Sunday, November 18, 2018

Environmentalists and loggers seem to agree that thinning the forests will help prevent more huge fires, traffic downtown is a mess and it's time for another Thanksgiving Day Pie Run

Monday, November 19, 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 place to live. Send your news tips to

 * ... FOREST THINNING: We may be in for some good news when it comes to California wild fires. After years of butting heads, it looks like state forestry officials and environmentalist are
nearing a consensus that our forests need to be thinned to prevent more fires like the ones that devastated the town of Paradise and the Malibu area. The idea: by clearing the forests of smaller trees and underbrush the fires could be more easily contained and the forests would recover faster after a fire. A new initiative would focus on the Sierras, where the U.S. Forest Service estimates that 129 million trees have died due to the drought and bark beetle infestation. Stay tuned because this could be very good news.

 * ... DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC: After years of delays, and lawsuits that cost the city a small fortune, work is finally getting under way not he 24th Street widening project. And boy, what a mess it will be. Two lanes will be closed periodically on 23rd and 24th streets downtown to allow for construction, and for downtown residents, the C Street entryway onto east bound 23rd Street has now been closed.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Pretty excited about making a huge Thanksgiving feast so my daughter can eat a roll."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Listen, if you are going to someone's house for Thanksgiving, compliment their baseboards. That is what they are spending today cleaning."

 * ... PIE RUN: It's time for another Thanksgiving Pie Run, that long tradition where runners, walkers, hikers and bikers gather at Hart Park at dawn for an energetic hike in the hills. This will be the second year we have done this without founder John Rous, who helped organize the first Pie Run a couple decades ago. John was struck and killed on his bicycle two years ago but his son, David Rous, has stepped in to help organize it. Want to join the fun? Just show up at Hart Park at dawn and follow the cars. The run/walk starts at dawn. Bring a pie, donuts, cookies or rolls. And don't forget your dog. Dogs are welcome too.

 * ... TBC FOR SALE? Rumors were flying last week that the privately held Bakersfield Californian had been sold to a Canadian company. More than a half dozen people reached out to ask me about it, and it was a hot discussion topic on social media. But not so fast, because I have been told the rumor is not true.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this picture from Hart Park back in the day. Wow.