Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Burglaries, break-ins and thefts are exploding across Bakersfield as California's prison realignment program dumps hundreds of felons onto our streets

* ... CRIME: Hardly a day goes by when I don't hear a story of a burglary, break-in or some type of petty theft that seem to happen anywhere and everywhere across town. In the past week alone a couple in Westchester awoke to find a man on drugs standing in their kitchen, a friend in Oleander returned to find his entire house and garage ransacked and a reader in The Oaks had his truck broken into. District Attorney Lisa Green told me that the total number of "complaint requests" (potential crimes passed to her office from Bakersfield area police agencies) has jumped a whopping 33 percent over this time last year. She attributed it directly to the ongoing prison realignment program that is dumping hundreds of lower level offenders on our streets. "It's not a popular thing to say," she told me, "but people who would otherwise be in state prison are out there committing crimes." (file photo Lisa Green)

* ... BECKWITH: I chatted recently with Ryan Beckwith, the (relatively) new athletic director at Bakersfield College. Along with his counterpart at CSUB, Jeff Konya, these two men have brought new energy to our local colleges. One side note about Beckwith that you may not know: he was training to make the U.S. Olympic decathlon team when he decided to take the Bakersfield College job. (file photo of Ryan Beckwith)

* ... SPOTTED: Hats off to the middle aged woman who was spotted on the Panorama Bluffs early Monday morning, picking up the trash that other people who park along Panorama had tossed from their cars.

 * ... MORE KETCHUP! Longtime Bakersfield resident R. Bussard wrote that he was at the Chevron and McDonald's at Rosedale Highway and Allen Road on Monday when he heard a loud, angry voice coming from a grey Ford Excursion parked at the curb. "She was loudly complaining to someone in the vehicle that she ordered a hamburger with ketchup only" but received an "(expletive) cheeseburger" instead, yelling at the occupant to get out and change the order.  "...With that the back door opened and a 7 or 8 year old girl climbed out with the wrong burger in hand and went inside.  I was standing 40 to 50 feet away so I turned and looked towards the unhappy lady. She appeared overweight as she waited and used a cell-phone to text.  Soon the youngster came back with the correct sandwich. As she drove off with her mouth full I read the large stencils on the back window: 'Redneck Girls.' Appropriate."

 * ... TUTTI FRUITTI: I finally ventured over to the Tutti Fruitti yogurt shop on a steaming Saturday recently and learned what the fuss was all about. Folks in the Southwest have been raving about this place for months, and its two-for-one Daily Deal offer in the Californian set an all-time record for sales. Well, it's worth it. Check it out in the Town and Country Shopping Center at the corner of Gosford Road and Stockdale Highway the next time you need a refreshing snack.

* ... QUAKE MEMORIES: Linda Harden Brammer was living in Alameda when the great earthquake of 1952 hit, and she remembers the initial false reports that the oilfields west of Bakersfield had been set on fire. "My grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins lived in Taft at the time and my mom was worried sick. Phone lines were down and calls just did not go through. My dad got emergency leave from the Navy and our family made a trip down to Taft. Of course, everyone was okay. While we were down here, we made a trip around the area and took many photos, even going up to Tehachapi and photographing the damage there. "

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield if "you got your television tubes tested at the Thrifty's in Hillcrest."


Anonymous said...

Did they get R. Bussard's order correct? I hope so!

kaantiquer said...

The Mc Donald's ladies shame was her mouth, not her sillouette...

Anonymous said...

Another fatty reference! Hate those fatties!

Kern County Kids Read said...

I heard crime was up more like 42%.