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Thursday, Feb 20 2014 06:49 PM

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

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    By Felix Adamo

    Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

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By RICHARD BEENE, Californian President and CEO

East: East Bakersfield High will hold its Hall of Fame banquet on March 1 at the Marriott Hotel. Some of the notable inductees this year include Dennis Lockhart, now president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta; Paula Hochhalter, arguably the best cello player in the country; Chuck Wall, creator of the “Random Act of Kindness” campaign; and Mark Hutson, the winningest high school basketball coach in the history of the Central Valley.

Singer: If you are looking for something different to do this weekend, you might consider dropping by The Metro Galleries on 19th Street to enjoy a house concert by Dan Curcio, a San Luis Obispo troubadour. The cost is $25, and that includes light snacks and refreshments. Doors open at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Rotary: Twilight Rotary will host its third annual fundraiser — “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” — on March 22 at 6 p.m. at the Bell Tower Club. It’s a fabulous party and a great fundraiser for local charities. The band Wrenwood will be performing along with the opportunity to enjoy professional gaming tables, dancing, auction items and a scrumptious dinner. Tickets are only $75 and can be purchased through Jeni Moore. Call 319-687.

Tunnels: The tunnels that run under Bakersfield have always fascinated me, though I have never actually seen one. Mike Doolittle wrote that he was a professional inspector some 40 years and remembers them well. “As I remember it, I entered the tunnels in the basement of the old Western Union (18th or 19th street) and ended up at the old Salad Bowl restaurant on Chester Avenue. The tunnels were big enough to drive a semi-truck through.”

... More tunnels: And there was this from Patricia Davis Kelley: “The tunnels that supposedly existed in downtown Bakersfield are a reality! My mother, Carol Rummel, used to play in them and get candy there. She went to school with the Yune children and would play with them after school … a lot of the Chinese living in Bakersfield had below-ground quarters as it was cooler. My grandmother used to admonish her to come right home after school and not go down there for the candy. She has pointed out several times to me as we drive around where a lot of these tunnels were, or maybe still are. Mom will be 98 this August, but just stopped working a few months ago, so her clarity of mind astounds me. She is continually pointing out to me where businesses used to be and where a lot of the pioneers used to live around town. As for the Chinese cemetery, we live on Terrace Way, the home was built in 1928, down the street from the house built by the Ragland Dairy people; she and my stepfather, Harry Rummel, bought here in the early 1960s and have pointed out many times the location for the old cemetery.”

Richard Beene is president and CEO of The Bakersfield Californian. He blogs at www.bakersfieldobserved.com. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian. Email him at rsbeene@yahoo.com.

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