Thursday, September 3, 2020

District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer criticizes a Superior Court judge for going soft on crime, Wool Grower's opens for outdoor dining and longtime tennis pro Hank Pfister prepares to retire

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.

 * ... CYNTHIA ZIMMER: District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer has come under fire for criticizing a Superior Court judge for alleged having a "pro criminal bias" when handing down sentencing. The Criminal Defense Bar of Kern County said Zimmer's comment "undermines the public's confidence in the judicial system and is affront to the principles reflected in the Constitution." A statement went on to say

that "these comments instill fear in and pressure on all judges to act in accordance with the prosecutions wishes or face unfair attacks on their integrity." Zimmer has defended her statements and said the public should be well informed about where judges stand on crime and sentencing.

 * ... WOOL GROWERS: KC Steakhouse has enjoyed good success with its "Stockyard" outdoor dining, and now Woolgrowers has introduced its own version of that called the "Sheep Camp." The popular Basque eatery said seating was limited and it urged customers to make reservations.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "While I was talking to a young colleague the other day I discovered that she's never seen 'Pulp Fiction.' As I prepared to exclaim my disbelief, I realized SHE HADN'T YET BEEN BORN WHEN IT WAS RELEASED."

 * ... RETIREMENT: Congratulations to Hank Pfister, the longtime tennis pro at Stockdale Country Club who is retiring in October. Once one of the top ranked singles players in the world, Pfister enjoyed a long career on the professional circuit before returning to Bakersfield where he eventually landed at Stockdale Country Club. Pfister said he and his wife, Kim, plan to spend time at a ranch they purchased in the lower Sierras. At one time Pfister was ranked No. 12 in the world in professional tennis.

 * ... RIP FRANK HOOVER: Former Kern County Superior Court Judge Frank Hoover died this week, leaving a legacy for honesty, wit and treating everyone with dignity. For a time Hoover presided a "drug court" where he was known for his equitable treatment of people dealing with difficult times. His son posted this on Facebook: "Maybe during these hard times, with the pandemic, ever growing political division, and natural disasters, we can pay homage to the memory of Frank Hoover by taking a moment to reflect on his belief that, ultimately, we are all human, that we all need to be loved, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and belonging, and that by giving it we can make real and lasting difference in the lives of people around us. Can you think of someone today that needs to hear from you? Can you think of anyone that would benefit from being given a hand up?"

 * ... MEMORIES: I picked up this old photo of the area that became Lake Isabella off the Kern County History Fans Facebook page. The picture dates from July, 1927.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And how about this classic shot of Chester Avenue, looking toward the clock tower, in the mid 1930s? Courtesy of the Kern County of Old Facebook page.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Most people who die during the pandemic have serious underlying conditions, the District Attorney expresses no confidence in a local judge and "Back the Blue" protesters hit Highway 101 on the Central Coast

 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 DEATHS: We have good news and bad news when it comes to the coronavirus. First, it's probably good news that 94 percent of patents who died from the virus also had underlying health conditions. But the bad news? Well, according to local health experts, many of those underlying

conditions - diabetes, obesity, auto-immune conditions - are prevalent among adults in Kern County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only 6 percent of deaths listed COVID-19 as the only cause of death, meaning the rest died from other health conditions.

  * ... CYNTHIA ZIMMER: In a rare move, our District Attorney's office has denounced a local Superior Court judge as biased and said it lacks confidence in the judge's ability to handle future criminal cases. District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer  said she will try to avoid having criminal cases heard by Judge Michael E. Dellostritto after he struck firearms enhancements when sentencing a man who shot and wounded another man in east Bakersfield. "If ever there was a case that warrants the imposition of a life sentence for unlawfully injecting firearms into crimes and increasing violence and suffering cause by doing so, this is it." I will discuss the case when I interview Zimmer Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. on KERN NewsTalk 96.1 FM/1180.

 * ... STREET RACING: The crackdown on street racing in town - long overdue - is finally reaping some results. Over the weekend police arrested seven people and cited 80 others in a second consecutive weekend of street racing enforcement. Between 9 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday, Bakersfield police cracked down on street racing, leading to 33 vehicles being impounded and dozens of citations.
Anyone with information regarding street racing or reckless driving is encouraged to contact the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111. 

 * ... BACK THE BLUE: If you were on the Central Coast this weekend you may have spotted a pro-police rally staged on an overpass on Highway 101. Protesters gathered at the overpass and hung U.S. flags and "Back the Blue" signs while they were cheered on by passing cars honking their horns.

 * ... TEJON PASS: Check out these contrasting picture of the Tejon Pass over the years, and remember this the next time you drive to Los Angeles.