Thursday, October 29, 2020

Almost 80 million people have already voted this year, setting us up for a possible record turnout this year, Keith Wolaridge honors his father in a new book and a combat veteran finds his home in renewable energy

 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.

 * ... RECORD TURNOUT? It looks like we are headed to a record turnout for the presidential election next week. So far - and this is stunning - 78 million people have already voted. That is more than half of

the total votes counted in the 2017 general election with President Trump beat Hillary Clinton. According to USA Today, more than 257 million people in the United State are 18 or older and some 240 million are eligible to vote. It's possible that 85 million people could vote before Nov. 3, with 150 million voting in total, according to McDonald. That would mean an eligible voter turnout rate of more than 62 percent.

 * ... GOOD FORM: On my recommended reading list this week comes "Five Pillars," the latest book by Bakersfield businessman and school board member Keith Wolaridge. The book examines give character traits handed down by Keith's father to lead a fulfilled life: integrity, perseverance, decency, courage and faith. It is available on A quick, important read made even more relevant by the times in which we live.

 * ... BAD FORM: This picture was allegedly taken at a Trump rally in Bakersfield this past week. Bad form all around, particularly when you allow young children to read it.

 * ... SOARING VETERAN: Congratulations to Army Airborne veteran Chad Garcia who has joined Braun Electric as a lead in a major solar project. Garcia spent more than 13 years in the Army and was medically retired after suffering head injuries in Afghanistan. After working in the radio business and becoming active in local veteran organizations, Garcia found his calling working on wind turbine farms and was recently recruited by Braun to turn his attention to another renewable energy, solar.  (Perhaps ironically, coworkers from Braun reached out to support Garcia while he was in Afghanistan) Garcia's journey is a testament to the persistence, tenacity and passion that it takes to transition from active military life to a promising career in renewable energy.

 * ... RISING STAR: And here's to Cooper Adamo, youngest son of former Californian photographer Felix Adamo and wife Teresa, for being awarded a fellowship  at the John Jay Institute in the Philadelphia suburb of Langhorne, PA. Said Adamo: "The four month program is intended to prepare Fellows for careers in public service, whether they take shape in the public, non-profit, or for-profit spheres." After completing the course, the Fellows could land new positions in the Congress, State Department, Heritage Foundation, International Arts Movement, the Center for Strategic Studies and others. (photo courtesy of Felix Adamo)


 * ... MEMORIES: Who remembers Mrs. Freise's hospital where so Bakersfield people were born? Check out this photo from May 12, 1939.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And then there is this shot from Delano, thanks to the Kern County History Fans Facebook page.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Medical experts worry about "virus fatigue" as we head into the cold winter, CityServe wins a Beautiful Bakersfield award and did you spot the Trump caravan through town this weekend?

 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.

 * ... CORONAVIRUS: We have all heard the warnings: we are heading into a dark, cold winter where the coronavirus could spike and infect tens of thousands. Do we have the discipline to practice safe protocol?

Or will our "virus fatigue" set in and make us all vulnerable? Before you do anything consider this: the chances of dying from the coronavirus in the United States is 50 times higher than Japan, and 2,000 times greater than dying in Vietnam. That's according to Dr. Brij Bhambi, a founder of Centric Health and a cardiologist with Central Cardiology. At the core is one simple fact: people in many other countries are much more likely to practice safe protocol like wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from others.

 * ... BEAUTIFUL BAKERSFIELD: Hats off to CityServe, the non-profit devoted to helping the neediest among us, for winning the Chairman's Award at the Bakersfield Beautiful Awards this weekend. CityServe operates out of the old Montgomery Ward building on F Street with a mission to helping those who need the most. Over the past year CityServe has helped thousands of Kern County families by partnering with churches across Kern County to distribute food and other household goods to the needy.

 * ... TRUMP TRAIN: Did you catch the Trump train on Saturday? An estimated thousand cars, trucks and motorcycles adorned with American flags and Trump flags wound its way through Bakersfield on Saturday, part of a caravan that started in Fresno and eventually made its way to Los Angeles. It was quite the spectacle and if you are a Trump fan - there was no sweeter sight.

 * ... JESSICA MATHEWS: The executive director of the non-profit League of Dreams, Jessica Mathews, is moving to Idaho Falls with her family within the next month. The good news: Mathews said the Board of the non-profit has agreed to retain Mathews as executive director on a remote basis, meaning she will continue in her role from Idaho. Mathews is largely responsible for the dynamic growth of the organization since its creation, serving hundreds of physically challenged young people by providing safe environments to participate in a variety of sports, including baseball, fencing, basketball and dance.

* ... BULKY WASTE: Heads up out there: Kern County Public Works will hold a bulky waste collection event on Saturday, Nov. 7, at three locations about town. Here's a chance to get rid of that old mattress, dresser, and old construction material. It will not collect hazardous waste. Spread the word and maybe we will see less dumping on public roads in the weeks ahead.

 * ... MEMORIES: From the Kern County History Fans Facebook page comes this nugget from back in the day.