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Fridge Door: October

Local Voices, News & Trends

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three
Not One More Man: ZERO Bakersfield Event Raises Funds, and Awareness For Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer affects more than three million men each year, according to American Cancer Society statistics. Local business leader Leonard Zasoski, Jr. is race director for ZERO, an organization dedicated to prevention and awareness. “Metastatic prostate cancer is on the rise and early detection is the best chance for a potential 100% cure to the cancer,” said Leonard. “My father passed away from the disease at the age of 57 over 38 years ago and I am currently a 10-year survivor due to early detection.”

One in nine fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, partners, and friends will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, including more than 24,000 men in California this year. Numbers are expected to increase, as screening opportunities have decreased throughout the pandemic.

Leonard Zasoski, Jr. with one small reason he gets checked regularly.

The special women in men’s lives, including wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers, are often credited with encouraging men to talk with their doctor. “Men need the push. Wives, daughters, sons, people that are close to that husband or dad or whatever that family relationship is, those family members can say, ‘Hey, have you thought about getting screened for prostate cancer? I’ve heard about it and I want you to be in my life for a long time,’” said Leonard. “Get a yearly check. I have two adult sons and I tell them for later in life, ‘If there’s nothing there, go on with your life, but if you do have something, do something about it.’ Knowing is the first step.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend annual screenings to start at age 50, along with a physical each year. African American men, in whom the tendency for prostate cancer is statistically higher, or those with a family history, should consider screenings beginning at age 40. Find out more about ZERO’s work in Bakersfield at zerocancer.run/bakersfield.

ZERO Prostate Cancer Run Virtual Event Due to the volatile public health situation related to COVID-19, this year’s event will be online only. Visit www.zerocancer.run/bakersfield for more information.

Free Graffiti Removal

Did you know that The County of Kern and the City of Bakersfield offer free graffiti removal – for FREE? YEP! The City and the County have a team that go out to areas of our community, but they need to be contacted by phone or email. To notify our graffiti removal team of the presence of graffiti, please go to https://www.kerncounty.com/government/county-administrative-office/how-do-i, and complete the form or call (661) 868-1605. Your name and contact information will only be used if we are unable to locate the graffiti you’ve reported.

If you are witnessing graffiti being applied, please call the Sheriff's Office at (661) 861-3110.

Do the Math Celebrates 20th Season

The local educational television program, “Do the Math,” celebrated the launch of its 20th season last month with more than 900 live episodes in the books. This program is part of a 60-plus hours of weekly K-12 educational programming aligned to state standards that is available through KCSOS’s Kern Education Television Network (KETN). 

This program was the brainchild of former KCSOS employees Janis Jones, coordinator of after-school programs and Laurie Maclin, coordinator of instructional media. The pair collaborated with several school district partners to determine the best way to provide an opportunity for students to receive homework help through direct instruction and phone tutoring. The group determined that its focus would be on mathematics because data confirmed that student performance in that area lagged other subjects. The result was the debut of a live, call-in TV program where several math tutors took problems from callers and solved them live on air. “Do the Math” aired its first episode on April 3, 2002.

Michael Cushine, a GATE teacher with the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, has served as the show’s host since the beginning. He said the show originally focused primarily on pre-algebra and algebra – core competencies required for the High School Exit Exam – which was require for graduation from 2004-2015. The show later focused on problem-solving through the Common Core State Standards. 

“We have continually evaluated how we could keep the show fresh and relevant and have made many adjustments over the years,” Cushine says. 

Free, phone-in tutoring is available to students from 3:30-5:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by calling 661-636-4357 or toll free at 866-636-6284. “Do the Math” can be seen in Bakersfield on Spectrum Cable Ch. 15, in California City, Boron, and Mojave on Ch. 19, and in Rosamond on Ch. 180.

Recycled Barbie Now Available 

Barbie Loves the Ocean is Mattel’s first fashion doll line made with recycled ocean-bound plastic, and the three-doll set plus accessories has been released as part of the campaign “The Future of Pink is Green.” Ocean-bound plastic is sourced with-in 50 kilometers of waterways in areas lacking formal waste collection systems. The toy company has a set a goal to achieve 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all its products and packaging by 2030. “This Barbie launch is another addition to Mattel’s growing portfolio of purpose-driven brands that inspire environmental consciousness with our consumer as a key focus,” says Richard Dickson, Mattel president and chief operating officer. 

OOPS! In last month’s issue, this writer mistakenly wrote that the Lee & Krystyna Jamieson Recovery Home for Women and Children was a 24-hour temporary care facility in Kern County. It is not. This recovery home provides a safe place to get women and children off the streets. It supplies three nourishing meals a day, safe shelter for up to 30 women and children, Bible study, mentoring, life-skills development, job placement, and recovery to support whole families. For more information, please visit https://thebrm.org/women-hope-bakersfield/.

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