Sunday, September 8, 2019

Kern County prepares to unveil a new branding campaign, the county moves forward with a low barrier shelter for the homeless and a beautiful new mural graces downtown

Monday, September 9, 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

 * ... STREET CRISIS: You have to applaud the county and the Board of Supervisors for moving swiftly to confront our drug and vagrancy crisis on our streets. The county will vote this week on
erecting a temporary low-barrier shelter near Golden State and O Street on a 5-acre vacant lot owned by the county. This is a credit to county chief administrative officer Ryan Alsop and the entire board for moving with urgency. Meanwhile, we await as the city decides where it will put its shelter. Ironically, the earlier site for the city shelter was just a block away from where the county is going, and it would be wise for the city council to reconsider this spot and move with all due speed.

 * ... DRUG CRISIS: Despite all this, we have to be careful to rein in our expectations. These "low barrier" shelters are designed for the true homelesss. Our crisis here is a drug crisis disguised as a homeless crisis. Iy is doubtful that the addicts, vagrants, crazies and criminals who walk our streets causing mayhem will avail themselves to these shelters. That is going to take a different kind of enforcement involving the police. Speaking of addicts, a friend took this picture of a vagrant in a lingerie dress near Rosedale and Calloway. And so it goes.

 * ... BRANDING: Meanwhile the county and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce will unveil a new branding campaign for the county Monday during a press conference at the historic Padre Hotel. Presumably this will replaced the dated "Life As It Should Be" campaign. Attending will be Mayor Karen Goh, Supervisor David Couch, Chamber president Nick Ortiz and other city and county elected officials. I will be moderating a panel at 3:30 p.m. in the Belvedere Room at the Padre.

 * ... MURAL: Hats off to local artist Jennifer Williams Cordova who added a little class and style to our downtown when she painted this mural near a local restaurant.

: Check out this poster the city is using to advise people not to give money to street beggars.

 * ... MEMORIES: Now here is a trip down memory lane. Apparently this is a picture of the building that stood where the Silver Fox now stands. The caption: "This building at 700 18th in New China Town 1932 is the current location of the Silver Fox. Things have changed a little. :-)"

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