Friday, June 7, 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 community such a special place.
* ... RIP TBC: After 122 years The Bakersfield Californian has been sold, ending a long and distinguished period under the Harrell-Fritts family. The new owners, based in Canada, have pledged no major changes but we can expect just the opposite. In fact, staffers at The Californian are expecting the new owners to force all employees to reapply for their own jobs, a common event in an asset sale. Sound Publishing, the new owners, also operate newspapers in Palmdale and Lodi, so you can expect "back office" jobs like those in human resources, circulation and accounting could go away and replaced by a corporate shared services model. The bottom line: big changes are coming, and not all of them will be good for current employees.
* ... TEJON CASINO: So be honest here ... just how excited are you about the news that the Tejon Indian Tribe will open a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino just 20 minutes south of town? The project will be built on 350 acres at Highway 99 and state Highway 166 (Mettler exit), with the hotel on 52 acres and an adjacent RV park on 22 acres. It will feature 13 restaurants and bars as well as a live concert venue and employ some 2,000 people. No word on when ground will be broken.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "It's so hot I almost called my ex to be around someone shady."
* ... ALAN TANDY: City manager Alan Tandy is retiring in December, and no matter what your opinion is of him, his legacy will be a lasting one. After 27 years in the position, consider some of projectsTandy will leave behind: completing the hotel that is now the downtown Marriott, Rabobank Arena, McMurtrey Aquatic Center, Valley Children's Ice Center, the senior housing at 21st and R streets, the new federal courthouse in Central Park, the Westside police station, Maya Cinemas, the Amtrak station, the Park at River Walk, the Mesa Marin Sports Complex, the Kaiser Sports Village, the Mill Creek developments, Yokuts Park and let's not forget the 24th Street widening.
* ... FOODIE: If you are a fan of Uricchio's Trattoria downtown, check out their roasted vegetable ravioli which is beyond delicious. It's not on the menu yet, but this gluten-free vegetarian dish will knock your socks off.
* ... GAS PRICES: Think our gas prices are high? Check out this telling graph.
* ... LAUREN MAE: Congratulations to Lauren Mae Skidmore who has been appointed to the Kern County Planning Commission by Supervisor Mike Maggard. Mae is one of our community's rising millennial stars and has already established herself as a talented leader who knows the workings of government.
* ... DOWNTOWN: Well now, here is a snapshot from downtown that is becoming increasingly common these days. How long, as citizens, will be put up with this before our civic leaders respond?Or is this the new norm in California? Thanks to my friend Dee Rhodes for sharing.
* ... MEMORIES: Enjoy this old photo of one of our downtown churches back in the day.