Friday, November 29, 2019

The county moves forward with its homeless shelter despite concerns from the High Speed Rail Authority, Tiler Peck shows up in the Ray Donovan series and ABC23's Tim Calahan calls it quits

* ... THREE CHEERS: You just have to love the county's response to the California High-Speed Rail Authority who signaled it has a problem with the county's location for a new low barrier homeless shelter. The Authority warned it may need the land over off Golden State Highway where the shelter is being built. The county's response: we are going forward. Said county communications director Megan Person: “The talk about the high speed rail has been going on for 20 years. So the
county is just saying we are not going to be holding our breath anymore. We have a crisis that we need to address. We understand we’re in the pathway. We’re moving forward... ” This is exactly the kind of response we need, and I for one applaud it. The idea that this state boondoggle called high speed rail could de-rail (pardon the pun) an important project is absurd.

 * ... WAS THAT TILER PECK?: It's not every day when you are watching one of your favorite cable shows and you spot a Bakersfield girl in the cast. But there she was, our own Tiler Peck, a member of the New York City Ballet, appearing on a Showtime episode of Ray Donovan. Peck appeared in the season debut of Ray Donovan's new season called “Faith. Hope. Love. Luck" as the friend (girlfriend?) in a character pursued and beaten by Ray Donovan. Peck is not only a star with the ballet, but she regularly dabbles in TV and movies.

 * ... TIM CALAHAN: Adios to Tim Calahan, ABC23's evening anchor who brought wit, dignity and insight into our homes nightly. Calahan won't say what his next move is, but he appears to be staying in town and looking for a new chapter that does not involve the demanding hours of being a TV anchor. Calahan previously worked for KGET and the Mission of Kern County before joining KERO TV.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: From Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak: "In order to save our planet, I’m asking everyone in America who’s 73-years-old or older to join me in pledging not to have any more children. #SignThePledge."

 * ... BAD FORM: I spotted this post on Facebook regarding some alleged thieves at The Marketplace. It read: "So today at Vons at the Marketplace, I saw management kicking three known shoplifters out. I decided to take a few pictures of their plate as they left. The fat one in the pictures below rolled down the rear window and struck me in the face and chest with an unopened bottle of Gatorade as they fled. Unfortunately, BPD doesn't have the ability to run the numbers on the temp plates the DMV uses now like they can a regular plate. They did take a report for assault with a deadly weapon. If you know where these pieces of trash live, please let me know.
Vons management stated these three have stolen around $12k in liquor from them this year and are known to hit multiple stores in a day."

 * ... FIRE MUSEUM: Have you heard about the proposed new fire museum downtown? It will be located directly behind the Fox Theater and across from the downtown fire station on G Street. Check out the artist rendering.

 * ... BRATCHER: A new home design business has opened on 18th Street next to Sequoia Sandwich Co. downtown. Bratcher design studio was founded by creative director Brooke Bratcher, who has worked in residential interior design for more than eight years. The store is open from 10 am. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the studio offers "grab and go" items and exclusive furniture lines, as well as a space for planning customized interiors.

* .. MEMORIES: Yet another trip down memory lane looking at 19th Street back in the day.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A breakthrough in solar technology could spell trouble for fossil fuels, Cafe Med closes abruptly and Mexican drug cartels are now focusing on the latest cash crop: avocados

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. 

 * ... SOLAR BREAKTHROUGH? A story that didn't get much play this week involved a potentially game changing technology in the fight against global warming. Backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the technology uses concentrated solar energy to exceed temperatures greater than
1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit). Said one story: "For perspective, that kind of heat is about one-quarter of the temperatures found on the surface of the sun. At that temperature, the energy company—Heliogen—can replace the use of fossil fuels in critical industrial processes, including the production of cement, steel, and petrochemicals, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions from these activities. This singular scientific achievement was accomplished at Heliogen’s commercial facility in Lancaster, California." Keep an eye on this techonology.

 * ... AVOCADO CARTEL? Are you ready for this? Apparently avocados have become so valuable that Mexican drug cartels are now adding the popular fruit to the list of other products - marijuana, cocaine and other drugs - that they want to control. According to a piece in The Los Angeles Times, Mexican cartels have beens seizing hundreds of thousands of acres of land to plant avocados in Michoacan state, already a region notorious for cartel activity. Said The Times: "Mexico's multi billion dollar avocado industry, headquartered in Michoacan state, has become a prime target for cartels, which have been seizing farms and cleaning protected woodlands to plant their own groves of what locals call 'green gold.'" (LA Times photo)

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER :Saw a rival dad unloading a turkey fryer so I brought him a fire extinguisher.

 * ... ADIOS CAFE MED: Cafe Med, the iconic Mediterranean eatery on Stockdale Highway, is closing after three decades in business. Owner Meir Brown said business had grown soft in recent years and factors out of his control - increases in the minimum wage, skyrocketing utility costs to name two - had made going forward untenable. The closing triggered a tsunami of criticism on social media over customers who held Cafe Med gift cards, some purchased recently, that are now virtually worthless. Brown first announced he was closing this Wednesday but the doors were shut for good on Friday, leaving fans torn between sadness and anger over being stifled with gift certificates. The closing of Cafe Med is just the latest in a long string of local businesses to shut their doors. Others include Joseph's Italian Restaurant, Red Door Interiors and Beverly's Craft store.

 * ... GOOD FORM: Hats off to Gary and Deborah Leary, who celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary this weekend. If you have attended a fund raiser where steaks are involved, chances are you spotted Gary and his son Anthony tending to the grill, while Deborah worked the room making sure the trains ran on time. Whether it is CSUB or the St. Francis du Paul homeless shelter, the Learys are among those who have contributed to its success.

 * ... MEMORIES: Here are a few pictures worthy of a walk down memory lane, thanks to the Facebook pages Kern County of Old and Kern County History Fans.