Thursday, December 5, 2019

More local restaurants close around town, theft at retail stores skyrocket, attorneys are warning of a "very public" trial exposing alleging sexual abuse by Father Craig Harrison and looking at the rock at Morro Bay ia a time capsule

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. 

 * ... SHOW TRIAL: Is Bakersfield ready for a "very public" trial detailing the allegations of sexual abuse against Father Craig Harrison? That is what San Diego attorney Paul Jonna said may be
coming as he defends his client against a defamation lawsuit filed by Harrison and his attorneys. Harrison claims that Stephen Brady, head of a group called Roman Catholic Faithful, defamed him during a press conference Brady held to talk about the allegations against Father Craig. The ultimate defense of a defamation charge, Jonna said, is the truth. And getting to the truth during a trial would involve a "very public" examination of the charges from multiple men that Harrison subjected them all to sexual abuse and inappropriate touching, including testimony from the accusers themselves. Is Bakersfield ready for this? Our community has been ripped apart already, and a show trial would only serve to drive a larger wedge between those who blindly support Harrison against those who want to see all the facts before they make up their minds. Would a "very public" trial and all the accompanying allegations of sexual abuse help Father Craig reestablish himself in the community? Is this what his defense lawyers envisioned when they sued Brady? Time will tell. Meanwhile, the ultimate decision on Harrison's fate will be made by Bishop Joseph Brennan of the Diocese of Fresno, and we await that call.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m not shy, I’m just really good at figuring out who’s worth talking to."

 * ... CLOSINGS: More local restaurants have shut their doors, joining a growing list of local eateries that just couldn't make it in today's competitive environment. First, the Corner Bakery on California and Easton Drive shut down at the first of the month (no word on what will go in its place). I also learned that Steak and Grape over on Coffee has apparently closed for good. The popular steak place closed August 1 but indicated they were remodeling, and now word is it has closed. They join Cafe Med and Joseph's Italian restaurant on the list of eateries that apparently have served their last meal.

 * ... GETTYSBURG: A Kern County man is headed to Gettysburg to become superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site in Pennsylvania.
Steven Sims, a 1992 graduate of Tehachapi High School and later West Point, will be responsible for managing both of the national park sites. Sims, who was born and raised in Tehachapi, said he is excited about his new appointment. "It was an honor, and quite humbling," said Sims, a longtime National Park Service employee. "Gettysburg is a very important place in our nation's history."

 * ... WILDLIFE: Enjoy this shot of a group of coyotes out near Taft, captured by Pam Taylor. It is a healthy looking posse.

 * ... ANARCHY: Near anarchy reigns on our streets, as people feel free to pop into a local store and steal what they want without consequences,.Check out this post from the Bakersfield Thieves Facebook page: "This POS walked in and walked the store picked what he wanted and walked out with 2 scooters and whatever else the 2 cows that were with him. Sad part they doing it with children. Guess they raising the next generation of thieves. Guard tried to get our stuff back but dude was threatening. BPD won't help as long as something physical don't happen in store. Ummmm. Laws need to change. Retailers beware. Remember that ugly face and the cows he with."

 * ... MEMORIES: Just look at this old picture of the rock at Morro Bay from the 1890s.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And finally from the Kern County of Old Facebook page, a look at the old Monte Carlo bar on Taft Highway, known as the place that served the coldest beer in Kern County back in the day.

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