Monday, May 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
* ... CALIFORNIA POVERTY: Here's something that probably won't surprise you: While California has the fifth largest economy in the world, we also lead the nation in poverty and homelessness. Think about that for a second, because it hasn't always been this way. But after decades of nanny-state government, homelessness (and hopelessness) have exploded and the streets of our major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles look like Third World countries.
Consider this from the Orange County Register: "One in five Californians live in poverty, 20.4 percent to be exact, compared to a national average of 14.7 percent, the highest rate of poverty in the nation. By extension, California also has the distinction of having the highest child poverty rate in the nation, with an average of 22.8 percent of California's children living in poverty in 2013-15, including 5.1 percent living in 'deep poverty.'"
* ... DOWNTOWN BAD FORM: Remember my earlier rant about the decision to close off the heart of the downtown arts district (the intersection of 19th and Eye streets) for the National Day of Prayer so a small church could have a ceremony? It was a stupid decision and it forced restaurants and businesses to close. Well now I learn that the streets were closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., virtually shutting down one of the busiest commercial areas in town for an entire day. Who made this decision and where is the Downtown Business Assn. which claims to represent the interests of local businesses. Are you listening Councilman Andrae Gonzales?
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When I'm gone, my legacy will be, 'I don't know, man, she was just tired a lot.'"
* ... GOOD FORM: Hats off to the Padre Hotel for showing some really good form in hosting the annual Tigerfight fund raiser to fight childhood leukemia. Chris Wilson, who founded Tigerfight after his 18-month-old son came down with blood cancer, said the Padre regularly donates multiple rooms so parents whose children are sick can have a night off and attend the festivities. This year's Tigerfight will be held Saturday, June 9.
* ... OVERHEARD: A woman is telling a friend about visiting the new branch of La Costa Mariscos in the old Elephant Bar building at the Shops at Riverwalk: "It was over an hour wait, a typical Bakersfield response to a new restaurant! We'll go back in a month when things die down."
* ... MAYA DELANO: Workers are putting the finishing touches on the new 12-screen Maya Cinemas in Delano, giving residents there a reason to stay closer to home to view a movie. The new Maya will be equipped with the bigger, leather lounge type seating that has become so popular. No exact word on when Maya Delano will open.
* ... TREES: It was nice to see the new trees that were planted on 18th Street near Cafe Smitten, yet more improvements to the growing area known as "EastChester."