Welcome to Bakersfield Observed, now online only. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special place. We value your feedback. Email your news and notes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* ... RACIST YOGA: Next time you grab your mat and head downtown for a little yoga, check your racism at the door. That's right, a Michigan State professor says white people who practice the downward facing dog are contributing to a "system of power, privilege and oppression." The
* ... ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which this week announced a lawsuit against the Bakersfield Police Department for allegedly jailing an African-American man for refusing to answer an officer's "invasive" questions, is opening its first Central Valley office here in Bakersfield. No word on exactly where the ACLU will be located or what month it will open.
* ... PUBLIC HISTORY INSTITUTE: Did you know that Cal State Bakersfield has a Public History Institute focused on preserving, chronicling and sharing with the public our rich local history? History professor Miriam Vivian told me the institute has reams of digital files on local topics of interest including the Dust Bowl, the Bakersfield Sound, oral histories and the experience of African-Americans in Kern County.
* ... MARK ABERNATHY: If you doubt the influence of the late Republican political consultant Mark Abernathy, consider this: over his long career he helped manage the campaigns of almost 350 candidates, and he left this world with a 97 percent victory rate. That is astonishing by any standards, and it is why so many Republican candidates in Kern County sought out Abernathy and his firm Western Pacific Research. His surviving wife, Cathy Abernathy, is no slouch herself, having served as chief of staff for former Congressman Bill Thomas for more than 20 years.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly, remember there’s some millionaire walking around who invented the Pool Noodle."
* ... MEMORIES: Check out this photo I found on Facebook. Its caption: "In the 196's, The Leland Four performed at Arvin High School. My understanding, they performed serval times after that at AHS. This photo is the Leland Four performing at the AHS Christmas Formal the Band Members are Lee, Spud, Rick, and Pineapple."