Thursday, July 9, 2020

Does cannabis help protect you from contracting the coronavirus? And are just weeks away from running out of hospital beds? Plus Grimmway Farms hands out its scholarships

 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 company or publication.

 * ... COVID AND RENT: Did you know that 31 percent of the people who either rent or own a
home missed their payment in May? That's the word from CSUB economics professor Richard Gearhart who said the longtime economic slowdown is starting to affect our ability to meet basic housing obligations. In June, Gearhart said that number stayed the same - right at 30 percent - and that many of those renters and homeowners are living in fear of being evicted.

 * ... CANNABIS AND COVID: In a world of turmoil and bad news, here is an interesting tidbit that should brighten your day. Cannabis - marijuana, pot, weed, ganga whatever you care to call it - may help prevent or treat the coronavirus infection. Thats according to researchers from the University of Lethbridge who said a study in April showed at least 13 cannabis plants were high in CBD that appeared to affect the ACE2 pathways that the bug uses to access the body. The results, printed in online journal Preprints, indicated hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells.While they stressed that more research was needed, the study gave hope that the cannabis, if proven to modulate the enzyme, “may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility” as well as “become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”

 * ... COVID SURGE: it was distressing to read in The Californian and Dignity's Mercy Southwest Hospital had to turn away Covid-19 patients this past weekend because of staffing shortages. Reporter John Cox said so many hospital employees (nurses, doctors and support staff) have been sickened by the virus that they are having trouble keeping the vital positions filled. According to Cox, at the current rate we should run out of hospital beds sometime in the next three weeks.

 * .... SICK BAY: And finally on the Cover-19 front, Michael Bowers is the latest of our citizens to be stricken with the coronavirus. A former aide to state Sen. Andy Vidak and Congressman David Valadao, Bowers is now vice president of marketing with Centric Health. While he recovers at home, keep him and the other Covid victims in your thoughts.

 * ... GRIMMWAY: Grimmway Farms has awarded another 64 college scholarships to students who have a parent or guardian employed by the Bakersfield-based company. The scholarships were given as part of the annual Rod and Bob Grimm Memorial Scholarship Program, Grimmway's founders.
This year's scholarship recipients will attend a range of top-ranked schools, including Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Colgate University, Fresno State, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara. The scholarships, which are renewable for four years, are based on academic achievement and provide financial support for students attending two- and four-year colleges and universities. Applicants who exceed a grade point average of 3.5 receive a MacBook Pro laptop in addition to renewable scholarship funds.

 * ... MEMORIES: Nothing like a trip down memory lane to get a view of old Bakersfield and Highway 99 back in the day.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Two local death row inmates die of Covid-19 and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer celebrates closure for their victims, H.A. Sala to talk about your rights during protests, and all those sports mascots and logos that are on the chopping block during this time of the great cleansing

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.

 * ... PROTESTS: How many times have you watched protesters attacking motorists and wondered: What would I do in that situation? If I hit the pedal and hurt somebody, will I be charged? If I fear my
life is in danger as they pound on my hood and windows, what are my rights? We will cover all of that and more on Tuesday when noted defense attorney H.A. Sala comes on The Richard Beene Show at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss our rights. Tune in.

 * ... COVID TAKE A KILLER(S): The coronavirus has claimed two lives on California's death row. This take from District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer: "Scott Thomas Erskine raped and murdered a 9 year old boy, a 13 year old boy, and and an adult woman. Manuel Machado Alvarez murdered a man and committed other violent felonies including rape. Hopefully, with the deaths of these sexual predators, the victims’ families can have some closure and peace."

  * ... PURITY POLICE: Now that the nation is in the grips of a feverish movement to destroy anything remotely offensive, let's review some of the sports teams logos that simply have to go in this climate. We can start with our own South High "Rebels," which you can guess, has been deemed out of bounds by the purity police. Then you can move on to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the University of Illinoi "Fighting Ilini" named after an Indian tribe, the Atlanta Braves, the longtime favorite Washington Redskins and - get this - the Holy Cross Crusaders. Now if a good old fashioned Christian crusade doesn't upset you, then few things will. And don't forget about the "Arabs" of the Coachella High School. If we have to explain it to you, then you just don't get it.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Just overheard a woman talking on her phone to her friend saying that she tested positive for Covid, but she feels fine and she needs to get her shopping done. She did have a mask on but her husband and kids didn't... Just to let folks know some people don't care for anyone's else's safety. We walked away and notified employees but she was on her way out...We just couldn't believe it. MASK Up folks."

 * ... MEMORIES: You must got to love some of these old pictures on the internet. Here, from a local Facebook page devoted to local history, is a picture from 1943 with this caption: "The peak flow of Kern River as measured at First Point near Hart Park the morning of March 10, 1943 was 21,701 cubic feet per second. The Beardsley River Weir is located just east of Gordon's Ferry Bridge. And they say, "In Bakersfield, it only rains at night".