Monday, May 25, 2020

Restaurants open up for Memorial Day weekend, Supervisor Mike Maggard on fighting the coronavirus and City Councilman Willie Rivera decides enough is enough

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.

 * ... MEMORIAL DAY IN PICTURES: It was the perfect holiday weekend, mild temperatures that will give way to valley heat this week, but a memorable one nonetheless. My thanks to all the
photographers who shot these scenes of life in Kern County.

 * ... RIVERA IS OUT: Ward 1 City Councilman Willie Rivera, who was just 22 when he was elected, is stepping down as he accepts a new job with AERA Energy. You can bet that they are already lining up potential candidates to replace Rivera, whose term in office was not supposed to expire until 2022. Rivera issued this statement: “It is my hope that notifying you of my intentions now will allow the city to take action to schedule an election for my replacement to coincide with the city council elections already scheduled for November 3, 2020. Doing so would avoid any additional special election costs and allow the residents of Southeast Bakersfield to choose their next representative."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Thanks to the magic of Twitter, you’re no longer restricted to fighting with family, friends and neighbors; you can now trade insults with total strangers. And you don’t even have to face them! Invigorating, isn’t it?":

 * ... BIKE SHOPS: The pandemic has led to a rush on bike shops, and local shops say they are selling everything they can get their hands on and are swamped with repairs. Over at Action Sports, which prides itself in customer service, owner Kerry Ryan noted there has been a crush of tuneups and repairs now that people are dusting off their bicycles and taking them out for family time during the lock down. If you need proof, hang around the bike path at the Park at RiverWalk to enjoy hundreds of families out on their bikes enjoying the mornings. Said Ryan: "We doubled our staff to meet the demand at the door," he said. "Our safety measures have pleased all but a few. The lockdown has made people appreciate getting out of the house and bicycles are the exciting way most people can do that.:

 * ... MOVING FORWARD: Supervisor Mike Maggard borrowed an analogy from his son when he talked about life during a pandemic. His son, active military, said during a firefight the only option was "to keep moving forward. Doing nothing is death." Maggard said the same was true during the pandemic where "standing still is not an option. We have to move forward." Maggard appeared with county CAO Ryan Alsop on KGET's Saturday afternoon show "Kern County In Depth" with host Jim Scott.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out the old Vaughn Taxi from around 1910, thanks to our friends at the Kern County History Fans Facebook page.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: This picture dates from 1903 at Daytona Beach, Florida. It's not local but it's a wonderful picture anyway.

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