Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Articles written by Phyllis Belcher


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  • Heritage League thanks community

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Jun 8, 2024

    The community responded enthusiastically to the yard sale at the Errea House. Many people donated items to sell, and even more people came to buy. The Tehachapi Heritage League, which operates the Tehachapi Museum and the Errea House, is dependent on fundraisers and donations to maintain these facilities. Dixie Coutant, who spearheaded the yard sale, expressed appreciation to the many docents who worked to make the sale a success and for those who donated and bought items. Tehachapi Heritage...

  • There are bargains galore at Museum Rummage Sale, June 1

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|May 28, 2024

    Volunteers have been busy gathering, sorting and pricing items for Tehachapi Museum’s annual Rummage Sale, which takes place Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the porch and in the patio of the Errea House. The house, located at 311 S. Green St., is named after family members who lived there for over 60 years. The Rummage Sale is a major fundraiser to support the many projects and events offered by the museum. There is a wide array of items donated for sale. Come browse and you may find just the thing you need for yourself or your h...

  • Museum plans for annual rummage sale, June 1

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|May 11, 2024

    It’s time for spring cleaning and that is a perfect time to discover items that you no longer need. You can donate them to Tehachapi Heritage League for their annual rummage sale which takes place June 1. They are accepting donations Tuesday through Thursday, May 28 to May 30. Please bring items someone else may find useful such as gently used clothing, household items, tools, decorative items or small furniture. Place items on the porch of the Errea House, which is located at 311 S. Green St. Volunteers will sort and price items on those d...

  • Democrats hear from veterans

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Apr 27, 2024

    Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club will recognize veterans at their May 2 meeting. Travis Tazelaar and Rick Hegdahl, directors for VoteVets will speak to the club via Zoom. This format has enabled the club to hear from highly knowledgeable leaders from diverse locations. VoteVets is an organization established in 2006 to support progressive veterans, military families and their civilian supporters. It is the first organization of its kind and the largest. There are over one and a half million supporters in the United States. VoteVets uses...

  • Successful women is AAUW topic

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Apr 27, 2024

    Four members of American Association of University Women described their paths to success at the recent AAUW meeting. Each one described the twists and turns her life had taken and how often they had to change course. When Cindy Marble, program vice president, introduced Nancy Williamson, she declared before her speech that all the women in the room were successful. This led to instant applause. Other speakers in the program were Jackie Fickel, Catherine Carr and Catherine Sjostedt. The women al...

  • Church celebrates 104 years

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Apr 27, 2024

    The oldest protestant church in Tehachapi celebrated two anniversaries during the month of April. The Tehachapi Community Congregational Church began 104 years ago when the Methodist Church disbanded. At first, the new congregation met in the school auditorium, but in 1928 the current sanctuary was built on the corner of Green and E streets. The 96-year-old building survived the 1952 earthquake and in 2024 is continually in use for worship, weddings and funerals. The anniversaries were...

  • Democrats learn about nature conservancy

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Apr 13, 2024

    The Frank and Joan Randall Preserve was the topic presented by Zachary Principe when he spoke to Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club. He has been an ecologist for 26 years and is project manager for the Preserve, which will enable greater movement and habitat connectivity for animals and plants. Democrats chose this topic for the April meeting in recognition of Earth Month. The Tehachapi foothills have been a lifeline for nature and people for hundreds of years, but land development and highway...

  • Don Kordes carvings on display at the Tehachapi Museum

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Apr 13, 2024

    Don Kordes was fondly remembered by Tehachapi Heritage League on April 3, which would have been his 99th birthday. Unfortunately, he passed away Oct. 23, 2023. He had contributed so much to THL from building shelves at the museum, to donating original carvings for fundraising prizes, to enhancing the Errea Garden with a perfect bird-house-size replica of the historic Errea House. A family of finches now occupies that little house. Many friends gathered in the museum for a memorial service led...

  • Democrats celebrate Earth Month

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Mar 30, 2024

    Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club will focus on the environment at its April 4 meeting, which will be held at Kelcy’s Restaurant at 5 p.m. All members and interested Democrats are invited to attend. Earth Month was established in 1970 as environmental dangers became increasingly apparent. Zachary Principe, Stewardship Manager of the Joan and Frank Randall Conservancy (TNC), as well as Andrew Clare, Stewardship Coordinator of The Nature Conservancy, will be the speakers. They will explain how TNC creates a Tehachapi wildlife corridor to c...

  • AAUW Tehachapi celebrates 40 years

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Mar 16, 2024

    Tehachapi Mountain Branch of American Association of University Women was chartered in March 1984 as the 93rd branch in California. This milestone 40th anniversary will be celebrated with a special program at the March 20 general meeting, which will be held at 4 p.m. in Friendship Hall of Tehachapi Community Church, 100 E. Green St. Anyone who has ever belonged to the Tehachapi Mountain Branch, or is interested in joining, is invited to attend. Come early to enjoy some birthday cake, coffee and...

  • Reading leads to writing books

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Mar 16, 2024

    Larry Trapp served in Vietnam as an air traffic controller, and during breaks he had time to think. He thought about his high school years and how he enjoyed classes at Bakersfield High School. However, he admitted that he just got by in many of his classes. He did not take advantage of all that was available to him. He decided to make up for that wasted time and vowed to read more. When he was home on leave, he bought a big stack of books, which he took back to Vietnam. In his words, he became a “book junkie,” reading in every spare mom...

  • Local author welcomes visitors

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Feb 17, 2024

    Linda McDermott will be featured as the Author of the Month at Tehachapi Museum on Saturday, March 2. She will be there to answer questions and talk about the books she has written. It is an informal session, so drop in any time between noon and 4 p.m. to visit with her. It’s also a good opportunity to spend some time seeing the museum. After McDermont’s children were “out of the nest,” and she retired from a career in human resources, she began travelling. She went to Alaska for two months with her dog and cat, and she adds, “I returned...

  • Democrats Zoom in on plans

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Feb 17, 2024

    Aware of a town in Washington state that has achieved many of the goals Tehachapi is working toward, the local Democratic club wanted to hear ideas from former mayor of Mt. Vernon, Jill Boudreau. It was much too far to travel to the February meeting of Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club, but Zoom made her appearance possible. Boudreau was elected in 2011 and served until Dec. 31, 2023. She stressed the importance of communication with local citizens, diversity in leadership, non-partisan...

  • Women succeed in Tehachapi

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Jan 6, 2024

    There are many successful women in Tehachapi. An example of one is Clare Scotti who will be the keynote speaker for the Jan. 17 meeting of American Association of University Women, Tehachapi Mountain Branch. She will speak about ways women find success in Tehachapi. Clare Scotti is an example of a successful women. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and started her own travel magazine. During her career she has been a substitute teacher, a real estate agent and a tour guide. She is currently the president of Greater Tehachapi Chamber o...

  • Cookie party, Dec. 9

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Dec 9, 2023

    It’s the season to bake cookies! Everyone likes cookies at Christmas time and the greater the variety, the better. There is an opportunity to attend a cookie party and choose the ones you like. However, you need to bring three dozen cookies you have made and exchange them for other kinds. There are even prizes for the best cookies. This cookie party takes place at Tehachapi Community Church on Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon until 3 p.m. Not only can you select cookies, you can have lunch. $5 cheeseburgers or hot dogs and chips will be sold from n...

  • December book of the month is historical

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Nov 25, 2023

    On the first Saturday of each month, Tehachapi Heritage League features a book by a local author. On Dec. 4, the book will be a reprint of two books written by Judy Barras. "The Formative Years" and "The Long Road to Tehachapi" have been combined into one volume. It is interesting to read and makes the perfect gift for any lover of Tehachapi History. Judy Barras moved to Tehachapi in 1965 and immediately became interested in the native people and the history of the area. She gathered...

  • Challenges confront women seeking equity

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Nov 25, 2023

    Women meet challenges as they seek equity. This was the topic for American Association of University Women at their November meeting when Shane McGarrett told about her life journey spending 45 years in aerospace. She was just 17 years old when she joined the military. After three years in the United States Air Force, she became one of the first women to be fully trained and certified as a jet engine mechanic at March Air Force Base. McGarrett wrote about the struggle to achieve her goals in...

  • Welcome to Christmas at the Museums

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Nov 25, 2023

    The Heritage League has announced events planned for December, beginning with a warm welcome to a 1930s Christmas at the Errea House, 113 S. Green St., Tehachapi. There will be a beautifully decorated tree, hot spiced cider, cookies and gingerbread. Come gather around the player piano and sing Christmas songs like the Errea family may have done long ago. Across the street at the museum there will be another decorated tree. The Museum Store will have delightful gifts for sale including local...

  • Marisa Wood is ready to serve

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Nov 11, 2023

    With enthusiasm and determination, Marisa Wood described the reasons she is campaigning to represent California's 20th Congressional District. She told Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club members she is not a career politician, but she wants to be of service to the families she has come to know during her career as a public school teacher for the past 20 years. Everyday Wood sees how the families of her junior high students struggle to pay the bills, to clothe and feed their children, to obtain...

  • AAUW promotes women and girls

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Oct 28, 2023

    Exploring Opportunities for Women and Girls was the theme for the October meeting of American Association of University Women-Tehachapi Mountain Branch. Keynote speaker was Saya Novinger who spoke about life experiences and educational opportunities for women. Saya grew up living in seven different countries because her father, George Novinger was a diplomat in foreign service, and his career required frequent moves. This meant changing schools, friends and language about every two years. Saya...

  • Tech Trek encourages girls

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Oct 28, 2023

    Tech Trek is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) camp designed by American Association of University Women to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in eighth grade girls. It features hands-on activities in STEM-related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional and recreational facilities are located on a university campus. Linda Flores is Tech Trek coordinator for Tehachapi. This last year she worked with middle school science and math teachers who recommended camper...

  • Meet local author Dan Bronson, Nov. 4

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Oct 28, 2023

    Dan Bronson will be the featured author at Tehachapi Heritage League's Book of the Month event on the first Saturday in November. He will be at the Tehachapi Museum, 310 S. Green St., from noon until 4 p.m. on Nov. 4. Those interested in learning more about books, authors and writing should plan to come. After earning a doctorate at Princeton, Bronson taught English and American literature at DePauw University. However, his passion for movies led him to pursue another career as a story analyst...

  • Opportunities for women, Oct. 18

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Oct 14, 2023

    Exploring Opportunities for Women and Girls is the theme for the Oct. 18 meeting of American Association of University Women, Tehachapi Mountain Branch. Keynote speaker is Saya Novinger who will speak about educational opportunities leading to careers for women. She is the Marketing Specialist for Career Technical Education at Cerro Coso College. Saya Novinger grew up living in seven different countries because her father, George “Tom” Novinger, was a diplomat in foreign service, and his career required frequent moves. Saya learned a different...

  • Democrats plan activities

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Oct 14, 2023

    The Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club held its October meeting at Kelcy’s Restaurant on Oct. 5. The guest for the evening was John Burrows, candidate for the Congressional District 20 seat. It was Burrows second visit to Tehachapi. He was proud to announce that he has received an endorsement from the Dolores Huerta Foundation. He introduced his Campaign Organizer, Bryan Beltran, who also serves as a Regional Organizer for the Democratic Party. Club President Yvette Benton reviewed a number of club activities. Among them is a trash cleanup a...

  • Artist donates paintings

    Phyllis Belcher, contributing writer|Oct 14, 2023

    When Helen McAllister retired and moved to Tehachapi, interest in history inspired her to paint some of the historic buildings in the area. The paintings were much admired, so Helen featured them on note cards which she sold for several years. In 1995, Helen began donating paintings to the owners of the buildings represented. Kelcy's Restaurant, Depot Railroad Museum, Tehachapi Community Church and Keene Café were all recipients of her art. Recently she found the perfect place for the painting...

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