Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bill O'Reilly picks Biden and Bloomberg as the Democratic frontrunners for 2020, Guapo's Tacos offers a full line of vegan meals, Mexicali West prepares to close and a cookbook benefits the homeless

Friday, December 14, 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

  * ... BILL O'REILLY: Former Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly doesn't think the Democrats will push to impeach Donald Trump, at least based on what we know now about the investigation into
alleged Russian collusion. That's what he told me when he appeared on The Richard Beene Show (KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM) this week. Looking ahead to the 2020 general election, O'Reilly thinks the Democratic front runners are former VP Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg. He dismissed the others - Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Kristen Gillebrand - are too far left for even the Democrats to nominate.

 * ... GUAPO'S TACOS: One of the hottest vegan restaurants in town is located off White Lane and Highway 99. Run by Ali Gazali, Guapo's Tacos offers a full selection of steak, chorizo and chicken but also an ever evolving offering of vegan tacos, vegan nachos and vegan chili cheese fries. I tasted them all when Ali appeared on my radio program (KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM) and they were simply outstanding. They are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "My boss said 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.' Now I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman."

 * ... MEXICALI: The choice has been clear for years: are you loyal to the downtown location of Mexicali, or do you prefer the Mexicali West location on California Avenue? If you are the latter, chances are you have made a pilgrimage to the "second" Mexicali as it prepares to close down at the end of the year. The building has been  sold and the family that runs the restaurants will concentrate on the downtown location. Scores of loyal customers have been visiting the California Avenue location, just to get that last meal (and margarita) in before it closes for good.

  * ... 23ABC COOKBOOK: Hats off to Allison Gargaro and her crew at KERO-TV for pitching in to help the Mission of Kern County. Gargaro, who handles the weather and is studying to become a meteorologist, partnered with different local personalities (Mayor Karen Goh and Rep. Kevin McCarthy among others) to write a cookbook. All of the proceeds from the sale went to the Mission.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this photo of our old train depot, courtesy of the Kern County History Facebook page. The caption read: "Southern Pacific Depot, East Bakersfield, California
Postcard Dated: 12 September 1918."

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The LA Times comes out against Tejon Ranch's Centennial project, Gregory Porter comes back to the Fox Theater and the U.S. has become a net exporter of oil

Monday, December 10, 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

 * ... TEJON RANCH: The Los Angeles Times has come out against Tejon Ranch's Centennial development, citing its negative effect on climate change and arguing against more development in "remote" areas. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote on Centennial,
which envisions a 19,000-home mini city within the county of Los Angeles. The Times editorial was brutal: "California continues to approve sprawling developments and people are driving more, not less. Emissions have risen despite the arrival of electric cars and vehicles that burn less fuel per mile. ... Why do we accept business as usual when radical change is needed? Why do we keep building houses in the path of wildfires, only to act surprised when people are forced too flee? Why do we build in remote areas and then wonder why people drive so much." Stay tuned.

 * ... TEJON OUTLETS: Meanwhile here is one thing Tejon Ranch did right: the Outlets at Tejon were buzzing with holiday shoppers this weekend, and why not? Most stores have slashed prices anywhere from 30 percent to 60 percent, including the wildly popular Pottery Barn.

 * ... OIL EXPORTS: Here's a bit of good news or the oil patch: for the first time in decades, the United States has become a net exporter of oil and other refined fuels. That's according to The Wall Street Journal which said the very thought of the U.S. being an oil exporter was unthinkable 10 years ago.  The Journal noted that OPEC's decision to try to curtail production was a direct result of surging U.S. production. In short, the U.S. exported 3.2 million barrels of oil the last week of November, along with 5.8 million barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

 * .. SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "No one in my entire life has believed in me more than the waiter who just gave me a single napkin to use while eating my lunch.'

 * ... OVERHEARD: At a southwest gym a man is telling a friend: "I would enjoy the Christmas parade more if people didn't leave it so littered. It's disgraceful."

 * ... GREGORY PORTER: Looking to spice up your holidays? Then grab a ticket to see the incredible Gregory Porter on Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Fox Theater. The Grammy-winning Porter is returning to his hometown (that's right, he's from Bakersfield) to benefit the Agapeland Christian Academy, where his own son attended. Porter is one of today's most acclaimed jazz musicians and his upcoming concert is a must-see event.

 * ... MEMORIES: Here's an old photo of Highway 99 through Gorman from 1952.