Thursday, May 7, 2020

Uricchio's Trattoria will reopen for curbside pickup soon, the county says it is not in the business of shutting down businesses that violate the state lockdown, and KBAK's Rachelle Murcia celebrates the end of her chemo treatment

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.

 * ... REOPENING: Uricchio's Trattoria, the popular downtown eatery that closed temporarily when the stay at home orders were passed down, will be reopening for take-out service on Tuesday, May
19. That's according to owner Claire Porter, who said Uricchio's would reopen with a limited menu as it gauges when it might return to tabletop dining both inside and on its open air patio. Porter said she anticipates the industry will be allowed to reopen but only with some restrictions, possibly limiting inside seating and requiring the use of masks and gloves by some employees. Meanwhile some local restaurants - including Mossman's Fish and Chips, Moo Creamery and Spencers - have reopened with restrictions in defiance of the state order.

 * ... PHASE TWO: As California moves into the Phase 2 process of reopening, county chief administrative officer Ryan Alsop said the county would not be in the business of shutting down businesses that violate the state order. Alsop said the county is in a position of "re-enforcing" the state mandate, but it would be up to the state to use it regulatory power to cite and punish any business that reopened prematurely. For restaurants and bars, Alsop noted, the state can use its regulatory powers over food and alcohol to mete out punishment if needed.

 * ... GIANT HORNETS: Are you ready for the killer hornets? That's right, Asian hornets that grow to two inches in length have been spotted in Washington and farmers worry they could play havoc with the bee population used to pollinate plants. Perhaps not surprisingly, we are told that eating the large hornets is common in some Asian countries.

 * ... TEACHER HONORS: Congratulations to Joseph Andreotti, who was named Teacher of the Year for the Lakeside Union School District. The honor puts him in the running to be Kern County teacher of the year. Andreotti teaches eight grade and ansi is the AVID site coordinator for the AVID program.

 * ... RACHELLE MURCIA: A big hats off to KBAK evening anchor Rachelle Murcia, who officially completed her round of chemotherapy for cancer. The local anchor posted this to celebrate the day: "FINAL CHEMO DONE! I had 4 Red Devil treatments, 4 Taxol treatment and my last treatment was in the 4th day of the 4th month. The force is strong in this one.
(I wore some special things my loved ones sent to me. What I couldn’t wear, I carried with me and that bag sat right next to me for the 5 hours of my last treatment. Thank you all!)"

* .... OLD SCHOOL FIREFIGHTERS: I spotted this photo on a friend's Facebook page so I cannot tell you the date of this photo, or where it was taken, but it is a beauty. Are those beers they are drinking?

 * ... MEMORIES: Don't you just love this picture of old Caliente? Thanks to the Kern County of Old Facebook page for this nugget from our past.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Pressure builds to open up the economy but researchers warn the virus could come back with a vengeance, Kern County appeals to the governor to allow a gradual reopening and banana bread is the dish of choice for the time of quarantine

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.

Americans have grown restless after six weeks of staying at home, and across the country protests have erupted demanding that the country open up for business. This isn't a unanimous conclusion and there are plenty of people - still a national majority - who fear opening
early could trigger a second wave of infections. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania agree, warning that a premature reopening could lead to another 233,000 deaths from the coronavirus. The Wharton School Budget Model said even a partial reopening could lead to an additional 45,000 lives lost.

 * ... KERN COUNTY: Meanwhile a group of Kern County supervisors, assisted by state Sen. Shannon Grove, are appealing to Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow Kern County to come up with its own plan for a gradual reopening. Supervisor Mike Maggard said the idea would be to phase in a reopening plan based on the conditions in Kern County, that are far better than the situation in Los Angeles and other areas. Joining Maggard and Grove are supervisors David Couch and Zach Scrivner. Maggard will be my guest on Monday at 2:30 on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM/1180 AM.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I'm starting a rumor on the Breitbart chats that Covid-19 turns you gay. That should keep a lot of these idiots at home."

 * ... ONE OPINION: Tony Martinez, who retired from the Bakersfield police department and now runs a nonprofit that provides house repairs for the needy, did not mince words when he cautioned that we should all be adhering to social distancing. Said Martinez:  "What a slap in the face to our chiefs, the women and  men of their departments, our doctors and nurses who every day risk their lives and of their families for individuals like those who protested in front of City Hall. No guts to protest in front of a hospital? Constitutional rights? Yes many men and women fought and gave their lives so you could have and use wisely, not for your political or personal agendas. If you have to venture out at least please use a face cover.. think of your children and families.

 * ... BANANA BREAD: So what do you think is the single most researched food item that people have been preparing during the quarantine? If you guessed banana bread, you would be right. According to Google, more people researched how to make banana bread than any other food dish. Have you made yours yet?

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out these photos of Highway 99 back when it opened in Kern County. These pictures are courtesy of the Historic Highway 99 Facebook page and show stretches of the 99 just south of Bakersfield.