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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.

Passport to Pangea: The International Student Club Annual International Dinner

13 Jun

By Eric Garza

The International Student Club hosted their annual international dinner on April 12th, 2013. Many countries represented this year including a different part of the world from a different time span.


Photo by Eric Garza. Japanese students made three dishes including karaage, takoyaki, and chiriashizushi (pictured)


Photo by Eric Garza. Guests arrive to indulge on international cuisines.


Photo by Eric Garza. Dagmara Karnowski speaks on behalf of the effort the students put to make the International Dinner possible.


Photo by Eric Garza. In this photo, the lady in the front is a zumba instructor and is dancing, along with some international students, to Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)


Photo by Eric Garza. Members of the SCA demonstrate their fighting style in front of an audience.


Bakersfield’s Own Knights in Armor

11 Jun

They’re not LARPers (live action role-players) nor are they preparing for a Renaissance fair. They are the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

Enjoy the video!

Beat the Heat On A Cool Day?

19 May

Photo by Eric Garza. A shot of the lake in Riverwalk Park.


By Eric Garza

It’s the middle of May and most of us in Bakersfield know that summer arrives too early here. However, these past couple of days, the temperature in Bakersfield has been accommodated to what most of us would expect as typical Spring-like whether. So today, Bakersfield had the perfect weather to enjoy for a day at Riverwalk Park.

On Friday, Bakersfield had a shot of luck in regards of weather. Temperatures rose up to a high of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and settled in the upper to mid-70s. The sky was mostly clear with some small passive clouds and the nice breeze flowing in and out. To me and a few friends, this was a good day for a barbeque at the park.


Photo by Eric Garza. Friends chatting to each other. In the photo from left to right: Gerardo Bobadilla, Jeff Willoby, Harmon Bagallon, Marlene Juban, Lily Cha, Thomas Xiong, Jerry Hurtado, and Mark Enriquez.

Typically, not many people would like to hang out in the park when the temperatures rise up to the 90s and 100s, but Friday was one of those once in a while days that was seen as perfect. Anyways, some friends and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather with a barbeque at Riverwalk Park. However, the only thing that could prove irritable was the frequent occurrences of strong winds of blowing dust and flying picnic utensils. It was not too hot to play some sports too. The temperature was bearable to play some soccer and volleyball without breaking too much sweat!

I guess Bakersfield finally beat the heat…for now.

Ask a Bakersfield Native About Fun in Town!

15 May

I interviewed Bakersfield native resident and CSUB student Vanessa Martinez about her idea of having fun in town.