Posted by Frank Wooldridge
This day November 11th we recognize United States Military Veterans for unselfishly placing themselves in harms way to protect America. It is a tall task that not all choose to step forward for, but to those that did, we thank you for your dedication. Let us never forget your service. Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary has several brave soldiers, airmen and sailors. We personally wish to thank each and every one of you for preserving our freedom, being in fellowship in our club, and for your friendship. We Salute You!
President Dave Spalinger commenced our morning meeting by welcoming Sally Selby to provide our invocation. Thank you Sally for your heartfelt words to guide us. Past President Cheryl Scott lead us in America’s Flag Salute. We all took notice that not only did Cheryl hold that flag high as she could, she was also decked out in a spirited outfit that proudly displayed prominent bold stars and flag colors. Speaking of our veterans and patriotism, Past President Denise Haynes lead our morning Rotarians in singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Thank you Denise for the handy sheets bearing the lyrics!
Mary Jo Pasek, also very chipper looking in her Red, White, and Blue attire announced our lone Visiting Rotarian. That Rotarian was none other than the Honorable Honorary Rotarian and Past President Steve Shayer. Sandra Parnell brought her loving husband, Jon Parnell as the lone visitor. Jon is a frequent visitor and this dynamic duo both do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to our BBRC activities. Your team work does not go unnoticed Parnells!
Greeters Stephanie Baker and Pete Leveroni welcomed each and every one of us to our fourth try-out destination, The Yard House. We are in the thick of finding our new Breakfast Rotary permanent home; this was the last venue for us to sample. A Survey Monkey, not a real monkey Past President Mike O’Doherty, will be forthcoming for your input, so please reply to choose our future home. By the way, we will be meeting at The Yard House next club meeting Wednesday morning November 18th.
** Featured Program**
Doing double duty Pete Leveroni announced our morning’s speaker. With all the suspense of a Tom Clancy novel, Pete introduced Jimmie Yee of Yankee Communications who would speak to us about the highly anticipated Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in nearby Tejon. The professional and highly credentialed Mr. Yee has racked up years of experience in politics, public affairs and marketing. Working for Congressman Kevin McCarthy as a field representative in his early days, Mr. Yee has created a solid reputation of being an expert in government and business affairs which “parlay” him to be the prefect promoter of Hard Rock International here in Kern County.
Mr. Yee told us that the prospect of building the Hard Rock is almost a certainty. There are a great number of regulations that first must be completed before anything that even resembles a groundbreaking. It is not only local and state regulatory hurdles that must be addressed, there are federal requirements that must be met. Mr. Yee credits the efforts of Congressman McCarthy in shepherding many of those challenges through the federal government. With his help, much of the paperwork to bring Hard Rock to reality is swiftly moving along.
There were three main elements that Mr. Yee wanted to stress in his message to us. First, he wanted us to know the land that the Hard Rock is to be built upon is territory of the Tejon Indian Tribe. We all probably knew that, but what we did not know is that the Tribe with 1,045 enrolled members is the only federally recognized Native American Tribe in Kern County. The Hard Rock suggests a lot of things that any entertainment center associated with a casino would bring. Yet, in this case the Hard Rock International projects support a civic purpose that is often overlooked or unknown to many. The global company has goals of generating funding to support economic, educational and health care for Native Americans. Mr. Yee told us it is for these fundamental civic concerns that the Hard Rock project came to Kern County.
Secondly, Mr. Yee wanted us to know…What is Hard Rock? Well, he pushed the start button on the high quality, made for promotion video he brought about Hard Rock. The first image was none other than famed Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page speaking about what Hard Rock means to the world of entertainment and “Rock and Roll”. It was at this point I glanced over and saw Dan “Rockin” Johnson choking on a piece of sausage. Yes, any video starting with Jimmy Page talking about how cool something is should get anyone with a pulse to pay attention, especially Dan. The video progressed showing all of Hard Rock’s features, accomplishments and themes that we in Kern County will also enjoy when the hotel is complete. Did you know Hard Rock has hotels in 76 countries around the world and maintains the largest Rock and Roll memorabilia collection? I didn’t. And furthermore, the exhibits circulate from hotel to hotel around the world every few months giving us a look at some of the most remarkable memorabilia from some of our favorite artists.
Mr. Yee tells us that Forbes Magazine has rated Hard Rock as one of the leading employers in the world. Promoting from within, Hard Rock employees have the opportunity to establish careers. When Hard Rock opens the doors of the Tejon location, it will be the second full service Hard Rock in California. The first is located in Sacramento.
Third, the Hard Rock project will be located 25 miles south of Bakersfield, conveniently located near the intersection of I-5 and Highway 99. Based on 306 acres, the Hard Rock Hotel will have 400 guest rooms, entertainment center, spa/fitness/salon facilities, 13 food and beverage centers and of course, a gaming center which has most of the square footage. Mr. Yee even stated a Helipad is being considered to shuttle gamblers from Los Angeles to the Hard Rock with continual frequency.
3,000 personnel from construction to hotel and casino staff will comprise the workforce. With salaries ranging between $40K to $60K for many of these service jobs, Mr. Yee hopes that many of these employees will be from Kern County.
On July 23rd Mr. Yee said a very crucial phase of the project called a Government to Government Agreement was confirmed allowing the Hard Rock to come much closer to final approval. The last phase of regulation called an ROD which essentially reclaims the designated property that Hard Rock will sit upon to be re-titled as Reservation Property. Once this Federal requirement is complete Mr. Yee believes Hard Rock Tejon will begin construction during the second quarter of 2021.
Anticipated and supported by nearly every Chamber of Commerce in Kern, the Hard Rock will most certainly redefine what the landscape of the southern San Joaquin Valley will look like for many years to come. We wish to thank Mr. Yee for his highly anticipated message as we look forward to the creation of one of Kern County’s crown jewels.      
** Announcements Announcements**
With great anticipation, Breakfast Rotarians are celebrating the re-induction of our own Carol Smith. Our own you say, but she is wearing the RED BADGE, well if you are at least 9 years “new” to BBRC you may not remember Carol. Carol Smith was welcomed, recognized and re-branded as a member of our club. Unanimously approved by our Board of Directors and our membership, Carol marks a welcome home to BBRC after transferring back from Rotary Twilight Club. Coming back from the Zone of Twilight, Carol spoke fondly of her years in Rotary, particularly the events which lead to her initially becoming a member so many years ago. If it were not for the likes of Past Presidents Neil Walker and Jerry Starr, and past member Paul Cooper, we may have never known Carol. These men were all instrumental in Carol’s path into Rotary, and you might say her journey back to BBRC. Or perhaps we would have known her anyway, as Carol’s late husband, Greg served as our Club President in 1993-1994.
Carol is filled with gratitude to Rotary and the friends she has made along the way. Unknown to Carol fans like me, she told us she has been to several Rotary International Conventions all over the world. She encourages all members to attend the annual event in-person. A Hard Rock “groupie” herself, Carol’s membership will benefit her as she will benefit our club in the years ahead. Make sure to welcome her!
To be the writer of The Beacon you have to be a little thick skinned. Well, I don’t know that I had any skin at all after Dale Bender “skinned” me for forgetting to mention his Wedding Anniversary and his wife’s presence at our meeting last week in the Beacon. It hit me hard particularly because his wife is now mad at me. I deserve it. How in the world could I forget Dale and that he is married to the wonderful JoAnne, a former, or perhaps current BHS Driller Cheerleader? Oh Well, allow me and our club to wish you both congratulations on 43 blessed years. Still mad at me JoAnne?
Also, on the wedding anniversary calendar is Denise Haynes, 15 years! At-a-girl Denise. A big congrats to you and Scott.
Breakfast birthdays include John Guerard (a hopeful future president prospect). Wow John, being the only celebrant, you got the club to sing to you and you alone this morning. Happy Birthday to you!
Other announcements include Denise Haynes reminding us of the upcoming BBRC Thanksgiving Basket Event at the Boys and Girls Club November 24th. Denise is seeking food items for which she will be sending out a grocery list of food items she would like us to bring to next week’s meeting at The Yard House. Next Wednesday is the deadline so look for that email.
Michele McClure is keeping our spirits on high as she announced our December BBRC Social. She tells us the event will be held at the Portrait of a Warrior art exhibit. Details forthcoming.
Dan Johnson confirmed that we will be needing volunteers for this year’s BBRC Target Shopping with Kids Program. Date for the joyous event is December 12th. The Beacon Clue is … What date is Shopping with Kids this year? This is a great event and we hope to see you there.  
**Happy Spots**
Past President Ron Nelms seems to be the travelin’ sort these days. Knowing how much The Prez is a woodman, Ron presented The Prez an honest to goodness wooden wine rack, which looked an awful like the wood paddle our principal would swat me with in school. Ron said he purchased the rack during a recent trip to New Orleans French Quarter. I’ll bet there is some swattin’ goin’ on there eh Ron.
Again, members we will be meeting at The Yard House for this week’s meeting again. See you there!
Peace and Hope through Rotary,
Writer: Frank Wooldridge