Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Valadao-Cox race goes down to the wire, Father Craig Harrison wins a court case against an accuser and are you leaving Facebook for more conservative social media sites?

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.

 * ... VALADAO-COX: Is history about to repeat itself in the race between Democrat Congressman T.J. Cox and Republican challenger David Valadao. Two years ago Valadao was the incumbent and on election night went to sleep thinking he had won. But after absentee and late reporting precinct ballots were counted, Cox

narrowly edged Valadao and won. As things stand now, Valadao leads Cox by 4,000 votes, yet once again Cox is slowly catching up thanks to late reporting precincts from Cox strongholds and mail-in ballots. There are some 34,000 votes yet to be counted in the four counties that comprise the 21st Congressional District, and 31,000 of them are in Kern County. And that is bad news for Valadao since the Kern ballots come from deeply Democratic pockets of Kern County. Hold tight because this will be another tight one.

 * ... FATHER CRAIG: A judge has ruled that Monsignor Craig Harrison can move forward with a defamation lawsuit against a former friend who said Harrison hit on him sexually and had a pattern of acting inappropriately with other young men. Judge Kennth G. Pritchard denied an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the attorney for Ryan Dixon, who at one time considered Harrison a close personal friend, mentor and spiritual guide. Dixon, who later studied to become a Benedictine monk, turned on Harrison after he claimed Harrison was guilty of "inappropriate touching, lies, manipulation and abuse of power." Perhaps equally damning, Dixon claims Harrison had a pattern of touching and being alone with children, subjecting them to grooming behavior including lavishing then with money and other gifts. Harrison has denied the allegations by Dixon, as he has the other now middle aged men who have accused Harrison of similar incidents of sexual touching and impropriety. Harrison was suspended by the Diocese of Fresno in April of 2019 after multiple allegations of abuse arouse involving Harrison over several decades at different parishes in the Central Valley. Since his suspension he has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese as well as against Dixon and other critics. Harrison can no long perform priestly duties for the church and has been waiting for the church to rule on his fate. The statute of limitations has expired on any possible criminal offenses but Harrison could face civil action by any of the men who have come forward to accuse him of sexual abuse. (file photo of Harrison and Dixon)

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I’ve blocked several family members on social media this year. Now how can I block them for the holidays?" 

* ... FACEBOOK EXODUS: Are you part of the migration of conservative voters away from Facebook and Fox News? A large number of viewers, most of them Trump loyalists, are angry at Fox News for allegedly showing bias toward liberals and they are also fed up with Facebook and Twitter because of its censorship policies. Those leaving Facebook are opting for more conservative social media platform options like Parler, MeWe, Rumble or Newsmax.

 * ... MEMORIES: Thanks to the Kern County History Fans for sharing this great old picture from Delano, back in the day.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Joe Biden clinches Pennsylvania and becomes president elect, the return of pets to the White House (German Shepherds Major and Chamo) and the world loses Jeopardy host Alex Trebek to pancreatic cancer

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.

 * ... ELECTION: Joe Biden is now the president-elect following one of the closest elections in American history which saw a record number of votes. All of the ballots are not yet in but Biden hit the magic

number in electoral votes when he won Pennsylvania on Saturday. In his acceptance speech Biden vowed to be a president for all Americans, regardless of party. Most Republicans I know were disappointed but resigned to a Biden presidency. Others, in fact perhaps most Republicans I know, are more fearful of vice president-elect Kamala Harris and their perception of her as "too far left" should something happen to Biden and she rises to the presidency. Dr. Brij Bhambi of Centric Health called Biden's acceptance speech "powerful and well worded that met the moment." Pastor Angelo Frazier of Riverlakes Community Church had this to say: "Yes, convictions are not based on polls, politics or focus groups, regardless of the outcome of the elections, it is this country we are fighting for... we must fight the good fight with honor, integrity and truth. It is the founding principles in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that we uphold for all people and parties. The lust for power must never trump the triumph of love! We are all Americans now and we will be afterward. Let's rolll." Both Bhambi and Frazier are regular commentators on The Richard Beene Show on KERN Newstalk 96.1 FM. Frazier appears Mondays and Bhambi Fridays.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "If civil war starts, I ain't running! Cause I'm fat, that's why."

 * ... FIRST DOGS: The election of Joe Biden will do one thing we can all agree on: it will be good to see pets back in the White House. Joe and wife Jill have two German shepherds, Major and Champ, and the president is quite fond of dog kisses, we are told. In the pictures below are Major and Champ along with another yellow lab that a voter named ... Joe Biden.

 * ... ALEX TREBEK: We lost Alex Trebek, the longtime host of the popular game show "Jeopardy!" who died Sunday after a bout with pancreatic cancer. Trebek, 80, served a year with the cancer (the odds of surviving a second year with pancreatic cancer are just 7 percent) but recently took a turn for the worse and died Sunday. Trebek's connection with Kern County was strong, thanks in part to Sheri Horn-Bunk of the Taft College Foundation. When Horn-Bunk discovered that Trebek once joked he might attend Taft College to study oil drilling in retirement she reached out to him to appear at the West Kern Petroleum Summit. He did, graciously, and later funded a scholarship there. My wife and I were guests of Horn-Bunks last January when we went to Burbank to watch the filming of Jeopardy! where Trebek greeted us with warmth and charm. He was one of a kind and he will be missed.

 * ... MEMORIES: Check out this old picture of a motorcycle club in Kern County back in the day.