Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Washington Post pens a valentine for Bakersfield, CBS disappears from some ATT cable services, and Prop 47 backfires after mobs ransack businesses with little legal consequence

Monday, July 22, 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

 * ... ODE TO BAKERSFIELD: The Washington Post put the spotlight on Bakersfield last week, citing it as an example of an inland California city that is growing, attracting young people, new
businesses and technology. That's right, once the butt of jokes, The Post says Bakersfield is among the "new" inland California cities that offer jobs, opportunities, affordable housing all wrapped up in a "small town"feel. Said The Post: "The youth migration is infusing this traditionally conservative area with a new ethic - part cowboy, part craft cocktail - that is propelling a revival" of the area. Cited in the story were The Padre Hotel, Temblor Brewing Co., The 18Hundred, Guthrie's Alley Cat and the Crystal Palace.

 * ... CABLE: Here is another reason to cut your cable service and find an alternative. For weeks now NBC (KGET here locally) has been missing on Direct TV, thanks to a contract dispute between NBC and ATT, DirectTV's corporate owner. And now it looks like ATT customers will also lose CBS because of a similar dispute. Although CBS remains on DirectTV here,  ATT customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco lost their feeds. The affected markets count for tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue for CBS. No word on when this will end.

 * ... SHOPLIFTERS: Here is yet another example of good intentions that have gone wrong. Remember when Proposition 47 passed with the promise of keeping petty criminals out of long jail sentences? Well, now businesses are saying there has been a sharp spike in shoplifting (sometimes done by a dozen or so thieves) because according to Prop 47, anything stolen below a $950 value is merely a misdemeanor. This has been particularly acute in San Diego and El Cajon, where gangs of young people rush into 7-Elevens, clean the place out and vanish.

 * ... PASSING THROUGH: The great Americana and folk guitarist and singer Chris Smither will be in town this week, appearing at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame for a one night show. The concert - it is the second time that Smither has appeared here - is sponsored by Passing Through Productions, a group of men dedicated to bringing talented musicians to Bakersfield. Get your tickets at or at the Hall of Fame. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

 * ... MEMORIES: From the Facebook page Kern County of Old, check out this picture of the original two-story Franklin school at the corner of 18th and A streets.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And don't you just love this shot of Poso Creek near the now Round Mountain Road cutoff? Thanks to the Facebook page Kern County History Fans for this one.

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