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 community such a special place. Send news items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* ... HARD ROCK: The county could earn $218 million over 20 years under a proposed deal with the Tejon Indian tribe and its proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Mettler. County chief
administrative officer Ryan Alsop told me the deal will allow the county to build a joint fire and sheriff's substation near the hotel, hire nine new firemen and 13 sheriff's deputies, pay for a new 110-foot ladder truck as well as 12 new fully equipped sheriff patrol cars. The deal also includes a direct general fund contribution based on a calculation of standard property tax formulas (remember this is an Indian reservation) as well as a six percent room tax. The proposal will go before the Board of Supervisors next Tuesday.
* ... JOSE ARREDONDO: The story of the week has to be the brutal murder of Jose Arredondo, the owner of the Family Motors line of car dealerships and body shops. Arredondo was found dead in his Cabos San Lucas condominium, and there have been conflicting reports about how he died. The first report said he had been stabbed 27 times, yet a later report said only he had been beaten to death. The local Cabo-based newspapers are reporting that Arredondo died of multiple stab wounds. For sure Arredondo was a controversial character, and for years he fought rumors of drug dealing that were never born out to be true. The stabbing - if indeed that is the cause of death - indicates this was no ordinary home invasion but rather it seems the killers wanted to leave a clear message. And that they did.
* ... HOMELESS: We should have seen this coming. Just like illegal immigrants, the homeless now have advocates who insist should all get used them them sleeping on our streets. One organization in San Francisco is asking the community to "stand together to protect our curbside communities against hate, xenophobia and anti-homeless behavior." Curbside communities? Read that again and let it all sink in.
* ... BAD FORM: Check out this picture of a family who ran out on a $150 bill at Camino Real Kitchen and Tequila on Stine Road. The cutline on the photo read like this: "Just had a table of 4 walk out without paying a $150+ tab...t hey ordered Rib Eyes, sizzling enchiladas, micheladas....stay tuned for video! Help us identify them and receive a free burrito!"
* ... NEWSPAPER RATES: The new owners of The Bakersfield Californian have made their first move, and you are not going to like it. The owners sent letters to all existing subscribers alerting them to a significant rate increase (almost a buck a day) that has already led to a reader backlash. According to the letter (below) the monthly rate is now $29.90, a huge move up for your local newspaper.
* ... OH INDY: Local author Teresa Adamo will be appearing at the local Barnes and Noble to give a reading from her children's book "Indy, Oh Indy." Adamo will do a reading at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4, and she will follow that up by signing purchased copies.
* ... MEN'S SALE: My favorite men's store in California, H. Walker's downtown, is having its annual summer sale. If you are looking for a special gift or a bargain, check out their selection of slacks and ties, shoes, belts, denim, polos, woven shirts, t-shirts, shorts and more.