Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday's Bakersfield Observed: Bakersfield rallies behind Monsignor Craig Harrison after allegations are leveled against him, Blaine Hodge is recognized by Rep. Kevin McCarthy and more random crime throughout town

Friday, April 26, 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

 * ... FATHER CRAIG: The news that Monsignor Craig Harrison has been accused of sexually assaulting a young man several decades ago rocked our town in ways that simply cannot be
measured. Harrison is universally beloved, and I count him among my friends and mentors. Rarely has one man had such a positive effect on an entire community, no matter your religion or personal beliefs. Harrison has denied the claim and pledged to defend himself. My take: we live in a time of recrimination and character assassination, so let's not judge this man too quickly. Let's allow this case to play out and let the authorities do their investigation. Did it really happen? Is this a shakedown of the Catholic Church fabricated for profit? (remember Jussie Smollett?) If it did happen, was it an isolated incident or will more come forward? Father Craig is a beloved an iconic figure, and I will stand by his side.

 * ... AFFORDABILITY: Here's some good news locally, though it is a bit of a mixed bag. A new study says Bakersfield is one of the most affordable places to live in the country, although that comes with high poverty and high unemployment. We have always known that Bakersfield is one of the most affordable places to live in California, as are Fresno, Visalia and other Central Valley towns. But all this is all relative given that this is California and we lead the nation in high gas prices and utility rates.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Remember when people would flash their headlights to give people a heads up there’s a cop down the road? I liked it when we were all a team.'

 * ... CRIME: Just when you think criminals cannot stoop lower, I spotted this on Facebook: "Saturday evening I had the entire front end of my 2006 GMC Sierra 2500 HD stolen off my truck in the parking garage at the San Joaquin Hospital on Chester Ave. Anyone knows the whereabouts of where I can recover these items please let me know!"

 * ... BLAINE HODGE: It was nice to see our local hero Blaine Hodge be recognized by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy the other day. Hodge, if you remember, was the young man who intervened at the local Starbucks on Stockdale Highway when a woman was being attacked by a man with a machete. McCarthy presented Hodge with the 2019 Citizens Honors Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “Fight or flight, we all question what we would do in a frightening situation, but we all wouldn’t wonder what Blaine would do,” McCarthy said in a news release. “He acted swiftly and bravely, two qualities that no doubt helped to save the survivor and all those in the immediate area that day.”

* ... MEMORIES: How about this old picture of Bakersfield City Hall back in the day?

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