Thursday, January 3, 2019

County CAO Ryan Alsop says declaring impasse still an option in negotiations with the firefighter's union, anti-gay graffiti appears on a local business and a Saturday funeral service planned for Christopher Kreiser

Friday, January 4, 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 tips to

 * ... COUNTY FIREMEN: Kern County chief administrative officer Ryan Alsop has once again signaled the county may have to declare impasse with the firefighter's union over the long stalled negotiations on a new contract. Speaking with me on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM, Alsop said

declaring impasse (and in effect forcing a new contract on the union) is a last resort, but one that would be used if the parties cannot agree. The issue: the county is currently paying well over the minimum for overtime, and with the fire budget well in the red, the union needs to agree to new terms. Stay tuned.

 * ... STUPIDITY: Most of us don't need to be reminded about the stupidity that lives amongst us (72 DUI arrests over the holiday period in town, random people shooting their guns off on New Year's Eve) but check out this vandalism at the In Your Wildest Dreams antique and consignment store on 19th Street. Just heartbreaking.

 * ...CHRIS KREISER: A funeral service will be held this Saturday for Christopher Kreiser, the 39-yeaer-old son of Rick Kreiser who died of lymphoma on Dec. 17. The service and mass will begin at 10:45 a.m. at St. Francis, followed by a reception at the Crystal Palace. I spoke to Rick about the death of his son, and you can hear the interview by going to and clicking on the link. (Facebook photo of Christopher with two of his children)

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I got kicked off Wheel of Fortune for solving every puzzle with  'I want you inside me, Pat.'"

 * ... KERO TV: Adam Forrest Chase, general manager of KERO TV, is leaving the station to assume the GM role at a pair of Scripps' owned stations covering Waco/Temple/Kileen and KRHD covering Bryan College Station.

 * ... MEMORIES: How about this old photo circa 1970 from the Kern County History Fans Facebook page?

Monday, December 31, 2018

Looking to a New Year and the nagging problem of homelessness, the magic of the camellias that remind me of Nancy Wickersham Hall and Brian Smith eyes running for sheriff

Monday, December 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 tips to

 * ... NEW YEAR: If I had one wish for our community for the new year, it would be to get a handle
on our homeless problem. Hard to do? Certainly, given the toxic mixture of drugs, hopelessness, lack of education and addiction that contribute to the problem. But the hard truth is this: failing to address homelessness will have a lasting negative impact on our community. It will devalue our neighborhoods and put a permanent blight on the reputation of this community we call home. It will demand money, focus and more resources than we want to spend, but I can think of no other single issue that trumps homelessness as our first cause of concern.

 * ... RIP NANCY: The camellias in my back yard are blooming once again, so vibrant in their shades of pink, white and red. And I can't look at those flowers without thinking of Nancy Wickersham Hall, who died over the holidays after a long and distinguished career and life. She was born a Wickersham and later married jeweler Don Hall in 1951. My connection with Nancy was late in coming: when I moved into a 1934 California bungalow downtown in 2014, Don Hall reached out to tell me that his beloved Nancy grew up in my house, and the camellias that now frame my lot were planted by her late father. So here is to the late Nancy Hall, her husband Don, their son Jon and all the memories she left.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Yesterday I tried on something from five years ago and it still fits. So proud of myself? It was a scarf, but let's stay positive here."

 * ...  BRIAN SMITH: I ran into retired California Highway patrolman Brian Smith at a holiday party a few days ago and learned he is ready and eager to run for Kern County Sheriff. Smith told me he is running but there is one caveat: he won't run if Sheriff Donny Youngblood decides to seek another term. "I told Donny that," he said. "I won't run if he does."

 * ... SPEED OF LIGHT: If you don't think technology has changed our world, consider all the things that did not exist 15 years ago, among them: iPhone, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, iPad, Netflix streaming, Google Maps, Snapchat, Spotify, Android, Uber, Lyft, Alexa, Airbnb, App Store Google Chrome, WhatsApp, Fitbit, Waze, Slack, Square, Dropbox, Pinterest, Venmo, Bitcoin, Hulu and Kindle.

 * ... FACE OF EVIL: Take a look at a real face of evil, this man who is accused of shooting and killing a northern California policemen during a traffic stop. The illegal immigrant was identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, arrested by Kern County deputies in Lamont. Authorities believe he was headed to Mexico to escape arrest.

* ... MEMORIES: A picture of Chester and 19th Street back in 1910.