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

    By RICHARD BEENE, Californian president and CEO
    Sunday, Jul 20 2014 05:05 PM

    PLEDGE: Kati Hartnett McKeown, who works in the district office of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, noted this as she was driving with her 6-year-old son: "Jake just said the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag flying on a pole by a building as we were driving past and he included ... 'and you may be seated.' We had to explain that part was not actually in the pledge."

    WATER: With all the focus on conserving water, who will hold our city and county responsible? We've been told to expect steep fines if we allow water to flow into the street, but what about those public median sprinklers that are sending water cascading down Gosford and other roads virtually every morning? And the same thing is happening up on Panorama Drive.

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    HERB BENHAM: It's any porch in a storm for disloyal outdoor cats

    Our cat disappeared recently. Vanished. Left, as if she had met with a better offer. Blueberry is a porch cat, her world consisting of a green rocking chair, a flat cat scratcher, a soft bed, and a four-foot high porch wall from which to...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Big news -- voters on the right don't like our president

    Big news on the right: President Obama is rapidly falling out of everyone's favor! He can't do anything right! Here's proof: A recent poll by Quinnipiac University indicates that a third of the survey respondents think that President Obama...

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    HERB BENHAM: Cyclists send thoughts, and photo, to injured pal

    At 6 a.m. Thursday we took a group shot of more than 40 cyclists to send to fellow rider Mike Aldridge, who is in the ICU at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno after being hit on July 9 by a commercial truck while riding in the Nevada...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Young actor ready to graduate to adult roles

    It seems to me that Kyle Gaines is a good example of the value of learning stagecraft at a young age and then continuing on that path throughout one's growing-up years. In a sense, his appearance as Donkey in "Shrek the Musical" this...

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    HERB BENHAM: LeBron James' future is in his past

    Every so often a sports story rockets from the arena, stadium, field or court and lights up a moonless night. A story that delights, charms and inspires. Thank LeBron James for the latest example. Even if you don't care about basketball,...

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

    HEADS UP: There have been more reports of folks posing as alarm company technicians trying to gain access to alarm codes. The latest report came from Rivera Westchester, where two men in their mid-to late 20s showed up telling a homeowner...

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    HERB BENHAM: Text typos: Pissibilities are endless

    I meant to type possibilities in a recent text but accidently substituted an i for the o and wrote pissibilities . There are websites devoted to text misfires. One woman wrote "I'm busty tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and...

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Austerity was difficult -- and now I miss it

    Five years ago, the economic planets aligned in our universe, and not in a good way. The nationwide recession and resulting tightening of credit, combined with pay cuts in the form of state furlough days for my husband and me, as well as...

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    HERB BENHAM: These parents are too cool for the shelf

    A week ago we were in the Bay Area visiting my dad -- who continues to improve after a rocky stint that landed him at the Stanford Medical Center -- along with two of our children who live in the East Bay. Friday was the Fourth of July...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: 'Beehive' revisits hair-raising '60s

    If "Beehive" sounds like an odd name for a musical, think bouffant hair styles of the 1960s. There's even a dance by that name written especially for the show, which opens Friday at Stars with the eight-member cast balancing top-heavy...

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    HEATHER IJAMES: My long lost daughter -- a new puppy

    I went ahead and caved, getting a new puppy after we had lost our other dog. I've had only Boston Terriers for years, and while I still think they are one of the smartest, family-friendly small breeds out there, I wanted something...

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    HERB BENHAM: Can't even get myself into hot water these days

    The water heater at my brother's house in Mill Valley failed over the weekend and, given that we were guests, I was pressed into action. "It looks like the pilot light is out," Courtney said, after removing the metal guard and peering...

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