Sunday, July 14, 2019

Can we please put down the selfie stick and start addressing the homeless problem taking over our community? Plus Monsignor Craig Harrison gets some support at home and PETA and CALM get ready for a radio debate face-off

Monday, July 15, 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

* ... HOMELESS: Don't say I didn't warn you, but Bakersfield is well on its way to having the type of homeless crisis that Los Angeles and other larger cities are facing. Just take a look around you: our downtown is literally inundated with the homeless, mindlessly walking in the middle of the street in heavy traffic much like you would see in a zombie movie, setting up camp on a public sidewalk,
urinating and defecating in broad daylight, harassing individuals, stealing from local businesses and leaving trash wherever they go. Sound harsh? It is meant to be, because if our city does not take this problem more seriously, we may reach a tipping point where we will lose the battle. Our downtown is particularly at risk. A leisurely Sunday morning drive downtown reveals mini encampments (six or more homeless) on the east side of F Street across from the old Red Door Furniture, behind the Golden Empire Gleaners, behind Adventist Hospital and on both sides of the Garces circle. Nice, eh? After years of progress that saw the downtown hit its stride in new businesses and developments, it is once again at risk of reverting to a no man's land. I would prefer fewer Facebook selfies by our elected leaders and more action on this dangerous problem in our midst. Is anyone listening?

 * ... MORE HOMLELESS: I saw this take on a local website devoted to the homeless problem:  "Our business is on L Street and, of course, we’ve had struggles with persons of questionable character, thefts, trespassing, etc. But... I want to warn everyone in the downtown community that on Wednesday evening, I witnessed a woman: Caucasian, thin, with short hair (sides of head shaved), between late 30s to early 40s, light a non-cooking fire at the corner of Golden State and M Street. I confronted her and she ran away with her shopping cart in tow. After calling 911 and returning to the intersection with water, I found three fires burning. What is concerning? She was 'dancing' while holding the burning clothing she lit before throwing it down. The fire department said they would turn the matter over to their arson investigation but until she is located, we should all be aware that she’s out there."

 * ... AND MORE FROM FACEBOOK: "I was getting gas at ARCO on 24 Street and a drunk homeless guy was sleeping in between the pumps. Nobody did anything. Nobody except me. I kicked him with my four toes and told him to 'GET UP BEFORE you CATCH FIRE!' The bad ass ARCO girl poured water on his face. He went away!"

 * ... MY HOUSE: And sure enough, it doesn't take long for it to hit home. It turns out a homeless person was using my back gate to camp in my alley downtown, leaving behind a Hobby Lobby shopping cart and some personal possessions which we disposed of.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "A man at the gas station just asked me to take a look at his shorts. He wanted to know if they were too short. I was naive and agreed to give my opinion. He stepped out of his car and they weren’t short at all however you could practically see through them and he had an erection. He then proceeded to ask me what I thought. I answered, 'Ewww.' WTF is wrong with some men?"

 * ... CALM VERSUS PETA: The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a criminal investigation into CALM after the deaths of a few animals, and on Monday CALM and PETA will square off on The Richard Beene Show for a healthy debate. It all goes down at 2:30 p.m. on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM. This, as they say, should be rich.

* ... FATHER CRAIG: As we all await the resolution of the accusations of sexual impropriety against Monsignor Craig Harrison, his supporters have found a clever way to express their love for the man: they are putting up signs in their yards like the once shown here. Expect more of these to pop up around town in the days and weeks again.

* ... MEMORIES: Check out this incredible picture (from the Kern County of Old Facebook page) showing Charles Lindburgh dining at the old Lebec Hotel on the old Ridge Route. Lindburg is the third person from the right and his wife, Anna Morrow, is seated next to him.

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