Thursday, January 24, 2019

County CAO Ryan Alsop rolls out an ambitious plan to upgrade Hart Park, Harry Starkey leaves the West Kern Water District, and do remember the great snow day 20 years ago?

Friday, January 25, 2019

 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

 * ... HART PARK: The county is getting ready to roll out an ambitious, multi-year project to renovate and improve Hart Park, the 300-acre green lung of lakes, trees and hiking trails that has fallen into disrepair. County CAO Ryan Alsop laid out the plans for me on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM (the complete interview is posted on The plan, which must be approved by the
Board of Supervisors, would implement improvements over three to five years. Among the improvements would be a dog park, a splash water park for children, new signage at both entrances, upgraded picnic and play areas, food vendors, increased law enforcement patrols at all hours and restricted access to the river where people leave trash. Improvements to the four bathrooms will begin soon and funded out of the current budget.

 * ... SNOW DAY: Has it really been 20 years since the "great snow day" in Bakersfield? I remember waking to what I thought was sunlight but it was the reflection off a fresh coat of snow that toppled four trees at my southwest Bakersfield residence. It was a remarkable day for a desert community like ours. Enjoy these pictures published by The Bakersfield Californian, KGET TV and KERO TV.

 * ... HARRY STARKEY: Harry Starkey. general manager of the West Kern Water District for the past nine years, is leaving to join the Hallmark Group, a consulting and project management firm based in Sacramento. One of the leading authorities on water law and water politics in California, Starkey will be dividing his time between  Bakersfield and Sacramento. He has also agreed to become a regular Wednesday guest on The Richard Beene Show (KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM) at 1:30 p.m. Greg Hammett, manager of the Belridge Water District. is taking Starkey's position at West Kern.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Apparently putting Alka-Seltzer in my mouth while getting baptized and pretending I’m being possessed by the devil is not funny."

 * ... RODRIGUEZ: Local plaintiff's attorney Daniel Rodriguez
is moving his firm to a new building on Truxtun just blocks from the courthouse. The building is located near the old church plaza that is now home to the Tower Craft Bar. Rodriguez and Associates is currently located in an historic brick building on Eye Street near Dagney's Coffee shop.

 * ... DANIEL ROOT: Daniel Root, a Garces High grad, has taken a job with the law firm of Young Wooldridge in the firm's water department. Root went on to attend University of San Diego where he earned his B.A. in Business Administration in 2012. He later obtained his law degree from McGeorge School of Law with an emphasis in Business Law and Environmental Law. He joins the firm's experienced team of water and environmental attorneys and will serve the needs of clients throughout Kern County and the state of California.

* ... PERRY FINZEL: Perry Finzel, field rep for former Congressman David Valadao, has joined the staff of Rep. Kevin McCarthy in Bakersfield. Valadao lost his bid for reelection to Democrat T.J. Cox and McCarthy picked up Finzel after Cox was sworn into office.

* ... MEMORIES: Don't you just love these old photos that appear on the Kern County of Old and Kern County History Fans Facebook pages?

No comments: