound Feline Conservation Center...

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    The 2014 Kern County Fair: Start counting the minutes!

    Those planning to attend opening day of the Kern County Fair may be worried about Wednesday's high temperature -- forecast at the century mark -- but the heat is no problem at the Butterfly Attraction, new to the fair this year. "This is...

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    HERB BENHAM: It's a clothes call, and some didn't make it

    I looked at the Canali suit, seafoam green. Yay or nay? Recently I went through my closet and chest of drawers for the annual purge. It was time to thin the herd, cull the strays and strengthen the bloodline. The Canali suit had been a...

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