Thursday, April 11, 2019

Friday's Bakersfield Observed: Conservative firebrand Candace Owens is coming to Bakersfield to support state Sen. Shannon Grove, celebrating fresh produce at Dot and Ott and the annual Mac 'n Cheese Festival coming up later this month

Friday, April 12, 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

 * ... CANDACE OWENS: Leave it State Sen. Shannon Grove to bring in a big hitter for a fund
raiser next month. Set for Saturday, May 25, Grove will host a VIP reception and dinner featuring Candace Owens as the guest speaker. Owens is an conservative commentator and political activist known for her pro-Trump stance and her criticism of Black Lives Matter and of the Democratic Party.  She is wickedly smart, articulate and her frequent clashes with Democrats have elevated her to being a darling of the political right.

 * ... DOT AND OTT: Have you been to the new green grocer and restaurant downtown on Eastchester called "Dot and Ott?" Owned by Jesse and Jeremy Blackwell, the eatery is named after former neighbors of Jesse's named Dot and Otto and it certainly does the couple justice. Housed in a beautiful old historic building on 18th Street that was once a feed store, it features fresh vegetables from Pickalittle Farms, locally produced eggs and a full lineup of beer and wine. It is open Monday through Saturday with a full service of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I may be chubby, but I identify as thin. I am trans-slender."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Not to brag, but I've been invited to join AARP. This is all happening so fast."

 * ... MAC 'N CHEESE: One of our community's most popular outdoor events is coming on on Saturday, April 20, when the sixth annual Mac 'n Cheese Festival is held on the youth soccer fields at CSUB. Put on by American General Media (owners of KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM)s the event features beer, wine, live music and varieties of macaroni and cheese from 30 local restaurants. Get tickets at or at Event Bride website.

 * ... RAINBOW: Remember that wind we had earlier in the week? It triggered some interesting weather including this rainbow out near Taft, captured by my friend Pam Taylor.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this picture of the old St. Pauls's Episcopal Church.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Rep. Kevin McCarthy's weekly update from Capitol Hill: praising Valley Children's Healthcare and its CEO Todd Suntrapak

 House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly update from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 "Last week, I was fortunate to meet with several important organizations from California to discuss both emergency service efforts during a crisis and the need to protect our children’s health.

"California has faced many natural disasters over the past several years. From drought to flooding to fires, Californians have had to persevere through some of the deadliest and destructive disasters in our state’s history. Through each experience, I have worked directly with federal, state, and local officials to ensure that immediate and long-term federal response and support is on hand to help Californians. That coordination is vital to saving lives, rebuilding our communities, and returning to a semblance of normal life following a disaster. One official who consistently answers the call to serve is Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), Mark Ghilarducci. Mark is an old friend who I have known for many years and I am appreciative of his steadfast commitment to protecting Californians through robust preparedness strategies and disaster mitigation.

 "Just a few years ago, the Erskine Fire ravaged Lake Isabella, and CalOES was there each step of the way providing every resource imaginable. Without CalOES’s immediate action, this fire would have been even more devastating. The Erskine Fire left a painful memory in our community - 309 buildings were destroyed and two lives were sadly lost -  Byron and Gladys McKaig. We must honor their memory by always being prepared for the possibility of unexpected threats, so that future lives can be saved.

 "Last week, I also met with Valley Children’s Healthcare President and CEO Todd Suntrapak; he is paving the way for children’s health in the Central Valley.

 "Valley Children’s is one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the country. Through the help of programs like the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME), Valley Children’s is able to receive funding to support the training of new pediatric physicians and specialists at their facilities.

 "Their team has directly seen enormous benefits from CHGME, a program helping to train the next generation of pediatricians who will administer world-class services to families in need. Additionally, the Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act, which recently passed both the House and Senate, will help ensure that children with the rarest medical conditions receive quality and coordinated care under Medicaid. I am proud that Congress was able to act swiftly to ensure that our youngest patients are never forgotten.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The documentary Seattle is Dying is a stark warning for any number of American cities, including Bakersfield, city staff deals a blow to those proposed private dorms and hundreds fan out to clean up the town

Monday, April 8, 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

 * ... SEATTLE IS DYING: If you haven't seen the hour-long documentary "Seattle is Dying," you should make the time to do so. Produced by KOMO-TV in Seattle, the documentary takes a hard and
sober look at how homelessness, egged on by well intentioned laws that back fired, have left the city awash in urine, feces, street urchins, crime and drugs. And yes, it is happening here in Bakersfield, for many of the same reasons: state laws that emptied our jails and flooded the streets with criminals, rampant drug addiction and mental illness. Unfortunately, we can't buy our way out of it by writing checks for equally well intentioned but ineffective programs. Talk to your local city councilman and county supervisor and tell them we must find real answers before we become Seattle. Go to YouTube and search for "Seattle is Dying." It will be worth your time.

 * ... CSUB DORMS: The city planning division has put the proverbial fork in a developer's plans to build two five-story dormitories at the corner of Gosford and Stockdale Highway. In other words, I think we can consider this idea DOA (dead on arrival.) The staff indicated the idea was not "in harmony" with the surrounding area, a recommendation that is bound to please the residents of Stockdale Estates who have rallied to vehemently oppose the plan. While staff recommended against it, the ultimate decision will be up to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) which could always vote to approve the plan, but I wouldn't bet on that. Stay tuned.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Stop trying to please everybody. You're no tequila."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "All alcohol should be half price if you can provide proof that you are married with kids."

 * ... HOMELESS: Check out this picture and the caption written by a reporter at KGET TV. It says volumes about the problem we have in this town. The caption read: "Have you seen this man?
The owners of Blue Oak Coffee downtown say he came into their shop this morning—demanding money, touching himself, and threatening to rape them. The city believes it’s part of Bakersfield’s growing homeless problem."

 * ... RILEY PARKER: And speaking of the homeless, I received this note from retired private investigator (and ex Bakersfield police officer) Riley Parker, who left California fed up with high taxes and liberal state politics. Said Parker: "Our son and daughter-in-law fled Seattle’s Green Lake for a small village in Wales, and with broken hearts Jane and I fled CALI for a village of 3,000 on Colorado's western slope. Unfortunately, there is now a Democratic super majority in Denver and they are in lock step with Gavin Newsom. The good news... at 73 I am deep enough into life’s fourth quarter that that they can’t do us a lot of harm. Gas is still $2.49, we buy fresh organic foods at great prices from local growers, have our own garden, socialize with our migrant field workers, and take our kayak to the Colorado River and nearby mountain lakes on the Grand Mesa. And we enjoy CBD oil in our coffee at Pressed in Palisade. Heartbroken every time I return to Bako and see the trash alongside the broken concrete of Highway 58."

 * ... CLEANUP: Here is to all the hundreds of volunteers who participated in the Great American Cleanup on Saturday. Ward 2 City Councilman Andrae Gonzales spent his birthday picking up trash, and I saw Memorial Hospital CEO Ken Keller along with Dignity vice president Robin Mangarin-Scott leading a big group in the effort. Imagine how clean our city would be if we all participated.

 * ... MEMORIES: A Hell's Angels motorcycle rider in front of the Kern County Museum in the 1960s.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And lastly, who remember's Larsons dairy?