Friday, May 17, 2019

Bakersfield makes a list of deadly cities for pedestrians, hats off to Mayor Karen Goh for preventing Corrections from dumping parolees in Bakersfield, and the city prepares to close off Truxtun Avenue

Monday, May 17, 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

o where do you think the fittest city is in the United States? Well according to USA Today it is Arlington, Va., right across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Arlington ranked first in both personal health for its citizens as well as community and environmental factors. Following Arlington were Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C. Now (and you know where this is going) where did Bakersfield rank? It ranked all right, but not on this list. Instead, Bakersfield  ranked 10th on a list of USA Today's most deadliest cities for pedestrians.

 * ... PRISONERS: We dodged a bullet the other day when the California Department of Corrections back pedaled and decided not to release 100 to 120  parolees into our community. And it looks like we can thank Mayor Karen Goh for this. Alarmed over the idea (and terrible optics) of between 100 and 120 parolees wandering the streets of Bakersfield, Goh worked with Corrections through Gov. Gavin Newsom's office to lodge her complaint. It worked, and Corrections said only a couple dozen of parolees could end up here. Goh credited others in devising a plan to protect our community, including District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and police chief Lyle Martin.

 * ... PARKING: Hats off to whoever decided to convert G Street into a one-way street behind the downtown post office. Along with making it one-way, the city installed diagonal parking to increase the number of spaces near the downtown facility. It is a small change but an important one for those of us who frequent the downtown postal facility.

 * ... ROAD CLOSURE: Here's something you need to remember this weekend: Truxtun Avenue will be closed all weekend at the Westside Parkway. The road will be shut down from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for the removal of falsework from the bridge crossing Truxtun. The closures will affect both directions of travel between the westbound Westside Parkway on-ramp and Commercial Way. The westbound ramp will remain open to traffic, but the eastbound off-ramp will be closed.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: This post speaks for itself.

 * ... MEMORIES: Enjoy these old photos Luigi's and Lemucchi's Grocery, 725 19th Street, Bakersfield CA., back in the day.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And check out this photo from 1898 at the corner of Chester and 19th Street.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rep. Kevin McCarthy honors Honor Flight veterans on the floor of the House of Representatives

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

 "Last week, I was fortunate enough to give veterans and their guardians a tour of the United States Capitol Building, including the House Floor, when Honor Flight Kern County visited Washington, D.C.

The sacrifices made by our local heroes will always be remembered, and it was a privilege for me to be able to spend time with them.

Sixteen veterans traveled with Honor Flight Kern County. They toured the U.S. Capitol and visited
their respective memorials. Veterans on the Honor Flight served in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Our community is grateful of Honor Flight Kern County for continuously supporting our veterans and providing them the opportunity to travel to Washington. People from all walks of life can learn immensely from the selfless character and duty to service demonstrated by our veterans.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the official launch of a pilot program created by the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) Act, legislation I introduced which was enacted into law in 2017.

I am thrilled to see the VET TEC program’s official launch. VET TEC will help empower our nation’s heroes by providing them with the technical skills needed to ensure a smooth transition into today’s evolving workforce.

After visiting Udacity in 2017, I was immediately struck by the potential of non-traditional education courses and how they can empower America’s veterans by equipping them with invaluable training they can use in their post-military careers. I encourage all interested veterans to apply to the VET TEC program, and I look forward to hearing about their experiences.
Veterans wanting to learn more about taking non-traditional technology courses to further their careers can now apply to participate in the VET TEC pilot program here.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A new non-profit devoted to downtown businesses and lifestyle fills an important void, the new 18Hundred restaurant does a brisk business and Cal Poly tries to kick Chick-fil-A off campus

Monday, May 13, 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

 * .. THE HUB:
It is hard to overstate how important the creation of The Hub of Bakersfield is to our downtown business district. Created by an impressive group of 30-something professionals, The Hub
is a new non-profit devoted to growing downtown and providing resources to those people who may want to create a new business, hold an event or invest in the downtown area. The HUB fills an important void in the development of downtown, since no other organization is devoted to specifically to the downtown arts and business district. (The Downtown Business Association has proved inept at this type of thing). The HUB, by contrast, is motivated by an altruism borne of true love of where we live. Among those involved in The HUB are City Councilman Andres Gonzales, marketing company owner Shannon LaBare, Alex Balfour, Miranda Whitworth Munoz, Robert Austin Smith, Daniel Cater, Heather Laganelli and Rachel Magnus. (Photo of The Hub team and Shannon LaBare)

 * ... SECOND SATURDAY: Did you drive through downtown Saturday and notice something different? As in the number of pianos that popped up outside local businesses to allow customer to sit down and tinkle the ivories? It was all part of the folks from The HUB working with organizers of Second Saturday to bring a little life and fun into the downtown area. I spotted pianos at Heather Laganelli's Locale Farm to Table across from the downtown post office, as well as one in front of Cafe Smitten on 18th Street.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If a man said he’ll fix it, he will. There is no need to remind him every 6 months about it."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I have a fitness tracker. It's called, 'I look at my gut and it keeps getting bigger.'"

 * ... 18HUNDRED: Have you been to the new 18Hundred restaurant at the corner of Chester and 18th Street? It's worth checking out and it is housed in a historic old bank building that was restored and completely renovated several years ago. When you go, check out the picture above the bar showing the old Redlick's department store that once stood on Chester and 18th on the southeast corner, directly across from the bank. And here, for your pleasure, are some old pictures of the Security Pacific Bank back in the day.

 * ... CHICK-FIL-A: Chick-fil-A is one of the fastest and most popular growing fast food franchises in the nation, yet it continues to be the source of political backlash because of the strong Christian beliefs of its founder. And now, well you guessed it, students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo want to kick the eatery off campus because they claim the franchise is anti-gay. In fact, in the school newspaper one writer compared having Chick-fil-A on campus to having pornography in the library. And so it goes.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this photo of an old page of The Californian, courtesy of the Kern County History Fans Facebook page.