Friday, June 22, 2018

The city moves forward with a sales tax initiative, CBD oil is the hot new product and lots of changes coming to the local restaurant scene

Friday, June 22, 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. Email your news and notes to 

 * ... SALES TAX: The Bakersfield City Council has voted to place a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase on the November ballot. The idea is pitched as a public safety measure, but City Manager
Alan Tandy says some of it will go to pay for pension obligations. Of the $50 million it will generate, Tandy said about 13 percent of it will go to pay for pensions, and that will only increase as the years go by. With crime and homelessness rampant, city officials are hoping the voters will put their own safety over concerns about bad pension decisions.

 * ... CBD PRODUCTS: CBD oil, a derivative of cannabis marketed as a dietary supplement, is one of the hottest products in the country. But is it a true miracle elixir that can alleviate a host of ailments or an overhyped new product that will prove to be a flash in the pan? It certainly has a growing audience of supporters who claim it can help alleviate everything from arthritis, to joint and back pain to acne and insomnia. Bakersfield now has its first CBD shop located on F Street next to KC's Steakhouse, owned and operated by Ted Sisco. Because CBD does not contain THC, the ingredient in cannabis that produces the high, it can be sold legally throughout the country. So if you have arthritis or another ailment, could it hurt to try it?

* ... FOSTER PARENTS: Hats off to Anthony and Ali Davis, a local couple who has fostered more than 50 young boys and girls over the years, and adopted three of them. Anthony, a South High graduate who went on earn an undergraduate degree, and Ali, a BHS grad who did a stint teaching, migrated to foster parenting out of a sense of fulfillment and a calling to do something special for those in need. Over the years they adopted Mathew, Emma and Nathan, the last of whom was a safe surrender baby at Memorial Hospital.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m no bully but if I see a guy wearing a bow tie I’ll give him a wedgie and take his lunch money because honestly, he’s just asking for it, isn’t he?"

 * ... JAZZ WORKSHOP: Temblor Brewing Co. is at it again. The popular local brew pub, which has long featured live music and comedy acts, has added jazz to its resume of weekly events. That's the word from the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, which is ending its two-year run at The Mark restaurant and is heading over to Temblor for a change of scenery. The workshop features local jazz musicians and ensembles and regularly features some outstanding acts. Starting this Tuesday, the acts will appear at Temblor starting at 6:30 p.m.

 * ... EATERIES: Speaking of The Mark, word is the restaurant is in escrow and about to be sold. The previous owners, a group of doctors, upgraded and improved the property and opened an impressive outdoor venue next door called The Park at The Mark. The building and business are for sale, as is T.L. Maxwell's, yet another longtime downtown restaurant just a few blocks away. Stay tuned.

 * ... BAR CLOSES: The Happy Hour Bar and Tapas has closed just a year after it opened at the corner of Chester Avenue and 18th Street. The bar was an interesting experiment for Bakersfield, offering some tasty new twists on traditional dishes, but in the end it never gained traction downtown. No word on who might move into the space.

 * ... MEMORIES: Who remembers the old Fike's Market?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Will California voters decided to split the state into three states? Sugarland and Jerry Seinfeld help pack the downtown restaurants and tune in to hear the story of a "safe surrender" baby

Monday, June 18, 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. Email your news and notes to 

 * ... FAREWELL CALIFORNIA?: So what do you make of the attempt to divide California into
three different states? Under the proposal by millionaire Tim Draper, which will be decided by voters in November, California would be split into three states: A "Northern California" encompassing San Francisco and Sacramento north, a "Southern California" covering Fresno down to San Diego, and a "California" covering the populated coastal areas including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and the parts of the central coast. The idea has been floated before and before you get too excited, it would have to be approved by the state legislature and even on the federal level. That means, simply, it isn't going to happen.

 * ...  DOWNTOWN: If you were looking for a spot to eat downtown last Friday, chances are you were out of luck. Thanks to two big shows at Rabobank Arena and convention center (Sugarland and Jerry Seinfeld), virtually every restaurant downtown was booked solid, from Uricchio's Trattoria to Mexicali to Muertos and to Chef's Choice Noodle lounge. Oldtimers told me they had never seen Mexicali so crowded as it was Friday.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.'

* ... NUESTRO MEXICO: When the wildly popular restaurant La Costa Mariscos moved to the Ice House a few years ago, a few of the employees stayed behind to make a go of it in the small but cozy original location on 21st Street. On Tuesday, I will have owner Francisco Martin join me on The Richard Beene Show (KERN NewsTalk) 96.1 FM to talk about his secret to success, as well as the opening of a new Nuestro Mexico lounge in the northwest.

 * ... SAFE SURRENDER BABIES: Also on Tuesday tune in to hear the uplifting story of Ali and Anthony Davis, a couple who have adopted three children including one who was a "safe surrender" baby left at a local fire station just hours or days old. Nathan is now a healthy and rambunctious lad who loves cowboy and rodeos. Tune in to hear this heart warming story of a couple whose love knows no bounds.

 * ... MEMORIES: This old photo is courtesy of the Facebook page Kern County of Old. Its caption reads: