What made the Thanksgiving meal Sunday at the Bakersfield Homeless Center special wasn't the turkey, ham, fixings and pies.
Nor was it the volunteers serving food, bussing tables or checking in the hundreds of adults and kids waiting for seats.
The beauty of the day was that attorneys and business owners mixed with the homeless and their children, and everyone was just ... people.
No societal strata. No marginalizing. Just a caring community.
"What makes it different is people coming together," said Dion Laws, 41, who has lived at the center with his 8-year-old daughter Lanaya for five months.
CRIME: We have entered the high crime season as we head toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have heard reports of packages being stolen off porches and of residential burglaries, from the Bakersfield Country Club area to downtown and out to Seven Oaks. In Westchester, thieves made off with the wheels of two newer trucks, and in La Cresta two friends chased a young man who was spotted stealing some packages just delivered by a United Parcel Service truck.
It's not even Thanksgiving yet and apparently we've entered full Christmas mode in Bakersfield, with decorations, music and red coffee cups everywhere, and the shopping rush beginning to gain momentum. All of this is probably fun for those really in the holiday spirit, but it also gives me an early reminder as the fire chief to offer everyone the Bakersfield Fire Department's annual holiday safety tips.
Q: I recently sent an application for a voucher to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for a clean burning fireplace insert. After two weeks, I called them to get an ETA on the voucher. "At least six weeks" was their response.
This coming January it will have been 28 years since Gerardo Gonzales made the mother of all plea deals.
Bakersfield resident Bob Tyner didn't grow up with aspirations to someday dress up in a sparkling turkey costume.
A 27-year-old man was shot and killed in northwest Delano early Saturday afternoon.
SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST -- The watershed northeast of Mill Creek Canyon, just another small side canyon in Sequoia National Forest, isn't on the map. Its most visible residents are lizards, spiky yucca plants, and scrubby live oak and foothill pine trees.
As Bruce Murray's left eye and the right side of his mouth began to droop and his speech slowed, his wife knew he must be having a stroke.
Rialto. Oakland. California City. Stockton.