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.
* ... GARBAGE ISLAND: Here's one result of generations of not taking care of our planet. There is now a floating island of garbage in the Pacific Ocean that stretches 600,000 square miles - twice the size of Texas and three times the size of France - and it is growing every day. It's called the Great
* ... HOUSING: Bakersfield has popped up on a list of the top ten hot home markets to watch. According to Forbes, the top ten markets considered "secondary" and under the radar are, in order: Spokane, Washington, Portland, Maine, Knoxville, Deltona, Fla., Boise, Jacksonville, Fla., Charleston, North Port, Fla. and Bakersfield. Said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com: "It's pretty much Millennials who are looking at these markets because they offer inventory at the right price point. Over the next few months I think inventory in these markets may start to go quickly as the spring buying season begins. It's a trend we saw begin last year and are now seeing the pace pick up."
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Never do you get a greater sense of your advancing age than when you have to find your year of birth on an online drop-down menu."
* ... RESTAURANT NEWS: It looks like the Tower Craft Bar and Grill, the latest restaurant to take over the elegant old church on Truxtun Avenue downtown, is getting ready to open. Chef Robert Alimiraie, formerly head chef at The Petroleum Club, is planning on an open house this week and he prepares to open to the public. Meanwhile, over at the new Wood-Dale Market in Grand Island Village, they are on the cusp of opening a small dine-in area for small plates, anything from tri-tip sandwiches to barbecue.
* ... JERRY'S PIZZA: After more than 27 years in business, the iconic downtown music and pie venue Jerry's Pizza has been sold. The owner who guided Jerry's Pizza through the years and made it a musical hotspot for young adults, said the new owners, Corina and Ernesto Topete, will take over on April 1. Ernesto and his brothers worked at Jerry's for years and promise to retain the most popular pizzas while introducing new ones themselves.
* ... MEMORIES: Check out this picture The Club Saloon located at 1302 19th Street circa 1905. Photo courtesy of the Kern County of Old Facebook page.