Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Nine year old Girl Scout sells 300 boxes of cookies in a single afternoon ... in front of a pot shop. Meanwhile look to Adventist Health for some smart marketing and bee keepers descend on the San Joaquin Valley

Wednesday, February 7, 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

 * ... GIRL SCOUTS: Did you hear about the 9-year-old Girl Scout who sold more than 300 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in a single afternoon? It turns out the young lady picked the perfect spot to
peddle her wares: right in front of the Urbn Leaf marijuana dispensary in San Diego. Now that is a brilliant bit of marketing. The annual cookie sale does not begin for another week but the Girl Scouts allow booth sales earlier as long as they have a parent or guardian present.

* ... ADVENTIST HEALTH: Some of the best video marketing in town is being done by the folks over at Adventist Health Bakersfield (formerly known as San Joaquin Valley Hospital). Savvy marketers know that local sells, and messages that include local icons and personalities add a warmth and familiarity that speaks to where we all live. So check out the people and local businesses I spotted in one of Adventist's latest TV branding advertisements: former Assembly member Shannon Grove, Sheriff Donny Youngblood, Dewar's, Cafe Smitten and its owners, Luigi's and police chief Kyle Martin. Keep an eye on Adventist Health and the way it extends and markets its brand.

* ... BEE KEEPERS: I was out early this week playing pickle ball at the Bakersfield Racquet Club and met a man named Bill from Arkansas. It turns out he is a professional "bee broker" and he is in town for two months coordinating the trucking in of millions of bees to pollinate our almond orchards. Thirty years ago he said it was almost impossible to kill bees, yet today their lifespans have been greatly shorted by parasitic mites.

 * ...  INTEREST RATES: If you are looking to buy a home this year, you might want to speed up the process. As The New York Times said: "A decade long era of easy access to money engineered by central banks in Asia, Europe and the United Staters" is ending "opening a new chapter in which corporations would have to pay more to borrow and ordinary people would have to pay more to finance homes, cars and other purchases." Scott Berry of San Joaquin Valley Mortgage told me we can expect two to three hikes in interest rates this year.

* ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: I saw this on my friend John Kelley's Facebook page: "It was during a heat wave in August one summer when I saw this sign on a telephone pole. 'Garage sale this Sunday 7 a.m. until 100 degrees.'"

* ... MEMORIES: Check out this old postcard of Bill Lee's Bamboo Chopsticks that I found on my favorite Facebook page, Kern County of Old. From Art Moore's post: "Here is an early postcard view of Bill Lee's Bamboo Chopsticks on the SW Corner of 18th Street at M Street in Bakersfield. (ca 1940's / 50's) Bill Lee founded the restaurant in 1938 and it is still a local, legendary, eatery that has continued to be family run. Bill Lee passed away in 1990 and is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park. Oh! ...that the sign could have survived! What a treasure!"

 * ... HOTEL LEBEC: And a friend sent me this picture of the old Hotel Lebec, a favorite getaway for Hollywood stars and travelers on the old Ridge Route connecting Los Angeles with Bakersfield.

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