Thursday, October 25, 2018

Work gets under way on the 24th Street widening, Candi Easter dies and did you know that more than 50 U2 spy planes were made right here in Oildale?

Friday, October 26, 2018

 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

 * .. 24TH STREET: The widening of 24th Street has been decades in the making, and now after eight lawsuits and years of delays, the final construction phase is now under way. The city held a
ground breaking Thursday morning at the corner of 24th and Oak Street on the empty lot that once was used to sell pumpkins and Christmas trees. Now that houses on the north side of 24th have been razed and a brick sound wall erected, the next step is a sound wall on the south side near Oak and Beech Street, the widening of 24th between the Kern River and Beech and the widening of the northwest portion of Oak Street. It should all be done by spring 2020.

 * ... RIP CANDI: Candi Easter, the longtime head of the Kern County Democratic Party, has died after an extended illness. Easter stepped down from her party post a few years ago and has been in ill health for months. Services are pending.

 * ... U2 SPY PLANES: Did you know that the famous U2 spy plane was assembled right here in Bakersfield? That's right, according to retired Gen. James Whitehead the first 50 U2s were assembled at a secret Lockheed manufacturing facility on Norris Road in Oildale. The U2s were assembled there in 1956 and 1957. The planes were assembled there and flown to Nevada where they were flight tested in the military's super-secret Area 51 airfield.

 * ... DOWNTOWN EATERIES: If you don't live or work downtown, you might be missing a growing culinary trend toward mom and pop family owned restaurants devoted to healthy eating. The Locale Farm to Table across from the downtown Post Office started the trend, and now right down the street are a growing number of eateries: Rig City Coffee Roasting, Better Bowls and the Hen's Roost, home of the best vegan burger in town. Meanwhile, more local restaurants and bakeries are planned for the so-called Eastchester where the Smitten Cafe has enjoyed a gangbuster's business. If you haven't been downtown lately, it is worth your while.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Why are you showing me pictures of your kid if you have a dog?"

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "No matter how nice I ask random people, nobody will take me to Funkytown."

 * ... SPAY NEUTER: Hats off to a group of local pet rescue organizations for a successful day vaccinating more than 300 dogs this past weekend. Dozens of spay neuter vouchers were issued, pet food was provided for those in need and distemper vaccinations were administered at Heritage Park. Volunteers represented a number of organizations, including Bakersfield Boxers and Bullies Rescue, SafeFurr Place Animal Rescue, Cook's Veterinary Hospital, Bakersfield SPCA and the Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry. The event was funded by the Basic Needs Foundation. The next clinic will be held Nov. 11 at the same park.

 * ... MEMORIES: How many of you attended this Fleetwood Mac concert back in the day?

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