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 represent any other person or organization.
* ... LETICIA PEREZ: Not long ago many had written Leticia Perez off, dismissed as irrelevant in today's political climate and certain she could not recover from the legal problems involving her husband's role in promoting marijuana. But like the mythical phoenix she not only rose from the ashes but came roaring back, and here she was Wednesday night speaking at the State of the County dinner as chair of the Kern County Board of Supervisors. And not only that, but she did so as the defender of the oil and natural
* ... RIP FRANK: Frank DeMarco, one of the original owners of Rosemary's Creamery, has passed away at the age of 89. DeMarco and his wife, Rosemary, started Rosemary's in November 1984 and over the years the F Street store became a favorite place for people to recognize birthdays and special anniversaries. Family members said DeMarco had been suffering from heart and kidney issues and had been under hospice care. Frank and Rosemary were high school sweethearts and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in December. Their daughters, Roseanne and Katie, run the family business with DeMarco's grandson Patrick. Services are set for next Wednesday at St. Francis of Assisi. A rosary service is set for 10:30 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. mass.
* ... SMART KIDS: So you think you were a smart kid? Have you met Ishaan Brar, a junior at Stockdale High School? The local student was named to the prestigious Global Team Leaders, a group of 35 young people from 18 countries who have achieved the ability to creating innovative technologies that encourage healthy communities. He is the son of rheumatologist Dr. Sumeet Bhinder and nephrologist Dr. Harjeet Brar.
* ... GRIMMWAY: Hats off to Grimmway Farms for donating $5 million to CSUB to establish the Grimm Center for Agricultural Business, the largest single gift ever bestowed on our local university. The money will come over three years and comes from an endowment created by Barbara Grimm-Marshall and Kari Grimm Anderson. The gift coincides with Grimmway's 50th anniversary in business.
* ... TAFT COLLEGE: And also a big hats off to Chevron which gave the Taft College Foundation $156,000 to help fund the development of the allied health and sciences lab, specifically by providing medical equipment for expansion of the TC anatomy and physiology curriculum. This donation will strengthen Taft College’s collaboration with Kern County schools by expanding classes for STEM careers, said Sheri Horn-Bunk, executive director of the TC Foundation.
* ... ANNA LAVIN: Bakersfield College administrator Anna Gavin has been named the new head of the homeless collaborative. Gavin has worked at BC for three years and is now the first executive director of the organization, which seeks to coordinate the efforts of multiple agencies to fight homelessness in our community.
* ... THUGS: I spotted this on Facebook. Beware of folks who walk our streets. The caption read: "The Bakersfield Police Department is requesting the community’s assistance in identifying suspects responsible for an assault. The incident occurred on November 2, 2019, in the 2500 block of Wible Road. The victim was walking to a convenience store in the area when he was assaulted by the suspects... Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Eric Celedon at (661) 326-3964 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.
* ... KERN SCHOOLS: One of the most familiar brands in town - Kern Schools Federal Credit Union- is going away. The company has announced it's changing its name as part of plans of expand in the region and is opting for Valley Strong Credit Union. Kern Schools was founded in 1938 to serve local teachers before eventually expanding to general Kern County residents, according to its website.
* ... MYSTERY PHOTO: I spotted this old photo on the Kern County of Old Facebook page. It was taken somewhere in Bakersfield. Do you know where?