Thursday, May 30, 2019

Will Bakersfield benefit as people flee the taxes and cost of living in our major cities? The shame of Kern County in how we treat our pets and a new high end bakery opens downtown

Friday, May 31, 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

 * ... CITIES: The Census Bureau has confirmed what we all expected: people are fleeing the high cost of living and taxes in our glamorous big cities in droves. In Seattle alone, almost 5,009 people
 left for greener pastures, and in the San Jose area, an astonishing 25,000 people have left. Said the
New York Times: "The trend is becoming widespread. Eight of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the country, including those around New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, lost people to other places in 2018." The question, of course, is will less glamorous locales like Bakersfield benefit, and it seems as if we already are. Bakersfield was recently named a top destination for millennials, who see us as a place where it is cheaper to start a business, raise a family and own a home. Our city leaders would do well to notice this trend and market us accordingly.

 * ... STRAY DOGS: There are a lot of reasons to take pride in the community we call home, but the way we treat our dogs and pets is not one of them. Despite the best efforts of dozens of cat and dog rescue operations, Kern County is euthanizing thousands of dogs and cats each year, . One of the reasons: the large number of "puppy mills" operated by individuals who use puppies like barter. One woman posted on Facebook she would trade a pit bull puppy for a new iPhone. Expect a push in the coming months to put some regulations around these puppy mills, not to shut them down but rather to make sure the dogs are well treated.

 * ... 18HUNDRED: The new 18Hundred restaurant and bar, located in a beautifully renovated bank building at the corner of 18th and Chester, has become the new "it" place in Bakersfield. In the last week I have spotted a number of friends and acquaintances there including Bernadette and Mark Root, Judy McCarthy, Leslie Walters, David Jensen, Brian and Katie Kirshenman, Jim and Karen Poteete, Janis Varner, Michael Bowers and Traco Mathews, Lou and Sheryl Barbich and Felix and Teresa Adamo.

 * ... NEW BAKERY: A new bakery has opened on 19th Street just west of F Street, the latest addition to the downtown restaurant scene. It's called Ghila Dolci and it features coffee, fresh pastries and cakes. The owner, Courtney Ghiladucci, previously was a partner in a pastry shop behind the Padre Hotel.

 * ... DAVE PRICE: There will be a celebration of life for the late David Price II this Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church on 17th Street. Price, former head of the county resource management agency, was retired and living in Tennessee when he died recently. The celebration will start at 1 p.m.

 * ... MEMORIES: More old pictures from the Facebook groups Kern County of Old and Kern History Fans. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Is another In-n-Out burger outlet coming to town, Zach Esparza graduates from the Peanut Mobile, Teresa Adamo to tout her new book on KERN and a look at those sound walls on 24th Street

Monday, May 27, 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

 * ... MR. PEANUT: Do you remember Zach Esparza? He was the Stockdale High and later Arizona State University graduate who landed a most enviable job representing Planters Peanuts by driving
the peanut-mobile across the country? He visited me at the KERN Radio studios and the other night, I ran into his mother Sylvia Esparza who said Zach is now working for a company in Manhattan and living in Brooklyn. Well done my friend.

 * .... BURGER WARS: I heard a rumor, that I have yet to corroborate, regarding a new In-n-Out franchise coming to town. Word has it that the wildly popular burger chain will build its third local outlet at the corner of Olive Drive and Knudsen, a high traffic area already with the Starbucks and Hodel's nearby. Stay tuned.

 * ... INDY, OH INDY: One thing about living here in Bakersfield, we love to see local people excel. Which is why I was so thrilled to see Teresa Adamo's new children's book, "Indy, Oh Indy," leap off the shelves after its debut a few months ago. If you want to hear Teresa's story, tune into The Richard Beene Show on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. She will be appearing with her illustrator, Jennifer Williams-Cordova, to talk about the process.

  * ... TELEPHONE SCAM: I have received three calls on my cell phone by someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, saying if I did not call back "legal action" would commence immediately. This is a scam, and like me, you should simply hang up. This is what our government has to say about the scam: "The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning citizens about a caller-ID “spoofing” scheme misusing the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Fraud Hotline phone number. The OIG has received recent reports of phone calls displaying the Fraud Hotline number on a caller-ID screen. This is a scam; OIG employees do not place outgoing calls from the Fraud Hotline 800 number. Citizens should not engage with these calls or provide personal information. Callers may use a variety of false scenarios or threats to request personal information or payments, often by means of gift cards or prepaid debit cards. The caller may claim to be from a 'legal department,' and they may state that one’s Social Security number (SSN) has been involved in fraudulent activity. They may also accuse citizens of committing crimes, and may threaten arrest by Federal marshals.

 * ... SOUND WALLS: Ever wonder what those huge sound walls look like on the other side of 24th Street? Here is the view from Elm and Beech streets on the south side of 24th Street.

 * ... MEMORIES: Enjoy this shot of Chester Avenue, compliments of the Kern County of Old Facebook page.