Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Good intentions and asking people to "join the fight" against homelessness isn't enough. Frustrations grow over concerns about health and public safety issues.

Thursday, September 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

 * ... HOMELESS: Homelessness in Kern County is growing steadily worse, and as the problem
spreads to neighborhoods that never previously had to deal with it, there is a growing frustration that we simply aren't doing enough.  Short of real solutions, we have the predictable, well meaning but empty platitudes from the Kern County Homeless Collaborative asking for us to "join in the battle" against homelessness without giving us a clue how to help. (Check out Jessica Janssen's recent opinion piece in The Californian).  While Ms. Janssen cautions it will take "time and conversations" to deal with the issue, a real health and human crisis is playing out before us and nobody seems to have a clue to where to start. If you want the average citizen to join the cause, tell us how we can help. And it better be more than just a call to "join the fight."

* ... SINK BATH: Consider this note from Michael Thibodeaux: "I had a homeless encounter this morning that I can't unsee. I ordered a coffee at the Starbucks across from the Outback. Went to use the bathroom, opened the door and there is a buck naked black man washing his privates at the sink!!! WTF? He kinda screamed, I may have also. I closed the door."

 * ... MEANWHILE AT BURGER KING: Responding to Thibodeaux on Facebook, Jason Absey chimed in with this: "I was in Lake Isabella Saturday. Before heading home we stopped at Burger King, I went to was my hands in the bathroom, and there was a homeless guy with his shirt off washing his armpits. WTF is wrong with people."

 * ... NEAR MISS: And finally, a friend of mine who delivers beer and other beverages for a local company told me this: "I was listening to you on the radio (KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM) talking about the homeless in the streets when one walked right in front of my truck. I almost hit him."

* ... HOMELESS CENTER: The folks over at St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Center have been dealing with this issue for years, and once again they will hold their annual barbecue to help fund the effort. On  Thursday, Oct. 4 volunteers will fire up the grills for the traditional fall barbecue at St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Center at 316 Baker Street. This is one of the biggest and most successful events of the fall in town, and money raised goes to provide meals and services to 400 men, women and children who visit the center daily. The center receives no government funding and relies on this event. The doors open at 5 p.m. and they will start serving at 5:30 p.m. The menu features local businesses - your choice of a NY steak or Teriyaki chicken, Wool Growers salsa and salad, a Pyrenees french roll, Casa Munoz beans and Smith's Bakery cobbler. Drive-thru and take-out, along with complimentary valet parking are also available. You can purchase your $30 ticket at the door.

 * ... DOWNTOWN THEFT: Check out this post from Jerry's Pizza about a grill that was stolen. Seems like this truck should be easy to spot. "So two men in a red Chevy pick up decided to steal our grill this weekend Sunday September 23 at 7 AM. Please keep an eye out for this truck and our grill we were not the only one’s hit this weekend downtown. Will post a video later. There will be a reward for Information leading to our barbecue grill 661-633-1000 or Msg is here.

 * ... MEMORIES: Remember The Plunge on Union Avenue? Enjoy this old clipping from its grand opening, courtesy of the Kern County of Old Facebook page.



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Palo Alto is home to the richest people in California, Dana Culhane Brennan moves back to Bakersfield and Felix Adamo is retiring at The Bakersfield Californian

Monday September 24, 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

 * ... UBER WEALTHY: Where do the richest people in California live? It probably won't surprise
you when I tell you it is in Palo Alto, home of the coveted 94301 zip code and the birthplace of the Silicon Valley. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state "scooped up just under $1 billion from nearly 9,000 tax returned filed in 94301 in 2016 - more revenue than from any other zip code in California." The newspaper went on to say that residents in that single zip code paid 28 times more in taxes in 2016 than all of those living in Tehama County, 200 miles northeast of Palo Alto.

 * ... MOVING UP: Congratulations to Dana Culhane Brennan who is moving back to Bakersfield after serving on the staff of state Sen. Jean Fuller, who is being termed out of office. Brennan recently started a new job as director of Corporate and Government Affairs at Grimmway Farms.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "No reaction from my eye doctor when I playfully walked into his desk. He’s seen this schtick too many times."

 * ... FELIX ADAMO: Felix Adamo, the award winning photographer at The Bakersfield Californian, is retiring at the end of this month to spend more time on his corporate clients. Adamo is virtually without peer in the news photography business and his pictures have graced the pages of our daily newspaper for four decades. Here's a random sampling of some of his work. Enjoy.

 * ... RECYCLING: Here's a novel idea: why don't we move these pop-up "recycling centers" away from residential areas? They are magnets for the homeless and incompatible with commercial areas that back up to residences. The recycling center at the corner of Columbus and Mount Vernon is a particular eyesore.

 * ... GREEN ACRES: Check out this photo from a 1942 calendar put out by the folks who owned the old Green Acres cafe. It was located and framed by local antique colleague Sarah Kirschner. Does anyone remember this place?

 * ... MEMORIES: Enjoy these pictures of Bakersfield back in the day long before the 1952 earthquake changed the face of the city forever.