Thursday, July 4, 2019

A swarm of earthquakes hit Ridgecrest and the high desert, Casa Munoz heads to Las Vegas, Rep. Kevin McCarthy makes some predictions and what is with all the nude homeless people around town?

Friday, July 5, 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. Send news items to

 * ... JULY FOURTH: The downtown July Fourth parade, now 31 years old, keeps growing in size
and popularity. Mayor Karen Goh kicked off the festivities at the corner of Elm and 22nd Street as several hundred people walked the streets of old downtown to celebrate the birth of our nation. Enjoy these random shots.

* ... EARTHQUAKE: So where were you when the 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck on July Fourth? I was at the Bakersfield Racquet Club, taking a rest between pickle ball games, and sat in awe as i watched the huge light poles sway back and forth like a palm tree. Seismologists say we should expect more aftershocks of equal or even greater strength. take a look at this map of the known faults in our area.

 * ... TERM LIMITS: Remember David Abassi, the marijuana proponent who has tangled with both the city and the Board of Supervisors?  He says he is out of the cannabis business now, but he is not done with politics. His next goal is to gather enough signatures to put a initiative on the local ballot to establish term limits for the Board of Supervisors. "This could wipe out the entire board," he told me. "Wipe the slate clean."

* ... KEVIN MCCARTHY: Who does House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy think may win the Democratic presidential nomination? When we spoke earlier this week on The Richard Beene Show, McCarthy said Bernie Sanders was the best positioned to use his vast organization and fund raising ability to win the nomination. Joe Biden will fade, he said, and at this point in time, he said Sanders seems most likely to win the nomination.

 * ... CASA MUNOZ: One of our city's most iconic Mexican restaurants is moving to Nevada, and you can blame the high cost of doing business in California. Pep Munoz, part of the family that ran not only Casa Munoz but also Mexicali and Sinaloa, told me it was the rising cost of doing business here that led to the decision to leave California. Munoz blamed new fees and taxes and a rising minimum wage for his reason to live. If the minimum wage rises to $15 an hour, Munoz predicted there would be a mass exodus of full service restaurants. Munoz' father, Joe, will likely stay in town and possibly operate a much smaller restaurant, possibly in Shafter. The new eatery will be located in Henderson outside of Las Vegas and may be named either Sinaloa or Casa Munoz.

 * ... MORE PEP: And where does Pep Munoz go when he is not eating at his own restaurant? I posed that question to him and here is his list: Pyrenees Cafe, Uricchio's Trattoria, Sorella's, K.C. Steakhouse and Happy Jack's.

* ... HOMELESS: Here's a post on Facebook that speaks to our homeless crisis. No comments are necessary.

 * ... MEMORIES: Some old pictures of a Bakersfield in another time. First we see a scene from the old Golden Crust  Bread facility and then a shot of the stately old Southern Hotel, 19th Street and  Chester, circa 1898-1905. Enjoy.

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