Thursday, August 8, 2019

Citizens rage over the homeless and associated crime, but is anyone listening? Plus a local artist faces some health challenges and a walk down memory lane in photos

Friday, August 9, 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 community such a special place. Send news items to

 * ... CITIZEN RAGE: The level of frustration over the homeless and associated incidents of vandalism, indecent exposure and general craziness has reached a boiling point. Today I will share
the musings of some of our fellow citizens.

 * ... HOMELESS: Rusty Burchfield, an engineer at American General Media, posted this on his Facebook page which speaks volumes: "We spent five days in Las Vegas last week and I can’t recall seeing one homeless person, which is very odd to me. Today, in Bakersfield I stopped to fuel up on my way to a tower site and was asked at the pump if I had any spare change. Then asked for money on the way out of the store (because there was no receipt at the pump), then in Wasco as I was at a Subway a woman asked me to buy her a Pepsi because it was 'hot' and when I said no she followed me inside talking crazy and the employees did nothing about it. She eventually left and then as I walked outside to get into my car I was asked for money by someone else. I passed several tents setup on the sidewalks today, saw several homeless with dogs, some with cell phones, some on bikes, many with shopping carts. This is totally out of control and again, I remind you I was just in “Sin City” for five days and I can’t recall seeing one homeless person fitting anything like what I saw in just one afternoon here in Kern County. I am very disgusted with our lack of finding a solution to this in our own town."

 * ... MORE VAGRANTS: and then there was this, from the owner of the Rig City Coffee Roasters downtown: "Had a guy OD right outside our shop door (Rig City Coffee Roasters) today. He was completely unresponsive. VERY thankful that DA Cynthia Zimmer and her co-worker were there getting coffee and helped take care of the situation. First responders were there within minutes. She asked me if this was a common thing downtown and I was eager to share my opinion telling her all we owners put up with."

 * ... AND MORE: And finally, this post is from former homebuilder and mayoral candidate Kyle Carter: "I was forced to call 911 this evening. I knew it would do no good at all but I at least had to try. Maybe this time it would be different. Just Maybe. . .  The guy had a knife with about an 9 inch blade. Something that could easily penetrate all the way through a child or an unsuspecting woman. And he was walking toward Central Park throwing his tattooed arms in the air in what seamed to be extreme anger and screaming vulgar obscenities. He didn’t have a shirt on but his dirty baggy sweatpants kept falling down to his knees exposing what I consider to be private parts.  So I did it. I followed him to the park. I was afraid for the unsuspecting souls there. The 911 operator told me it would be some time until there would be an officer in the area. And she really didn’t want to learn much about this guy. She told me not to follow him. Just another day in California. That didn’t surprise me much. Yesterday there was one of them masturbating while sitting on the sidewalk on Chester Avenue at about noon. And then another dancing through the intersection at 24th and Oak. High as a kite. Then there is the guy that broke into our storage garage and the guy that likes to pee on our doors. My stories are endless. It’s come to the point where anarchy may be more than just a thought. Someone has got to provide protection. And there has got to be consequences for those that do not recognize that there are laws.This reminds me of the TV show the walking dead. Except it’s them that are the only ones with rights. Because I now have NONE !"

 *... SICK BAY: I learned the other day that Faith Taylor, a local artist who moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, is battling a tough series of heath setbacks and is in the intensive care unit at the USC Hospital. Her daughter, Sarah Hester, reported on Facebook that Taylor suffered from a ruptured bowel and that was followed with an aneurysm and a "massive" stroke. Sarah has established a GoFundMe account to help the family with expenses.

 * ... MEMORIES: Once again thanks to Art Moore and his Facebook page Kern County History Fans for these jewels.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Homeless encampments are triggering wildfires across Californian, more homeless vandalism downtown, In-n-Out Burger is dethroned as the nation's top fast food joint and Glenn Hammett retires from The Californian

Monday, August 5, 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 community such a special place. Send news items to

 * ... HOMELESS FIRES: As if we didn't have enough to worry about with the homeless spreading disease and urinating and defecating in public, officials now say homeless encampments are increasingly to blame for wildfires. From Los Angeles to Sacramento, multiple fires are being blamed on the homeless and the fire season is just getting started. Remember the Skirball fire in Bel-Air in
late 2017? You got it, caused by a homeless encampment. Or the fire last week in the Sepulveda basin? Caused by another homeless encampment. Meanwhile, my friend Karen Rowles sent me this picture from Scottsdale, which has the cleanest streets in the country. I think we need signs like this here.

 * ... VANDALISM: Meanwhile the men's store Blue Stagg is the latest local business to be vandalized by the homeless. The owners showed up last week to find its front door busted out, a random and seemingly senseless act similar to what has happened at other local retailers downtown. Blue Oak Coffee Roasting was hit just a week ago - the second time - and we now run the risk of running off retailers who have put their time and capital into a downtown revival. Is anyone listening?

* ... BEST FAST FOOD: In-N-Out Burger is officially out as the nation's favorite fast-food chain. Taking over the top spot is not Chick-fil-A, at least according to a new survey conducted by Market Force's Customer Satisfaction survey. More than 7,600 people filled out Market Force's Customer Satisfaction Survey. The survey looked at food quality, dollar value, and staff friendliness among other things. While In-N-Out scored an overall rating of 73, Chick-fil-A did even better. It scored a 79 and now reigns supreme. In-N-Out didn't even make second place overall, which went to Louisiana-based chicken restaurant Raising Cane's, with a rating of 78.

 * ... LEAVING TBC: The Bakersfield Californian lost another key employee last week when graphics director Glenn Hammett called it quits after 31 years. Hammett was the design guru behind almost all of TBC's key projects and products, including its corporate rebranding several years ago and his leadership of BakersfieldLife magazine. Almost everything at TBC, from business cards to the beautiful TBC compass logo in the historic lobby, were works of Hammett. And check this out: after 31 years of employment he left without taking a single sick day.

 * ... INDY OH INDY: Local author Teresa Adamo spent a few hours at the local Barnes and Noble Sunday signing books and reading to a group of youngsters from her latest novel in the "Indy, Oh Indy" series of children's books. Adamo is a longtime journalist and writer, an alum of The Bakersfield Californian and a longtime freelancer and now novelist.

* ... SIGN OF THE TIMES: And then I spotted this on Facebook, another sign of the times.

 * ... MEMORIES: Thanks to Art Moore and the Facebook page Kern County History Fans for this classic old shot, circa 1917.