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Sunday, Feb 03 2013 11:00 PM

HITS & MISSES: A tasty treat from a local institution

By The Bakersfield Californian

HIT: Let us now set aside immigration reform, debt ceilings and football to salute something truly important: Candy.

Dewar's has added a new flavor to its line of famous chews. The "Tiger" chew is orange-cream flavored, similar to a Creamsicle bar, and it's named for the "Tigerfight" team of Ryan Wilson, a 5-year-old leukemia survivor who participates in a walk each year to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

We like this win-win partnership -- a new flavor added to one of Bakersfield's favorite product lines, with some proceeds going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

MISS: CPS costs local taxpayers

Kern County Child Protective Services has cost county taxpayers $1.4 million to settle the case of a local doctor who had complained -- apparently with justification -- that CPS wrongly took her two children without a warrant and for no good reason. The case was so egregious, the county settled without waiting for a lawsuit to be filed. Christine Deeths' daughter, then 4, and son, then 6, were taken away by a social worker who believed she was harming her daughter. On the "hit" side, the case has inspired CPS to enact new rules requiring a judge's approval before a child can be removed from a home.

HIT: Scouts consider policy change

The national executive board of the Boy Scouts of America will address the organization's ban on openly gay Scouts and Scout leaders at its meeting Wednesday, and media reports suggest it may lift the longstanding ban. If the board OKs it, local chapters will be left to decide whether to accept gay Scouts. Some scouting units are deeply influenced by religious beliefs, and some (but not all) feel open acceptance of gays violates those beliefs.

We see this potential decision by the executive board as a reflection of the changing times and public attitudes, not a legal one. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that the Boy Scouts, as a private organization, have a First Amendment right to set policies based on their values. Nonetheless, we urge the executive board to move toward inclusiveness.

MISS: We need to keep our bookstores

A little more than a year after retail book and music giant Borders closed its stores, we learned last week that Barnes & Noble plans to close about one-third of its stores over the next decade. The last remaining brick-and-mortar big-book retailer is struggling with a growing trend toward digital books, and its Nook e-readers are not doing as well as hoped in the face of competition from Apple, Amazon and Google. It's too early to know which stores will be on the chopping block. Even after the upcoming closings, Barnes & Noble will still operate between 450 and 500 stores, so we can hope the Bakersfield store on California Avenue survives. Barnes & Noble and locally owned Russo's Books are Bakersfield's last remaining dedicated bookstores.

HIT: A wise investment by Chevron

Chevron has made an investment in local education, donating $350,000 to Bakersfield College, Taft College and Cal State Bakersfield's Small Business Development Center. Here's hoping the money helps local workforce development and puts some newly skilled workers into the local workforce.

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