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.
* ... 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
* ... 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.'
* ... 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.