TBC’s new era: What they’re saying

My parents called it their “window to the world.” I got the bug to read The Californian from them. I have several very rich observations from 50 years of enjoying our local newspaper.

It is where I connect with my community and the world every day. I can keep tabs on all of the new developments around town. Find out who died and read about their interesting lives. I can keep up with Dennis the Menace, Blondie, Dagwood and the whole Peanuts gang. It’s where I found and purchased my first motorcycle and our family dog. Heck, I even check the weather just to find out how to dress for the day. The Californian plays an important part in my daily life.

But The Californian has been an important business partner to me over the years, as well. In my home building years there was no better place to advertise my business. The Californian endorsed me in my run for public office, both for the college board and for mayor. Back in my carpenter days I was even hired to remodel Ted Fritts’ house on Oleander, before he moved in it. Also when I was on the board of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, Ginger Moorhouse herself came out and worked alongside us cleaning up trash downtown. 

The Californian and the people who own it and work for it are a wonderful class of people who have played an important role in our daily lives for so many years. So I say a great big “thank you” and I look forward to the new owners coming in to fill those big shoes.

— Kyle Carter, Kern Community College District trustee

I have depended on The Californian for local news, politics, and events in the community since I moved to Bakersfield 50 years ago. Though formats have changed, The Californian has continued its commitment to keeping our local folks informed and engaged. Can’t imagine my morning cup of tea without it!

— Barbara Patrick, former Kern County supervisor

At California State University, Bakersfield, we have a responsibility to our students to prepare them for the world that awaits and help them become fully informed, engaged participants in our democracy. The role of a trusted local newspaper in keeping our students and campus informed about the issues, opportunities and good news in our community is essential in producing leaders of tomorrow. We’re grateful to The Bakersfield Californian for serving in this important role in our community.

— Lynnette Zelezny, CSUB president

As a longtime Kern County resident and concerned reader of our paper, I am worried about TBC’s continued commitment to reporting local important political news. The new owners not only need to keep our talented reporters who know Kern County but add investigative reporters. Good and interesting reporting will keep me buying the paper.

— Gene Tackett, former Kern County supervisor

From valley fever awareness to combating homelessness, The Bakersfield Californian plays an important role in bringing attention to the pressing issues facing our community.

— Vince Fong, state assemblyman

Ginger Moorhouse breathed our air, shopped at our grocery stores, drove our streets, and saw the issues facing our neighborhoods because she was our neighbor. A sustained commitment to improving animal services, cleaner air, valley fever, the arts, bridging racial divides, sensible planning, and the family foundation all reflect the priority of an improved quality of life for us all over personal economic gain.

This is what a local paper, owned by one of our own neighbors, has given our community. Let us pause to say thank you to Ginger and her dedicated staff for the legacy they have left us, and let’s hope for the best as we turn to the next iteration of the local section.

— Mike Maggard, Kern County supervisor

My first job was delivering The Californian every afternoon in east Bakersfield. I got hooked reading the sports page. Ultimately I came to read it every day as my news source.

— Donny Youngblood, Kern County sheriff

The Bakersfield Californian should be a key, reliable and unbiased information source for the entire community, regardless of the medium. The focus should be community/neighborhood events, crime, taxes, local government activities, schools, politics, local jobs, arts events, local sporting events, zoning information, local social services, and real estate/housing.

— Lyle D. Martin, Bakersfield chief of police

In an age and onslaught of 24-hour digital and social media news, the need for a professional and local perspective is more pressing than ever before. I wish The Bakersfield Californian the best as it builds upon its past and serves our community well into the future.

— Jeff Flores, Kern High School District trustee

Local paper. Local perspective. Local lens. It is vital that Bakersfield news stay local and keep it home cooking.

— Keith Wolaridge, Panama-Buena Vista Union School District trustee

It should be patently obvious that social media cannot, should not, replace a local newspaper of The Bakersfield Californian’s stature and history for the next generation. The Californian has been a valuable resource to Kern County for years. Thank you Bakersfield Californian!

— Jean Fuller, former California state senator

Culturally speaking, communities that lose their local paper risk losing a part of their soul. If the new ownership succeeds with strong local content, it will be a big win for all of us.

— Brandon Martin, Bakersfield attorney

As a former librarian, I’ve always weighed the quality of what I spend my time reading. A local newspaper, with local owners, that adheres to journalistic standards, has made Bakersfield a better place.

— Ann Gallon, Sierra Club member

TBC has been the heart and conscience of Kern for many years. Our loss of this well-respected, family-owned community resource is devastating to us all.

— Margie Bell, retired schoolteacher

End of a great era! Now each of us needs to support the perpetuation of our local daily newspaper and its inestimable value to our community. Best wishes to Ginger and John Moorhouse for a well-deserved new adventure.

— John Pryor, risk management consultant

Without the local newspaper and its writers, our Kern River Parkway Project would never have reached the public in any truly informative manner.

— Bill Cooper, co-founder, Kern River Parkway

While I also subscribe to the e-edition, nothing beats sitting down in the early morning with the paper and a cup of coffee. Just don’t remind me how old I am.

— Stephen A. Montgomery, retired railroad employee

All forms of communication and media are evolving at a never before seen pace. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds locally.

— Alan Tandy, Bakersfield city manager

El VAR ha sido calificado como una ayuda importante para los árbitros en el Mundial femenino

El partido entre Brasil y Francia, en la ronda de 16, fue sintonizado por más de 47 millones de espectadores en los dos países, con una audiencia de Globo TV de 30.6 millones, que rompió el récord en un juego de Copa Mundial femenino impuesto hace cuatro años por Fox, en el que había atraído 25.4 millones para el juego entre Estados Unidos y Japón, en la final de Canadá.

Trump says North Koreans want a meeting at the DMZ

DOMINIQUE JACOVIDES/AFP/Getty Images DOMINIQUE JACOVIDES/AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump has traditionally thrived in one-on-one meetings with world leaders, where he can use his personal charm and much vaunted deals-making abilities to their maximum effect, and the G20 was no different.

Judging from his Twitter, Trump seems to have had a good summit. Following “very good” talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said trade negotiations were “back on track” and lifted some restrictions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

“I had a great meeting with President Xi of China yesterday, far better than expected,” Trump tweeted later. “I agreed not to increase the already existing Tariffs that we charge China while we continue to negotiate.”

He added that China will buy “large amounts of agricultural product” from US farmers.

“Our relationship with them continues to be a very good one,” Trump said. “The quality of the transaction is far more important to me than speed. I am in no hurry, but things look very good! There will be no reduction in the Tariffs currently being charged to China.”

He was also pleased with his reception at the G20 — though his joking with Russian President Vladimir Putin and praising of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman didn’t go down so well at home — saying that “the leaders of virtually every country that I met at the G-20 congratulated me on our great economy.”

Music event canceled over security, fraud concerns; compared to Fyre fest fiasco

A three-day concert in Belgium that was slated to feature stars like Cardi B, Jason Derulo and Ja Rule abruptly ended before it began Friday over fraud concerns, leading to comparisons with the failed Fyre Festival, the 2017 music bash that left guests stranded with no food or accommodations in the Bahamas.

Thousands of people who bought tickets for the VestiVille festival in Lommel —  a city on the border with the Netherlands — were moved out of the campsite by police before festivities got underway. Organizers said the event was canceled because of security issues in consultation with rapper A$AP Rocky.

“It was decided that the safety of the artist and the public could not be guaranteed,” they said on the festival’s Facebook page.

MODELS INVOLVED WITH DISASTROUS FYRE FESTIVAL MAY HAVE TO REVEAL HOW MUCH THEY WERE PAID AFTER COURT SUBPOENA

On Friday, the rapper tweeted that he pulled out of the concert because of “security and infrastructure concerns.” The line-up also included Meek Mill, Nicky Jam, Trey Songz and Future, among others.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the event on suspicion of fraud over payments, according to Belgium’s RTBF network. Three festival organizers were questioned Friday night, the network said. Security issues were not included in the investigation.

The event Facebook page said organizers would consult with their partners about possible refunds.

An email query to the festival from Fox News was not immediately returned Saturday.

Fyre Festival co-founder Ja Rule was scheduled to perform at VestiVille on Saturday. He has denied any fraud related to the first fiasco and was not charged. That event was plagued with numerous problems, including a lack of funding, lodging, food and transportation.

JA RULE RESPONDS TO FYRE FESTIVAL CONTROVERSY FOLLOWING DOCUMENTARIES SAYING HE TOO WAS SCAMMED

Co-founder Billy McFarland, 26, was sentenced to six years in prison after admitting to defrauding investors of $26 million and $100,000 in a separate ticket-selling scam. The disaster spawned documentaries on Netflix and Hulu.

VestiVille billed itself as the “gateway to an Urban Oasis of Music, art and wonder.” It offered luxury VIP villas, a private beach and red carpet treatment.

Festival-goers compared both failed events on Twitter and posted videos of themselves giving impromptu music performances on an empty, elaborate stage.

“Coincidence? I think not ,” tweeted one user, accompanied with photos of tents at VestiVille and the Fyre Festival.

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“Did #Vestiville organisers watch the Fyre Festival documentary and thought: Challenge accepted, let’s make the European edition,” posted another.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

City unveils new dedicated pickleball courts at Jastro Park

Local pickleball fans now have a new dedicated space to play one of America’s fastest-growing sports.

The city of Bakersfield opened its newly renovated court complex at Jastro Park on Saturday. The complex now has six dedicated pickleball courts, three tennis courts as well as six benches and new LED lighting to allow for better play at night.

The $306,000 project started construction in January 2018 and was completed this past Friday, according to the city.

“This, today, is a good example and an indicator of the city’s continued commitment to provide recreational and park resources for all citizens in Bakersfield,” said City Councilman Andrae Gonzales. “I’m looking forward to seeing many people throughout the community enjoy this space for years to come.”

Jastro Park is the first park in the city to have dedicated pickleball courts. However, other organizations have already begun creating new spaces for pickleball, a hybrid of tennis, ping pong and badminton.

Last summer, the North of the River Recreation and Park District opened its new Greenacres Pickleplex.

Jill Hicks came with her husband to the opening on Saturday to check out the newly renovated courts and play a few games of pickleball. Hicks said they’ve been coming to Jastro Park to play for the past three years.

“When we came out before, we had to figure out what lines were the pickleball lines, as they were laid within the tennis court,” she said. “Designated pickleball courts makes it easy to see the ball, know where the exact court is and not getting the lines mixed up with the tennis ones. It’s very nice.”

Hicks said she and her husband were invited to play by some friends and decided to try it out. They’ve been hooked ever since, playing whenever and wherever they can.

“It’s something athletic that we can do together,” she said. “As you age, it’s hard to find sports that you can do and enjoy without really hurting yourself. We wanted something we could do when we retire that’s physically active.”

Fellow resident Ali Bakoo, who also came out on Saturday, said he plays largely as a means of exercise.

“It’s a fun cardiovascular workout without feeling like a workout,” he said. “You get to have a good time and make some new friends. (Pickleball) is a very inclusive and social sport.”

Bakoo said he has been playing at Jastro Park for the past year after a friend introduced him to the sport. While he’s made do using the old tennis courts, he’s happy to see an increased focus on pickleball at the park with this new project.

“It’s absolutely amazing. It’s come a long way from what it used to be,” he said. “This is going to allow more people to play and discover pickleball.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill requiring felons pay off fines before regaining right to vote

Florida‘s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a bill Friday requiring felons to pay off their financial obligations before regaining the right to vote, a tactic many critics argue amounts to voter suppression and a modern-day poll tax.

State Republicans introduced the bill after voters passed an amendment in November to give roughly 1.4 million people with felony convictions to right to cast ballots in elections. The measure allowed felons not convicted of murder or sexual offenses to vote once they “complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.”

The language also said felons must complete their sentences, which Republicans interpreted to include paying off fines and fees imposed at sentencing.

FLORIDA: VOTING RIGHTS OF MORE THAN 1 MILLION FELONS RESTORED

Former felons register to vote in Miami on Jan. 8, 2019. (ELINA SHIRAZI/Fox News)

Former felons register to vote in Miami on Jan. 8, 2019. (ELINA SHIRAZI/Fox News)

“Senate Bill 7066 enumerates a uniform list of crimes that fall into the excluded categories and confirms that the amendment does not apply to a felon who has failed to complete all the terms of his sentence,” DeSantis wrote in a memo to Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee.

Democrats argued the bill created unnecessary hurdles voters didn’t foresee when they passed the amendment and that the original intent of preventing felons from voting was to repress the minority vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the NAACP and other groups promptly filed a federal lawsuit over the new law Friday.

“Over a million Floridians were supposed to reclaim their place in the democratic process, but some politicians clearly feel threatened by greater voter participation,” Julie Ebenstein, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. “They cannot legally affix a price tag to someone’s right to vote.”

Experts said granting felons to right to vote could possibly tip the scales in a state where elections can be decided by a small percentage of votes.

Several groups and Democratic presidential hopefuls blasted new law over Twitter.

“Disgusting. My democracy plan would re-enfranchise those who have served their time and left prison—and prevent states like Florida from overriding their rights with Jim Crow-era nonsense,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted.

“The 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed to eliminate the poll tax. Today, FL Gov Ron DeSantis defied the will of people & signed a law depriving thousands of formerly incarcerated persons from voting unless they pay restitution, fines & fees. THIS is why we need to #RestoreTheVOTE,” the NAACP posted.

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When the bill advanced through the Florida House in April, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker called it a “poll tax,” a tool most notoriously used to disenfranchise black voters in the Jim Crow-era south.

Under the law, felons could petition a judge to forgive their outstanding fines and fees in favor of community service or have a victim forgo repayment of restitution.

SOUND OFF: Loaner life vests on the Kern River? It’s working elsewhere

Reader: Your recent column (“Loaner life vests: Another possible answer to Kern River drownings,” June 26) said if anybody out there is in a position to donate to a local loaner-vest program for the Kern River, to call you. I think I probably can scrounge up enough money to take care of some vests, if somebody else would purchase them.

It alarms me every year that so many people go missing in the river. It’s not acceptable and it’s preventable. People are not going to stay out of that river, they are just not going to do it, no matter what the signs say. But maybe they would at least put on a vest.

— Pat Richard

Reader: I’m 86, closer to 87, and I’m on a limited income, but I could donate $100 each year I’m alive to this cause. Life vests make sense.

By the way, I like your picture better without that scruffy, unshaved look you used to have, back when it was popular.

— Vera Juul

Price: Some people say loaner floatation devices will just be stolen. Others say they’re not effective in a fast-moving river with underwater hazards. And yet the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways has partnered with Sacramento-area fire stations to provide loaner life vests at 10 access points on the American River. So somebody thinks it’s a good idea.

Stay tuned. The idea is getting some serious consideration here as we speak.

And thank you, ladies, for being the first to step up.

Vera, my mom, agrees with you on the scruffy beard. She says she’s partial to my chin.

Reader: Robert, I enjoy your columns but had to comment on this idea of loaner floatation vests. I’ve lived in Bakersfield for a long time and the Kern River remains an issue almost every year, especially when water levels are high. I drove the Kern Canyon route yesterday and looked at the river several times. Just wearing a life vest is NOT going to keep lots of people from being killed in that raging torrent where the current will smash a person into the rocks or your body will get wedged between the rocks underwater, which will drown you, life vest or no vest.

Another problem is that handing out life vests will encourage more, not less, people to go into the river. Those who wear them will believe they are safe because they are wearing the vest. Then when a loved one dies, the family will blame the person handing out the life vest. I think the message has to be “Stay out of this river!” totally with the river as high as it is now.

— Ken Davenport

Price: As the great Billy Joel once said, you may be wrong but you may be right. I wondered if there might be a negative message in there, too. I think most of the people who use the loaner vests will be people who have already arrived at the river’s edge planning to get in, vest or no vest. Sure, some may get a false sense of security from a life vest. But some will see those vests and perhaps really ponder the potential hazards for the first time. You’re right that it’s still very possible to drown with a vest on. But I’ve still got to believe they’ll help.

Reader: How did Robert Price come to the conclusion that six people are missing and presumed drowned in the Kern River? Is he including presumed drownings from a previous year or something? I’m only aware of four presumed drownings in the Kern this year — three on the lower Kern and one on the upper Kern in Tulare County. I don’t know why he is so sure that the number of drownings in the Kern will top 100 before the end of the week (from the previous number of 96). Tulare County drownings in the Kern have never been included in the Kern County body count, so if two more bodies of those missing are found in the Keyesville area, the Kern County number would be 99.

— John Sweetser

Price: You are correct. The number should be 99. At the time of that writing, six people were still in the Kern River, missing and presumed drowned — but three of them were on the Tulare County side, upstream. On Tuesday, the Kern County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team found a male body. We can probably assume it was one of the three missing individuals on the Kern County side of the border. If, somehow, it was not, the number could reach 100 after all. In any case, a grim tally.

Reader: Congratulations to Steven Mayer on doing such a good job on the John Hollins piece (“Local trumpeter, bandleader John Hollins dies at 66,” June 26). John was a great local musician, and a hardworking guy. A lot of musicians, including Steve, know the local scene and how hard it is. They how hard John worked at his craft. John was very well known and well respected. I just wanted to tell Steve, good job. Keep it up.

— Michael Canchola

Price: Steve was definitely the right guy to write Hollins’ obituary, for a couple of reasons. He, like that beloved late trumpeter, has been in the local trenches.

Reader: I read your June 23 column, “We’re changing owners, but not passion and purpose,” and I could not help but feel nostalgic of the people like you have who have left a lasting impact at The Bakersfield Californian. Like you, I know the paper really well. The Californian served as my home away from home for nearly 20 years (that’s not counting my internship and high school journalism days) as I worked as a reporter, editor and in management. I grew up in the hallways of The Californian and found some amazing, lifelong friends, both inside The Californian and outside in the community.

I was a newlywed when I started my career at the paper, but I had children and bought my first home all the while working for our publisher, Ginger Moorhouse, a woman I respect and remain ever so grateful for taking a chance on me, this young, idealistic cub reporter. She always made me feel like family, and that’s how I saw The Californian.

Although I have since moved on to my second career, I hold great memories and admiration to the staff that remains. We joined this profession because we wanted to make a positive impact in our community. Journalism still remains one of my greatest loves as does this paper that I still adore aplenty. In fact, I have moved from an employee to a loyal subscriber, digitally anyway — I guess I’m a product of our time, right?

As a historian, I can sense this is a major turn of events for this 122-year-old family newspaper, but as you state, it is reflective of the industry’s ongoing challenges that began decades earlier. I am reminded of the mid-1800s Penny Press era when growing, independent papers competed with each other for all sorts of news coverage — only in this case, today’s newspaper’s competition takes form in digital and broadcast media.

The Californian has lived through more than a century of ups and downs, and I remain hopeful and optimistic that the new owners will carry the legacy of good journalism forward and allow the staff to continue what they do best. It is needed more than ever.

— Olivia R. Garcia

Price: Every former journalist I’ve ever communicated with, and there have been many, is grateful to have been in the business. To a person, they are thankful for the broad (if sometimes only ankle-deep) knowledge of the world that the duties of the job helped impart to them, thankful for the opportunity to have served, thankful to live in a country that, for the most part, gives them the freedom to do their work. To a person, they miss journalism. I know, when that day comes, I’ll miss it too. 

I’m glad to see you happy and thriving in academia, Olivia. I miss you at the water cooler.

Reader: Thank you for your article describing ownership change outcomes. I canceled my cancellation. This my humorous / serious info for today.

— Barb Fleming

Price: I won one back! Thanks, Barb. The Californian will do its best to keep you this time.

Reader: I read Robert Price’s June 23 column about the transition at the newspaper, and then his Wednesday update about distribution of the paper. I needed to let you know that I’m glad that Herb and some of the other people are staying on. However, I am strongly against going to the new full-size format on weekdays. I can hardly manage Saturday’s and Sunday’s paper and have been thinking of canceling my weekend subscription.

However, now I may have to cancel my entire subscription to the Bakersfield Californian. I like the smaller (tabloid) format — I can handle it and a larger one I cannot. It’s too long and my arms must be too short. So whatever, just wanted you to know. No long papers, please!

—  Judith O’Brien

Price: When The Californian went to a tabloid format a decade ago, many readers hit the roof. We were National Enquirer sized! I suppose we can expect the same thing when we return to a seven-day full size.

If it helps, the new full-size version will be slightly smaller than the one you’ve been receiving on weekdays. The width of the “broadsheet” page is going to go from a 23 inch width roll (11.5 inch page) to a 22 inch width roll (11 inch page). It’s going to be a bit slimmer but definitely larger than a tabloid. Come on, you can get used to it. You might also consider our E-Edition, which you can view on a smartphone, tablet or PC. That’s how I read The Californian: It’s cheaper, too, and I no longer have mountains of old newspapers in my garage.

Reader: As with most things you write in The Californian, particularly in the Sound Offs, I totally see it (“Should everyone get to choose their own pronouns?,” June 22) the way you seem to. Always open and accepting, but well-reasoned. 

Perhaps one suggestion (addressing pronoun options for individuals of nonbinary sexual orientation) is to do as I’ve done in the attached edit.

— Alvin Gregorio 

Price: I studied your edit, Alvin, and must award you an A-plus. You kept your rewrite of an earlier article about pronouns for self-described queers in the realm of comprehension and respect. So it’s clearly possible to achieve that combination without too much mental strain. I have forwarded your edit to the U.S. Secretary of Grammar.

Reader: I don’t care what gender people choose to be, but … “They seems like that kind of person”? Makes my neck hairs stand up and my eyes bulge!

— Laurie Green

Price: Sorry about that. But as an illustration of painting oneself into a grammatical corner, it’s worked, didn’t it?

Reader: I read your reply to Larry Dunn in the June 22 Sound Off. If it’s OK with you, I’m going to create a sign and post it on my personal bulletin board at work with your statement, “Efficient communication facilitates unity and builds community.” I loved this!

— Jane Vovilla

Price: Should I have copyrighted that? No, I suppose not. That would not have encouraged efficient communication, facilitated unity or built community. So, yes, go ahead. Please do. Thank you.

Reader: Thanks for a very good read in TBC last Sunday (“We’re changing owners, but not passion or purpose,” June 23). A big thank you to all of you at the newspaper for hanging in there when the going got difficult. As an old retailer I know how tough it has been, with dwindling ad revenue and reduced staff. I am grateful to Ginger and family for bringing us the news for well over 100 years. I have been reading TBC for over 70 years. I have fond memories of first reading to my dad in the late 1940s. The best of luck to you and your colleagues. Perhaps if Americans read more newspapers, we would hurt each other less.

— John Martinez

Price: I firmly believe we would, John. And wow. Seventy years? Thank you.

Reader: Excellent follow-up article by John Cox (“Bitwise’s expansion plans fuel debate over local tech market,” June 23). Thank you to John for taking the time and making the effort to shed light onto the local tech market more fully before the eyes of the community.

— Kevin Mershon 

Price: Local tech entrepreneur Kevin Mershon was the guy who proposed the story that Cox wrote for last Sunday’s page A1.

Cox responds: “Happy to oblige, Kevin. Made for a decent little story, I thought.”

Reader: In the original “Point Break” movie, there is a scene where Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers explains to Keanu Reeves that he is just going to kick his backside, because talking to him would be a waste of time. The Maureen Strodes of the world just do not understand until they or someone they love is at the receiving end of one of these wild dog packs, during an early morning jog. Until we clear out the wild dog packs that Maureen Strode — is this lady legally blind or a shut-in? — says do not exist (“No, dog attacks that kill people are not that common — and pit bulls aren’t the main culprits,” June 24), go through the county CCW training. In open carry states, wild dogs are commonly shot. I will not be victimized by the ignorance of the Maureen Strodes of the world. And thanks to CCW, anyone willing to become certified — well you too can jog again without fear. It is sad that it has come to this. This lady is a spokesperson for irresponsible dog ownership.

— Fram Smith

Price: Don’t bite the messenger. Maureen merely reported dog-bite data from the National Canine Research Council that likened the likelihood of a dog-bite death to being struck by lightning. Janis Bradley, a spokeswoman for the council, told Maureen “that’s the reason dog bite-related deaths are talked about so much when it does happen” — it’s so rare. I personally can think of only one other dog-bite fatality — that of Dianne Whipple in San Francisco in 2001. Does that mean one should dismiss the possibility from one’s mind while jogging or delivering mail? Heck, no.

Dem Debate: Swalwell zings Biden on his age, calls on him to ‘pass the torch’

MIAMI — Democratic presidential hopeful Eric Swalwell, one of the youngest candidates in the 2020 field, took a direct swipe at Joe Biden’s age during Thursday’s debate, calling on the former vice president to “pass the torch” to a new generation of leaders.

The 38-year-old Democratic congressman from California was responding to a question on jobs in the 21st century, when he took the first shot at the primary front-runner.

“I was six years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said ‘it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.’ That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden,” Swalwell said. “Joe Biden was right. It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago, and he’s still right today.”

Swalwell went onto list hot-button issues like gun violence, climate and student loan debt, and said, “if we’re going to solve” the issues, “pass the torch.”

He followed up with a tweet:

Biden, who is 76, let Swalwell finish but fired back with a grin: “I’m still holding onto that torch. I want to make that clear to you.”

“Look we have to make sure that everybody is prepared to get an education. That is why I propose focusing on schools that are in distress, that is why I propose tripling the amount of money we spend for Title I schools, that’s why I call for…universal pre-K, that is why every single person…needs something beyond high school and we should provide for them to be able to get that education,” Biden explained.

Biden laid out proposals like “free community college,” and freezing interest on student loan debt for individuals making less than $25,000 per year.

“We can’t put people in a position where they are not able to move on,” Biden said. “There is a lot that we can do but we have to make continuing education available for everyone so that everyone can compete in the 21st century. We’re not doing that now.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., defended Biden, saying he’s also part of that generation.

Biden is not the oldest in the pack. Sanders is 77 and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is 69.

Should Trump be re-elected, he would be 74 on Jan. 20, 2021—Inauguration Day.