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. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of any other individual, organization or company.
* ... COASTAL ELITES: And you wonder why this country is so divided? Sometimes you don't have to look far, like a recent Twitter post from a grad student and lecturer from UC Berkeley who
* ... HOMELESS: The city's on and off again approach to homelessness is beyond frustrating. Yes, our city has done a lot of combat the crisis - helping fund more beds at local shelters, helping pay for emergency response teams and even funding a "poop" patrol to wash feces and urine from our streets - but a divided city council just can't seem to reach consensus on where to locate a low barrier shelter. We thought we had a location - the old Calcot facility on East Brundage - but Ward 1 Councilman Willie Rivera led a spirited opposition and the council voted 6-0 to go back to the drawing board. Meanwhile winter is here and the suffering on our streets continues. And our city council bickers. So here is a novel idea (I wish it was my idea but I stole it from a friend): why don't we challenge all seven council members to suggest ONE place in their ward which is suitable for a homeless shelter. If East Brundage isn't good enough, what is your suggestion Councilman Bruce Freeman? How about a shelter near Seven Oaks? What about it Ken Weir? Care to turn over the old East Hills Mall into a shelter? It's easy to say no. Let's put their feet to the fire and see what they suggest in their own backyard.
* ... GAS PRICES: Gasoline prices have spiked in California, soaring well above what most Americans are paying at the pump. In some locations, Californians are paying $5 for a gallon of gas.
A number of refinery outages tightened gas supply in the market. The average price of regular gas in California rose to $4.18 a gallon, the highest level since May 13, 2014, according to the Oil Price Information Service, which gathers data for the AAA.California's gas prices are the most expensive in the United States: The national average is currently $2.65 a gallon.
* ... MOVING UP: Congratulations to Andrea R. Hill, a local accountant who recently absorbed another CPA practice and moved her office downtown. Hill purchased the practice of Jerry W. Kemp, who had been practicing for more than 30 years and was previously Sheats and Kemp. Kemp retired and Hill loved into his office at 2200 19th street. Hill has been practicing since 1985 when she graduated from CSUB. She was previously a tax partner at Brown Armstrong and prior to that in partnership with Cathy Brown, at Brown and Rutherford, CPAs.
* ... TAFT: Check out this very old U.S. Mail Box in Taft just off 8th Street near Kern Street. Thanks to reader Pam Taylor for getting this shot.
* ... MEMORIES: Some more historic photos as we walk down memory lane. Enjoy.