Thursday, July 16, 2020

Defendants in a Father Craig suit file an appeal, Bakersfield makes a list of "fat" cities and a Golden Eagle Hawk makes a spectacular flight back into the wild

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.

 * ... FATHER CRAIG: There's been a development in legal battle between Monsignor Craig Harrison and a critic and an organization he sued after Harrison was removed from his post because of allegations he may have molested young men and boys over the course of his career. Lawyers for the Roman
Catholic Faithful and Stephen Brady filed an appeal this week asking the Fifth District Court of Appeal to reverse a lower court decision that denied an anti-SLAPP motion because Harrison was not a public figure. Attorney Paul Jonna argued that Harrison's high standing in the community and frequent appearances in the media rendered him a public figure by any standard in Kern County, and that Brady had never defamed Harrison in any of his statements. The 71-page appeal graphically details allegations from six or more men who claimed Harrison subjected them to both emotional and sexual abuse while Harrison served as a priest in Merced, Firebaugh and Bakersfield. Only one of the accusers, a Benedictine monk who went by the name Brother Gilligan, was named in the report. Gilligan - his real name is Ryan Dixon - has also been sued by Harrison. Jonna is asking the court to reconsider throwing out Harrison's lawsuit because he is a public figure and has engaged in a "pattern of rank intimidation against those who speak against him. He's sued a victim, an investigator, and his own diocese - and enlisted his brother to engage in a campaign of harassment." (file photo of Stephen Brady and Harrison)

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Everything that makes me happy either gives me cancer or makes me fat."

 * ... WORST CITY: Did you catch the story going around the internet showing the "worst city" in every state? Well you guessed it, Bakersfield is listed as the "worst" city in California. A puzzling list for sure and few would argue there are plenty of "worst" cities even in Kern County much less the state.

 * ... AND WE ARE FAT, TOO: Maybe one of the reasons we rank so low on the list of desirable cities is because we are collectively grossly overweight. That's the word from The American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation that says Bakersfield came in a dismal 99th out of 100 cities in terms of exercise and eating well. In case you care, Arlington, Va. ranked best among the cities examined and dead last, right behind us, was Oklahoma City, Okla.

* ... GOLDEN EAGLE: There was a magnificent small ceremony out at Wind Wolves Preserve this week when a Golden Eagle hawk was released back into the wild after recovering from an injury. The bird was released in a part of the 93.000-acre preserve that is off limits to visitors, but these pictures are stunning.

 * ... MEMORIES: This week we feature a couple of old hotels from back in the day. This one is of the old F.M. Noriega Hotel, built in 1893 located at 525 Sumner Street. The original name was the Ibaria Hotel.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And then there is this old photo of the El Tejon Hotel, compliments of the Kern County History Fans' Facesbook page.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Teachers push back against plans to reopen schools, another blow to newspapers and McClatchy gets ready to sell to bottom feeders, and remembering the actor Dack Rambo of Earlimart

 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.

 * ... WILL SCHOOLS OPEN? The next big fight on the horizon will be over local schools: should they welcome back students to the classroom, or do the health risks to both students and teachers
demand online learning? The battle lines have been drawn, led by President Trump's insistence that classes resume, while teachers and their unions push back, arguing convincingly that teachers are not trained medical professionals and the idea could put thousands at risk. Said The New York Times: "Now, educators are using some of the same organizing tactics they employed in walkouts over issues of pay and funding in recent years to demand that schools remain closed, at least in the short term. It's a stance that could potentially be divisive, with some district surveys suggesting that more than half of parents would like their children to return."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I struggle to understand what is so broken in your life that can only be fixed by going to Disney World during a pandemic."

 * ... BAD FORM: At Sprout's on Stockdale Highway over the weekend, a woman is seen in the produce section pulling off her facemask so she can press her nose and mouth up against a Hawaiian papaya. After a long embrace, she decides to leave the papaya for the next unsuspecting shopper.

 * ... MCCLATCHY: Analysts have been sounding the death knoll for newspapers for years now. Advertising has fled to digital forums, readership is old and getting older and circulation is down across the nation. And now, in what may represent a final nail in the proverbial coffin, the once-respected McClatchy Company of Sacramento is about to be purchased by a hedge fund company, signaling its final demise from its once lofty perch. Back in the day, McClatchy papers like the Bee group (Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee) along with the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star and Charlotte Observer were some of the crown jewels in the newspaper world. Today most are near bankruptcy, their staffs trimmed to the bone and once healthy circulations whittled down to near nothing. The Californian, meanwhile, continues along under relatively new ownership but it too has suffered major cutbacks in staff and funding. Stay tuned.

 * ... DACK RAMBO: Did you know that the character who had a role on the original "Dallas" TV show was born in Earlimart? That's right, I spotted this nugget on the Kern County of Old Facebook page saying that Dack Rambo was a Kern County product. The obit: "Dack Rambo (born November 13, 1941-died March 21, 1994) played the recurring role of Jack Ewing on the original Dallas TV series on CBS-TV, appearing in a total of 51 episodes in Seasons 7-10 of the series, beginning with the episode "Terms of Enderment". Dack was most noted for appearing as Walter Brennan's grandson Jeff in the ABC-TV series The Guns of Will Sonnett, as Steve Jacobi in the ABC soap opera All My Children, and as Grant Harrison on the NBC-TV soap opera Another World. Dack is also known for playing Wesley Harper on the 1984 short lived TV series soap opera Paper Dolls.
Born in Earlimart, California, Rambo had a twin brother, Orman Ray Rambeau, who would ultimately go professionally as Dirk Rambo[1] After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, the brothers were discovered by actress Loretta Young and cast in her CBS series, The New Loretta Young Show.[2] On 5 February 1967, Dirk was killed in a road accident.[3]
Later that same year, Rambo landed the role of Jeff Sonnett on The Guns of Will Sonnett, and co-starred in the short-lived Gunsmoke spin-off, Dirty Sally, with Jeanette Nolan.
During the 1970s and 1980s, he made guest appearances on Marcus Welby, M.D., House Calls, Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels, All My Children, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Hotel, and Murder, She Wrote. He also acted out the lead role in Sword of Justice, which lasted for ten installments in 1978 and 1979. He is best remembered on television for his role as Jack Ewing on Dallas from 1985-87."

 * ... MEMORIES: Don't you love these pictures of Pyrenees Bakery, old and new?