Sunday, February 4, 2018

Monday's Bakersfield Observed: Taft landmarks appear in a Super Bowl ad, a chat with former Centennial and USC great Cody Kessler, a new salad joint opens up downtown combat veteran Chad Garcia to appear on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM

Monday, February 5, 2018

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 

 * ... TAFT: If you spotted a few familiar scenes during the Super Bowl commercials, you were not
alone. It turns out Toyota filmed its commercial in Taft, and it included scenes of the iconic Oasis bar and restaurant, the First Baptist Church and the historic Fox theater.

* ... MOVING UP: Jimmy Phillips, who spent 10 years at Adventist Health Bakersfield/San Joaquin Community Hospital, has been promoted to the group's Regional Director of Marketing for Adventist Health's Southern California Region. Said Phillips: "My responsibilities will be to oversee all marketing activities for our hospitals in Glendale, East LA and Simi Valley, along with our clinics throughout the Greater LA area. Even though I'll be saying goodbye to Adventist Health in Bakersfield, Natalie and I will continue to make our home here (and I will get to know the Grapevine really well). Thanks to all our family and friends for the support over the years. It means more than you know. "

 * ... DIGNAN: And congratulations to Brian Dignan who has been named athletic director at Garces Memorial High School. He previously served as the school's head men's basketball coach.

* ... CODY KESSLER: I chatted with Cody Kessler the other day to catch up with the Centennial and USC grad who is now a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. He was home here in Bakersfield, headed to the Super Bowl and then on to Newport Beach for off season training. Kessler is hopeful to win the starting job after seeing little action last year. He says he is fit and ready to help turn the Browns around. And ... his favorite place to eat when he comes home? Salty's BBQ he told me.

 * ... HEALTHY EATING: I have wondered for a long time why Bakersfield doesn't have more restaurants devoted to healthy salads. Well, one just opened downtown on 19th and Eye Streets called "Tossit" and it features make it yourself salads for under $10. The owner, Gabby Gonzalez, told me they hope to capitalize on the healthy eating trend without sacrificing quality. Check it out. Tossit is on Eye Street in the same building that houses Metro Galleries and Jin Sushi.

 * ... FOODIE: Speaking of healthy eating, our local Eureka burger will start selling the new, leaner, grass and carrot fed Santa Carota beef burger this Thursday. The beef is from a local cattle ranching family and is leaner and moister than the more fatty versions found around town.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I found a horse’s head in my bed this morning, and that’s when I knew things were getting serious with my overdue balance at Comcast."

 * ... OLD PHOTO: Check this photo out from the Facebook page Kern County of Old: "Buck Owens' Buckmobile N Chester Ave and RR tracks Oildale about 1975. Photo courtesy of Thomas Bethune (thanks Tom)."

 * ... TUNE IN: On Tuesday this week, I will be chatting with combat veteran Chad Garcia on a wide range of veterans issues- from PTSD, to suicide to adjusting to life after years in a combat zone. Garcia is a former producer for the recently fired Jaz McKay radio host and was at the center of his dismissal, and his personal story is reflective of the challenges that many veterans face. Garcia will appear Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM.

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