Thursday, October 15, 2020

Political endorsements from the Bakersfield Association of Realtors, Assemblyman Vince Fong faces off against challenger Julie Solis and remembering Bakersfield's daughter, Patrica Alatorre

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.

 * ... RED COUNTY: If Kern County is known for anything, it is the conservative streak that runs through our community, often at odds with the more progressive politics of San Francisco. But you might

be surprised to hear that the percentage of Republican voters has remained steady at 37 percent, compared to 34 percent for Democratics and another 22 percent for those who decline to state a party affiliation. According to today's Bakersfield Californian, this could be good news for Republicans because the share of voters who identify as Democrats has slid two percentage points.

 * ... ENDORSEMENTS: The Bakersfield Association of Realtors has issued its endorsements for the Bakersfield City Council. The BAR endorsed Eric Arias for Ward 1, incumbents Andrae Gonzales for Ward 2 and Bruce Freeman for Ward 5 and Patty Gray for Ward 6. In addition, the BAR is using a "yes" vote on Proposition 19 and a "no" vote on Propositions 15 and 21.

 * ... ZIMMER ENDORSES LACEY: District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer is among two dozen DAs who have thrown their support behind Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey in her reelection bid. Lacey is in a pitched political fight with former San Francisco prosecutor George Gascon. Gascon was one of the architects of Proposition 47, which decriminalized dozens of felonies across California, and opponents fear he will bring a dose of San Francisco justice to southern California.

 * ... FONG VERSUS SOLIS:  Did you see the debate between Assemblyman Vince Fong and Democratic challenger Julie Solis on KGET the other day? To be sure it wasn't much of a debate since it's hard to consider Solis a serious candidate given her past behavior in public. (Who can forget her tirade about "big titties" during a clash with Supervisor Leticia Perez?) And to Fong's credit, he maintained his composure and answered the questions seriously. Expect Fong to win reelection to the 24th Assembly District walking away.

* ... BAKERSFIELD'S DAUGHTER: Have you seen the new mural downtown celebrating the memory of Patricia Alatorre, the 13-year-old Bakersfield girl who was killed during an encounter with an older man she met on the internet? It's a lovely tribute and a reminder to everyone about the dangers of meeting strangers online.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Remember when you used to go see the tattooed fat ladies at the fair, and now we see them every day for free?"

 * ... WORDS OF WISDOM: In a conversation with Pastor Angelo Frazier of Riverlakes Community Church, Frazier remarked on the historic times live in. "Every breath is an historic breath," he said. "We need to remember that." Amen.

 * ... GIRL SCOUTS: Who remembers a bus accident back in 1969 that took the lives of three young Bakersfield girls? I spotted this post on Facebook, which read: "Remembering the three Girl Scouts that died in a bus accident coming off the Grapevine (I-5) in 1969. Here’s to those who survived. May they all Rest In Peace. Just wondering if anyone remembers my cousin, Nancy Tatum. I was only 7 at the time and I don’t remember much about her. Also, thank you Munsey Elementary Scool BCSD for allowing me to take these pictures:"

 * ... MEMORIES: Compliments of Art Moore and the Facebook page Kern County History Fans comes this post on an old store on Chester Avenue. "Hochheimer and Company - Pioneer Store... 1900 to 1928 Chester Avenue.: Proprietor: Florent Schurra (1850-1937)... Chester Ave. between 19th and 20th St.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Medical experts fear a winter "twindemic" of flu and Covid-19, the "zen master" Art Sherwyn is profiled by The Californian and plaintiff's attorney Daniel Rodriguez on the mend after receiving a new hip

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.

 * ... TWINDEMIC: Talk to any medical professional and he or she will tell you the experts are dreading this winter. The possibility of a "twindemic" (an explosion of both Covid-19 and the common flu) is a

distinct possibility, particularly considering the number of Americans at risk. For example, only 45 percent of American adults opt to get a flu shot every year (that rises to 62 percent among school age children) and fully half of American adults say they are wary of taking an Covid vaccine once it becomes available. Dr. Brij Bhambi of Bakersfield Heart Hospital says its all rather simple: wear a mask, practice social distancing and despite "pandemic fatigue," stay out of crowded spaces and away from strangers.

 * ... ART SHERWYN: It was nice to see the profile of Art Sherwyn in Sunday's Bakersfield Californian in a piece written by KGET's Robert Price. It was a lovely valentine to a man who has touched so many both in the classroom as a career teacher, on the tennis court as a successful coach at Stockdale High School and most of all as a mentor to young artists. Sherwyn is all of that: accomplished artist, legendary teacher and coach and most of all, a kind and sentient being who has the golden touch of a leader, mentor and teacher. I met Sherwyn when one of my own daughters played for Sherwyn at Stockdale where his tennis team won three consecutive Valley championships. I loved this quote from Sherwyn that Bob Price included in his piece:  "“The greatest leaders take no victims and the greatest victories have no losers,” he said he would tell his players. “We sat down and we discussed it: ‘You're going to send 32 teams home this year as losers. How do you make them feel like winners?’ And so we created ways to make sure that our opponents always left feeling good. When we won those valley championships, all three years, I refused to let them celebrate in front of our opponents. We went straight over, we shook their hands. We showed compassion. We'll celebrate later." (California photo by Alex Horvath)

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Heard a rival dad is planning to hand out king size candy bars for Halloween so now every trick or treater that comes to my house is getting a full rack of ribs."

 * ... DANIEL RODRIGUEZ: It takes a lot to sideline noted plaintiff's attorney Daniel Rodriguez, but this was one opponent even his legendary tenacity could not defeat. Rodriguez recently underwent a hip replacement, compliments of Dr. Fadi Saied of Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI). The verdict: Rodriguez was told his running days were over, but that simply was not going to happen."Why?" he said. "Because I have only one more continent to tun in order to have completed a marathon on each of the second continents: Antartica. I just received my confirmation that I'm enrolled in the running of the Antarctic Ice Marathon in December of 2121!"  Well done, counselor.

 * ... THIS WEEK: It will be a busy week in news. On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a spectacle that will last all week. Also this week, Kern County should learn if it will advance to the "red tier" to allow limited restaurant dining and as a openings for churches, gyms and zoos. Finally, President Trump has been cleared to resume campaigning as we head into the final stretch of the campaign.

 * ... MIGRANT CAMP: Check out these classic old photos, taken by Dorothea Lange, of the Shafter Migrant Camp in 1938.