Friday, March 15, 2019

"Oildale the movie will premier at The Fox Theater on March 30, a horrific motorcycle accident on Union Avenue leaves a rider dead and the Bakersfield Open tennis tournament heads into its final weekend

Friday, March 15, 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 such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... UNION AVENUE DEATH: There was an absolutely horrific motorcycle accident on Union
Avenue at 17th Street this week which led to the death of the cyclist. Video footage of the accident, which was horrible to watch, was posted on the KGET website showing a car making a U-turn on Union and the motorcycle crashing into the back of the car, sending the man flying through the air and landing hard on his back yards down the road. Authorities said the motorcyclist died Friday. He has not been identified.

 * ... TENNIS TOURNAMENT: Make sure you head over to the Bakersfield Racquet Club this weekend to soak in some sun and some of the best tennis you will catch anywhere. The Bakersfield Open is now it the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles as we head into its final weekend. There is no cost to attend.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Everyone tells teenagers that they don’t know what love is. But everyone wants to feel like a teenager when they fall in love."

 * ... MORE TWITTER: "I’m sure he’s great but Beto O’Rourke always makes me think of like some guy you dated in college who said 'I can’t say I love you because I just don’t know what it means,' and then made you listen to a Toad The Wet Sprocket album and look at his pictures from Joshua Tree."

 * ... MOVING UP: Jason Kotowski, longtime court reporter for The Bakersfield Californian, is moving on to KGET TV as a web content producer. Kotowski is the latest Californian reporter to leave the paper, which abandoned its downtown offices and moved its reporters and sale representatives to the printing facility on Pegasus Drive.

 * ... OILDALE THE MOVIE: "Oildale" the movie, a bittersweet look at the life of some local veterans set in the backdrop of Kern County, will have its world premier at the downtown Fox Theater on March 30. The movie, written and produced by two movie veterans from Los Angeles, was shot almost entirely in Kern County. After opening at the Fox, the movie will go on a "Heartland Tour" throughout the country.

 * ... EVA SCHLOSS: Hats off to Rabbi Samuel Schlanger and the Chabad of Bakersfield for putting on an evening with Eva Schloss at the Fox Theater. Schloss, the step sister of Anne Frank who is about to turn 90 years old, told her personal story of surviving the Holocaust, Auschwitz and even a terrifying meeting with the Nazi "death doctor" Josef Mengele to a packed audience of 1,400 people on Tuesday night. Said one attendee: "You could have heard a pin drop people were so mesmerized with her story."

 * .... MEMORIES: Check out this postcard of the old Padre Hotel circa 1940.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Rep. McCarthy: New research on Valley Fever and it is time for the federal government to abandon California's high-speed rail

 House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy checks in with his weekly contribution to Bakersfield Observed. In his words:

 "Last week I held a Valley Fever Roundtable at the U.S. Capitol, bringing together Members of Congress, leading Valley Fever researchers, patient advocates, doctors, and scientists from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was an excellent opportunity to bring together the brightest minds from around the country for an update on efforts to combat Valley Fever. This meeting also served as a chance to address the progress that has occurred and must continue in order to fight this disease.

"Doctors and scientists taking the lead are working diligently to develop a vaccine and I’m proud to report that an updated research study is being conducted by NIH, in partnership with Duke University, which will hopefully bring to light new solutions to stamp out Valley Fever. I’m thankful to all of our attendees and panelists, including Dr. Chiller (CDC), Dr. Erbelding (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH), Dr. Royce Johnson who is leading the fight back home at Kern Medical, and Rob Purdie who has been a passionate advocate at the Valley Fever Americas Foundation. Together we can continue building upon our successes while working to find new ways to stop this disease in its tracks.

 "This week I also introduced a new bill called the Repurposing Assets to Increase Long-term Water Availability and Yield (RAILWAY) Act. The RAILWAY Act would end the Federal government’s involvement in the failed California High-Speed Rail project by repurposing up to $3.5 billion in recovered Federal funding for the California High-Speed Speed Rail project to water storage infrastructure projects as outlined in the bipartisan WIIN Act. Under the WIIN Act, five storage projects in California are advancing, and when completed, could provide 5 million acre-feet of additional water storage in our state. This is a far better use of taxpayer money that can address more important needs in our state, and I’m happy to report that every Republican Member of the California Congressional Delegation joined served as cosponsors of the RAILWAY Act. We will continue fighting for Californians across our state.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Is California ready for the ARkStorm, a period of rain and flooding of near biblical proportions? Scientists say we are over due. That and more on Alex Trebek and the Bakersfield Racquet Club hosts its annual pro open

Monday, March 11, 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 such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... ARKSTORM: If you are running out of things to worry about, boy do I have something for
you. Climate scientists are now warning that California could be on the verge of another "ARkStorm," a devastating period of rain and flooding that could leave the entire state under water with trillions of dollars in damages. A severe ARkStorm “is estimated to produce precipitation that in many places exceeds levels only experienced on average once every 500 to 1,000 years,” a 2011 government report states. The last time we experienced an ARkStorm was in December 1861 and January 1862 when the state was inundated with non-stop rainstorms for 43 straight days. The storm overwhelmed Sacramento, “turning the Sacramento Valley into an inland sea” and forcing California’s government to temporarily relocate to San Francisco.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Imagine going to the gym and not posting about it."

 * ... EVA SCHLOSS: Once again anti-Semitism is on the rise, not only in the United States but across the world. It has even infected the Democratic Party (77 percent of Jews identify themselves as Democrats) which cannot seem to find the courage to censure a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota who clearly speaks in anti-Semitic dog whistles. All this to explain why it is important you attend an evening with Eva Schloss this Tuesday at the Fox Theater, where the 90-year-old step sister of Anne Frank will recount her own harrowing ordeal at the Auschwitz death camp where Anne Frank and her family were also taken. There are a few tickets left (check the Fox website for availability) for this important evening with a Holocaust survivor.

 * ... ALEX TREBEK: The outpouring of love for Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek continues, particularly among his fans at Taft College where Trebek helped fund an engineering scholarship in his name. Bob Hampton, a longtime Taft College booster, even went so far to share his anti-cancer drink that helped him overcome two bouts with cancer. Trebek, 78, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

 * ... TENNIS OPEN: "Players from around the globe have descended on Bakersfield this week for the 6th annual U.S. Tennis Association's Men's Futures Pro Tournament at the Bakersfield Racquet Club. Qualifying begins Monday, culminating with championship weekend March 16 and 17, where American Tennis Professionals will compete for a $25,000 purse in our own backyard. Some of the best players have come through this tournament where Bakersfield's hospitality makes it a favorite on the circuit. Access to top-flight players on their way up the rankings any place else might cost hundreds of dollars per seat. Admission to the Bakersfield Tennis Open is free.

 * ... MEMORIES: A shot of old 19th Street.