Wednesday, January 10, 2018
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 such a special place. We value your feedback. Email your news and notes (good form, bad form, kids doing well, anniversaries, observations) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* ... ALAN TANDY: City Manager Alan Tandy says his top three priorities this year will be dealing with a budget crisis, completing the transportation infrastructure projects like the 24th Street widening and the Centennial Corridor, and funding the police department to fight crime. Tandy also told me, during a wide ranging interview on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM, that at 69 years old he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
* ... GRIMMWAY: It looks like longtime general counsel Jeffrey Green is out at Grimmway Farms. The privately owned company is not talking about what happened, but I have confirmed that Green's long tenure with the carrot company is over. Green worked for Grimmway for 27 years and he told me is now figuring out the next step forward. Green is married to District Attorney Lisa Green, who has announced she will not run for reelection.
* ... SILVER FOX: The Silver Fox Starlite Lounge, which recently reopened after an extensive renovation, is partnering with Salty's BBQ to provide food service. According to Rod and Julie Crawford, the Starlite's owners, Salty's will be serving from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. It all starts next Monday, Jan. 15.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "There's water falling from the sky in Los Angeles. Grab your gluten-free, vegan, certified organic supplies, and take cover!"
* ... TAXES: All those tax and fee hikes passed by the California legislature are starting to show up in our lives. Chris Padham is one who noticed the new fees when he went to the DMV to renewal his motorcycle registration. Check this out: "Just paid the registration fee on my 16 year old motorcycle. Last year was $109, this year $148. And I have three more vehicles coming up. A good thing the economy is picking up so I can afford the privilege of paying for the crazy train, and public transportation and without a doubt the general fund. Who knows, maybe even some left over to improve the roads:"
* ... BAD FORM: I won't name names, because that is besides the point, but I was alerted to perhaps one of the worst examples of bad form that I have seen in a long time. It turns out two 10 year olds were friends and one was mildly developmentally disabled. When the disabled child returned home after spending the night with his friend, he carried a note from his friend's mother. In it, the mother proclaimed the friendship was off because the disabled child liked cartoons that the mother deemed "too young" for her son, as well as the fact the disabled child occasionally shook his hands involuntarily. She said she didn't want her son picking up those habits so the disabled child was no longer welcome. This left me speechless. How about this mom: you should celebrate your son befriending someone with special needs. It may teach him patience, empathy and understanding and at the end of the day make him a better person. Shame on you, mom.
* ... RIDGE ROUTE: Did you know that Ulysses S. Grant Jr., one of two sons of the famous ex president and Union Civil War general, died at the Sandberg Summit Hotel on the old Ridge Route that connected Los Angeles and Bakersfield? Grant had come west and settled in San Diego, speculating in real estate and building a hotel, and was staying at the Sandberg when he died in September of 1929 at the age of 77. The Sandberg was located just south of Gorman and was a favorite haunt for the rich and famous on their way to and from Los Angeles.