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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    By RICHARD BEENE, Californian president and CEO
    Sunday, Jan 25 2015 04:59 PM

    GLOOM: This was a gloomy, fog-shrouded weekend here, but I found one way to follow the sun. Accompanied by six friends, we drove up the Kern Canyon with our mountain bikes in tow, hit crystal blue skies and temperatures in the 60s, and did a brisk ride on the fire road to Cow Flat. Even if you don't ride, put some boots on and take advantage of nature's beauty just 45 minutes out of the fog.

    PASSING: The passing of long-time Bakersfield College chemistry professor Patricia Lee caught the attention of one of her former students, Martha Turner Ingle. She said: "My high school chemistry teacher had announced that 'girls have no place in this class.' Mrs. Lee understood what I and many others had experienced and she went to great lengths on...

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    HERB BENHAM: Grandparent role fills my mind at Costco

    Sam and I met at Costco recently for lunch. He asked what I was doing for lunch and while we were fishing for a place to eat, I suggested the hot dogs at Costco for both a cultural and culinary experience. In other words, a change of pace...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Why are compliments so hard to accept?

    Today, Jan. 24, is National Compliment Day, and may I say that you readers of this newspaper are a lively, good-looking, intelligent bunch. I am always grateful for the special comments that some of you direct my way, at least the ones...

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

    ENERGY: Keep an eye on a new organization that is working on behalf of our oil and gas sector here in Kern County. Founded by Tracy Leach, the Kern Citizens for Energy is focused on countering some of the misinformation being put forth by...

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    HERB BENHAM: Glow of movie screen warms our coldest month

    Don't despair. Gray days, cold days, January days. This is no time to take a knee, but an opportunity to spring to your feet and see a movie. Dismiss the darkness nibbling at the edge of your soul and fall into the wonders of the big...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    GROWTH: The intersection of Panama Lane and Gosford Road is positioned to be the "epicenter" of growth in the southwest and could eventually be as large a retail center as the Northwest Promenade. That's according to Vince Roche, a partner...

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    HERB BENHAM: Giving back, but giving back precisely what?

    Couples were eating dinner recently and the conversation moved to public service. The woman who introduced the subject was married to a public service star, a man who gave his time, talent and sound judgement to organizations that needed...

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    HERB BENHAM: Catching up and calamari in Carmel

    It is unwise, perhaps unsafe, to find yourself between me and a bowl of fried calamari unless you are a giant octopus with six waving arms. Not much can stop me except an aquatic miracle. Last weekend, we attended a wedding in Carmel that...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: As the years go by, I remain a (paper) calendar girl

    Sometimes change happens overnight, but sometimes you can see change coming from a long way off. I'm beginning to suspect that, just as books are making the transition to e-books, the paper calendar is slowly becoming a custom of the...

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    HERB BENHAM: When child becomes parent, a bridge is built

    Katie called. Our oldest. She's due in late March. March is close. Two months and change. Soon we'll be counting down and alive to every phone call, email and text. This is new for everybody. Her because it's her first and us because it...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    PENSIONS: I probably shouldn't be surprised by this, but half of that $6 billion tax increase sold to us by Gov. Jerry Brown to support public schools is instead being diverted to bolster the teacher pension system. That's according to a...

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    HERB BENHAM: Grandchildren have upper hand in name game

    Judy Hanson responded to the column about what grandchildren call us regardless of what we might prefer."My grandsons are creative. I'm Grandma Jingle Bells (all year long) and their other grandma is Grandma Waterfall. "I was playing...

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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    SWIFT: It's hard to think of things getting worse for former NBA player Robert Swift, but they have. In case you missed it. Swift, who graduated from Bakersfield High and went to the NBA straight out of high school, was arrested in Seattle...

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