Sunday, August 11, 2019

Marie Callender's closes, Fatburger comes to town, more frustration over our homeless crisis and Rep. Kevin McCarthy takes a trip to Israel to boost ties

Monday August 12, 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

 * ... RIP MARIE CALLENDERS: The local Marie Callender's on California Avenue is closing, the latest in a string of "legacy" eateries that has gone out of business. The company is in bankruptcy and we
learned last week that Marie Callender's, known for its holiday pies, would not make it. Meanwhile next door the old Mimi's Cafe has been demolished to make room for a Raising Cane's fried chicken franchise. And so it goes.

 * ... FATBURGER: Meanwhile Los Angeles-based Fatburger will open its first Bakersfield location on Sept. 4 at the corner of Oswell and Bernard. The chain announced last year that it was coming north and its legions of fans have been eagerly awaiting its opening.

 * ... HOMELESS: More rantings on Facebook about our vagrant problem: "Today I experienced an incident downtown that left me sad, disappointed and dismayed. Not as scary as Kyle’s but still a citizen in need. We were working an estate sale at 18th and Myrtle and about 2:30 p.m. I noticed a nicely dressed young woman that appeared to be passed out on the grass right at the NE corner of Jastro Park bear the curb. It didn’t look right so my co-worker and I went to assist. She was unresponsive to verbal communication and shaking her arm. She did have a pulse so I called 911 as my partner kept working with her. I thought Fire Department or Hall’s would be there any minute to check her vitals and make sure she okay. Not the case. Twenty minutes later nothing and I ended up flagging down a BPD cruiser for help. My gut feeling is that 911 blew it off and didn’t send it out to our emergency responders. Luckily she woke up/came to and we were able to talk with her. It appeared to us she may have suffered some heat stress and passed out. Our society has become so numb to people sleeping all over that we have forgotten how to care for those truly in need. It ended for us giving her water and money for a bus ride home. That lack of response by those who are supposed to be helping us blew my mind and put me in a funk for the rest of the day."

 * ... MORE HOMELESS: And then there was this, accompanied by a short video: "This is slightly graphic. When I pulled up this lady was masturbating nude in a ride’um cowboy pose and urinating at the same time while screaming rape in a bloodcurdling scream behind the Rite-Aid next to the GET bus station.  Then she continued to punch herself in the face. After she was done she walked over to the bus station and proceeded to smoke crack. If I could post the graphic videos that I’ve taken downtown on the streets, I would be kicked off of Facebook. This is not homelessness out of need, this is craziness because of drugs."

 * ... ISRAEL: House minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is in Israel for a fact finding tour, an important statement as some freshmen Democrats express concern about the long friendly relations between the United States and Israel. Enjoy these pictures from his trip.

 * ... MEMORIES: And how about this picture of Memorial Hospital in its early days, compliments of Art Moore and the Kern County History Fans Facebook page:

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