Thursday, October 22, 2020

Anonymous letters threaten to burn down the homes of Trump supporters, local lobby the state to have water in the Kern River year round and some old pictures of Steve McQueen on a motorcycle in Lake Isabella

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.

 * ... THREATENING LETTER: KGET reporter Bob Price is looking into a letter that has been showing up around town threatening Trump supporters with violence after the election.  "Your address has been

added into our database as a target for when we attack should Trump not concede the election," he said. "We recommend that you check your home insurance policy and make (sure) that it is current and that it has adequate coverage for fire damage."

 * ... NETFLIX: If you are like me, you have spent the pandemic running through the inventory at

Netflix, which has seen a surge in revenue and subscribers over the past eight months. Netflix added 2.2 million subscribers in the third quarter, just shy of its estimate of 2.5 million, and revenue jumped 23 percent to an incredible $6.4 billion. It has now leveled off, but count Netflix among those companies who have benefitted from the long lockdown.

 * ... DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: Fall has finally come to the Central Valley as temperatures dip, leaves begin to change color and the end of Daylight Savings Times is near. The clocks will roll back one hour on Nov. 1, the day after Halloween, at 2 a.m. It’s also a good time to replace batteries in warning devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your device has sealed-in batteries, remove any debris and check to confirm they are functioning properly. Daylight saving time will return at 2 a.m. on March 14, 2021.

 * ... KERN RIVER: The push to get water flowing year-round in the Kern River made its way to the State Water Resources Control Board's monthly meeting. That's the word from Lois Henry and her website SJVWATER.ORG that said multiple speakers asked the board to make it a priority to allocate unappropriated water on the river to keep is flowing year round. One of the speakers from Bakersfield, writer Kelly Damian, said "the people here deserve to have their river back." Damian was among a group of speakers who were behind a petition seeking water in the river full time. "If Mono Lake can be saved, the Owens can be restored and the San Joaquin can flow again, we will bring back the Kern," the petition said.  This is no quick fix, to be sure, but it's good to see some influential local people pressuring the state to do the right thing.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) weighed in on the dispute over the decisions by Twitter and Facebook to start censoring certain conduct. Said McCarthy: "When Twitter selectively targets any user based on politics, they not only undercut their own Terms of Service, they undermine the principles of our First Amendment. Freedom of speech is an inherently American value. It must be protected."

 * ... KGET DEBATES: Hats off to the folks over at KGET for stepping up when others won't: KGET has devoted its time and airways to a series of debates, including one featuring Rep. Kevin McCarthy versus Kim Mangone, Rep. T.J. Cox against former congressman David Valadao and Assemblyman Vince Fong versus Democrat Julie Solis. As one viewer said on Twitter while watching the McCarthy debate: "Sorry Kim Mangone, not now. Not today." Even thought candidates like Mangone and Solis are clearly outmatched, the management at KGET and debate moderators Jim Scott and Eytan Wallace deserve our thanks for airing all of these debates.

* ... STEVE MCQUEEN: Check out these old photos of the late Hollywood actor Steve McQueen, a motorcycle enthusiast, gassing up in Lake Isabella. Thanks to former Californian photographer Felix Adamo for posting this and crediting the photo to John Dominis, who was on assignment for LIFE magazine.

 * ... MEMORIES: And check these pictures out, from the Kern County History Fans Facebook page. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Fire guts the old Logan's Roadhouse, Chad Hathaway gets married, two women to speak out on breast cancer today and is Bob Price really an old, senile reporter?

 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.

 * ... BREAST CANCER: Most breast cancers are diagnosed among woman over the age of 50 - most

often in the 55 to 65 age range - and Diane Nelson and Stacey Shepard are two witnesses to that. Nelson, a pharmaceutical rep, and Shepard, a writer at The Bakersfield Californian, will be sharing their story  Tuesday at CBCC at 5:30 p.m. in an “Ask Us Anything” format. And both will be guests on The Richard Beene Show today at 2 p.m. to share their experiences as a warning to others.

 * ... BOB PRICE: Bob Price, the popular former editor at The Californian who has since joined KGET as a reporter, received a bit of hate mail at the station when a text referred to him as a "senile old fart." In typical Bob Price fashion, he joked in a post that he was surprised it took eight months in his new job to be criticized.

 * ... TYLER WILLIAMS: Congratulations to Tyler Williams, a Bakersfield lad who has built an impressive career as a professional cyclist. Williams was among an elite group of racers who were named by USA Cycling to compete in the first ever UCI sports world championships. The event is scheduled to take place inDecember. Williams burst onto the professional scene after learning to ride (long and fast) with local cyclists who routinely ride into the foothills (Woody, Glennville etc) on the weekends. After a stint living and riding in Spain, he returned to the United States and made his home in Santa Rosa. Recently, Tyler and wife Brea welcomed their first child into the world.

 * ... HAPPILY MARRIED: And hats off to Chad Hathaway,  president and owner of Hathaway Oil, and wife Lindsay who were married this weekend in a small ceremony officiated by state Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield).  Hathaway is a regular guest as an oil industry expert on both The Moneywise Guys and The Richard Beene Show on KERN NewsTalk 96.1/1180 AM.

 * ... LOGAN'S: Fire engulfed the old Logan's Roadhouse Grill on California Avenue Saturday morning and suspicions immediately focused on vagrants who have been using the building for shelter.

 * ... MEMORIES: This wonderful old picture of the Beale Clock tower draped with a Red Cross fund raising banner comes compliments from the Kern County History Fans Facebook page.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And then there is this, a picture circa 1939 of loading bins of potato planter which fertilizes and plants potatoes in one operation. Photo by Dorothea Lange.