Sunday, September 15, 2019

The sheriff and the district attorney plan to step up enforcement on the streets, good news for our homeless crisis, Trump sends experts to Los Angeles to check on that street crisis and getting ready for another Bakersfield Marathon

Monday, September 16, 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: This may be some of the best news yet to come out of battle against drug addiction, homelessness and and street crime. It looks like District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and
Sheriff Donny Youngblood are working together to find ways to prosecute people for misdemeanors, now that Sacramento has decriminalized all but the most serious of violent offenses. This excerpt is from The Californian: "Due to limited jail space, deputies in Kern County typically give out citations for those arrested on suspicion of drug possession or stealing less than $950. But law enforcement officials say those cited seldom show up in court, and the next time they are arrested they simply receive another ticket and give another promise to show up. “We’d like to be able to not give someone a ticket who has possession of drugs, a ticket to someone who has vandalized, a ticket for someone with a promise to go to court,” Zimmer said. “Because they don’t go to court. They don’t go to court because they are high and they can’t make these kinds of decisions. They have to go to jail.” It won't solve everything, but it is an important step forward.

 * ... MORE HOMELESS: The Trump administration has sent experts to Los Angeles to study the homeless crisis, and what they saw was not pretty. There are an estimated 45,000 people living on the streets in Los Angeles, and along with that have come typhoid, and invasion of rats and other public health issues. Rev. Andy Bales of Union Mission church told Forbes that five of the visitors were from the Environmental Protection Agency because "human waste flows into storm sewers." But that is not all. Bales also warned of types of homeless he is seeing. "We are seeing behaviors from our guests that I’ve never seen in 33 years,” said Bales. “They are so bizarre and different that I don’t even feel right describing the behaviors. It’s extreme violence of an extreme sexual nature. I have been doing this for 33 years and never seen anything like it.”

 * ... WEDDING: Congratulations to Blake Strong and Emily Holtzman tied the knot Sunday in a lovely ceremony at the new Metro Special Events space on 18th Street. Strong works for Kaiser and Emily is a local body artist. The couple met in Santa Rosa, lost their home after the fires and relocated to Bakersfield where Strong was raised. If you haven't visited Metro Special Events, try to do so. It is Don Martin's latest creation after he vacated the old Metro Galleries on 19th and Eye streets.

 * ... MARATHON: Are you ready for the Bakersfield Marathon? The fourth annual run will be held November 17, once again starting in the southwest at CSUB and winding its way through town and up to Bakersfield College before heading back. Officials expect to set yet another record turnout. The Bakersfield event serves as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

 * ... MEMORIES: Some more wonderful old pictures from our past thanks to the Facebook pages Kern County of Old and Kern County History Fans.

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