Friday, April 27, 2018

Bakersfield's poverty rate is exploding, La Costa prepares to opens its second location and check out Pickalittle Farms for organic produce

Friday, April 27, 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

 * ... POVERTY: Bakersfield and Kern County have always suffered from extreme poverty, and it doesn't look like things are getting any better. According to a new survey by 24/7 Wall St., the poverty rates in both Bakersfield and Fresno are getting worse. Visalia, meantime, didn't make the list and
seems to be doing much better. This from the Visalia Times-Delta: "Bakersfield is one of three California metro areas with the largest increases in concentrated poverty since 2010. In the last six years, the share of the metro area’s poor population living in high poverty neighborhoods more than doubled from 16.1 percent to 32.5 percent, the largest increase of any U.S. metro area. The share of Fresno’s extremely poor residents living in high poverty neighborhoods increased by 12.8 percentage points since 2010, the second largest increase of any metro area.

* ... LA COSTA: La Costa Mariscos, the wildly popular family owned Mexican restaurant located in the old Ice House downtown, opens its Southwest location on Monday. La Costa renovated the old Elephant Bar building on Stockdale Highway and held a soft opening this week. Expect La Costa to be a huge hit in the Southwest.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m no anthropologist, but the ruins in living room suggest I had a nachos bel grande and six Doritos locos tacos last night."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I just want to be appreciated the way middle-aged women appreciate air conditioning, balanced hormones, and men with excellent credit."

  * ... FARM TO TABLE: Bakersfield is growing in may ways good and bad, but one of the most encouraging signs is the move toward sustainable farming and organically grown produce. One of the up and coming local farms is Pickalittle Farms off Old Farm Road south of town, owned by Mary Jean Russell and her husband. It's only 2.5 acres, but it produces an abundance of organic produce including lettuce, squash, garlic chives, beets, radishes, artichokes, asparagus, fava beans and so much more. Check them out each week at both the F Street farmer's market and the Haggin Oaks farmer's market.

 * ... 23 AND ME: You may recognize a familiar face soon when local television starts airing a commercial for the DNA test company 23andMe. The spot, airing for Mother's Day, features the mother-daughter team of local teacher Joyce Victor and her actress daughter, Selah Victor. Selah, if you remember, is the Highland High School graduate who helped produce a move starring Sharon Stone titled "All I Wish."

* ... MEMORIES: Who remembers the old Santa Fe Hotel on the old Highway 99? This photo courtesy of the Kern County of Old Facebook page.

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