Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bakersfield loses Steve Clifford after a battle with cancer, some really bad form with the homeless about town, Kevin and Judi McCarthy mark a wedding anniversary and locking your trash bins to keep the homeless out

Friday, August 31, 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

 * ... RIP STEVE CLIFFORD: I was saddened to learn of the death of Stephen T. Clifford, one of our community's best lawyers and a man who devoted his life to his hometown. Clifford, 77, died
after a long battle with cancer. A third generation Bakersfield native, Clifford was born in 1940 and graduated from Bakersfield High School, later going on to UC Davis and the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. He was a specialist in labor and employment law, business litigation and hospital negligence cases. He was a member of the Bakersfield Rotary Club and served on the board of directors of Mercy Hospital and Memorial Hospital.

 * ... HOMELESS ASSISTANCE: For the first time in a while, there is a glimmer of hope in the fight against homelessness. It came in the form of a new state program called HEAP that stands for Homeless Emergency Aid Program, and it provides $700 million in block grants to help California counties combat homelessness. According to Supervisor Leticia Perez, the grants will be awarded to counties that show a cooperative approach to combat the problem. Perez said the money would be used to provide housing for the mentally ill and then services to deal with their illness. It is not a comprehensive solution by any means, but it is a start.

 * ...  HOMELESS FATIGUE: Here are just a few homeless sightings (along with graphic pictures) from around town this week: a young homeless woman is captured on camera at 2 p.m. downtown masturbating in public after defecating behind the 18th Street parking garage, and a second homeless woman is spotted with her pants down washing her rear end and private parts in a public drinking fountain at Jastro Park. Finally, yet another homeless woman is caught on camera defecating in the front yard of a single-family residence. And you wonder why the public is suffering from homeless fatigue.

 * ... KEVIN AND JUDY: Congratulations to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and wife Judy for celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary. McCarthy was in town to celebrate but left to attend the funeral service for the late Sen. John McCain. As a ranking member of the House aligned with the Trump administration, McCarthy comes under regular criticism, but the spirituality and kindness of Judy is beyond reproach.

* ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: Jeff Pickering, former head of the Kern Community Foundation who left for Florida a few years ago, posted this on his Facebook page: "Good to find a little Bako in Vero Beach. Thanks John Zaninovich! VBZ Grapes.'

 * ... MORE FACEBOOK: "Don’t you wish karma was like pizza and could be delivered in under 30 minutes?"

 * ... MONEYWISE GUYS: Moneywise, a financial advisor partnership located off Stockdale Highway across from CSU Bakersfield, is thinking about moving to a new location, possibly downtown. Two of the partners - David Anderson and Sherod Waite- told me they would like to relocate to larger quarters downtown to show their commitment to the community. The company has committed itself to a deep level of community involvement. Its daily radio program called "The Moneywise Guys" runs daily from noon to 1 p.m. to KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM.

* ... DUMPSTER DIVING: A neighbor showed me how to lock the trash and blue recycle bins to keep the homeless out of it. A bit of a hassle but seems to work.

 * ... MEMORIES: Spotted this example of the wonderful architecture of old Bakersfield on the Kern County of old Facebook page. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Does Bakersfield need an anti-camping ordinance to deal with the homeless? Plus Tony Martinez and wife Elva help the needy, check out a food truck called Vatos Tacos and Dan Raytis accepted a partnership in a local law firm

Monday, August 27, 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

 * ... 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.