Thursday, September 24, 2020

Gov. Newsom's plan to outlaw the sale of gas powered cars and trucks: political theater or a grim new reality that could devastate parts of California? Plus the loss of Camp Kern and a new seafood restaurant comes to town

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... WAR ON FOSSIL FUELS: If you don't think Gov. Gavin Newsom's decision ban the sale of gas powered cars and trucks in California won't have a devastating effect on Kern County, well think again. We all know how much oil and gas production contribute to our economy here (just think about all the

people you know who are employed by those industries), and most of those jobs are relatively high paying and yet we have a governor who seems more than willing to watch the 9th largest city in his state dry up and die. And for what? If you think we will have cleaner air in California because of Newsom's gambit, you are wrong. That won't happen until the thousands of out of state trucks stop stop working our highways (and that will never happen), and more importantly, when China and India decide to stop constructing hundreds of coal plants over the next two decades (and that also is unlikely to occur). Like climate change, air pollution is a global issue not confined by artificial national or state boundaries. In this case Gavin's move is a largely symbolic one that may appeal to his base but does little to improve our air or curtail climate change.

 * ... ALSOP RESPONDS: This was county CAO Ryan Alsop's response to Newsom's actions, sent in a Tweet: "A 40% decline in #KernCounty's oil & gas property assessment role would result in a $24 million revenue loss to the County.  Perspective: 66 additional new e-commerce facilities (Amazons) would be needed to replace that lost revenue primarily used to fund public safety services."

 * ... GROVE AND FONG RESPOND: State Sen. Shannon Grove minced no words in attacking Newsom's order. "This is Legislative malpractice," she said. "Once again, the Governor alters the course of our states history by executive order without the approval of the California Legislature." Assemblyman Vince Fong also held on punches, putting it this way: “Reality does not care about political theater. The reality is that there are real costs and job loss, particularly in the Central Valley, due to Gavin Newsom’s decisions today. The responsible thing to do right now is to ensure we have sound energy policy that will provide an affordable, reliable, and sustainable path forward for everyone. Newsom is increasing costs by pushing more burdensome regulations at a time of great difficulty for many Californians. This is out-of-touch behavior at its finest.”

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Went to the office for the first time in seven months and it was nice to see I'm not the only one getting fat."

 * ... CAMP KERN: Camp Kern, which has hosted thousands of young Boy Scouts from Kern County over the years, burned to the ground in the Camp Fire but organizers say it will be rebuilt. This picture was posted on Facebook with the following caption: "Throughout society and culture all around the world, a bell has a multitude of symbolic meanings and purposes. Bells can symbolize beginnings and endings, a call to order, or even a command or a warning. At Our Camp Kern, the symbol of our bell encompasses all of these. At the beginning and end of each week, we ring the bell to acknowledge the passage of time, a new group of Campers, and the beginning of the transitory generation. The bell-ringing tradition is more than just a routine gathering; it is an opportunity to recognize all the hard work that campers and staff put in every session. Mother Nature was invited to ring the bell, with pride, to recognize the hard work and efforts of our firefighters and volunteers. This symbolized the end of an Era at Camp Kern and the start of Southern Sierra Council’s journey into the future. Our Bell was not discouraged by the fire. When it was all said and done, it had gone through it all, it came out standing strong."

* ... STOLEN AUTOS: What are the most common cars and trucks stolen in Kern County? Well according to police, here are the top five most stolen autos here: the 1998 Honda Civic, 1996 Honda Accord, 2004 Chevrolet pickups, 1991 Camry and Ford F-150s. Across the nation the tops tier includes GMC pickups, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Chevy pickups and Ford F-150s.

 * ... FISH GRILL: A new seafood restaurant is coming to Bakersfield. California Fish Grill, which currently has a location in Irvine, has announced it will be opening on California Avenue, date uncertain. The restaurant specializes in fish, shrimp, salads and cocktails.

 * .... MEMORIES: A couple of interesting old photos I picked up off the various Facebook pages devoted to our shared history.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Dr. Brij Bhambi raps a Los Angeles Times column and the "sanctimonious" attitude of his critics on the Rosedale Inn decision, and calls out Homeless Collaborative director Anna Lavin

 Editor's note: The Bakersfield City Council voted unanimously not to use a crime-infested hotel to lodge the homeless after owners of the Bakersfield Heart Hospital objected, citing the safety of its employees and patients and the deplorable conditions in the nearby hotel. That led to a Los Angeles Times column in which the decision was described as "dispiriting .... and laughable" while singling out for criticism people Sheriff Donny Youngblood, District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and physician and owner Dr. Brij Bhambi. In this column, Bhambi responds to columnist Erika Smith and has some special words for Anna Lavin, head of the Kern County Homeless Cooperative. 

Frying Pan and Oven... Advice I heard is dangerous, good advice fatal.
 "The Homeless Collaborative has a noble mission of trying to help the most disempowered. Homelessness is a scourge that's unworthy of a wealthy nation like the USA. Homeless need compassion and material help to lead them to safe shelter with goal of eventual rehabilitation. Homelessness is not monochromatic. It is a complex problem that has many moving hardship, physical handicaps, psych disorders, addiction among others. Unfortunately, some of the elements involved invite violence, vandalism and worse. 
 "Homelessness demands a comprehensive, well considered and coordinated solution. Piecemeal approach can act as a temporary, soothing bandaid to a lucky recipient, without addressing the problem as a whole. Useful but not sufficient.
 "Kern Count has roughly 1,600 homeless, most of them in Bakersfield. The Room Key initiative wanted to park 20 homeless at Rosedale Inn. A sense of proportion is relevant. Twenty out of 1,600 for a few weeks. The narrowness of the initiative and brief period of “shelter” is confounding. Lotto approach to homeless misery escapes comprehension.
Now comes the advice part.
"Bakersfield Heart Hospital has prided itself in being the premier healthcare facility that provides world class care. Our employees are the reason for our success and service. Workplace safety is a basic necessity. Our employees and our patients have been repeatedly vandalized and threatened by some of the residents and visitors from Rosedale Inn. Our employees have regularly complained about the pervasive threat from this Inn at the doorsteps of Heart Hospital and multiple doctors offices. Our cameras have captured videos of violence and gunfires on numerous occasions at the Inn. We are grateful for the promptness and responsiveness of BPD to address these challenges.

"In early August 2020, we belatedly found out that Homeless Collaborative had tried to take homelessness head on. They decided to park 20 out of 1,600 patients at the Inn. We felt duty bound to do the due diligence for the Collaborative and bring to their attention three things. Things we learned by living and working at Heart Hospital for last over 20 years.
First, if the Collaborative poured more money in to Inn, it would likely worsen the problem of vandalism and violence on the premises of Heart Hospital.
Second, it would most definitely aggravate the sense of insecurity among employees and patients.
Third, and most importantly, the action to park helpless and elderly in a place afflicted with violence and addiction would likely expose the homeless to more danger. Most people get that simple logic.

"The City Council most assuredly did and decisively defeated the ill considered proposal in a 7-0 vote. A prudent move to protect the homeless from clear and present danger at the Inn.
But the Collaborative official must have felt slighted and in a fit of self righteousness went across the Grapevine to LA Times to discredit all institutions, democratic process, City Council and Bakersfield as a whole with crimes of hypocrisy and heartlessness.
Some direct quotes from LA Times article ascribed to Ms Anna Laven: “Expected to hear excuses” in City Council meeting. It was even worse and found it “Ridiculous and laughable”.

"Some respect for democratic, civic institutions before, during and after the hearings. Self confidence is inspiring!

The article goes on its considered judgment to comment “Unsurprisingly Sheriff Donny Youngblood and DA Cynthia Zimmer were the architects of the cockamamie and legally dubious plan."

And wait, if you think you have been spared the benefit of unsolicited wisdom, the article throws ALL of us under the bus: “Bakersfield set the bar lower. Which is saying something, because the bar there was already pretty low.” 

Ohhh we the pathetic souls in Bakersfield stand reminded of our miserable existence.

And to remind us of her investigative rigor, the good reporter in LA Times writes “Over the weekend, I went to check it out.”

Truth be told, a day trip cheated her of real experience. Next time she may wanna stick around and book a room for a weekend or two. Proximate experiences can be more instructive. Being in the neighborhood for good twenty years gives us clear eyed perspective devoid of pseudo moralistic fantasy. The Inn is a hotbed of lawlessness and disorder. Our video surveillance has live evidence, accessible to BPD.

(The latest episode in the Inn unfolded in early hours of 9/21/20 with the usual mix of gun fire, physical violence, gang fight and drugs. Perfect “shelter” for the helpless. How many of us will rent a room for our parents and grandparents there?)

 "The impulse to judge through preconceived notions may be tempting and sanctimonious, (but) it sure is flawed. To trash facts and build a ladder of career advancement by subjecting the helpless to deliberate harm is an unattractive path. Certainly for those of us who have lived and served in Bakersfield.

To paraphrase the good reporter from LA Times: There is a new low. 

It's a low she dug for herself and homeless. I intend to believe she will keep digging. It is a shame that purported moralism preached by these “prophets” is a one-way street. My way or my way. Disgrace...both ways! Counterfeit motives and exhibitionist piety.

 "In Medicine we have a simple rule. First do no harm. To save someone from frying pan to drop them in oven lacks both charity and wisdom. People in Bakersfield get that simple logic.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

A dozen private schools are allowed to open in Kern County, a couple hundred trucks hold a pro-Trump patriotic rally and Dutch Brothers Coffee opens to a gang buster's business

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... SCHOOLS REOPEN: There is some good news for some local private schools: 17 school have been given waivers to reopen amid the coronavirus. So far a total of 20 schools have been allowed to

reopen and 17 of them are private facilities. Among those reopening will be St. Francis Parish School, Stockdale Christian, Heritage Oak School and Northwest Christian Schools.

* ... PATRIOTISM: The Stars and Stripes were on full display this weekend with a patriotic and pro-Trump rally turned out more than 300 cars and trucks over the weekend. It was called the Corona Trump Cruise and for a few hours, the stretch along Brimhall Road near Silver Oak Park was a sea of American flags and Trump supporters decked out to enjoy the day and pledge their support for their country and their president. The caravan eventually made its way to Chuy's Mesquite Grill on Stockdale Highway.

* ... PARK AT RIVER WALK:  There was some kind of incident at the Park at River Walk Sunday afternoon when a person was rushed to the hospital after being pulled out of one of the lakes. There are few details available but police said the unidentified person was in serious condition after something happened in one of the ponds.

 * ... COVID TESTING: Hall Ambulance has been offering free Cover-19 testing all weekend and will continue the offer through Monday. If you missed it, head over to Hall Ambulance for free Covid-19 testing from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday.

 * ... DUTCH BROTHERS: When a new restaurant opens in Bakersfield, you can bet it will be jammed for a few weeks (or months) before the novelty wears off. But what is going on with the opening of Dutch Brothers Coffee on the east side is nothing short of miraculous. The Fresno-based coffee chain opened last week and every day there are literally dozens of cars waiting, wrapped around the nearby Lowe's and spilling into the parking lot. I don't know what they serve there, but it better be good.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out these pictures posted by my friend John Kelley who specializes in photos of old Bakersfield. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

A fire guts Carpet Cave in Bakersfield, feuds among family members are more common than you might think, RIP to Desi the rescue dog and Sir Richard Branson to speak at CSUB

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... FAMILY FEUDS: You might be surprised how many American families are somewhat dysfunctional, with one of the most common issues being family members who no longer speak to each

other. And according to the Wall Street Journal, this is a lot more common than you imagine. The Journal said about 25 percent of the U.S. population is estranged from one family member, and the average length of this estrangement is four years. Some of the most common conflicts: disputes over money, conflicts over inheritance and getting along with in-laws.

 * ... CARPET CAVE: One of Bakersfield's long-standing businesses, Carpet Cave, went up in flames Thursday morning in a fire that looked to destroy the entire building. The Carpet Cave warehouse on Sumner near Union Avenue caught fire early Thursday, threatening nearby businesses and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages. No word on the cause of the blaze. Carpet Cave has been in business for more than 40 years in Kern County.

 * ... RIP DESI THE DOG: It's not often you find obituaries for dogs in your local newspaper, but then Desi the rescue dog was something special. Desi died at the age of 13, and to commemorate a life well lived its owners took out an obit in The Bakersfield Californian. "In May 2009, Desi and hundreds of other dogs were living at a Mojave Desert rescue' nightmare run by two hoarders. Kern County Animal Services brought numerous animal cruelty charges against the hoarders. A jury found them guilty and their sentences included jail time and hefty fines," the obit read. "Desi was so ecstatic to be freed from her hellish surroundings that she tried to drive Liz's truck back to Bakersfield on Highway 58. It was a challenge to keep her on the passenger side of the truck." Desi apparently led a rich life until she was diagnosed with dementia last August and could no longer walk.  "Dr. Cliff Van Kopp, who treated Desi while she lived in Bakersfield, kindly agreed to provide an emergency appointment for us. Desi loved Dr. Van Kopp, Diane, Sarah, Simone and all the Stockdale Vet staff. Assisted by Diane, Dr Van Kopp gently and compassionately facilitated Desi's trip to Rainbow Bridge."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: How old were you before you realized that "racecar" spelled backwards is... "racecar."

 * ... RICHARD BRANSON: Richard Branson, the serial entrepreneur and founder of Virgin airlines, will speak to CSUB students and faculty as part of a program to celebrate the first day of classes back in 1970. Because of the pandemic, Branson will appear on Zoom in a discussion moderated by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. CSUB president Lynnette Zelezny called Branson a "visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist" who serves as "an example to CSUB's students of excellence and ingenuity."

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this post from Art Moore on the Facebook page Kern County of Old: "1916 - The family name of "Weringer" appears on this photo. Members of this family were active in Bakersfield in a variety  of businesses, from breweries to vaudeville houses to general stores,  at least from the mid 19th century. What business this particular crew  was apart of on Dec 13, 1916 we do not know."


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Two LA County sheriff's deputies are ambushed while a crowd gathers at a hospital to chant for their deaths, a shooting at Area Park in Bakersfield and CVS Pharmacy to offer Covid-19 testing

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... DEPUTIES SHOT: Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse, it does. Race relations are on a razor's edge, protesters burn and look with reckless abandon, and now it seems it is open season on police officers. This weekend, in Compton in LA County, two sheriff's deputies were ambushed while

sitting in their patrol vehicle. Both of them, one a young mother at 31 and the other her 24-year-old deputy partner, are hanging onto life at St. Francis hospital. And if that were not horrific enough, a crowd gathered at the hospital and started chanting "Let them die" and "let the bitch die" while blocking the entrance. Is this where our country is? Is this Donald Trump's fault or have we become so soft on criminal and crime that ambushing police officers is now the norm? Tomorrow (Monday) on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM on The Richard Beene Show, I will chat with Pastor Angelo Frazier of Riverlakes Community Church to get take on this new low of race relations in our country.

 * ... COVID TESTING: CVS Pharmacy is now offering free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at five of its Bakersfield locations. The tests will be offered at the CVS pharmacies on Ming Avenue, Union Avenue, Rosedale Highway, Stine Road and Mt. Vernon Road. Appointments are required and people are asked to stay in their cars as they go through the drive-thru lanes.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: You know what’s more annoying than cops? People who buy old refurbished cop cars and keep the spotlight attached. We all hate you."

 * ... PARK SHOOTING: Did you hear about the shooting at Aera Park over the weekend? That's right, a shooting at one of Bakersfield's nicest and newest parks in yet another sign that we live in uncertain times. Bakersfield police said it happened about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, injuring three people. When police arrived they said some 200 people had gathered at the park. Officers said three different shell casings were found, indicating at least three different weapons were used in the shooting. 

 * ... 24th STREET: The long, litigious nightmare of widening 24th Street is coming to an end and not a day too soon. City officials say they are now restricting 24th Street and that should take several days, along with installing landscaping on both the north and south sides of the road. In all, it should be done in a month or so.

 * ... TAFT MEMORIES: Take a walk down memory lane with these pictures of Taft back in the day.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

City Council votes against a homeless hotel near Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Labor Day revelers trash our own Hart Park and local among those rescued in the Cedar Fire

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... PROJECT ROOMKEY: It was a tough call, but the Bakersfield City Council did the right thing in voting unanimously to reject plans to use a hotel near the Bakersfield Heart Hospital as the site to temporarily house the homeless. The idea was called Project Roomkey, which envisions using local hotels to house the homeless during this Covid-19 pandemic. Anna Lavin, executive director of the Kern County homeless collaborative, said she was disappointed in the vote especially when she felt city staff had

supported the idea. But while Lavin and others urge compassion when it comes to the homeless, what about the surrounding businesses that must subject their own customers to to the endless parade of homeless and the problems they often bring: trash, filth, drug use, mental illness and a host of unsanitary conditions? The project ran into a buzzsaw when Dr. Brij Bhambi, a local cardiologist and one of the Heart Hospital Owners, urged the Council to vote down the idea because of the safety issues it raises with the hundreds of people, patients, employees and visitors who drop by the hospital campus daily. Let's be honest here: what local business, particularly one that serves people who already are ailing from medical conditions, want their customers to be forced to walk the gauntlet of the homeless just to get treatment?Project Roomkey is a sound idea but this was not the right location.

 * ... CREEK FIRE: You can thank the creek fire, roaring and threatening Shaver and Huntington lakes, for the bad air quality in Kern County. While the fires rage, dozens of hikers and campers have been rescued in the Sierras, including weather forecaster Aaron Perlman of KBAK TV and his wife, who had been in the area camping. (file photos of rescues)

 * ... CRESSMAN'S: If you are a regular visitor to Shaver Lake, chances are you may have stopped at Cressman's General Store to gas up or to buy a sandwich. Well, Cressman's did not make it, burned to the ground over this past weekend, another casualty of the Cedar Creek Fire. Cressman's was well known to Valley residents and it once hosted the Heavenly Half marathon as a starting point.

 * ... TRASH AND LITTER: Hart Park, which has struggled for years with trash and litter, was left a mess after the long Labor Day weekend. Huge crowds descended on Hart Park Sunday on the banks of the Kern River, leaving literally mountains of trash. A resident of Round Mountain Road, CSUB professor Dr Jeanine Kraybill, snapped a picture of the trash days after the weekend and wrote a personal note to the Kern County Board of Supervisors. It read: "I realize this is a very challenging time in terms of providing resources to clean up the trash left behind at the park and the illegal dumping that occurs out on RMR, but I would like to know how the County is and/or plans to continue to address this issue. I know I do not have to tell you the damaging environmental impact that dumped and left debris causes--this really is also a public health issue. I want to know if there are clean up crews still operating? What is being done by Park Rangers at Hart Park to combat against people leaving their trash?... I want us ALL (both residents of Kern County and visitors) to enjoy our public spaces. I love Hart Park--it is a special place, with so much potential---I am just heart-broken to see this. I am sure this is upsetting to you as well."

 * ... MEMORIES: Recognize this old building on 34th Street? Well according to the Kern County History Fans Facebook page, the old roller rink used to be home to Bell's Garden Supply, at least in this picture dated to 1949.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Smoke from the Creek fire near Shaver Lake descends over Kern County, protesters gather at the personal residence of Rep. Kevin McCarthy and the cancel culture muffles free speech

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... FREE SPEECH: If you are like a lot of people, the world has become so polarized that it's better just to keep your mouth shut. Mention you support Joe Biden, or Donald Trump, and you may lose

friends. Researchers say it is increasingly common for people to hold their beliefs to themselves, lest they incur the wrath for simply saying how they feel. The New York Times reported that 62 percent of all Americans agreed with this statement: "The political climate these days prevents me from saving things I believe because others might find them offensive." That includes 77 percent of self identified conservatives and also 52 percent of liberals.

 * ... CREEK FIRE: You can thank the Creek fire up near Shaver Lake for much of the bad air that has descended over Kern County, but it remains a dangerous situation near the lake. The Visalia Times-Delta reported that at least 20 people were injured the fire and thousands of families had been forced to evacuate from the Sierra National Forest during the Labor Day holiday weekend. More than 40,000 acres have been consumed in the fire and the National Guard is using military helicopters to rescue people stranded at the lakefront. (fire photos courtesy of KMPH and The Fresno Bee)

 * ... KMAC PROTEST: I am not sure what was worse: the fact that a group of protesters rallied outside of Kevin McCarthy's personal residence, or the utter ridiculousness of their demands. Let's be clear here: nobody broke the law when a couple dozen young protesters showed up at 4:30 a.m. to harass the McCarthy family, even if it was in such poor taste that seems beyond question. But the real fun was reading the "demands" from the protesters: including that McCarthy end his support for oil and natural gas or resign. Unknown up to this point, the groups included the Sunrise Movement, Kern County Hub, Our Revolution Kern County and Kern Young Democrats. And, let's be fair here, it's not a true 2020 protest unless it includes some kind of charge about white supremacy. Which, of course, this one did.  “We have a message for all local, state and federal Kern County politicians,” the group said in a statement. “If you don’t work to dismantle the white supremacist ideals that devalues (Black, indigenous and people of color) lives, if you don’t advocate for a just transition for workers while moving away from fossil fuels, you need to resign.”

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "My boss said 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.' Now I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman."

 * ... ATTACK AD: Did you see the advertisement attacking Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the Sunday Bakersfield Californian? The full page advertisement was taken out by, a non-profit that supports Democratic candidates and policies.

 * ... MEMORIES: I ran across the old pictures from Taft - they actually were postcards - on the Kern County of Old Facebook page.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And check out this postcard of the old Southern Hotel thanks to the Kern County History Fans Facebook page.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer criticizes a Superior Court judge for going soft on crime, Wool Grower's opens for outdoor dining and longtime tennis pro Hank Pfister prepares to retire

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... CYNTHIA ZIMMER: District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer has come under fire for criticizing a Superior Court judge for alleged having a "pro criminal bias" when handing down sentencing. The Criminal Defense Bar of Kern County said Zimmer's comment "undermines the public's confidence in the judicial system and is affront to the principles reflected in the Constitution." A statement went on to say

that "these comments instill fear in and pressure on all judges to act in accordance with the prosecutions wishes or face unfair attacks on their integrity." Zimmer has defended her statements and said the public should be well informed about where judges stand on crime and sentencing.

 * ... WOOL GROWERS: KC Steakhouse has enjoyed good success with its "Stockyard" outdoor dining, and now Woolgrowers has introduced its own version of that called the "Sheep Camp." The popular Basque eatery said seating was limited and it urged customers to make reservations.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "While I was talking to a young colleague the other day I discovered that she's never seen 'Pulp Fiction.' As I prepared to exclaim my disbelief, I realized SHE HADN'T YET BEEN BORN WHEN IT WAS RELEASED."

 * ... RETIREMENT: Congratulations to Hank Pfister, the longtime tennis pro at Stockdale Country Club who is retiring in October. Once one of the top ranked singles players in the world, Pfister enjoyed a long career on the professional circuit before returning to Bakersfield where he eventually landed at Stockdale Country Club. Pfister said he and his wife, Kim, plan to spend time at a ranch they purchased in the lower Sierras. At one time Pfister was ranked No. 12 in the world in professional tennis.

 * ... RIP FRANK HOOVER: Former Kern County Superior Court Judge Frank Hoover died this week, leaving a legacy for honesty, wit and treating everyone with dignity. For a time Hoover presided a "drug court" where he was known for his equitable treatment of people dealing with difficult times. His son posted this on Facebook: "Maybe during these hard times, with the pandemic, ever growing political division, and natural disasters, we can pay homage to the memory of Frank Hoover by taking a moment to reflect on his belief that, ultimately, we are all human, that we all need to be loved, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and belonging, and that by giving it we can make real and lasting difference in the lives of people around us. Can you think of someone today that needs to hear from you? Can you think of anyone that would benefit from being given a hand up?"

 * ... MEMORIES: I picked up this old photo of the area that became Lake Isabella off the Kern County History Fans Facebook page. The picture dates from July, 1927.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And how about this classic shot of Chester Avenue, looking toward the clock tower, in the mid 1930s? Courtesy of the Kern County of Old Facebook page.