Thursday, April 4, 2019

Friday's Bakersfield Observed: Kern Medical revokes a job offer to a young doctor who hates Jews, Rep. Kevin McCarthy raises $23 million for the GOP in the first quarter, and Ryan Alsop moves to beef up security at Panorama park on the bluffs

Friday, April 5, 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

 * ... KERN MEDICAL: Hats off to Kern Medical for doing the right thing when decided not to provide a job to a doctor who was fired previously for making anti-Semitic remarks. Dr. Lara Kollab
was fired from the prestigious Cleveland Clinic after it was revealed she used Twitter to denounce "Jewish dogs" and call for violence against Jewish people. In 2012, she tweeted she would give Jews "the wrong meds" and wrote that she hoped "Allah will kill all Jews." Kollab had been matched with Kern Medical to receive a job there but the hospital decided it would not be a good fit. Kern Medical released a statement saying it decided against Kollab because she submitted information that "false, misleading and incomplete."

 * ... KMAC: Want to know how important Rep. Kevin McCarthy is to the Republican Party? Listen to this: McCarthy raised $23.06 million during the first quarter of 2019, an amount that Politico called "the biggest ever" raised by any House member, including the speaker. McCarthy sent $5.56 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee and another $12.5 million to campaign efforts for members, candidates and supporting organizations.

 * ... HOMELESS: If you want some straight talk about the homeless problem, listen to Sheriff Donny Youngblood. Not too long ago his jail was busting at the seams, full of people who had been jailed for heroin possession or other drug charges. At the jail, they received treatment from experts who were there to help. Today? Thanks to our "progressive" state legislature, the possession of heroin is now a misdemeanor as are dozens of other crimes that used to send people to jail. Where are they now? Out on the street, Youngblood told me the other day. "I have 600 empty beds" at the jail, he said. I am not sure emptying the jail and tossing all these people on the street is progress, but then I remembered I live in California.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "No matter how nice I ask random people, nobody will take me to Funkytown."

 * ... PANORAMA PARK: Are you sick of the constant trashing of the park along the Panorama Bluffs? Well so is county chief administrative officer Ryan Alsop. This county-maintained park, which stretches from Manor to Bakersfield College, is heavily used but is also heavily trashed, littered with fast food cups and wrappers, empty beer cans and assorted junk. Alsop is working on a plan to beef up security with county park rangers patrolling the park 24-7 in hopes a heavier law enforcement presence will deter litterers and some of the people who use the park to peddle drugs.

 * ... CHIMNEY DEATH: Do you remember Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac, the Bakersfield doctor who died while trying to slide down the chimney at her boyfriend's house? That happened back in August of 2010 and now it is the subject of a true crime podcast called "My Favorite Murder." Kotarac was 49 at the time and suffocated inside the chimney.

 * ... GOODBYE CALIFORNIA: This scene was spotted on Highway 101 in the Los Angeles area.

* ... MEMORIES: Check out the sign posted at the old Sinaloa restaurant. Adios, Sinaloa.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lightspeed Systems gets a new investor, The New York Times examine the La Paloma power plant in McKittrick and remembering the old Redlick's store downtown

Monday, April 1, 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

 * ... LIGHTSPEED SYSTEMS: Big news for Rob and Judi McCarthy, founders of Lightspeed Systems, perhaps Bakersfield's most successful local technology company that moved to Austin a few years ago because of California's hostile business climate. The company has received a strategic  
growth investment from Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. Rob McCarthy will remain on the board but will now become a minority investor, ending an incredible run as head of a company that specializes in educational software. Madison Dearborn said the existing management team will remain in place, and terms of the deal were not disclosed. Before leaving for Texas, Judi McCarthy was a philanthropist and one of the founders of the Women's and Girl's Fund of the Kern Community Foundation, which she once ran. (Facebook photo of Rob and Judi McCarthy) 

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Sometimes you might feel there is no one there for you. But that's not true. Laundry will always be there for you."

 * ... LA PALOMA: The La Paloma power plant near McKittrick was the subject of a lengthy Sunday  Business story in the New York Times, focusing on the ties between the owner, wealthy Texas investor Daniel Andrew Beal, and President Trump. Beal purchased the power plant out of bankruptcy and has filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission arguing that California's current rules and use of renewable power are killing existing plants. This is a politically charged effort that the state and environmentalists vehemently oppose, but the regulatory commission has shown recent sympathy to the fossil fuel industry. Keep an eye on this one.

 * ... PAINTED LADIES: Now that we are seeing the Painted Ladies butterflies around town in their annual migration up from Mexico, I thought I would share an old wive's tale from by friend Gene Bonas. Said Gene: "I understand that, when a butterfly lands on you, it is a sign of good luck coming your way. It's an old wives' tale told to me by a girl I once dated. Nothing came of our association, so I guess that was my luck!"

 * ... MAP PERSPECTIVE: Feast your eyes on this map and let it all sink in.

 * ... MEMORIES: Old Bakersfield back in the day, then and now. Thanks to the Facebook page Kern County of Old.