Thursday, May 9, 2019

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy toasts Kern County students and teachers for excellence

Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly report from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 'I recently hosted an event to recognize Kern County students and teachers from the 23rd Congressional District who display excellence in and out of the classroom.

I was glad to acknowledge them for setting the bar high. The students have demonstrated a passion for learning, both in their classes and extracurricular activities. Their nominated teachers are also paving the way for local educators in the area.

Last week I also announced the winners of the 38th Annual “An Artistic Discovery” Congressional Art Competition for high school students in our congressional district. Winners and participants were acknowledged during a reception at the Metro Galleries in Bakersfield.

The annual art competition is an exciting way to celebrate emerging artists and recognize creativity in our community. This year's entries were fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the stories behind the pieces - every participant displayed extraordinary work. A special congratulations to the winner, Octavian, whose photograph will be showcased at the U.S. Capitol where it will undoubtedly be one of the best. He has made our community very proud! Under the guidance of his art teacher, Claire Miller, Octavian created his photography piece, “Lost in Grey.”

Octavian has been invited to attend the exhibit opening of “An Artistic Discovery” in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 24, 2019. His artwork will be displayed in the corridor leading to the U.S. Capitol for one year.  As the overall winner, he will also receive two round-trip tickets to the exhibit opening, as well as a cash award which was presented at the district reception.

Students who placed first, second, third or received honorable mention in all other medium, photography, and computer art categories, also received awards.

Our office was highly impressed by the outpouring of interest from the district - we received 134 entries from 16 schools in the 23rd Congressional District this year, which includes parts of Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles Counties. Congratulations to all!

Friday's Bakersfield Observed: The "1800" restaurant opens on Chester Avenue, CBD oil is now marketed for dogs and horses, Holly Arnold joins the Bakersfield Symphony and the end of an era for Amestoy's

Friday, May 10, 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

* ... 1800 RESTAURANT:
One of the most hotly anticipated eateries has opened in a classic downtown renovated bank building on Chester Avenue. Called the The 18Hundred" after its address at the
corner of 18th Street and Chester, it opened this week to big crowds. It is a beautiful place but suffered from spotty service its first week. Still, the place is certain to join the growing ranks of locally owned eateries that cater to a eager downtown crowd. The owners are Maya and Foti Tsiboukas, who own at least one other restaurant in town.

 * ... WEEKEND: If you can't find something to do this weekend, you aren't looking hard enough. Consider these events this weekend: The Bakersfield Symphony has a big show Saturday, Big House plays at the Fox Theater, the Merle Haggard Boxcar festival will be on, don't forget the Pyle's Boys Camp barbecue, there is the Lightning in a Bottle music festival at Lake Buena Vista and on top of all that, the Condors may be playing at Rabobank Arena.

* ... CBD OIL: CBD oil, now legal across the country, is well known for its medicinal benefits in humans, providing relief from everything from nausea to insomnia to arthritis. But the popular cannabinoid is now being marketed for animals, specifically dogs and cats that may suffer from arthritis or other ailments. There is CBD oil for horses as well, marketed by B-Well Chiropractic over off Meany Avenue, and CBD-infused dog biscuits and treats are available at the CBD Shoppe on F Street.

 * ... BAKERSFIELD SYMPHONY: Congratulations to Holly Arnold, who has been appointed executive director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Arnold previously worked as head of marketing for Hall Ambulance and prior to that served as head of the local Red Cross office.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Being an adult just means you don't get rewarded anymore when you eat all your food. My nephew ate two chicken fingers and got rewarded with ice cream. I ate 5 and my mom said 'I thought you were on a diet?'"

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "You know what’s more annoying than cops? People who buy old refurbished cop cars and keep the spotlight attached. We all hate you."

 * ... AMESTOY'S: Amestoy's is going out of business and with it goes the iconic sign. Former employee Jessica Lessaos took these pictures and posted them on Facebook. The end of an era.

 * ... MEMORIES: This old advertisement from our local newspaper, circa 1942, appeared on the Facebook Kern County of Old page. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The decline in print and newspapers accelerates, Facebook helps a bike rider chase down a homeless man who stole it, and just what is it about CBD oil that makes people believe it is a miracle cure all?

Monday May 6, 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

 * ... RIP PRINT: It's not exactly news that newspapers are in trouble, but the rate at which they are going out of business might surprise you. According to The Wall Street Journal, local papers have suffered sharper declines in circulation and (more importantly) advertising than the few more successful national models like The New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Nearly 1,800 newspapers closed between 2004 and 2018, "leaving 200 counties with no newspaper and roughly half the counties in the country with one one." One expert, Harvard's Nicco Male, said it more bluntly: "It's hard to see a future where newspapers persist," he said, adding that half of the
surviving papers will be gone within two years.

 * ... STOLEN BIKE: With homelessness and theft on the rise, it is no surprise that bicycles are disappearing across town. But once in a while, as in the case of Peter Wolleson, the good guys win. After Wolleson's beloved Specialized cross bike was stolen out of his car a short time back, he took to Facebook to post pictures hoping someone would see it on the street. And lo and behold, someone did. Said Wolleson:  "Thursday afternoon a friend and fellow cyclist contacted me and asked me to send him a photo of my bike. I assumed that he was going to post it to his Facebook or something in an effort to help me find the bike. He texted right back to tell me that he had just seen a homeless person riding my bike near California and Oak Street. He couldn’t give me a very clear location but said that he appeared to be headed toward a homeless camp behind the motels that back up against the freeway." Wolleson drove over there, and after some searching happened on a homeless encampment where he found his bike, battered but basically okay. "Sure enough, as I approached the shelter I saw my bike lying in the dirt under a cover! I started recording video in case the police needed evidence for my homicide investigation (I had no idea how many people might be in there). As I grabbed the bike, a homeless guy crawled out of the shelter and tried to resist. I indicated to the gentleman that I was there to reacquire my bike, and that if he’d like to debate the matter, I would gladly contact the local authorities to act as mediator. He indicated that this would not be necessary. As he continued to exit his residence, I suggested that he remain at his current location for his own comfort and safety." The wheels are trashed and other items were missing, but I count this as a win for the good guys.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Once you get past my charm, good looks, intelligence and my sense of humor, I think it’s my modesty that stands out."

 * ... CBD OIL: An woman in her 80s with such severe arthritis she can barely use her hands swears that CBD oil has virtually restored her health. A young man with a psoriasis-like skin condition says it  is the only ointment that has cleared his skin. And yet another adults uses CBD oil battle debilitating headaches. Extracted from hemp but without the active "stoner" ingredient in marijuana, CBD oil has taken the nation by storm. But there are few official studies of it and most testimonials have been anecdotal. So where is the truth. On Wednesday I will sit down with CBD experts on The Richard Beene Show at 1:30 p.m.  (KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM) to get to the truth. Tune in. This should be educational.

 * ... MEMORIES: And check out this old postcard of the oilfields.