Thursday, November 14, 2019

A UC Berkeley instructor lashes out as rural America, calling the farm life a "bad decision," the city bickers over a low-barrier homeless shelter and local CPA Andrea Hill expands her practice and moves into new digs

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. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of any other individual, organization or company. 

 * ... COASTAL ELITES: And you wonder why this country is so divided? Sometimes you don't have to look far, like a recent Twitter post from a grad student and lecturer from UC Berkeley who
took to social media to declare half the country brain dead. That's right a young graduate student named Jackson Kernion took time to remind the world that rural Americans are "bad people who have made bad life decisions. Some, I assume, are good people But this nostalgia for some imagined pastoral way of life is stupid and we should shame people who aren't pro city?" I am not sure where to start with this, given the stupidity of Kernion's post, but it speaks to the arrogance and narcissistic navel gazing so common by certain segments of our society.

 * ... HOMELESS: The city's on and off again approach to homelessness is beyond frustrating. Yes, our city has done a lot of combat the crisis - helping fund more beds at local shelters, helping pay for emergency response teams and even funding a "poop" patrol to wash feces and urine from our streets - but a divided city council just can't seem to reach consensus on where to locate a low barrier shelter. We thought we had a location - the old Calcot facility on East Brundage - but Ward 1 Councilman Willie Rivera led a spirited opposition and the council voted 6-0 to go back to the drawing board. Meanwhile winter is here and the suffering on our streets continues. And our city council bickers. So here is a novel idea (I wish it was my idea but I stole it from a friend): why don't we challenge all seven council members to suggest ONE place in their ward which is suitable for a homeless shelter. If East Brundage isn't good enough, what is your suggestion Councilman Bruce Freeman? How about a shelter near Seven Oaks? What about it Ken Weir? Care to turn over the old East Hills Mall into a shelter? It's easy to say no. Let's put their feet to the fire and see what they suggest in their own backyard.

 * ... GAS PRICES: Gasoline prices have spiked in California, soaring well above what most Americans are paying at the pump. In some locations, Californians are paying $5 for a gallon of gas.
A number of refinery outages tightened gas supply in the market. The average price of regular gas in California rose to $4.18 a gallon, the highest level since May 13, 2014, according to the Oil Price Information Service, which gathers data for the AAA.California's gas prices are the most expensive in the United States: The national average is currently $2.65 a gallon.

 * ... MOVING UP: Congratulations to Andrea R. Hill, a local accountant who recently absorbed another CPA practice and moved her office downtown. Hill purchased the practice of Jerry W. Kemp, who had been practicing for more than 30 years and was previously Sheats and Kemp. Kemp retired and Hill loved into his office at 2200 19th street. Hill has been practicing since 1985 when she graduated from CSUB. She was previously a tax partner at Brown Armstrong and prior to that in partnership with Cathy Brown, at Brown and Rutherford, CPAs.

 * ... TAFT: Check out this very old U.S. Mail Box in Taft just off 8th Street near Kern Street. Thanks to reader Pam Taylor for getting this shot.

 * ... MEMORIES: Some more historic photos as we walk down memory lane. Enjoy.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Despite its Christian stand Chick-fil-A is one of the nation's most popular restaurants, Julie Crawford gets a surprise birthday, trucks are being stolen in droves around town and Dick Taylor bows out of a county supervisor race

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. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of any other individual, organization or company. 

 * ... CHICK-FIL-A: Just how popular is Chick-fil-A? Well, the restaurant industry says the popular chicken restaurant is now the third most popular fast food eatery in the country, right behind No. 1
McDonald's and No. 2 Starbucks. But it is also one of the more controversial ones simply because its corporate mission is to "glorify God" and it is closed on Sundays. A national research groups showed that Chick-fil-A posted double-digit sales gains in 2018, passing Subway to claim the No. 3 spot in terms of toppling revenue. The company was founded by Truett Cathy, a Christian businessman who incorporated his faith into the company’s practices.

 * ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Happy birthday to Julie Crawford, one of the owners of Pyrenees Cafe and the Silver Fox Starlite Lounge downtown. The longtime entrepreneur was surprised on her birthday by husband Rod Crawford with a surprise party at The Bell Tower club downtown. The Crawfords bought Pyrenees a few years ago (and later the Fox Starlite Lounge) and restored both to their former beauty.

 * ... SUPERVISOR RACE: Former county veterans affairs director Dick Taylor has taken his hat out of the race to succeed Mick Gleason on the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Taylor had been courted to run but said Saturday he had decided against it. "Based on my 27 years running our family business, military record, experience service as a county department head, and knowledge of the district, I've been urged by many community leaders and friends to run for District 1 of the Kern County Board of Supervisors.  Having first moved into the district in 1979 after my honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, I consider it a great honor to be approached to run for this office.  However, after a lot of thought and research, I have decided to not seek election in March 2020 as District 1 Supervisor.  My hope is that a candidate arises to represent this incredible district who possesses the necessary experience, character, trustworthiness, maturity, and statesmanship befitting the highest leadership position in the county.  I want to sincerely thank everyone who has offered their support and I continue to be proud of all the work happening in our great county."

 * ... CALIFORNIA: Few people outside of those of us living in California understand just how big a state we live in. Check out this map that explains it all.

 * ... TRUCK THEFTS: Want to know how bad car thefts are in Bakersfield? I randomly collected pictures of pickup trucks that have been stolen in the last couple of weeks. Here is a selection. Be careful out there.

 * ... MEMORIES: Some old pictures as we walk down memory lane.