Exercising a community: A profile on Carl Joe Hively

8 Jun

Many people on the Wasco City Council are natives of the town and have interesting stories to share on why they joined. Some members run local business, while others work in social institutions such as the schools. For Carl Joe Hively, a Physical Education teacher at Wasco High School, he had a passion to serve the people in his little town. As a former student of his, it was a pleasure listening about his journey.

Hively was born in Wasco in 1953 and raised as well. He attended all public schools in Wasco, excluding John L. Pruitt and Teresa Burke Elementary. He knew by the time he was in his junior year in high school that he wanted to become a physical education teacher. So, by 1971, Hively graduated from Wasco High School and went on to pursue his education by starting at Bakersfield College. After two years, he transferred over to Fresno State and graduated with his Bachelor’s in Physical Education and a minor in history within three and a half years. Along with the diploma, he received his teaching credentials.

However, Hively couldn’t obtain a teaching position back in Wasco due to the lack of jobs at the high school. For about ten years, he worked for a local winery until 1986. At that time, a teaching position was open, but it was for history. Hively took the position and after a few years, he was transferred to teach physical education.

Fast forward to current times, Hively has been always involved with the community, as well as serving with the recreation board of Wasco and the Festival of Roses committee. He said he felt the need to “step up” to the city council and applied to replace a former councilmember in 2006. Since then, he has been running for council and two out of the three times he has ran, he’s been part of the council.

Upon starting his position in the city council, Hively said that there was some controversy among other members and felt the he needed to be a “cohesive unit.” By cohesive unit, he meant that he would bring the members close so they can work together. Along with making the members get acquainted with each other, Hively strived for bringing more business to the little town in order to give the residents more employment opportunities, such as the Wal-Mart being built at the moment and other major business up and down Highway 46 – the hub of Wasco’s top businesses.

“There’s always challenges,” said Hively as he explained how it can always be difficult maintaining the community, “because you cannot make everybody happy. You’re gonna have certain people that are not happy with the rising prices on their water rates or garbage and sewer. But, you have to maintain cost, you have to create a balance, and make sure we’re not going broke as a city…”

Hively prioritizes his family first, but when it comes to his passion, teaching comes next then the city. He feels that helping the students will make them grow and be able to take on the future. The city is another priority because he wants to see his city grow and prosper that is safe and secure. He wishes to maintain the current social state of the city, but believes that the city will grow and might have to hurdle through some more challenging obstacles.

Fill in the blank: Wasco looking for a new council member

8 Jun

For the city of Wasco, there are five council positions, but on the second April meeting, there was one less person. An apparent spot next to city council member Carl Joe Hively was empty. Along with the empty spot, the name plate of former member John H. Martin was removed.

According to John Martin, it was a matter of conflict of interest. When he spoke more about his conflict, Martin said that his spot became difficult for his son, Jeff Martin, to conduct business with the city.

John Martin, who used to own American Refuse, a private waste disposal company in Wasco, had gifted his son the company. However, Jeff Martin was unable to bid waste contracts due the fact that his father was in the city council.

“Him being my blood son,” said Martin, “he couldn’t do anything for the city. The city put out a recycling contract… three different kinds and my son competitively bid those contracts.” Martin also said that it would hurt his son’s business if he could not place bids on contracts.

The Wasco City Council is looking for a new member to fill the spot since one of its members resigned on April 15.

The news was brought publicly during the April 21 city council meeting. The members voted on how the spot will be filled with a three to one vote in favor for open applications to anyone from the community

According to Mayor Danny Espitia, he said that the opening would give opportunity for positive influence. The reason why the spot needs to be filled is because it creates a possible voting tie between the council members. With the fifth spot filled, it can prevent voting ties.

On the other hand, some council members are not allowed to vote when it comes to subjects they are involved with.

“[You can] only abstain with conflict of interest,” said Espitia. Espitia gave me an example of abstaining regarding council member Tilo Cortez. Cortez cannot not vote on any housing matters for the city because he works in real estate. Thus, creating a conflict of interest.

The Wasco city council consists of five official members including the mayor. They are joined with other members of the city such as the city treasurer, clerk, manager, and committee members.

Applications are available at the Wasco City Hall on 746 8th St. and will be accepting them until May 15. The requirements to apply are at least eighteen years of age, legal resident of Wasco, and eligible to vote. The selected candidate will be chosen by the time the June 2 meeting comes.

Wasco Sheriff Body Camera Program Kicks Off

8 Jun

The sheriff’s substation in Wasco, California began its Officer Body Camera program on March 20. Wasco is one of the very few communities that has its law enforcement department to use body cameras and possibly the first in Kern County. This move was placed in since the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MI. in hopes to prevent future police brutality or corruption.

During the city council meeting that night, Sgt. Ian Chandler of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department Wasco substation said that he was able to monitor three deputies on a police call on April 7 and was able to catch all perspectives of the action. They were able to apprehend the suspect in a nonlethal way.

According to the Wasco Tribune, the body cameras cost about $900 and were not paid by the city itself. Rather a grant was given to help fund the cameras.

Not only will the cameras be used to help provide better evidence during a call, it will also provide evidence for any deputies’ annual evaluation, according to the Wasco Tribune.

Sgt. Chandler said that the cameras feed high definition video with top quality audio to the sheriff’s station server.

The Sheriff’s Department held a media conference on April 9 and invited the local press.

CSUB Artist Profile

17 Jun

Card players gather for Magic: The Gathering

15 Jun

Russo’s Bookstore is known to hold an array of events to attract more business by giving the community a place to bond over a common interest.

This Friday I watched over the guys and girls as they engaged countless hours of mental dexterity.

Click here to see The Gathering!

14 Jun

To make the best summer vacation here in Bakersfield you can do various things from hang out with friends, spending time with family, and just being home doing nothing. But when you are with friends and family what are you suppose to do?

In Bakersfield you can have fun by going to all the parks here in Bakersfield. Spend a day at the park can be fun for everyone! You can have the kids play on the playgrounds and have the teens and adults play sports like flag football, soccer, and basketball, if they have the courts.

You can also go out to watch movies here! Maya theaters is one of the better theaters here. They have reasonable prices and can great movie theater seats. Their chairs can tilt back! Maya theater is a great place to everyone to enjoy!

Another thing you can do here in Bakersfield is to eat out at all the great restaurants here in Bakersfield. We even have some great local restaurants like Luigi’s and Happy Jacks. These are some of the best locally owned restaurants here in Bakersfield. Great places to eat. I highly recommend Happy Jack’s peanut butter pie!

So there are many different things here in Bakersfield that you can enjoy during the summer. So go out and have fun!

Beating the Heat This Summer

14 Jun

For the most part, when I want to beat the heat in Bakersfield, I head south for some cooler temperatures.  Whether it’s Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, or Knott’s Berry Farm, I find that heading out of town for some water park fun is always a viable option.  Prior to this year, I had always lived on campus, so Bakersfield’s summer weather was something I had never been exposed to completely; being that dorm students have to move out of their rooms by the end of finals to avoid paying the summer fee. However, taking classes in the Spring quarter gave me a taste of what the summer months must have been like.  Last Summer, I was out of state for a couple weeks, and I’m planning to do the same this year.  When I return, however, who’s to say what awaits me for my summertime adventures. I’ve never been to the San Diego Zoo, or Raging Waters, or even the Golden Gate Bridge! There’s so much to do, yet so little time.


The Bakersfield Jazz Festival was a Success

14 Jun

The 27 annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival kicked off today at The California State University Bakersfield at 7:00 PM. The Friday line-up consisted of three jazz musicians

Robin Bramlett, Billy Vera Big Band, and Roy Ayers. On Saturday, the line up featured Kern County Jazz Band, Colorblind, Rob Hutchinson, Clayton Cameron, Lao Tizer, Avance, Euge Groove.  “My favorite part of the program was the enjoyment that was had by the individuals that participated, the audience members being able to come to this and see this performance without having to go out of town, seeing it right here at home” said Suzanne Botha.

Avance performs for the audience at the CSUB Jazz Festival.

Avance performs for the audience at the CSUB Jazz Festival.

” Favorite Part of the program was the side stage and Roy Ayers. My favorite part about the side stage was that he put a lot of funk music, a lot of old oldies and I really love oldies it’s like my favorite thing in the world and Roy Ayers just because there is a lot of history in that band. Like the drummer playing with Michael Jackson and then playing with Roy Ayers. You know, that’s pretty cool. Like who gets to play with Michael Jackson? No one…”- says Natosha Ramirez.




Just because it’s Chekhov doesn’t mean it’s boring

14 Jun

After spending some time around the cast and crew during the run, interviewing their director about the production, and catching parts of the show myself, I can honestly say that this was  a play worth seeing.  I understand that Theatre’s not for everyone, but of the general audience we had, I’d say that the majority of them enjoyed this show, and were able to appreciate the message that Chekhov intended to communicate.    

A Story of Tragedy and Triumph at the Dore Theatre

14 Jun


For all you Theatre goers out there, CSUB’s spring production of The Cherry Orchard, will be opening on Thursday, May 23rd and running until Saturday, May 25th.  The show will be running the following weekend as well, with performances on May 30, 31st, June 1st and 2nd.  The play is Anton Chekhov’s last play, set in early nineteenth century Russia.  The play is essentially a story about a woman who has found herself buried in debt and is on the verge of losing her family’s beloved cherry orchard because of it.  This production is being directed by Dr. Maria-Tania Becerra, who is also a Professor of Theatre here at CSUB. “I’ve approached it as a comedy,” says Becerra, “but it is tragic.” 

Becerra has directed six productions here at CSUB, and The Cherry Orchard marks her seventh. “It came out of the modern drama class, we were discussing it and the students loved it.” I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Becerra and find out a little more about the playwright, his intentions for the show when it was written, and how she feels about the production overall. 

As a Theatre student myself, I’ve only been exposed to the works of Anton Chekhov once. That was in my Acting II class here at CSUB.  Prior to that, I don’t think I’d ever even heard of the playwright, let alone known who he was.  And now, with this show opening, some of my peers complain that it’s going to be boring, simply because the play is by Chekhov; others even said that they didn’t bother to audition because the play is by Chekhov.  With all of this negative feedback about the show before it even opens, I thought it would be best to get a word from the director on the playwright and boy, was I surprised. “Oh, he’s brilliant,” says Becerra.   

“People either love Chekhov, or they hate Chekhov…” says Becerra.  “Either you enjoy the fact that he’s replicating everyday conversation or you’re like, ‘really, just get to it.”    

             The original title of the play was actually, “The Cherry Orchard: A Comedy in Four Acts,” and according to Becerra, Chekhov thought his play was hilarious.  Constantin Stanislavski directed all of Chekhov’s first plays, and when Chekhov introduced this play to Stanislavski, “the two of them fought about it,” says Becerra. Becerra goes on to explain how, as far as comedy goes, this play might be considered a “dark comedy,” if anything. 

 So, whether you’re spending this Memorial Day weekend in town or away, be sure to come see The Cherry Orchard, it’s a really great play!