Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. 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 to live. Send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* ... GOOD FORM: So how did you spent your weekend? Going to a movie? Dining out? Seeing friends? If you were retired police community liaison officer Tony Martinez and his wife Elva,
you spent it taking care of the needy who live amongst us. Martinez works with an organization that identifies families in need and then pulls together volunteers to help repair their homes. Joined by folks from Lowe's, the local carpenter's union and others, Martinez spent the day painting the home of the Rufino Talamantes family, repairing the stairs, installing carpeting, repairing appliances and sprucing the place up. The world needs more people like Tony and Elva Martinez.
* ... HOMELESSNESS: If there is one topic that comes up virtually anywhere across town, it is homelessness. The sheer number of vagrants walking our streets, pushing stolen carts with all their belongings, is beyond stunning. I spent part of Saturday shopping for bathroom tile along District Boulevard and was shocked at how many homeless I spotted near White Lane and Gosford Road. Sleeping in the grass medians next to the street, in the parking lots, behind fast food restaurants, their numbers just seem to grow by leaps every week. One of the worst spots in town is clearly Oak Street between California and Brundage Lane, and don't even think of driving on Haley near Food Co. and Lowe's at dusk. Jaywalking is an accepted form of movement in that area.
* ... ANTI-CAMPING: And speaking of the homeless, why hasn't our City Council adopted an anti-campaign ordinance to prohibit the homeless from sleeping in public and using our public roadways as their personal toilets? The city of Sacramento has done it, as has the cities of Fresno, Mission Viejo and a host of others. The ACLU has filed lawsuits against some cities that have enacted such legislation, arguing that it is selectively enforced against the homeless, but who cares? Let them sue. If we provide homeless shelters, food and lodging for those who want it, why should we turn our streets over to the drug addicted, mentally ill vagrants who choose to live on our streets?
* ... VATOS TACOS: I am a big fan of the "At The Table" food segment on KERO TV hosted by Jada Montemarano and her recent piece on the Vatos Tacos food truck had me hankering to pay them a visit. The food truck is parked on Rosedale Highway behind a Valvoline station and its offerings of tacos and burritos look simply delicious. Vatos Tacos is located at 10115 Rosedale Highway.
* ... DAN RAYTIS: Congratulations to local attorney Dan Raytis who has accepted a partnership at Belden Blaine Raytis, LLP. Other partners include Scott Belden, David Blaine and someone Dan is familiar with, his wife and fellow attorney Katy McMurtrey Raytis.
* ... MEMORIES: Check out this old potato sack with some interesting artwork, date of photo uncertain.