Grapes of Wrath Lore

There’s Grapes of Wrath lore in Bakersfield’s past and its connection to the plight of millions of Americans whose lives had been impacted by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression of the ’30s. The city really hit the map during the Depression era three decades after the discovery of oil, or “black gold,” in 1899. Thousands migrated to Bakersfield from Dust Bowl states of the Midwest—many, in fact, from Oklahoma. In search of a better life, they found jobs in Bakersfield in both oil and agriculture but life was still tough. Housing was limited and workers were often consigned to crude work “camps.” The Weedpatch Camp, one of the best known of that era, is still standing today, though many decades have elapsed since it last housed workers. It’s not considered a tourist destination.

More than a century later, the San Joaquin Valley still produces many jobs in oil and gas. In fact, in 2014, Kern County had 44,518 producing oil wells. A downturn in crude price over the past three years dramatically reduced oil production and employment, though 2018 price levels has stimulated significant new production. Kern County remains the largest oil-producing county in the U.S.

Tap into CASA

CASA launches a first-time event, Tap into CASA, from noon to 3 p.m. on June 9 at Lengthwise Brewery, 7700 District Blvd., Bakersfield, CA 93313. Guests will have the chance to enjoy unlimited samples of a unique assortment of local craft beverages paired with tantalizing seasonal menu favorites. Get a 360-degree view of the brewing process by taking one of the hourly brewery tours. Support CASA while doing all your favorite things, hanging out with friends, listening to tunes, sipping beer and enjoying great food. Th event is hosted by Renee Goodwin and Keith Stonebreaker, and Carla and Jeff Musser, and the cost to attend is $50.

CASA, The Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County, speaks for abused and neglected children in the juvenile dependency process. Through the use of highly trained volunteers, the CASA program seeks to provide every child who needs an advocate with a voice in the court process.

Lynnette Zelezny to Succeed Horace Mitchell as CSUB President

Lynnette Zelezny, Ph.D., current provost of Fresno State University, will officially replace retiring Horace Mitchell in late June. She has deep Valley roots and is known for her prowess as a successful fundraiser at FSU which didn’t escape the search committee since CSUB has lagged in this area at a time when university funding has declined.

The decision was reached after a five-month confidential selection process which committee officials insisted was a necessary step in attracting the most qualified pool of candidates. The search included more than 60 candidates.

The incoming president says she plans to engage with faculty, staff and students in a series of listening sessions to tap into the sentiments of the community. Zelezny’s salary will match the outgoing president’s: $313,044 annually, plus benefits, a $50,000 annual housing allowance and a monthly auto allowance of $1,000. Mitchell’s pay and benefits topped out at $463,000 in 2016, according to Transparent California.

Zelezny earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from the Claremont Graduate University and an MBA with distinction from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. She also has professional certificates in management from Harvard University and in executive leadership from the Wharton School of Business.