Local News

Thursday, Dec 12 2013 02:22 PM

Worth noting in the community: Dustin's Diner fundraiser, robot competition and more

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    By Californian file photo

    A view of Dustin's Diner in 2007.

    click to expand click to collapse

Dustin’s Diner, which benefits the Bakersfield Homeless Center, kicks off for its 20th year on Friday.

The diner began in 1993 as a project of local brothers selling hot chocolate to families who tour the Haggin Oaks homes to see the Christmas light displays, a homeless center news release said.

Dustin’s Diner begins at 6 p.m. each night and will run through Dec. 23. Cookies, hot chocolate and candy will be for sale at 2301 Haggin Oaks Blvd.

All proceeds support the work of the Bakersfield Homeless Center. Santa will also make an appearance for children, the news release said.


Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, will hold town hall meetings Saturday in Lamont and Wasco to provide information about the new health care law and provide opportunities for residents to enroll.

“My office continues to receive calls with questions on how to enroll and what coverage people can receive,” Salas said in a news release. “These informational town halls are an opportunity for people to have their questions answered and to find out what coverage best fits your family’s needs regardless of your current health insurance or pre-existing conditions.

Covered California is the state's new "health insurance marketplace" and was created to meet the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The town halls will be 9 a.m. to noon at Rancho Lindo, 9023 Camino La Jolla in Lamont, and noon to 5 p.m. at Wasco Veteran Hall, 1202 Poplar Ave. in Wasco.

For more information, call 335-0302.


The California Living Museum will open at noon Saturday — rather than its normal 9 a.m. opening — to accommodate the closing of Alfred Harrell Highway for The Color Run.

The zoo will be open from noon to 4 p.m. and will reopen at 5:30 p.m. for the annual HolidayLights show, a zoo news release said.

HolidayLights runs every evening except Christmas through Dec. 31 and is open 5:30 to 9 p.m. every day.


Forty-eight teams made up of middle and high school students will come together for a non-stop, action-packed day of robot competitions on Saturday.

For the second year in a row, students from Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Calabasas, Van Nuys, Lemoore, Nipomo, Lancaster and San Jose will compete at the Frontier High School Titan Quest Robotics Tourney VEX Robotics Competition.

The wining team will head to the Robotics World Championship in Anaheim to compete with teams from different countries, a VEX news release said.

Admission is free and the community is encouraged to attend. The competition runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Frontier High Gymnasium, 6401 Allen Road.


Local law enforcement will face off against firefighters in a hockey game Saturday to raise money for charity.

Game time is 3:30 p.m. at Rabobank Arena, with entrance to the Condors game beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets to attend both games are $15, with $4 going to the Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivor Trust and Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation, according to the Condors website.

Patrol and fire vehicles will drive around the ice during the Condors game.


Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, will host a Christmas Open House Monday at her legislative office in Bakersfield.

The public is invited to stop by to meet Grove and her staff, share issues that are important to the community and celebrate the season. 

It’s from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the office, 4900 California Ave., Suite #100B.


Golden Empire Transit employees and their children have painted a Christmas bus and customers can ride it for free until Jan. 1.The bus will operate on a different route each day.

Meanwhile, GET said its buses will operate on a regular schedule Christmas Eve and on a holiday schedule Christmas Day.

On New Year’s Eve, GET buses will provide free service from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. On New Year’s Day, buses will operate on a holiday schedule.

For the holiday schedule, call 869-2438 or consult the GET website.


The annual Polar Bear Plunge will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 1 at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center, 1325 Q St. in Bakersfield.

People age 7 and older can ride the slide into the icy water and swim 25 yards or just hop in and swim the 25 yards before climbing out to a cup of hot chocolate.

The cost is $5 to take the plunge or $25 to plunge and get a sweatshirt.

Swimsuits only, no wet suits or other types of clothing, are allowed.

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